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Military Police Patrols Maintain Order on Base

By Army Spc. Darryl L. Montgomery
Special to American Forces Press Service

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq, Sept. 29, 2009 – Minnesota Army National Guardsmen of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division’s 34th Military Police Company patrol here daily to ensure the base’s residents are safe and that everything is running normally.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Spc. Robert McGrane conducts a routine traffic stop at Contingency Operating Base Basra, Iraq, Sept. 23, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Darryl L. Montgomery

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The MPs look for anything suspicious or dangerous, and they help residents in need.

“This can range from vehicle accidents, lost identification cards or criminal activities,” said Army Lt. Col. Dale Slimmer, Multinational Division South provost marshal. “From the [base defense operations center], the fire department, ambulance, military police or quick-reaction force will be dispatched, depending on the emergency.”

The military police also conduct random searches of local Iraqis, said Army Spc. Robert McGrane, a 34th MP Company patrol officer. “In the searches, we are looking for any kind of contraband they aren’t allowed to have [that] they may have sneaked in,” he explained.

Most of the time, McGrane said, the Iraqis mean no harm when they’re found with prohibited items. “Sometimes we find cell phones and DVD players they aren’t supposed to have,” he said. “Anything that can store media, they aren’t supposed to have it on post. The prohibition prevents Iraqis working on the base from taking photos or retaining documents to take home at night, he added.

The MPs’ mission here is to provide an additional resource for security and enforcement of rules, regulations and policies, Slimmer said, noting that work will continue to grow even after the division has returned home to Minnesota.

(Army Spc. Darryl L. Montgomery serves with Multinational Division South.)

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