SRT ensures readiness, ability to protect community

| December 9, 2014 | 0 Comments
Station commander for Schofield Provost Marshal Office, Capt. John Fernandez-Rubio, 13th MP Det., works with emergency responders and the 39th MP Det.’s SRT at incident command during a quarterly validation training exercise, Nov. 20. Team members responded to a notional hostage situation, in which a disgruntled husband holds his wife and dinner guests at gunpoint.

Station commander for Schofield Provost Marshal Office, Capt. John Fernandez-Rubio, 13th MP Det., works with emergency responders and the 39th MP Det.’s SRT at incident command during a quarterly validation training exercise, Nov. 20. Team members responded to a notional hostage situation, in which a disgruntled husband holds his wife and dinner guests at gunpoint.

Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs
8th Theater Sustainment Command

 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — After multiple deployments and one previously failed marriage, Spc. Jack Johnson is faced with another setback.

While having dinner with his current wife and a couple of friends at home, Johnson is shocked to find out his wife has been cheating on him.

Johnson becomes livid, takes his wife and their guests’ hostage under gunpoint, and threatens to kill everyone.

This situation was the scenario the Special Reaction Team, 39th Military Police Detachment, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, faced in the middle of the night, Nov. 20, here, during its quarterly validation training exercise.

The SRT mission is to stand ready to rapidly engage threats to the military’s garrison communities, ensuring safety to service members and their families.

Despite working as a team for only a few months, the SRT troops involved in this training executed the mission flawlessly, said Master Sgt. Matthew T. Ivacic, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the unit’s Law Enforcement Division.

He said these situations are very real possibilities, making training through scenarios critical to readiness and cohesive action.

The members build those skills by training at different locations with a variety of unpredictable scenarios that incorporate both the action the SRT executes and the planning and coordination of all the other moving pieces involved in these situations.

Synchronization falls to the officer in charge of Incident Command, a temporary home base set up not far from the incident’s location.

For this training’s scenario, Capt. John Fernandez-Rubio, 13th MP Det., 728th MP Bn., served as the OIC and demonstrated no hesitation in taking charge.

Fernandez-Rubio, who is also the Schofield Barracks Provost Marshal Office station commander, works behind the scenes with the different emergency responders and organizations involved, constantly employing his experience as station commander.

“We were definitely in a groove and knew what needed to happen,” he said about his team’s initial response to the scene. “It’s a learning experience, and we’re always refining it.”

He said gathering information is a big part of the operation and being able to identify all the possible outcomes is sometimes the biggest obstacle, which requires the community to be as cooperative and open with all response elements as possible.

After hours of negotiating with the hostage taker, the scenario ended with the SRT successfully breaching the house and safely saving the hostages.

Role playing as the disgruntled husband in the scenario, Ivacic experienced the team’s skills up close and personal.

“When they busted through that bedroom door, it was awesome,” said Ivacic. “Everyone was on-point and cleared that room like professionals.”

Fernandez-Rubio said, “Everyone’s safety is our top concern, that and security, and we don’t want the day the incident occurs to be the first time that we have the conversation about what could we do, what can we do, what should we do … because at that point it’s too late.”

He said scenario-driven training like this increases the team’s readiness and ability to rapidly respond if incidents like this happen in the community.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: News, Training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *