2007 Battalion Time Line
~ 720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association History Project ~
III
Corps
This Page Last Updated   20 March 2013
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89th MP
Brigade
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At the start of the year the Battalion was headquartered subordinate to the 89th MP Brigade, III Corps at Fort Hood, TX.
January
23 January, Baghdad, Iraq A convoy escorted by members of the 410th MP Company escaped serious injury when it was attacked with an Improvised-Explosive-Devise (IED) and small arms fire while on a mission in Baghdad. The MPs were responding to a report of a burning Iraqi Police vehicle when the attack occurred. The explosive devise was hidden in some bodies on the shoulder of the roadway.
410th MP
Company

     The massive explosion rocked the convoy blowing out the tires, several windows and damaging the exterior of two of the Humvees with shrapnel. Immediately following the explosion the hidden enemy directed heavy small-arms fire on the MP's and their the crippled vehicles. The MP's immediately returned suppression fire on the enemy positions until another military unit arrived to assist them in providing cover fire while the crippled vehicles were removed from the roadway.

        Accompanying the MP's on this patrol was imbedded ABC news anchor (Good Morning America) Chris Como, the son of Marion Cuomo former New York governor. Como was trapped inside one of the damaged Humvees during the firefight. Cuomo had nothing but praise for the way the MP's of the 410th performed under fire. Here are several quotes from Cuomo in a national broadcast with ABC the next day.

   "To a man, no one flinched. They were screaming but screaming orders — not the kind of screaming I was doing that only German shepherds could hear. I have never been more impressed." "It's just mind-boggling to me that something that has really shaken me to my very core is something that they absorb, dismiss and then unequivocally say they'll be back tomorrow." What impressed him most, Cuomo said, was the way the gunner, still spitting glass from a shattered window, sprang into action without complaint.

Chris Cuomo

   

     "This is their routine," Cuomo said. "They go out day after day while people are trying to blow them up. . . . It’s one thing to question the mission. To question the soldiers is completely without basis." "I’m trying not to deal with it. I’m trying to deal with it like a soldier, just do my job."

   

February
HQ
Detachment

21 February, Fort Hood, TX The 720th Military Police Battalion, Headquarters Detachment (Vanguard), held its casing ceremony at Gauntlet Field, Fort Hood, Texas in preparation for the battalion’s third deployment to Baghdad. The primary mission of the detachment is the training of civil Iraqi police forces. Under a program initiated by LTC Frank Y. Rangel, Jr. (Battalion Commander) and provided with the assistance of the Killeen and Copas Grove, Texas Police Departments, every sergeant and junior officer in the upcoming deployment received two weeks of civilian law enforcement training.

   "We told them (police chiefs) what all we wanted and they came back to us with a package that they wanted to teach us including a ride-along, classroom training, working with drug investigators and in crime scene investigation. The same skills that civilian police have in tracking gangs and drug dealers is the same skill set we can take forward to the Iraqi police. We go over there with the attitude that this works in America and they can modify it. We are now familiar with how to run operations against gangs and how to take evidence and catalogue it and use it against them in court. They have a different culture and a different way of doing things. Our Soldiers are exposed to new experiences and new ideas and they can teach it best to the Iraqi police. That is the nice thing about being commander here, you can give out intent and our commanders can execute better than you expect.”

     "The Soldiers of the Gauntlet know that if they send us (to Iraq), perhaps we can lessen the load of those already there and, more importantly, the load of those who will follow." "There is nothing glorious about the blood, sweat and tears we are about to shed but there is the wonderful beauty of watching our team work as a family honoring our nation by performance of duty and coming to tell our kids and perhaps our grand kids about our time in the Gauntlet when it helps to fight the great war on terror.”... LTC Rangel.

   “My personal opinion is that this is the premier battalion in the corps, and, if I had selected any battalion in the Army to be the Command Sergeant Major for, this would be it. It is a very proud unit and we have a great reputation. I feel 100 percent confident that our commander has given us the tools and training and things we need and because of our multiple deployments, I feel that we are mentally prepared"... Battalion CSM J. Drew Craig.

22 February, Fort Hood, TX SPC Mark Wilkerson pleaded guilty to desertion and missing movement prior to his unit’s second deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Wilkerson admitted that instead of returning, he terminated his lease, moved all of his belongings to Colorado and changed his cell phone number so his unit was unable to contact him. He remained in Colorado and spent 18 months absent without leave before surrendering himself at Fort Hood Aug. 31, 2006. When Wilkerson returned to Fort Hood the 401st MP Company took him in without judgment or punishment, treating him like a fellow Soldier.

     SPC Wilkerson had enlisted 20 June 2002 to serve a five-year commitment. While admitting his actions were wrong, it was Wilkerson’s contention his actions were the only option left for him to avoid combat.

     SPC Wilkerson had previously served in Iraq with the 401st MP Company. He redeployed the end of March 2004 and thereafter submitted his packet seeking conscientious objector status. He submitted the packet 29 July 2004, and was still awaiting approval when he deserted his unit on 3 January 2005. Wilkerson then requested reassignment to a non-combat role. According to trial counsel CPT Derek Leo, the packet was subsequently denied after Wilkerson’s scheduled deployment.

     With the conscientious objector status packet pending, Wilkerson’s unit accommodated him by placing him in a non-combat role as the unit’s armorer. While deployed, he would have stayed on the base and never faced combat, based on his new assignment. Wilkerson was accommodated to never face combat; he was to work in his unit’s arms room in Iraq. While his company was deployed in Iraq engaged in operations, he was in Colorado Springs.”

     SPC Wilkerson admitted in court he was aware of his unit’s upcoming deployment through briefings, training and the receipt of his orders. He was aware of the importance of his duties and his responsibilities to serve. Wilkerson claimed that the military, for him, was obviously not the right fit, during the general court-martial.

     After deliberation, trial judge COL Alan Cook sentenced Wilkerson to seven months’ confinement in a military facility, reduction in rank to private, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a bad conduct discharge. Because of a plea agreement, Wilkerson did not face the maximum punishment for his actions; seven years confinement, dishonorable discharge, total forfeiture of pay and allowances and a reduction in rank to private.

March

2 March, Fort Hood, TX HQ Detachment departed Fort Hood, Texas for deployment to Baghdad, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09. After a 20 hour flight Vanguard landed in Kuwait where they spent two weeks on pre-theatre training and orientation before a flight via a C-130 to Baghdad International Airport. Vanguard began setting up their compound at Camp Stryker.

14 March, Baghdad, Iraq One of the many assignments of the 410th MP Company (Bravo Spirit) is to conduct route security for a regular convoy assignment from Camp Victory to a new Joint Security Station staffed by Iraqi National Police and Coalition Forces in the Ghazaliyah suburb of Baghdad. The 410th's MP's are attacked "on a regular basis" along the route. Once there members of the 410th take up guard positions at the gate and on the roof, and then try to assemble as many Iraqi police as they can for a training session.
     Once they've rounded up enough of them, the first and most important thing is to make the policemen remove the clips from their AK47s and nine-millimeter pistols, clear the breach and dry fire to ensure there are no rounds in the guns. "The last thing we need," a sergeant on his third tour in Iraq says, "is an AD (accidental discharge)." He does not add, but implies, the idea of any one of his students with a loaded gun anywhere near him is almost as scary as driving to the police station. It would be easier if the same police showed up every day, but continuity is more than the U.S. soldiers can hope for, so many times they have to go back to basics.

     They do it by demonstrating a technique, and then having each student try to mimic them. On this particular day, SPC Matthew Reed is trying to show them how to move forward while covering the area in front of them by waving their AK47 in a box-like motion.

    "Elbows in, feet straight ahead, point your body straight so you make a smaller target," he explains over and over again. Some of the Iraqis get it right. And it has to be said that copying someone like SPC Reed is harder to do when you are wearing loafers or dress shoes rather than combat boots like his. The U.S. soldiers would very much like to get proper boots for their students, but there is a snag somewhere in the pipeline. There's always a snag of some kind, somewhere, it seems. That aside, all of the Iraqis appear to take the training seriously. Whether or not all of them are serious in their loyalty to the force and the government is another matter. It's one that worries the trainers, but over which they have no control. In the past some Iraqi police and soldier recruits have turned out to be insurgent sympathizers and even "moles." Whatever they are, bringing them up to an acceptable standard is a slow process

     "Some of them don't seem to remember it from one day to the next," one of the soldiers said, "but they try, and they're definitely getting better." Whether they can get good enough to do the job on their own soon enough to satisfy the growing clamour in the U.S. for American troops to leave them to it is another matter. No one here is in any doubt that deadlines are more hopeful than realistic. A sergeant summed it up this way: "In time I think, hopefully another year or so, these guys will be ready to go and take the streets on their own so we don't have to be here any more."

      An example of how big a challenge that will be is evident in the front windshield of one of the police cars being hosed down in another part of the grounds. It has fourteen bullet holes in it. Not a single police vehicle in the parking lot is unscathed. But then, one of the Humvees in the convoy that brought the MPs from the 410th to work has been blown up four times. Risking their life is one thing both trainer and trainee definitely have in common here.

     "The first time I was over here, then you knew who the enemy was. Now, you don't really know, says Staff Sergeant Robert Engelemeir. He even concedes what might be taken as a grudging bit of respect for his enemy's abilities. "His tactics have got a lot better, and they're getting a lot better at Improvised-Explosive-Devices, things like that. Not so much small arms fire, but roadside bombs are getting a lot better."

     Several days a week, the soldiers of the 410th MP Company make the treacherous trip to an Iraqi police post that is being turned into one of the Joint Security Stations. It's where American and Iraqi forces will live side-by-side, 24/7, to make the new security plan a reality. Ghazaliyah is arguably the most dangerous of Baghdad's many suburbs. The road leading to it is "interesting," as one of the MPs cheerfully says. The 410th's MPs are attacked "on a regular basis" with small arms fire or Improvised-Explosive-Devices (IED).

     Private First Class Shalimar Fischetti, who answers to the nickname "Fish Sticks," is half-Puerto Rican, half-Italian. Her helmet hides a haircut that would make Sinead O'Connor look hirsute, and she handles the heavily-armored Humvee with deft confidence. Getting off Camp Victory and onto that road takes half an hour. There is a briefing, and the pause at the gate to "lock and load." The driver of the Humvee I'm in hefts a belt-fed machine gun out to slap ammunition in place. It weighs about the same as she does. t's not just driving, she explains. "I have to keep my eyes in the houses for snipers, watch for IEDs, and potholes." It's Fischetti's first deployment in Iraq, but many of the soldiers on this outing are on their second and even third tours. It's different each time.

     The road to Ghazaliyah is an insurgent's idea of the ideal battlefield. Garbage and other refuse ideal for hiding IEDs line the road. Potholes abound. Most of the houses are abandoned, the result of mutual ethnic cleansing by Shiites and Sunnis who used to co-habit there.

30 March, Baghdad, Iraq HQ Detachment assumed authority for the training of the Iraqi police in Multi-National Division – Center South during a ceremony in the foyer of the 89th Military Police Brigade Headquarters, Iraq.
CLICK ON TO ENLARGE

     COL Mike Galloucis Commander of the 89th MP Brigade, spoke at the event. "All the superb Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers in your battalion headquarters are perfectly matched against the challenges you will face in the next year, serving in the newly-established Multi-National Division – Center sector."

     Battalion CSM J. Drew Craig stated that in the coming year, "they hope to teaching the Iraqi police more advanced skills, such as setting up shifts for their personnel, accountability, inspections, logistics and leadership."

  Originally scheduled to deploy this summer, the 720th MP Battalion's deployment cycle was accelerated to fulfill the demand for a command and control element over the higher number of MP companies in Iraq. The Battalion will assume responsibility for eight units and the mission of providing military police support to the 3rd Infantry Division.

April
9 April "Guardians of the World" became the official distinctive designation of the 64TH MP Company, 720th MP Battalion as recognized by the U.S. Army Center of Military History.
64th MP
Company
May
Click on Book Icon to view the 1 May Gauntlet Forward (PDF) Newsletter.
2 Ma - Baghdad, Iraq PFC Katie M. Soenksen, age 19, of Davenport, Iowa, a member of the 410th (Bravo Spirit) MP Company, was severely wounded when an improvised explosive devise (IED) exploded under her MP patrol vehicle in West Baghdad. PFC Soenksen was rushed to the 28th Combat Support Hospital where she died from her wounds at 1525 hours.
PFC Soenksen
11 May - Al Iskandariyah, Iraq SPC Wiliam A. Farrar, age 20, of Redlands, California, a member of the 127th (Speed & Power) MP Company, attached subordinate to the 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade, died of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Al Iskandariyah, Iraq.
SPC Farrar

12 May - Baghdad, Iraq After completion of mandatory training requirements in Kuwait under Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09, the 64th MP Company deployed a small advanceparty to Baghdad to facilitate the rest of the company’s movement into Iraq. Within hours of arriving in Baghdad the company was remissioned. The company was originally slated to conduct Police Transition Team (PTT) operations in Baghdad with the rest of the battalion, but based on the need to fill several gaps left by outgoing units in Iraq, they along with several other units just arriving in theater received a new mission.

17 May - Iraq The 401st MP Company (Always First) was deployed from Fort Hood, Texas to Iraq under Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09, where they were assigned subordinate to the 92nd MP Battalion.

401st MP
Company
92nd MP
Battalion
727th MP
Detachment
USARNG
23 May Camp Victory, Iraq The 727th Military Police Detachment, a National Guard unit from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. assigned subordinate to HQ & HQ Detachment, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade in Iraq, provides patrols that enforce Victory Base Complex (VBC) traffic regulations. Their mission is to reduce non-battle injuries, assist unit commanders and Joint Contracting Command in maintaining good order and discipline in units and communities, and carry out force protection polices.

     “When we first (assumed duty) on VBC the roads were (wild), and now they are decent.” SPC Ken Gates, a patrolman and traffic accident investigator from the 727th MP Detachment, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade. SPC Gates, who works as a police officer in Dolgeville, N.Y. when his unit is not mobilized, gets satisfaction from knowing he has helped people.

     The patrolling police officers work 12-14 hour days that start and end with guard mount briefings where they pass important information on to the next shift. On average they drive about 100 miles in a 12-hour shift. Speeding, seatbelt violations and running stop signs are what they write most of their tickets for. They also perform many additional tasks and duties, including customs inspections and nightly security checks. They also act as first responders to incidents of indirect fire on VBC.

24-28 May Fort Hood, Texas Heavy rains struck Fort Hood with a vengeance that caused record flooding and power outages across the installation. But because of the reactive and cooperative efforts of installation agencies, no lives were lost, and there was minimal damage. Fort Hood was deluged with nearly eight inches of rain between the 24th and 28th, according to the forecasting center of the 3rd Weather Squadron based at Robert Gray Army Airfield.
June
Click on Book Icon to view the 1 June, 401st MP Company, Gunfighter Gazette (PDF) Newsletter.
1 June - Seddah, Iraq SGT Bruce E. Horner, age 43, of Newport News, Virginia, a member of the 127th (Speed & Power) MP Company, attached subordinate to the 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade, was assigned to a search operation for three missing U. S. soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), believed captured by the enemy on 12 May. During a cordon and search operation in Seddah he was shot by a sniper and died from his wounds.
SGT Horner

14 June - Fort Hood, TX PVT Derek Austin of the 411th MP Company, 720th MP Battalion, helped LTC Chris Van Dyke and COL Philip Battaglia, III Corps (rear) commander, cut the cake during a celebration of the 232nd birthday of the Army, on Sadowski Field, Fort Hood, Texas.

18 June - Fort Hood, TX The 410th MP Company returned to Fort Hood, Texas from their deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.

24 June - Iraq The 64th MP Company (Guardians) conducted a transition of authority (TOA) with A Troop, 3/89 Cavalry (10th Mountain Division) and were based at LSA Adder on Tallil Air Base. As opposed to conducting PTT operations as originally expected the Guardians were assigned convoy security operations and Main Supply Route (MSR) security in support of the 82nd Sustainment Brigade.

Shukran, Iraq At Forward Operating Base Q-West is SSG Chuck Shuck and his military working dog, SFC Gabe, both with 178th Military Police Detachment, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade. During their eight-and-a-half months in Iraq they have worked primarily with Battery A, 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. They have conducted approximately 140 searches both on and off the base and have been on more than 90 combat missions off the FOB. To date, one of their biggest finds was thirty-six, 122 mm rounds in October 2006

     “Gabe is trained to clear open areas, buildings, routes and vehicles, and they’re able to work off-leash,” Shuck said. “We also train with the dogs in school to react to gunfire, so that pretty much doesn’t faze them.” Gabe is unique because he is a specialized search dog, meaning he will respond to the commands of his handler without the guidance of a leash. He is one of approximately 300 dogs with such training in all branches of the military.

Click on Book Icon to view the 30 June, 401st MP Company, Gunfighter Gazette (PDF) Newsletter.
July
6 July - Iraq SGT Troy Levandoski, squad leader and PFC John Schwindt, combat medic, of the the 64th MP Company, 720th MP Battalion, acted to save the lives of their fellow Soldiers when their six-vehicle route clearing mission headed east on an alternate supply route to Forward Operating Base Delta was ambushed in the early morning hours.

   The fourth truck in the security convoy was hit by an explosively formed projectile (EFP). Levandoski and Schwindt reacted to assist the damaged vehicle and their injured comrades. "It was our first time being hit, but every time I asked for something to be done, it was already in place," SGT Levandoski said, remembering how well his squad performed. SGT Levandoski arrived at the damaged vehicle with PFC Schwindt to assess the injuries. Through the smoke, Levandoski found the driver (yet to be identified) and team leader SPC Joel Morera, were uninjured. When he yelled for the gunner (yet to be identified) there, was no response. Without hesitation, SGT Levandoski jumped into the truck to check on the gunner and found he was injured and unconscious. PFC Levandoski then freed the gunner, who was trapped in the turret by cutting him out of webbing in which he was tangled. Once the gunner was placed in the medical evacuation vehicle, the unit started receiving small-arms fire from a building nearly 35 meters from their position. SGT Levandoski picked up the injured gunner’s machine gun and began to fire on the position of the enemy until the unit cleared the danger zone. While under fire, PFC Schwindt went to work to treat his two injured comrades. The injured gunner had upper torso injuries, and another Soldier received injuries after being struck by a vehicle when trying to take covers. "It was my first time working on a casualty,” Schwindt said. “I just took commands from my squad leader." PFC Schwindt went through several life-saving steps to save his fellow Soldiers with no regard to his own safety, SGT Levandoski said. "I looked all around and saw the backs of my buddies’ heads who were pulling security," Schwindt said. “They were all doing their jobs so I could do mine."

   Once out of the danger zone, Schwindt set up a casualty collection point from where the two injured Soldiers were evacuated. Levandoski credited his squad for the success of the mission. "He can roll out with me any time," Levandoski said, referring to his medic.

8-10 July - Mahmudiyah, Iraq The 23rd MP Company, attached subordinate to the 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade, Iraq, provided security and processing for over 1,100 Iraqi citizens in the Mahmudiyah district. During the three day recruitment drive the MP’s conducted site security and applicant processing at the Iraqi Security Force compound.

   All police recruit prospects were processed by physical characteristics, including a retinal scan, fingerprinting and photographs.

   The Mahmudiyan district includes Lutifiyah, Yushfiyan and many outlying villages. The plan is to staff eight police stations and joint security stations in the next five years.

   The recruit applicants were were mostly Shia, many Sunnis also applied. The turn out was so good that the planned two day operation was extended for an additional third day.

   The operation was aided by the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), and the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, both based in Mahmudiyah.

16 July The 110th MP Company was detached (permanently) from the 720th and transferred to Fort Carson, Colorado subordinate to the 759th MP Battalion. The majority of the staff were reassigned within the Battalion's organic units prior to the transfer.
110tht MP
Company

17 July - Baghdad, 1330 Hours   PFC Brandon K. Bob, age 20 of  Port Arthur, Texas, and  PFC Ron J. Joshua Jr. age 19 of Austin, Texas, members of the 401st MP Compan, were killed in action in Baghdad when  an improvised explosive devise (IED) exploded near their vehicle.

        PFC Bobb was the gunner and PFC Joshua the driver of the M1114 Up-Armored Utility Truck Armament Carrier.

PFC Bobb
PFC Joshua

They were close firends in life and companions in death.

PFC Bobb (left) PFC Joshua (right), Iraq, 2007. Courtesy of The Gauntlet Forward, 720th MP Battalion Newsletter.
28 July - Iraq A motorized patrol of the 64th MP Company, staffed by SPC Joel Morera and two others yet to be identified, was ambushed with an Explosively Formed Projectile (EFP) followed by small arms fire. Their vehicle was disabled and on fire, SPC Morera and another member of his team were wounded. During the explosion SPC Morera lost his left leg just below the knee. SPC Morera notified his team that he was injured and that they would need to assist him. The driver and gunner then dismounted and working together extracted him from the vehicle. Despite his wounds he reassured his team that they were alright and verbally checked to make sure they were not injured. SPC Morera maintained consciousness throughout the evacuation and continued to be an inspiration to his team.
Click on Book Icon to view the July, 401st MP Company, Gunfighter Gazette (PDF) Newsletter.
August
4 August - Kalsu, Iraq, 2248 Hours SPC Matthew M. Merchison age 21 of Independence, Missouri, a member of the 127th (Speed & Power) MP Company, attached subordinate to the 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade, died from wounds received from an improvised explosive devise that was detonated near his vehicle in Kalsu, Iraq. Two other crew members were also wounded.
SPC Merchison
20 August, SPC Kamisha J. Block, age 20 of Vidor, Texas, a member of the 401st MP Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade, was suddenly taken from the ranks of the 401st MP Company, "Gunfighters."
SPC Block
Click on Book Icon to view the August, 401st MP Company, Gunfighter Gazette (PDF) Newsletter.
September
11 September Baghdad, Iraq "Progress in Iraq has to be event-driven," said Lt. Col. Frank Y. Rangel Jr., who is on leave from a deployment to Iraq and spoke about the progress he has seen and what still needs to be done. "Setting a specific time for when Iraqi police and security forces can take control of their country won’t work and the officials are setting the right path with benchmarks," said the commander of the 89th Military Police Brigade’s 720th Military Police Battalion. He wished he knew when Iraqi police forces would be able to stand on their own, but "said it relied on the ground commanders and Iraqi leaders to evaluate what was and wasn’t possible."

25 September - Baghdad, Iraq, 1126 Hours Four members of the 64th MP Company were wounded when an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) exploded near their M114 Up Armored Armament Carrier in Baghdad during a transport to Camp Victory. The wounded MP’s were PFC James A. Mata, gunner, CPT John W. Templer, passenger, SSG Samuel E. Dickson, driver, and SSG Cunningham. PFC Mata was transported out of country to Germany and finally to Walter Reed Army Medical Center due to the serious nature of his wounds.

Click on Book Icon to view the September, 401st MP Company, Gunfighter Gazette (PDF) Newsletter.
October
Exact Date Unknown - Iraq The 245th Engineer Company ("Essayons") completed their deployment and departed Iraq and the 720th MP Battalion to return to the 45th Infantry Brigade (USARNG) in Oklahoma.

10 October - Baghdad, Iraq, 1900 hours A total of fourteen rockets fired from an abandoned school five miles away struck Camp Victory, which is located in the western sector of Baghdad next to the International Airport. The rockets killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded thirty-eight, seven of the wounded were Soldiers Of The Gauntlet from the 401st MP Company. Two third-country nationals were also wounded in the attack. The wounded MP’s of the 401st were, 1SG Brian A. Flom, SGT’s Paul T. Adams, Donald D. Womack, Hubert L. Parsons,Jason Green, CPL Nicholas W. Butler, SPC Paul A. Mancino, and PFC Dominic J. Prankienas.

29 October - Baghdad, Iraq The 18th MP Brigade, out of Mannheim, Germany, officially assumed control of the Iraqi Police Transitional Team mission from the 89th MP Brigade at a transfer of authority ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Victory. The authority change placed HQ Detachment of the 720th MP Battalion subordinate to the 18th MP Brigade for the remainder of its current tour. The tour is the third for the 18th MP Brigade in five years.
18th MP
Brigade
Click on Book Icon to view the October, 401st MP Company, Gunfighter Gazette (PDF) Newsletter.
November
2 November - Baghdad, Iraq CPT Rodolpho "Rudy" Sandoval replaced CPT John W. Copeland as the new Commanding Officer of the 401st MP Company. CPT Copeland was transferred to his new duties as a member of the HQ Detachment, (S3) Operations shop.
3 November, Baghdad, Iraq The 245th Engineer Company (Sappers) USARNG, Oklahoma, officially transferred authority to the 972nd MP Company (Patriots) USARNG, Massachusetts. The 972nd, subordinate to HQ Detachment, 720th MP Battalion, will be responsible for static and escort Tier-1 Security. The 245th completed its tour and returned to Oklahoma.
972nd
Engineers

12 November, Baghdad, Iraq CPT Rodolpho Sandoval, Commander of the 411th MP Company, and his staff visited the Mansour District Iraqi Police (IP) Headquarters, and were invited to dinner hosted by the Chief of Police, COL Rahim Jabar Fehid Jabara, to celebrate the occasion. The 401st MP Company has trained and worked with COL Jabara and his Iraqi Police Officers for more than four months conducting police transition team missions. The 401st is broken down into nine squads which cover two districts worth of IP Operations.

   The company is responsible for 15 Iraqi Police stations in the Mansour and Abu Ghraib districts of Baghdad. Part of the 401st mission at the police headquarters is to train and monitor the success of the Iraqi Police assigned there. They conducted major training events to include: checkpoint operations, vehicle searches, mounted, dismounted patrols, community relations, community policing, first aid, and weapons training.  On a daily basis the 401st conducts Iraqi Police Inservice Training Plan, the Police Officer Survival Course and the Total Quality Management Course. These courses focus on community policing and joint patrolling.

     In addition the 401st has helped clean up the police stations and helped reopen a station in the Mansour district that was not operational before the 401st arrived. The IPs and the MPs have also improved the Mansour District Headquarters utilities and infastructure so the station will be efficient. There has been much improvement in the overall safety of the community as a result of both the IP and Coalition Forces efforts in the Monsour district.

24 November - Baghdad, Iraq Country music singer Aaron Tippin entertained troops at Camp Liberty with a performance on a stage set up outside the Post Exchange. This is Tippin’s second visit to troops in Iraq since Operation Iraqi Freedom began in 2003. Tippin, first performed for service members in Saudi Arabia with Bob Hope in 1990. Members of HQ Detachment, 720th MP Battalion provided personal security.
Click on Tape Recorder Icon to hear Aaron Tippin singing " Where The Stars & Stripes and The Eagle Fly."
Click on Book Icon to view the November, 401st MP Company, Gunfighter Gazette (PDF) Newsletter.
December
1 December - Iraq, Camp Liberty SGT Troy Levandoski, squad leader and PFC John Schwindt, combat medic of the 64th Military Police Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade, while assigned to the 92nd Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, were awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Valor for their actions in combat during an attack on their convoy on 6 July, 2007 in Numiniyah, Iraq.
7 December - Iraq SSG Jonathan Stanifer, CPL Nicholas Butler, SGT Paul Adams, CPL Joel Hastings, and CPL Mary Schultz (Medic), members of the 401st MP Company, 92nd MP Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, came to the aid of a 4 year old Iraqi Boy named Muntadher Basem Fahed who suffers from a debilitating  birth defect.

   "You got to see this," said CPL Nicholas Butler, native of Peoria, Illinois, and team leader with the 401st Military Police Company, 92nd Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, over a hand held radio to his squad leader while performing Police Transition Team operations at the Ghazalia local police station in the Mansour District on 1 December 2007.

   Squad leader and native of Hamilton, Ohio SSG Jonathan Stanifer rushed to the scene of a local Iraqi boy and his father. The boy four and a half year old Muntadher Basem Fahed was born with a birth defect known as Gastroschisis that placed his intestines on the outside of his stomach.

   "Basem Fahed Mzeal (the boys father) told me that his son was born with his intestines outside of his body. I took down the information and told them I couldn’t promise anything but I would see what I could do," said Stanifer, "When I returned I immediately notified my chain of command about the event that took place."

     The 92nd Military Police Battalion and 401st MP Company responded with medical supplies, wheel chair and some toys to help the boy. With the supplies ready all they had to do was notify the family who lived in the area of Shullah, which is known for heavy insurgent activity.

 

   The family was brought to the Ghazalia station on 7 December, where native of Lometa, Texas CPL Mary Schultz, a combat medic with the 401st treated the area and covered it to prevent further infection.

   The boy was also given toys and a wheel chair that was put together on site by members of the 401st Police Transition Team (PTT) squad. The unit is now further investigating ways the boy may get surgery to further treat his defect.

10th Inf.
Division
9 December  The 511th MP Company (Strike Fear), 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY, completes its Transition Of Authority with the 984th MP Company, and joins the 720th MP Battalion, 18th MP Brigade command.
21 December - Camp Victory, Iraq CPL Nicholas Butler members of the 401st Military Police Company pose for a reenlistment photo with LT GEN Raymond Odierno, commander Multi-National Corps Iraq. LT GEN Odierno administered the oath of enlistment to CPL Butler at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, Iraq.
Click on Book Icon to view December, 401st MP Company, Gunfighter Gazette (PDF) Newsletter.
Miscellaneous Photographs ~ Operation Iraqi Freedom
M00144
CPL Schultz and CPL Butler of the 401st MP Company clean the wounds of an Iraqi child.
M00147
SSG Capponi and CPL McNally of the 511th MP Company with the Iraqi Police.
M00149
Ceremony for newly promoted Sergeant’s of the 511th MP Company, 720th MP Battalion.
M00151
Members of the 153rd MP Company, (USARNG, DE), 720th MP Battalion.
Miscellaneous Photographs ~ Fort Hood
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