Marines learn ways of SWAT

Marines learn ways of SWAT

Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion train to acquire a military occupational specialty of special reaction team member aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif. The training is a two-week course during August that military police can volunteer for or be selected to attend the follow-on training. Photo by LCpl Scott Reel.

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Aug. 27, 2013) - Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion are training to acquire a military occupational specialty of special reaction team member aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The training is a two-week course during August that military police can volunteer for or be selected to attend the follow-on training.

Scott Langley, instructor and team leader at the U.S. Army Military Police School Special Reaction Team Course, has been instructing for 13 years as both a soldier and a civilian.

"The baseline of the course is that we're trying to train installation special reaction teams in order to better respond to special threat situations," Langley said. "Essentially, it's a law enforcement tactical team course."

The training is available to the Air Force, Army and Marine Corps for those that qualify.

The prerequisites are you have to be in the military police occupational specialty, you have to achieve a certain rank - for the Marines it's lance corporal and above and for the Army it's specialist and above - no moral issues, qualified expert with weapons, etc.

"Being in interservice relationships with different departments I feel is beneficial," said GySgt Glen Cross, U.S. Army military police school Special Reaction Team instructor. "It gives you different aspects and different mentalities within different levels of training. It allows everyone to offer their own piece of their puzzle."

The Marines undergo a variety of range exercises and even create and conduct their own building clearing exercises near the end of the training.

"From what I've observed, they are learning quickly with what we've taught them on the range, they're picking up all their tactics and techniques," Cross said.

Langley and Cross say the teams are a commander's last option in a variety of situations. The training encompasses different skills that would be necessary in various real-world situations.

"We call them special threats, but essentially if you think of barricaded subjects in homes, hostage situations, high risk warrant service, drug raids - those are the type of things that typically these teams deal with," Langley said.

Although the threat level is high and dangerous at times, the Marines continue to keep a positive attitude.

"The Marines are doing very well," Langley said. "Of course there's nothing we would expect from Marines as far as their attitudes and their commitment to what they're doing."

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