Preparing for the Worst
When crowds turn violent, streets can become battlegrounds.
"Everybody has seen the riots on the west coast, on the east coast and it is things like that the National Guard MPs are doing this kind of training for," said Medic Jason Bird.
Bird is taking hard falls so those in formation can learn.
"I'm kind of acting as that person who isn't listening, who is trying to get to the more important people in the back of the formation," Bird said.
In riots, soldiers have to control people who won't always listen.
"We're going to be using this on riot situations, so we're going against American Citizens, right, so the biggest thing we've got to worry about is we don't want to cause injury and harm to them," said Sgt. First Class Brian Kirkpatrick. "We really just want to get them somewhere else or get the situation under control."
As the platoons run though the simulations they're fixing problems while the rioters are still their friends.
"What these guys are seeing is just simply frustrations that will be compounded if we do actually get called out. So it is actually a benefit," Kirkpatrick said. " I mean you've probably seen a couple guys get excited and this and that but that's good because that means our adrenaline is going."
"The more times we do it people are hearing more things and as you've seen they're getting louder, they're talking to each other," Bird said. "and that's the big thing with this kind of scenario is that you have to be able to communicate because you don't want one of your buddies to get drug off with one of the rioters."
Soldiers in the training come from as far away as Rockford, Illinois and Kansas City.
The company is a part of the 175th military police battalion based out of Columbia.
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