Water balloons and shields: Fort Wainwright military police practice riot control
Members of the '28th Military Police Detachment' and '549th Military Working Dog Detachment' on Fort Wainwright practiced civil disturbance training on Thursday.
"So that is when there is an angry mob or an agitated crowd or just a sightseeing, a big group, just a massive group of people. We will be called upon to kind of disperse that group," said SSG Terrell Proctor of the 28th MP Detachment.
The soldiers, dressed in full protective gear, practiced moving in formation, using shields properly and holding team positions on the line.
"Pretty much, if anything happened that we need to quell a crowd, this is what we would be doing,” said SPC John Sivlis of the 28th MP Detachment.
For many of the soldiers, this was the first time they had done riot training and Proctor said that these skills are needed to make sure they are the best they can be.
After going through the motions of advancing in formation, they added a more realistic scenario. While the riot team stood with shields ready, other soldiers threw water balloons, and attacked the line.
"We were just trying to simulate with the water balloons what it is like if the protestors are throwing water bottles, and what have you, that explode when it hits your shield," Proctor said.
The pretend rioters grabbed shields and helmets trying to push their way through the police.
"A little scenario where they could see what it is going to be like live, and have people in your face testing your ability to hold your shield and what you do if they got into the ranks,” said Proctor.
Another element to the training involved the ‘549th Military Working Dog Detachment.’ They practiced having the dogs walk behind the riot police as a deterrent as well as having dogs do take downs on people in bite suits.
Sivlis said the training helps them be ready for anything, "In the army we like to say, train as you fight, so we are going to be dealing with situations that could be very very intense. If we have that intensity during the training, it's not going to be such a shock when we actually have to do it."