11 December 2008

18th MP Brigade returns home to Germany

Col. Mark Spindler (Right), commander, 18th Military Police Brigade, Multi-National Division – Baghdad and native of St. Louis, holds the 18th MP Bde., colors as Command Sgt. Maj. Bernard McPherson (Left), command sergeant major, 18th MP Bde. and native of Orangeburg, S.C., cases the brigade’s colors as the unit transfers its Police Transition Team mission to the 8th Military Police Brigade, deployed from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Dec. 1 at Camp Liberty, Iraq.

Vigilant brigade concludes 15-month deployment

Story and photos by Sgt. Daniel Blottenberger, 18th Military Police Brigade, MND-B PAO

... The 18th MP Bde. accomplished a great deal with its IP counterparts and in support of its four battalions, which were strategically placed all throughout Iraq, with their mission focus being IP expansion, development and legitimacy.

The brigade expanded the IP force by training over 20,000 IP throughout Iraq, of which 13,000 were trained to protect the streets of Baghdad.

After expanding the IP force the brigade also saw the development of two national IP training centers in Diyala and Baghdad.

“A year ago the IP did not have a voice,” said [Col. Mark] Spindler, referring to the stature the IP force was in when the brigade arrived to assume the PTT mission. “Now they have a voice in the collection of Iraqi Security Forces along with the National Police and the Iraqi Army, as it rounds out the Iraqi security Forces charged to protect Iraq and its citizens.”

Spindler went on to say the IP will continue to succeed as long as they continue to hold their position and enforce rule of law in their respective communities.

Spindler also credited the success of the IP to the dedication of the brigade’s PTT teams, which he said, were unwavering in the support to their IP counterparts.

“You have made a difference to the generations to come,” said Spindler. “They will remember a time when American Soldiers stood on this soil.” ...

The Ever Vigilant Brigade’s success did not come without a cost, however, as the brigade lost 15 of its own during the deployment.

“This has been a difficult mission and a difficult task,” said Spindler. “We lost 15 of our warriors along the way, who fell for their buddies to their right and left. We will remember them and we will honor them as we continue to be inspired by their sacrifices.”

The Ever Vigilant 18th MP Bde. will return home to Mannheim in the upcoming weeks as it concludes its third deployment in five years.

Maj. Gen. Yves J. Fontaine, commanding general, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, shakes the hand of a military police Soldier from the 18th Military Police Brigade as he disembarks a transport plane at Ramstein Air Base Dec. 5. The 18th MP Bde. served 15 months in Iraq where they were responsible for law enforcement operations as well as training the Baghdad Police Transition Teams. Photo: Sgt. Fay Conroy.

Welcome home!

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