NEWS | March 7, 2018

MPs respond to simulated shooter in realistic training

By Sgt. David Nye U.S. Army Central

Soldiers of the 202nd Military Police Company were patrolling Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on March 7, 2018, when they received the call for a crucial exercise for MPs: Two simulated shooters were attacking Soldiers at the base’s Zone 1 fitness track.

The role players “shot” approximately six other role players before simulating suicide, forcing the MPs and emergency medical services to practice clearing an area, cordoning it off, and giving medical care to victims as quickly as possible. Wounded personnel were then transported to the troop medical center where hospital staff practiced their techniques and protocols.

“The purpose was to practice for an active shooter drill in the event that something actually happened to give the patrols the chance to actually respond,” said 1st Lt. Jordan Flick, platoon leader, 202nd Military Police Company.

For the patrol that responded, the first priority was stopping the shooters.

“My first thought was to eliminate the threat,” said Spc. Jeremiah Matthews, 202nd MP Co., the first responder to arrive after the call was put out.

“I was the second patrol to arrive on scene,” said Pfc. Christian Ibarra, 202nd MP Co. “Matthews was the first to arrive on scene, so, when he got on scene, I then assisted him. He told me that the simulated shooter was down, had committed suicide. We then began giving medical to the individuals on the field and made sure the subject was disarmed.”

While the military police were able to quickly secure the area and begin rendering aid, the exercise allowed leaders and junior Soldiers to identify potential areas for future training.

“Being new to the installation and not working with emergency medical and fire as often as we should, one thing we identified was we can always communicate better,” said Pfc. Matthew Dobson, 202nd MP Co. “I feel like everyone arrived in a proper amount of time and took care of each other well, but there’s always room for improvement.”

“So, one of the big things we learned is that, especially towards the end, when the emergency vehicles needed to leave, some of our vehicles were partially blocking the lanes,” said Flick. “We kinda learned to be more conscious of that. And then, as in any military exercise, their communication was great but there’s always room for improvement.”

But, overall, the Soldiers’ performance inspired confidence from their leaders.

“I feel like they did a great job,” said Flick. “Obviously, you hear active shooter and there’s a wide range of emotions you can go through and they all managed to stay calm, collective, and arrive on scene and do what they were trained to do.”