793rd Military Police Battalion

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793rd Military Police Battalion
793 MP BN COA.jpg
Coat of Arms
Active 26 December 1942 – 28 August 2014
Country United States
Allegiance United States
Branch United States Army
Type Military Police Corps
Role Military Police
Size Battalion
Part of United States Army Alaska
Commanders
Last Commander Lieutenant Colonel Kirt Boston
Last Command Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Bryan Lynch
Insignia
Distinctive Unit Insignia 793MPBnDUI.jpg

The 793rd Military Police Battalion was a Battalion sized unit in the United States Army stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska. The battalion was responsible all Regular Army (United States) Military Police units and operations in the state of Alaska. Traditionally since 1946, the battalion was located in Germany with subordinate companies scattered through the country, thus ending a rich Military Police history in postwar Germany in 2010 with relocation to Alaska. With the drawdown of troops in the US Army, the Army once again inactivated the Battalion 28 August 2014.

Activation/ World War II[edit]

The Battalion was activated at Camp Maxey, Texas, on 26 December 1942.[1] The battalion deployed to Scotland in February 1944 for training prior to movement to France in August 1944, where it conducted route security operations on the famous Red Ball Highway/Red Ball Express until December 1944. From December 1944 to June 1945 the battalion conducted port security operations in Antwerp, Belgium, and was cited in the Order of the Day by the Belgian Army. In June 1945, the battalion was assigned port security operations in Marseilles, France until January 1946, when it entered Germany. The battalion was subsequently assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, and moved to Nuremberg, Germany where it conducted law and order operations as part of the occupation force and security for the Nuremberg Trials which was charging the remaining high-ranking Nazis for war crimes. The 793rd Military Police Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation—EUROPEAN THEATER and campaign streamers—NORTHERN FRANCE 1944 and RHINELAND 1944–1945, for military operations in Europe during World War II.

Operation Desert Shield/Storm[edit]

During the "Cold War" era, the battalion was assigned to VII Corps, United States Army, Europe. The 793rd Military Police Battalion deployed to Saudi Arabia in December 1990 in support of VII Corps during Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. The battalion advanced into Iraq and Kuwait in February 1991 at the start of the ground offensive in support of the 1st Armored Division, 3rd Armored Division, and the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where it conducted extensive enemy prisoner of war operations. In April 1991, the battalion supervised the evacuation of thousands of refugees from Iraq to Saudi Arabia. The 793rd Military Police Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation—DESERT SHIELD/STORM and campaign streamers—DEFENSE OF SAUDI ARABIA, LIBERATION AND DEFENSE OF KUWAIT, and SOUTHWEST ASIA CEASE FIRE, for military operations in Southwest Asia. The battalion redeployed from Saudi Arabia to Germany in May 1991, and was subsequently reassigned to the 18th Military Police Brigade, V Corps, United States Army, Europe.

Bosnian Conflict[edit]

The 793rd Military Police Battalion deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in December 1995 in support of Task Force Eagle (1st Armored Division) and Operation Joint Endeavor. For almost eleven months, Soldiers of the battalion performed a wide variety of missions including battlefield circulation control, area and route security operations, VIP security, and critical site security. During the Bosnian National Elections in September 1996, the Battalion provided around-the-clock support to nearly 200 election sites and counting houses in the Tuzla Valley. Upon the successful transfer of military police functions to the covering force of the 1st Infantry Division in November 1996, units of the battalion redeployed to Germany, bringing an end to the second major deployment of the "SPARTANS" outside of Germany since 1990. The battalion was awarded the Army Superior Unit Award – for military police support and operations in Bosnia.

Kosovo Conflict[edit]

The 793rd Military Police Battalion deployed to Kosovo from June 1999 to December 1999 in support of Task Force Falcon to implement the peace initiatives following the NATO led Air War with Yugoslavia. They established the Camp Bondsteel Detention Facility, the first facility of its kind in Kosovo, which further became the standard model for KFOR. The 793d MP Battalion returned to Kosovo in November 2000 to support Task Force Falcon, KFOR 2B, until May 2001. In October 2002, the 793d Military Police Battalion returned to Kosovo for a third tour as part of KFOR 4B and conducted operations in support of Multi-National Brigade East until August 2003.

Operation Iraqi Freedom III[edit]

The 793rd Military Police Battalion deployed to Iraq in December 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 04-06. The battalion secured the capitulated PMOI People's Mujahedin of Iran)/MEK (Mujahideen-e Khalq) forces at Camp Ashraf, Iraq. The battalion also supported the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in their area of operation. The battalion redeployed to its home in Bamberg, Germany in November 2005. The 793rd Military Police Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation—IRAQ and campaign streamer—IRAQ, for military operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Operation Iraqi Freedom 08-10[edit]

The 793rd Military Police Battalion once again deployed to Iraq, from April 2008 to June 2009, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 08-10 where they oversaw 12 subordinate units professionalizing the Iraqi Police across 7 provinces in central and southern Iraq, from Baghdad to Basra, serving under the Multi-National Division (Center), Multi-National Division (South-East), and Multi-National Division (South).

Kuwait/ Baghdad[edit]

The battalion was in Camp Buehring, Kuwait for the month of April, 2008. There they trained in the Kuwaiti Desert and gathering intelligence of their area of responsibility for Iraq. In May, 2008, the Battalion had completely transferred to Camp Stryker, Victory Base Complex to relieve the outgoing Battalion, the 720th MP Battalion from Ft Hood, Texas. The Spartans were attached to their home brigade, the 18th MP Brigade "Vigilant" which was in Iraq and in charge of MP units in the Division, and the Battalion was attached as well to 10th Mountain Division in Multi-National Division-Center(MND-C), and the 18th Airborne Corps in Multi-National Corps-Iraq(MNC-I). The Battalion had units all over MND-C and the Polish Military Controlled Multi-National Division (Center South)(MND-CS). The Battalion was mainly in charge of the units for logistical purposes, rather full operationally.

Basra[edit]

Because of the height of escalation from the Battle of Basra, the Iraqi Army and the British Military needed American military assistance including Military Police Units to assist in the conflict against the Mahdi Army, led by Muqtada Al-Sadr. Multiple Units were either redeployed from their current Bases to Basra, or they had their orders changed as they were on the verge of deploying to theater. The 793rd MP Battalion was chosen to transfer to Basra to take full operational command of the MP Units down there whose duties were security in the town, as well as training the Iraqi National Police in the area. The Battalion redeployed from Baghdad to Basra on 26 December 2008; the Battalion's birthday. Upon arrival, the Battalion was in charge of the 21st MP Company(Airborne) from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, the 266th MP Company from Virginia, the 2228th MP Company, Louisiana Army National Guard, and a Field Artillery Battery, Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 21st Field Artillery Regiment, 41st Fires Brigade from Ft. Hood, Texas that was performing Provisional Police work. Over time, Units were redeploying back to their home station, and the battalion gained the 178th MP Company, Georgia Army National Guard, and the 810th MP Company Army Reserve from Tampa, Florida. The Battalion also took command of a Camp on COB Basra and were in charge of all facilities and occupants to include 3 battalions from the British Army: one Battalion from the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, a Battalion from the Royal Tank Regiment, and a Battalion from the Yorkshire Regiment. The Battalion was initially under the command of 20th Armoured Brigade (United Kingdom)(The Iron Fist), British Army, and Multi-National Division-South East(MND-SE). As the British Forces were pulling out of Iraq, the Battalion was attached to the 2nd BCT, 4th Infantry Division and the 8th Military Police Brigade HQ's and the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bull", the first National Guard Division HQ deployed to Iraq, in the Newly formed, Multi-National Division-South, which combined South East with part of Center South. The Battalion was relieved of duty by the provincial formed Task Force South which would take command of all MP Functions and units until the 231st MP Battalion, Alabama Army National Guard came to take command. The Battalion returned to Bamberg, Germany at the end of June, 2009; 5 days short of a 16-month deployment.

Deactivation/Relocation[edit]

After the return from Iraq, the Battalion was chosen to be deactivated for the Draw Down of American Troops in Germany.[2] The 615th MP Company "Bloodhounds" (Grafenwöhr) and the 630th MP Company "Mavericks"(Bamberg, Schweinfurt) were reassigned to the 709th MP Battalion "Warriors", based in Grafenwöhr. The final unit was the 212th MP Company Dragoons which was deactivated to be reactivated in Fort Bliss, Texas. The Battalion was deactivated in February 2010, so that it would be reactivated in Alaska to Replace the Arctic Military Police Battalion (Provisional) "Polar Bears", due to the growing need of Military Police soldiers in Alaska.

Alaska[edit]

The 793rd Military Police Battalion was reactivated on 14 May 2010 in Fort Richardson, Alaska with the duties of being once again a deployable battalion command, and responsible for Regular Army Military Police Activities in the State of Alaska. The 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division had been using the unofficial nickname of "Spartans" at Fort Richardson, the 793rd "SPARTANS" was reactivated as the 793rd "Arctic Spartans." However, the 793rd Military Police Battalion had received the special designation of "SPARTANS" [3] which was granted by the US Army Center of Military History, as such the battalion should have retained the right to use the name "SPARTANS" as their official nickname.[4] Due to United States Army Alaska (USARAK) being a division sized unit, but not a division, USARAK is not authorized its own Provost Marshal; therefore, the Commander, 793rd MP Battalion was the Provost Marshal for USARAK.

2010 was a busy year for the "Arctic Spartans," due to the 472nd MP Company based out of Fort Wainwright being deployed to the Middle East, the 545th MP Company based out of Fort Richardson returning from deployment, and the 164th MP Company, also based out of Fort Richardson began their training for their deployment to the Middle East. With Ft. Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base merging to create Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Air Force Security Forces (Air Police) took control of law enforcement for the entire base, with the exception of a few army dog handlers.

For 64 years, the battalion was not in the U.S. since they set sail from Texas in February 1944. Since leaving, the Battalion has been in Scotland, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Iraq.

Inactivation[edit]

Due to the drawdown of the Army and its number of soldiers, the battalion was announced as being deactivated as well as some of their companies under their command. The remaining units will be reassigned to other battalions in the realignment. On 28 August 2014, the 793rd Military Police Battalion "SPARTANS" was inactivated [5] and its colors were cased again. The Battalion's Headquarters Detachment, the 472nd Military Police Company, and the 164th Military Police Company were symbolically inactivated during the ceremony as well. The 28th Military Police Detachment was reassigned to the 1st Striker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, which is located at Fort Wainwright, and the 545th Military Police Company was reassigned to the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, which is located at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. At the ceremony, Commandant of the Military Police Corps and former commanding officer of the battalion, Brigadier General Mark Spindler announced that this would not be the end of the battalions history as when the time comes, the battalion will be reactivated and continue its mission of commanding companies that conduct law and order and protect America's Army and its families.

Distinctive Unit Insignia Description/Blazon[edit]

A Gold color metal and enamel device 1 5/32 inches (2.94 cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Vert, on a bend Or two torteaux. Attached below the shield is a Gold scroll inscribed "FACTA CUM HONORE" in Green letters.[6]

Final Units[edit]

Fort Richardson[edit]

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 793rd MP Battalion "Arctic Spartans" (Inactivated)

164th Military Police Company "Arctic Enforcers" (Inactivated)

545th Military Police Company "Arctic Defenders" (reassigned to 4/25 Airborne; reassigned to 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 2016) 545th Military Police K9 Detachment "Arctic Dawgs" Most Decorated K9 Detachment in the Army

Fort Wainwright[edit]

472nd Military Police Company "Arctic Titans" (Inactivated)

28th Military Police Detachment "Arctic Guardians" (reassigned to 1/25 Striker; reassigned to 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 2016)

References[edit]

External links[edit]