The 97th Military Police Battalion deploys worldwide to conduct Military Police operations in support of Forces Command. The battalion also conducts continuous law and order operations in support of the Fort Riley military community.
97th Military Police Battalion
97th Military Police Battalion History
The 97th Military Police Battalion was originally constituted in Europe on 8 June 1945 and was activated on 13 June 1945. After a short time of serving in the European Theater during the end of World War II, the battalion was inactivated on 12 November 1945 in France.
The battalion was again called to action and activated on 28 October 1951. Their mission was to operate the Prisoner of War Enclosure Number 9 of the United Nations Prisoner of War Camp #1, which held 21,932 prisoners confined in its compound. The battalion served in the Korean War until its inactivation on 20 March 1953 and received two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations.
The 97th Military Police Battalion was reactivated at Fort Lewis, Washington on 1 June 1966 and deployed to South East Asia. While based at Cam Rahn Bay, South Vietnam, their mission was to provide Law and Order and Battlefield Circulation Control. The battalion accomplished this with the 630th MP Company, 218th MP Company, 981st MP Company (Sentry Dog), and the 178th MP Detachment (L&O). The battalion was credited with completing a 450 mile long convoy of engineers and supplies that started in southern Vietnam and ended in Cambodia, making it the longest convoy ever attempted during this conflict. The Battalion’s assets included V-100 Armored Security Vehicles and Military Police gun jeeps mounted with M-60 machine guns. After six years of service in Vietnam, the battalion redeployed to the United States and inactivated at Oakland Army Base, California on 30 April 1972, and was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for its distinctive service in South East Asia.
During the end of the cold war the battalion found itself activated in Mannheim, Germany on 16 September 1989, where its primary missions were military customs and over-site of the U.S. Confinement Facility. Its units included the 42nd MP Company (Customs) and the 256th MP Company until it was inactivated in September 1994.
The 97th MP Battalion was re-activated on Fort Riley, Kansas on 16 October 2005. The Battalion took command and control of the 116th MP Company, 287th MP Company, 300th MP Company and 977th MP Company. The Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment deployed in September 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where it commanded 11 Military Police Companies conducting Police Transition Team missions. The battalion redeployed in December 2007 after 15 months to reconstitute and prepare for future action in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
On 16 January 2008, the 97th Military Police Battalion was attached to the 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas, for Training and Readiness Oversight (TRO).
The Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment deployed in July 2009 to Afghanistan in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Operation Enduring Freedom IX-XI, mentoring and partnering with the Afghan National Police in Kandahar City. The battalion was ADCON to 4th BCT, 82nd Airborne Division and NATO TACON to Task Force Kandahar, which was commanded by a Canadian General Officer. The Battalion’s mentorship mission eventually evolved to include responsibilities as the battle space owners for Kandahar City, ISAF’s strategic center of gravity, focusing on security and governance. The battalion redeployed in July 2010.
The Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment deployed in October 2018 for 60 days to Texas in support The Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection Mission. The Military Police Battalion continues its support to the 1st Infantry Division and the Fort Riley community. The Guardian Battalion stands ready for when the nation calls and are prepared to fight and win– anytime, anywhere.