602nd MP’s complete training, head to Cuba

The 602nd Military Police Company pauses for a group photo before departing Fort Bliss for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to conduct detainee operation missions Nov. 14. Photo by Ashley M. Alameda, DoMaD Public Affairs.

Ashley M. Alameda,
DoMaD Public Affairs:

Approximately 125 Army Reservists headed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Nov. 14. The 602nd Military Police Company, based out of Bossier City, La., has completed its pre-deployment training at Fort Bliss and departed to GTMO to conduct Internal Security and Detainee Operations missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The unit mobilized to Fort Bliss Oct. 1. After a week of Soldier Resilience and Readiness Processing, they were transferred to McGregor Range, N.M. The company conducted various training exercises and attended many briefings to pass validation requirements and safely complete its mission.

Company commander Capt. John D. Poda spoke highly of the training received from the 5th Armored Brigade. “The detainee OPS training lanes and the exercises and individual skill set training were a good thing,” said Poda.

His opinion of the combined efforts of the training element and the Directorate of Mobilization and Deployment during the mobilization of the company was positive. “We appreciate all the support that we got here, said Poda. “[Do]MaD and 5th Armored, it’s been a good time.”

The company, which is on its first deployment as a unit, encompasses people from nine different states. “Our [family readiness group] is pretty active. It runs from Wisconsin to Florida,” said Poda. “It’s a growing thing that’s getting better and better.”

Soldiers assigned to the 602nd Military Police Company play cards while waiting before departing Fort Bliss for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Nov. 14. Photo by Ashley M. Alameda, DoMaD Public Affairs.

Poda and 1st Sgt. Richard Smith, 602nd MP’s first sergeant, have charged their Soldiers to have a personal goal they wish to accomplish during the nine-month tour. Poda noted, “With a deployment to GTMO, the Soldiers get an opportunity to continue their education because the education center is on the Navy base … Some of them want to get scuba certified … ” He emphasized the most important thing is, “each one of them has their own goals.”

The 602nd will relieve the 348th Military Police Company from Ames, Iowa. Both Reserve units fall under the 200th Military Police Command. The 348th MP’s have been in Cuba since early this year.


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