CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan --
Marines with Camp Courtney camp guard and the Provost Marshal’s Office participated in a bilateral security training simulation with the Uruma City Police Department June 11, 2015 at Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan.
The training provided an opportunity for the UCPD, Camp Guard and PMO Marines to rehearse communication and response procedures for unauthorized base entry involving service members and Okinawa residents.
“It’s about communication,” said Gene Warfield, the camp anti-terrorism officer. “This training event is designed to bring Camp Guard, PMO and the [UCPD] together to increase proficiency and ensure notification procedures are being executed properly.”
According to Warfield, camp guard, PMO and the Japanese security guards are the three forces that ensure the security on the camp. It is crucial they are able to execute the steps necessary to mitigate threats and potentially dangerous situations on base.
The first step when faced with vehicular unauthorized personnel on base is stopping the vehicles the suspects are driving, according to Warfield. Drop-down barriers are used to prevent a suspect’s vehicle from proceeding further into the camp.
During the simulation, a mock suspect exited a vehicle and proceeded on foot beyond the barrier. Camp Guard Marines patrolling the perimeter of the camp caught sight of the unauthorized person and ordered him to halt.
The suspect drew his weapon, a plastic training pistol, on the Camp Guard Marines, who then detained him using proper search and seizure methods and alerted PMO by radio. PMO Marines rehearsed proper custody transfer and conducted a final search of the suspect before escorting him away from the scene.
The simulation provided a sense of real-world application for the service members in order to ensure the security on the camp, according to Dr. Ray Welch, the Deputy Camp Commander.
“Communication between [service members] and the Uruma City Police needs to be strong in order to maintain the good relationship we have with our host nation,” said Welch, a Lake Arrowhead, California, native. “Without that communication, we would be less aware of what is happening off base, and the [Uruma City Police] would be less aware of what service members are doing to ensure safety and security on and off base.”
Camp Guard Marines are trained by PMO Marines to maintain security on base and conduct themselves professionally with service members and Okinawa residents.
Japanese security guards, Okinawa residents who train and operate as a section of PMO, work alongside Camp Guard to maintain on-base security.
“Having a good relationship with local law enforcement allows personnel on base to communicate back and forth regarding on and off-base incidents that may involve [base personnel] or [Okinawa residents],” said Warfield, a Tucson, Arizona, native. “Despite the differences between [service members] and [Okinawa residents], we have to know how to interact with both in order to maintain safety and security on the installation.”