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Military Police teach critical security skills to military police and embassy guards

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Whether it’s standing vigilantly on the walls of an embassy or keeping an eagle’s eye on everything while performing personal security detachment details, at the end of the day, personal safety of “the boss” is paramount.

Marines from the military police detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, worked with the United States embassy guards and the policia military (military police) with the Timor Leste Defense force here Oct. 11-15.

The MEU and the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group were in the country conducting Exercise Crococilo 2012, which is designed to promote interoperability and cooperation between the two countries, provide the opportunity to exchange knowledge and learn from each other, as well as establish personal and professional relationships. They also assisted in humanitarian efforts to improve the medical and dental health of the local population.

For three days, the Marines focused on continuum of force by using mechanical advantage control holds, or joint manipulation. The first level of getting an opponent to stop and comply with security’s requests is a verbal warning. The second level is compliance techniques, which is followed by non-lethal control such as pepper spray, baton strikes or tazers. Deadly force is the most aggressive level and the least preferred.

“Joint manipulation is the first physical step when trying to get someone to do what you want them to,” said Cpl. Justin Dryer, military policeman, CLB, 15th MEU. “If they don’t stop after verbal warnings, you have to get them to comply. They’ll stop when it hurts, ”said the 22-year-old Lanscaster, Calif., native.

Once the opponent is subdued and under control, the military police or members of the PSD perform body searches for anything that could pose a threat to the individual or security team. The MPs use the “twist and scrunch” method, which is a technique that ensures they are conducting the most complete search of the body.

“We taught them about the differences of hasty and deliberate searches and how just patting doesn’t find items that could be hidden, such as wires, switches or papers with sensitive information,” said Dryer.

While guarding an embassy, the security teams must ensure that every vehicle entering the gates is cleared of anything dangerous, and the Marines discussed the difference between a hasty and deliberate search and proper uses for each of them.

At a separate training location, the Marines put the military police from the Timor Leste Defense Force through different scenarios to impress upon them the importance of security of the person they’re protecting.

“We worked on getting them to understand the necessity of noticing anything out of the ordinary or actions that looks suspicious,” said Sgt. George Zeek, military policeman, CLB, 15th MEU. “Their job is to make sure that no one gets into the [circle of protection],” said the Hamilton, Ohio, native.

Of the security guards and military police who attended the training, many had little to no training in security detail techniques. The Marines feel this is beneficial to their training, as they don’t have any bad habits to try and break.

“We started teaching them to the Marine Corps standard,” said Sanchez, who is originally from Colorado Springs, Co. “We make sure we give them good guidance and repetition and they learn it correctly the first time.”

The Marines at both training sites feel this type of exercise is good for both countries.

“We’re showing our faces and trading friendship with a new government they’re establishing. We’re here to ensure their safety and to promote good law and order of the establishment,” said Sanchez.

Article by Gunnery Sgt. Jennifer Antoine, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit