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Paratroopers Train To Evacuate American Citizens During Conflicts
by U.S. Army Sgt. Anthony Hewitt - July 23, 2016

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Fort Bragg, NC - In the fictional country of Atropia, the people recently lost their president to an un-expected death. The president`s son takes control and rejects elections and amends constitutions. Rebellious students and other citizens form the South Atropian Peoples Army (SAPA) – a group seeking to transform Atropia and force their own beliefs upon the population.

The violent activities of SAPA become more frequent and friendly Atropian forces are in need of assistance, the U.S. places SAPA under international sanctions. SAPA begins to threaten the U.S. Embassy and its officials. The enemy has now indicated its threat to acquire chemical materials in order enable maximum terror among the local and foreign populace.

The time has come to evacuate and bring any and all American citizens home. The global response force deploys to assist in non-combatant evacuation operations (NEO) and secure the U.S. Embassy.

June 22, 2016 - Paratroopers assigned to 108th Military Police Company, 503rd MP Battalion,16th MP Brigade particpate in non-combatant evacution training while supporting the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division during a joint training exercise at Fort Bragg, NC. The training prepares Soldiers for possible evacuation of American citizens from hostile or disaster environments while in a foreign country. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Anthony Hewitt)
June 22, 2016 - Paratroopers assigned to 108th Military Police Company, 503rd MP Battalion,16th MP Brigade particpate in non-combatant evacution training while supporting the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division during a joint training exercise at Fort Bragg, NC. The training prepares Soldiers for possible evacuation of American citizens from hostile or disaster environments while in a foreign country. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Anthony Hewitt)

This was the simulated scenario included during the joint operational access exercise conducted by Soldiers assigned to and in support of 3rd Brigade Combat Team 82nd Airborne Division; the 16th Military Police Brigade, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, and representatives from the U.S. State Department on June 22, 2016 at Holland Drop Zone.

Using the scenario the Soldiers and role-players were given, those participating in the training reacted accordingly.

Staff Sgt. Shayse Stokes, a Paratrooper assigned to 108th MP Company, 503rd MP Battalion (Airborne), 16th MP Bde. says our job as military police is to consolidate, extract and protect the American citizens in order to remove them from whatever country they are in. We then brought them to the evacuation control center; where they will be briefed, searched and processed for travel to a safe haven and in the event of an actual NEO, eventually back to the United States.

In charge of the NEOs is the ambassador, serving as the U.S. president representative and authority he is directly responsible for the safe evacuation of American citizens.

Supporting the operations are three main components for a military based initiative, The State Department, Department of Defense and usually a swift insertion force involving temporary occupation and a planned withdraw.

Allyn Brooks-LaSure, a public diplomatic officer from the State Department says in the past it has been Marines conducting these missions. Today we are here to support and observe the Department of the Army execute and train to prepare for these scenarios.

Capt. Bill Seskey, a Paratrooper assigned to 3rd BCT, as a civil affairs planner says it`s important for us to be trained and ready to conduct these types of operations. The brigade will eventually be the global response force and possibly be called upon to conduct these operations.

As the day went moved forward during the training exercise, Paratroopers established security, processed role-players and eventually executing the steps required being successful during the training.

“The biggest takeaways for the leaders in this brigade during the exercise is understanding 3rd brigade`s role with partnered government agencies, said Seskey.

According to Seskey, we absolutely need to have the ability to evacuate your own people and safeguard American people abroad, if not then could hinder our ability as a nation to establish relations with other countries and conduct foreign policy.

“This is not a hollow exercise. The mission that this unit is performing has real world implications and can be the difference between life and death for American citizens,” said Brooks-LaSure. “We have no greater responsibility than protecting and advancing U.S. personnel and interest abroad, so when we`re in a situation where there is political instability American citizens are calling upon us. This exercise reinforces our capabilities to work jointly and extend this service to American in need.

By U.S. Army Sgt. Anthony Hewitt
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2016

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