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 44 A side from foreign combat deployments, some of the most stressful and demanding situations confronted by a junior Army National Guard offcer involve the defense support of civil authorities (DSCA). These operations, which usually occur immediately following major disasters or traumatic events, require that junior leaders be mentally nimble, effective, and adept at using noncommissioned offcers (NCOs) to implement change in the operational environment. The purpose of this article is to prepare young lieutenants— particularly those in the National Guard—for the possibility of DSCA operations. Oftentimes, junior National Guard Soldiers become the unsung heroes of a natural disaster recovery or a response to a terrorist attack or other traumatic event. As part-time Soldiers and full-time leaders, National Guard offcers and NCOs have the same training and duty responsibilities as their Regular Army counterparts. However, they have an additional constraint; they do not see troops on a daily basis. When disasters occur, state governors call upon the National Guard to bring a semblance of order to the chaos. This responsibility generally falls on the shoulders of the lieutenants. These lieutenants are expected to focus their training and implement the DSCA plans that the states have created through decades of trial and error. This article discusses how junior offcers can prepare themselves and their troops for DSCA operations, how they should work within a state emergency management agency chain of command, and what pressures they might face as leaders operating in the aftermath of a disaster. Fundamental Soldier skills—including the ability to shoot, move, and communicate—serve as some of the biggest contributors to mission success in any DSCA operation. Mobility, internal and external communication, and the ability to enforce change on the environment help determine the success or failure of a DSCA operation. As leaders prepare for DSCA operations, they must determine how to ensure that personnel and vehicles remain capable of movement, communication channels remain open, and relationships and competencies are maintained. If these goals are not met, the best that a junior leader can hope for is to enact stopgap measures until more state or federal support can be brought to By Second Lieutenant Christopher Francis Larkin bear on the situation. Because DSCA operations tend to move rapidly by nature, it is up to the junior leader to implement an appropriate operational tempo without sacrifcing safety on the altar of expediency. DSCA operations begin when an active duty unit staff initiates the alert roster, prompting leaders to begin contacting their Soldiers for an impending mission. It is critical that the Soldiers and leaders arriving at the armory have packed the appropriate equipment, based on the mission variables and the projected duration of the crisis. Soldiers should be prepared for an extended stay with little to no infrastructural luxuries (beds, hot meals, showers, laundry facilities) at the support location. This general lack of infrastructure requires that leaders make allowances for the missing items so that the basic needs of the Soldiers can be met. The problem is especially signifcant for DSCA operations that depend on electricity, computers, printers, and communication systems to maintain a constant fow of composite risk assessments, situation reports, and other important information that must be disseminated up or down the chain of command. It is particularly important that primary, secondary, and tertiary means of communication are prechecked, loaded with appropriate frequencies, and packed for the mission so that mission command will not suffer in the event that one or two methods of communication are disrupted. Relying on cell phone communication in rural areas is ineffective; the Single-Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System or two-way radios are often the best overall options in these areas. To ensure that Soldiers have a clear and defned set of parameters in which to operate, the warning order, primary point of contact, civilian chain of command alert roster, and phone roster for the entire operation should be provided to the offcer in charge or NCO in charge before the unit departs from the armory. Junior leaders should proactively prepare for DSCA operations. These preparations usually involve the use of common sense and are generally easy to accomplish in a single drill weekend. A standardized packing list should be generated at the platoon/company level and then disseminated to troops who, in turn, should prepare a "go bag" that is available for any mission. This cuts down on the time required Larkin.1.indd 46 3/21/2014 12:57:22 PM

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