By Joshua Cohen
Vermont National Guard Public Affairs
From March to November 2021, 33 Vermont National Guard Military Police Soldiers of the 172nd Law Enforcement Detachment conducted a law enforcement and inner-base security mission at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania.
According to Staff Sgt. Zachary Hunt, this was the first military police-orientated mission in the 12 years he has been in the Guard.
“It was beneficial enhancing our military police capabilities here in the state,” said Hunt, who is the readiness training non-commissioned officer for the 172nd Law Enforcement Detachment.
Hunt said that Soldiers had responsibility for inner-base security. During shifts, Soldiers patrolled the base on foot and in SUVs marked and modified for military police activity.
“A lot of it was community policing, the day-to-day operation of patrolling the roads, responding to phone calls, and we did some training exercises with the fire department,” said Hunt. “Basically making sure everyone on the base was safe and we had no issues.”
Pointing out deployment highlights, Hunt said they developed and implemented standard operating procedures for base access, conducted joint patrols, and performed law enforcement operations.
“We also worked with Canadian military police to develop common operating procedures as well conducted ground defense exercises when they were at the base, we also had our meals mostly with Canadians at the foreign forces mess hall,” Hunt said.
Hunt said that during their deployment, U.S., Canadian, and U.K. Soldiers received certification in active-shooter threat response, ground defense tactics, and the evasive vehicle operation course.
“This deployment gave our Soldiers a lot of experience in community policing, interacting with people, using interpersonal skills to defuse a situation,” said Hunt while reflecting on the overseas tour. “I worked the physical security base access portion, a lot of my job was interacting with the Romanian security manager and that was the best part, building a relationship was a big thing.”