Police & Security Flight Joint Exercise
It was exactly two years to the day that I arrived at Halton to join the MPGS.
During that time I’ve taken part in many training days which mainly consisted of ranges and covering our Military Annual Training Tests (MATTs). However, today was going to be a bit different, with the whole Police and Security Flight (both RAF Police and MPGS) coming together to practice and train on a number of scenarios as one team. The OC briefed at the start that the aim of the exercise was to see how communication is between RAF Police and MPGS. This was to become clearer later on!
The morning started with information being received regarding a female recruit who failed to attend her morning parade. Initially the RAF Police and MPGS were tasked with assisting in locating the individual; as more information was injected into the scenario a pattern of movement was established and key suspects and vehicles were identified.
As the morning progressed, more information was received stating that a suspect vehicle had been discovered in the vicinity of HHOM. Immediately tasked to attend, the MPGS arrived to discover a young female who had been seriously assaulted. Upon arrival of the MPGS, the male suspect ran off at high speed. The two man team immediately identified that preservation of life is key and began providing first aid to the female. During this time, the RAF Police were tasked to attend.
Utilising all available assets, the RAF Police deployed Cpl Hughes and Air Dog Sadie to search the surrounding area in order to find the suspect, and Cpls Partridge and Wood were tasked to assist in the search process and provide assistance in locking down the crime scene.
Air Dog Sadie picked up the scent of the suspect almost immediately, and following a five minute walk through the woods surrounding HHOM, the suspect was identified trying to hide in a thorn bush!
Upon his discovery, the suspect became aggressive and violent towards the dog, his handler and the arresting officer. Wielding a large object, the suspect took swings at all present, much to the excitement of the dog (who, by the way, is trained to bite in this situation and was yet to have his lunch!). Cpls Partridge and Wood deployed their batons and the suspect, knowing that this wasn’t going to end well put his weapon down. Cpl Partridge completed the arrest process by handcuffing the individual in the rear stack position, as he would with any violent arrest, before moving him into the custody vehicle.
Once the suspect was captured, the RAF Police and the MPGS came together as a cohesive force to cordon off all localised areas to ensure any evidence was preserved before the arrival of an RAF Police Crime Scene Examiner. Usually the first on scene during silent hours, the MPGS have a great deal of forensic awareness and this came to prominence throughout the scenario.
The second part of the day was a simulated ‘proxy bomb’ at the exercise main gate, coupled with a further serious incident on the airfield. These two incidents placed the Police & Sy Flt under significant pressure and tested us all. It also highlighted a few points that we as a Flight could work on in the future, and as a result we had achieved our aim of the day’s training. The highlight, it has to be said, was Cpl Wood doggedly chasing an ‘intruder’ around Maitland Square!
A lot of thought and preparation had gone into the exercises, allowing members of the Police & Sy Flt to step up into roles that they are trained for but may not necessarily deal with in a normal working day. In the process, everyone has enhanced their skill sets and gained a broader understanding of the abilities that the RAF Police and MPGS can provide.
Officer Commanding Police & Sy Flt, Flt Lt James Lambert said, “This exercise is the first time that we’ve done this type of training. It has deliberately pushed all of my personnel in order to train them for the worst case scenario. It was clear to see that the team rose to the challenge well and dealt with each incident professionally and expeditiously. As my final act in command, I was delighted to see how well the entire Flight had meshed under pressure and I’m reassured that RAF Halton will continue to enjoy a high quality police, security and guarding presence.”
We would finally like to thank all Stn personnel for persevering throughout the day and of course the SATTs who assisted with the exercise and spent the day either covered in fake blood or being arrested!
Pte Vaines, B Shift, MPGS, Police and Security Flt.