Marine Corps restructure creates law enforcement battalions
The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C.
The Marine Corps has restructured its forces to include law enforcement battalions for each Marine Expeditionary Force.
Each element with the II Marine Expeditionary Force, which includes II MEF Headquarters Group, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 2nd Marine Logistics Group, previously had individual companies of military police.
The consolidation supports the Marine Corps’ money-saving initiative, eliminating 600 military policemen from operating forces, according to a press release from II Marine Expeditionary Force.
On Camp Lejeune, the recent activation of the 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, under II MEF, means training resources will be consolidated and battalion leaders can focus on training Marines for the specific needs and mission requirements of the requesting units when the time comes for a deployment.
"The activation of 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion is about the infantryman, not the law enforcement battalion or military police occupational field,” said Capt. Mark Bailey, operations officer of 2nd LEB, via the release.
When an infantry group of Marines and sailors deploys, they need military policemen to join them in order to enforce laws and rules set forth by the military on the forward-deployed bases and the surrounding areas. Military policemen also bring to a deployment the ability to train and handle military working dogs to find weapons, drugs and, most importantly, improvised explosive devices.
Consolidating the military policemen into one battalion allows the Marine Corps to train the policemen together and “ensure the battalion is focusing on missions that require the skill set of these Marines” as opposed to having policemen attached to groups which would deploy with the military policemen whether or not they really needed them, Bailey said in the release.
One recommendation a recent force structure review made to give the Marine Corps the capability to be forward-deployed and forward-engaged at any time, was to enhance the capabilities of each MEF to manage battlefield biometric, forensic and law enforcement operations by assigning them each their own law enforcement battalion. As a result, Marine Corps Bulletin 5400 was released in September; it called for the reactivation of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Military Police Battalions, now designated as law enforcement battalions, in each Marine Expeditionary Force.
The battalion for II MEF, 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, was activated June 26. There are currently about 550 Marines serving in 2nd LEB, according to II MEF.