Photo By Sgt. Tyrone Williams | U.S. Army Soldiers with the 372nd Military Police Battalion, District of Columbia Army National Guard participate in a joint training event with the 113th Security Forces Squadron at Fort Belvoir, Va. May 18, 2024. The training engages members of the D.C. National Guard to improve interoperability and familiarity to ensure personnel are ready to support civilian lead agency partners involved in high-profile events across the DMV. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Sherald McAulay). 

District of Columbia National Guard Trains with Joint Task force - National Capital Region

WASHINGTON, DC – The District of Columbia National Guard conducted a joint training event for its 372nd Military Police Battalion and 113th Security Forces Squadron at Fort Belvoir, Va. May 17 - 19, 2024. The training engaged members of the D.C. National Guard to improve interoperability and familiarity to ensure personnel are ready to support civilian lead agency partners involved in high-profile events across the region.

“Both Military and Civilian partnerships are critical in developing creative, effective and positive solutions within our complex environment,” said Lt. Col. Julie Shelley, commander 372nd MP BN. “Every agency has limitations on the capacity it can provide. The D.C. National Guard can assist by filling gaps and providing support which allows our civilian and interagency partners to focus their efforts on their primary missions.”

Members of the Joint Task Force - National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) and U.S. Army Military District Washington (MDW) led the training and evaluated service members throughout a series of scenarios. Task Force instructors come from organizations across the government, including U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, MDW Provost Marshal Office, Criminal Investigation Command (CID) Protective Services Battalion, 289th Military Police Company, and 212th Military Police Detachment. They are all certified by the Department of Defense in civil disturbance response tactics & non-lethal capabilities.

The JTF-NCR training and evaluation course featured realistic experiences that Soldiers and Airmen would typically face during crowd control situations and large gathering engagements. Service members practiced squad and collective group opposing force maneuvers. Some of the exercises included shielded crowd control squad movement techniques and handling opposing combatants trying to break through the controlled line. The combatants were armed with batons and objects to throw to increase the authenticity of facing an opposing crowd.

“On order, the 372nd MP BN will be prepared to provide civil disturbance support to DoD or interagency partners and stands ready to support without fail,” said Shelley. “This training is an integral part to that success and ensures we maintain training, readiness and overall ability to alert, assemble and deploy at a moment's notice to support our Nation’s Capital.”

Soldiers also utilized new protective equipment during the training.

“The soldiers are receiving the Soldier Protection System (SPS),” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Perry, Supply Support Activity, D.C. Army National Guard. “The Soldier Protection System is a suite of personal protection subsystems intended to provide equal or increased protection while also reducing the weight on the soldier.”

The SPS consists of four subsystems that are designed to better protect a Soldier’s head, eyes, and neck region; the vital torso and upper torso areas, as well as the extremities and pelvic region. The soldiers also received standard crowd control equipment which includes shields and batons.

The D.C. National Guard has a long and proud history of support to many unique operations from celebratory events to security support within the District of Columbia with its numerous high-profile special event support to DoD, and other interagency partners within the Nation’s Capital. This training will help the D.C. Guard continue to support local law enforcement agencies in the metropolitan area.

“Today's training takeaway underscores the significance of maintaining technical and tactical proficiency in my role,” said Sgt. Angelis Hunter, a military police officer with the 276th MP Company. Our motto, "Always Ready," guides us as we stand firm, serving both ourselves, our families and our community while upholding the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. During the training, we practiced a range of master resiliency skills to enhance our connections, optimism, self-awareness, self-regulation, character strengths, and mental agility.”

Sgt. Tyrone Williams

715th Public Affairs Detachment