CAMP ROCKY, Rockhampton, Australia --
Since arriving here at Camp Rocky, the Marines of the Military Police Detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion 31, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit have been hard at work alongside their Australian counterparts keeping service members safe.
The U.S. Marines are working hand-in-hand with the military policeman of the Australian Army in support of Talisman Sabre 2011, an exercise designed to train US and Australian forces to conduct Combined Task Force operations to improve combat readiness and interoperability on a variety of missions.
The primary focus of the combined military police force training is centered on law enforcement and force protection. The Marines daily operations include area patrols, responding to calls on and off base involving military personnel, involvement with incident response teams, conducting basic investigative procedures, cross training within the two services, and various other functions in the field.
“The Marines are getting useful experience and great training,” said Staff Sergeant Joseph Ross, military police chief, CLB-31, 31st MEU, from Albion, Pa.
The U.S. Marine military policemen are working with the Australians with special emphasis in foreign country operations.
“We are really getting to see the different ways that the forces work, not only with the MPs, but with the anti-terrorism force protection team as well,” continued Ross. “The Marines work closely with both cells, and they each go hand-in-hand with each other. They are really getting good experience here. We are building relations and working as one collective force within the military police field.”
This is the first time any of the military policemen from CLB 31 have ever set foot in Australia.
“I think that the Australian people are extremely humble and enjoy sharing their culture with us,” said Lance Cpl. James Cathcart, military policeman, CLB-31, 31st MEU, of Lake Orion, Mich. “Australia has been great experience for me as an American military member in foreign lands.”
The MPs are continuing to work daily with the Australian forces, gaining valuable experience and knowledge from each other, and are also forming lasting relations with their Australian counterparts.
“I’ve really enjoyed the time we have been able to spend with the Aussies,” said Lance Cpl. Brett Chilson, military policeman, CLB-31, 31st MEU, of Binghamton, N.Y. “It has been really interesting seeing how they work and how things operate within their Army.”
The Marines say they are looking forward to the rest of their time here in Australia in support of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2011. TS11 involves thousands of service members coming together in northeast Australia to increase interoperability, flexibility and readiness, all of which contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the Pacific.