Military Connection: Keeping Troops in Germany Safe
By Debbie Gregory.
Various forms of media have brought the military from the battlefield into our living rooms. We have seen war, and what serving requires for those who opt to don our nations military uniform.
Army Spc. Brian Slocum is a military police soldier in the 2st Theater Sustainment Command’s 92nd Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade. His responsibility is enforcing the law on U.S. Army installations in Kaiserslautern and other areas of Germany.
Sometimes Slocum’s shift begins at 2 a.m., one of the three shifts each day. Slocum and his comrades will begin physical readiness training four hours before their shifts to ensure their patrols begin on time. Staying in shape is paramount to doing the job, and for that reason any patrol can be called in at any time for a height and weight assessment.
“If a soldier is overweight or can’t pass an Army physical fitness test, it would reflect badly on the MP corps and our unit. We just can’t have that,” Slocum said.
Slocum’s shift begins as he draws weapons and ammunition at the provost marshal’s office, followed closely by the shift change and team briefings. Patrol leaders present a different law-enforcement topic each day, which ranges from how to respond to a domestic dispute to how to properly detain someone. Slocum says this is to keep all procedures fresh in everyone’s mind.
After briefings, the soldiers will sign for their patrol cars and inventory their equipment, including basic preliminary safety and maintenance checks on their vehicles.
Attention to detail is extremely important, according to Army Sgt. Kenneth S. Farrell, as assistant squad leader with the 92nd MP CO.
“These soldiers patrol all over Kaiserslautern and all the way into Mannheim. We have one of the largest patrol areas in Germany.”
“These vehicles have to take us to all these places, and we have to have the proper gear when we get there.”
Whilst on patrol, Slocum is responsible for conducting perimeter and fence checks, random access inspections, on top of responding to emergencies and calls within the community.
With their twelve-hour shift nearly complete, Slocum and his colleagues will fuel their patrol cars, hand over briefing with the next shift, and turn in their weapons. The drive home after a shift is often bittersweet, as Slocum knows his 12-hour break clock will count down quickly, signaling the next patrol, serving and protecting the KMC again.
“It is hard at times, working the long hours and not getting the same days off that other soldiers do,” Slocum said. “But when you help out on something big, like a child missing or a domestic violence incident, it’s all worth it. It’s worth it to help my fellow soldiers in this community.”
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Military Connection: Keeping Troops in Germany Safe: By Debbie Gregory