Military Police

SPRING 2014

Military Police contains information about military police functions in maneuver and mobility support, area security, law and order, internment/resettlement, and police intelligence operations.

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MILITARY POLICE . 19-14-1 36 T he mission of the 39th Movement Control Battalion, Parwan Province, Afghanistan, is to provide movement control for thousands of local national trucks each week. This is a complex and challenging mission, but one that is essential to the success of Afghanistan contingency operations. Military police are a key element of the 39th, protecting the force and leading the effort to reduce fraud and pilferage in Afghanistan. Recognizing the value of military police, the battalion deployed a military police offcer with the Headquarters Detachment. This offcer performs three crucial functions—serving as a liaison with interagency law enforcement organizations, providing force protection (FP) expertise, and conducting antiterrorism operations. The 39th Movement Control Battalion, which deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, provides movement control for all of Afghanistan. It supports more than 120,000 U.S. and coalition troops and civilian personnel, enables sustainment for International Security Assistance Forces, and assists with retrograde and redeployment operations. The battalion accomplishes these feats through the mission command of more than 15 movement control teams dispersed throughout the Combined Joint Operations Area–Afghanistan. In addition, the 39th manages the ground transportation, National Afghan Trucking, and short takeoff and landing airlift contracts. Each week, the 39th plans, synchronizes, and provides in-transit visibility for more than 1,500 ground and air transportation missions, moving personnel; mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles; fuel; shipping containers; and nearly anything else in-theater. According to a 2010 congressional report, "In Afghanistan, the U.S. military faces one of the most complicated and diffcult supply chains in the history of warfare. The task of feeding, fueling, and arming American troops at over 200 forward operating bases and outposts sprinkled across a diffcult and hostile terrain with only minimal road infrastructure is nothing short of herculean." 1 By First Lieutenant Chad Plenge The use of contracted transportation obviates the need for three deployed brigades (or, under a 3:1 rotation, nine brigades in the force structure). Additionally, the contracts safeguard U.S. lives and equipment by keeping Soldiers off the dangerous roads of Afghanistan. But with a vast transportation enterprise that is largely sourced by contracted local national transportation, opportunities for criminal activities abound. Based on Department of Defense and congressional audits conducted in 2009, the cost of known fraud and pilferage exceeded $25 million. According to a National Afghan Trucking contracting offcer, "If $25 million in fnancial loss was known at the time, you can be sure the actual amounts were many times that." However, through the concerted efforts of the 39th Movement Control Battalion and numerous investigative agencies, the National Afghan Trucking contracting offcer estimates that current rates of corruption across the multibillion dollar enterprise are down by more than 50 percent. This signifcant victory not only safeguards millions of taxpayer dollars, but also eliminates a signifcant source of income for criminal and enemy forces working against—and in many cases, in direct combat with— the coalition. An agent of another Afghan organization that is fghting nefarious activities said, "Just like for us, money is the lifeblood for these [enemy] forces. As we squeeze it off, we are absolutely depriving them of capability used against us." The military police offcer assigned to the Headquarters Detachment of the 39th plays a key role in liaison with these investigative agencies. FP is another concern of the 39th Movement Control Battalion. A deployed environment includes threats and FP challenges that are not present in the garrison environment. The 39th is actively involved in countering internal and external threats on Bagram Airbase. With a law enforcement and security background, a military police offcer was the obvious choice for the leader of the battalion FP team. When under a heightened security posture, the team emplaces and Plenge.1.indd 38 3/21/2014 1:02:29 PM

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