Official websites use .mil
Secure .mil websites use HTTPS
Spc. Harrison Moore, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
ARTEMUS, Ky. — Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry, took part in Civil Response Training during their unit’s annual training at Harold L. Disney Training Center from July 25 - 28.
A civil response mission for the Kentucky National Guard includes civil disturbances such as riots, demonstrations, and individuals assembling to threaten life or property.
training was overseen by Guardsmen assigned to the 223rd, 617th, and 1103rd
Military Police Companies.
“Our National Guard has responded to civil unrest in several states and the District of Columbia,” said Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Director of the Army National Guard. “As part of a national call for justice and racial equality, Soldiers and Airmen were there to protect our First Amendment rights and preserve public safety in the communities where we live.”
The intent of this training is to equip Soldiers of the 1-149th with the skills and knowledge to protect the life and liberty of the members of the Commonwealth of Kentucky when asked to assist local law enforcement for civil disturbance response.
“We are lucky to get this training to
protect our commonwealth,” said Capt. Eileen Miller, commander of Headquarters
and Headquarters Company and first female Infantry commander in Kentucky
history. “Hopefully, we never have to use it, but I want my Soldiers to be
ready for anything they call us for.”
incorporated classroom learning with hands-on demonstrations to familiarize
Soldiers with unusual equipment, such as batons and riot shields.
“The value of cross-training and bringing in experts from around the state is paramount,” said Lt. Benjamin Smith, the scout platoon leader for the battalion. “It’s one thing to look at the training in paper manuals, but having Soldiers doing hands-on training is far better.”
“I want our Soldiers to have confidence in
their equipment and the task at hand,” Smith added. “Knowing the ground rules
helps us better support the community when called upon.”
instruction also included how Soldiers can incorporate access control points
and traffic control points for added protection on city streets and roadways.
they practiced different formations to simulate various civil unrest
situations. Soldiers lined up shoulder to shoulder, interlocked their shields,
then practiced movement as a unit. They learned that communicating
and holding a tight formation is strongest to hold off rioters from entering a
officers with decades of combined law-enforcement experience enhanced training.
“Civil support is an unfamiliar
environment. Our job is to familiarize them in this new area and to make them
better Soldiers by giving them this valuable skill set,” said Sgt. 1st Class
Bradford Stone, 617th Military Police Company.
has served in the National Guard for 16 years and was the lead instructor
during the training.
“Whether it is helping during storm relief
and natural disasters or responding to support local law enforcement with crowd
control, we always try to make the situation better,” said Stone.
“Keeping our communities safe is a core
mission of the National Guard, and that is the primary aim of this training,”
said Sgt. Jacob Ernst, 223rd Military Police Company. “When a unit is called up
for a civil disturbance response, the primary goal is to augment local law
enforcement and to provide support.”
Ernst said that Soldiers are trained to use force only when necessary, and the force applied should really focus on deescalating the situation.
fresh out of initial Infantry training typically have not received
civil-disturbance related training, because their primary specialty covers
mostly combat maneuvers.
“We take the training very seriously. And we are grateful for the hands-on learning experience provided by the Military Police,” said Pfc. David Boian, an indirect fire infantryman assigned to the mortar platoon.
“During our one-weekend-a-month drill, we rarely have time for these hands-on training,” said Boian. “But, this annual training is preparing us for if we need to respond to the community in this manner.”
infantrymen will now be better prepared to augment local law enforcement in
cases of civil disturbances. Training like this emphasizes mission readiness
and the Kentucky National Guard’s commitment
to protecting members of the community.
“Overall, the Civil Disturbance Training gives these infantrymen the tools and knowledge they need to be successful in one of the many ways they may be asked to serve,” said Ernst.