1997 Battalion Time Line
~ 720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association History Project ~
This Page Last Updated   21 March 2013
89th MP
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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.

Exact Date Unknown, Operation Joint Guard, Bosnia, Camp Demi Soldiers awaiting the convoy’s departure readied equipment, ribbed one another, and composed lyrics in the chill of the mid-morning sun. Their mission requires these soldiers to bond as a cohesive team — to rely on and trust every member to perform his job if threatening situations arise. These military policemen serve as the personal security detail for 720th Military Police Battalion commander LTC Chris Frels.

        "This group is much tighter than my last platoon," said SPC Jason Farrell, from Santa Rosa, California Farrell joined the team in early December, serving as a HMMWV gunner. "We take our jobs seriously."

       "You have to get along so you can work together better. After all, we are providing security for the battalion commander," Frels’ driver SPC Gerald Adcock, from Nolanville, Texas, said, acknowledging the importance of the detail’s mission.


        "We travel almost every day except Sundays, which we try and use as a maintenance and soldier sustainment day," said B team leader SGT Bruce MacWhorter. "She (Frels) likes to visit the troops at other locations and she also meets regularly with city mayors and council members."

        Several MPs said they enjoy the assignment because it gives them the opportunity to leave the base camp more often and meet local people. "We don’t do the same daily routine," said squad leader SSG Mitchell Smith, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

        "Working the PSD helps break up the days and makes them go by faster. Some may say the job is dull, but I get to see the big picture involving the factions — which I wouldn’t get if I were doing something else."

        Frels selected the soldiers just prior to the battalion’s arrival in Bosnia-Herzegovina, following their training at Hohenfels, Germany. Several squads rotated as her PSD during the 10-day training period before she selected the squad from the 411th Military Police Company.

        "She (Frels) is a down-to-earth person," said Adcock who has logged more than 7,000 miles while in Bosnia-Herzegovina. "She is the only lieutenant colonel I know that would get out of the vehicle to help take off tire chains. But she also lets us know when we are out of line. She is strict but fair."

        Threats to the commander’s security from outside the detail’s influence are always a major concern for the group. MacWhorter said the squad hasn’t experienced any real threatening situations. The closest they came to a tense moment was when they confiscated 12 illegally-held rifles from municipal police. However, as security for the battalion commander, the group could — at any time — find themselves in a hostile environment.

        They also face internal challenges trying to keep up with an independent commander such as Frels, who occasionally ventures away from the security detail. "We get bent out of shape when she goes out on her own," Schoolcraft said. "It’s hard to tell somebody of higher rank what to do, but she allows us to do that,” said Rodgers, explaining the efforts squad members must take in protecting Frels. If a threatening situation occurs, security personnel have a clear vision of their responsibility. Adcock said, "It’s our job to get her out of the direction of fire — her safety comes first."

Exact Date Unknown Tuzla, Bosnia The Department of Defense provided a musical morale boosting tour by the group “On Stage,” for U.S. troops throughout Bosnia. Working in austere environments, the group’s seven members use pre-recorded music with live singing and dancing to enliven the crowds of soldiers who often have not seen a live show or movie for several months. On Stage, who were founded in the 1980s and performed for troops worldwide since 1988, provided a 90-minute show, and in attendance was PFC Chad E. Smith of Louisville, KY, serving with the 64th MP Company, 720th MP Battalion. “The old music was interesting and I liked the variety of music,” said PFC Smith.

6 March - Bosnia-Herzegovina Defense Secretary William S. Cohen arrived at Camp Dobol and greeted members of 1st Infantry Division and the 720th Military Police Battalion. Dobol was one of two camps that Cohen visited in the northern sector during his inspection trip. At each base he addressed the troops and praised them for their success in providing a secure environment for the upcoming elections.

Exact date unknown - Fort Hood, TX The Battalion HQ Detachment, accompanied by the 64th and 411th MP Companies returned to Fort Hood from their 19 July 1996 deployment to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Endeavor/Joint Guard.
1 June 1997 The Headquarters, 16th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) was designated and activated at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The 16th AEW provides direction, control, support, ADCON and UCMJ authority for more than 1,300 United States Air Force personnel stationed throughout Europe in support of Operation Joint Forge (OJF). These units, located in Istres, France; Rimini and San Vito, Italy; Tuzla and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Zagreb, Croatia; Taszar, Hungary, and Rhein Main, Germany comprise the lion's share of the USAF contingent of NATO's Stabilization Force, or SFOR. Since its inception, 16th AEW has worked a number of high-profile initiatives in support of the SFOR mission. Among these, the relocation of KC-135 operations from Pisa, Italy to Istres, France; the installation of air navigation aid equipment at Tuzla, AB, Bosnia-Herzegovina to support Russian and SFOR partner air operations; quality-of life-improvements for U-2 crews and support personnel at Istres France, and the holiday visit of President Bill Clinton to the OJF Area of Responsibility.
Miscellaneous Photographs ~ Operation Joint Endeavor / Joint Guard
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Miscellaneous Photographs ~ Fort Hood, Texas
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