2nd ID junior officers, NCOs get training for off-base patrols in S. Korea
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — Special training for U.S. military leaders who patrol South Korean bar districts will help prevent off-post incidents involving soldiers, 2nd Infantry Division officials say.
More than 40 2nd ID junior officers and noncommissioned officers received briefings at Camp Red Cloud on Thursday that will help them train other soldiers to conduct Command Presence Patrols, officials said.
In a press statement issued Tuesday, USFK chief of staff Lt. Gen. Charles C. Campbell said the Army would boost leader presence in entertainment districts in response to a spate of off-post incidents this month.
1st Lt. Jason Kim, 24, of the 2nd ID Provost Marshal’s Office, who facilitated the Red Cloud briefings, said the training was made formal last year.
Before that, individual units had their own versions of the presence patrols, also called courtesy patrols. First and second lieutenants and NCOs were simply told to don brassards and head into town to keep tabs on their soldiers, he said.
“This training informs the CPPs. It gives them up-to-date information on what they are looking for and how to enforce it as opposed to just putting them on the roster for CPP and saying do something and come back,” Kim said.
Personnel from the Judge Advocate General’s office, public affairs, equal opportunity, Provost Marshal’s office and military intelligence briefed the trainers, he said.
The patrols are force multipliers for the relatively small number of military police who patrol entertainment districts near U.S. bases, Kim said.
At Camp Casey, the patrols start at 8 p.m. and continue until curfew at midnight Sunday through Thursday, and at 1 a.m. Friday, Saturday and holidays, he said.
There also are officers and NCOs in uniform who are not part of the patrols walking the streets to keep tabs on soldiers, he said.
“If I am a soldier and I see my platoon sergeant out there I am going to see him the next day, so I can’t blow him or her off,” he said.
NCOs and officers have the authority to detain soldiers who break the rules but have no authority over South Korean nationals or U.S. civilians, Kim said.
The patrols share radios with the MPs, ensure soldier safety and enforce conduct standards. They look out for soldiers who are staggering or being boisterous, and in clubs they look for overcrowding, blocked exits, disorderly conduct and human trafficking and prostitution, he said.
If they see a soldier breaking the law the patrol should detain the offender, call the MPs and write a statement about what they saw, Kim said.
“Once we get involved we (MPs) retain authority,” he said.
2nd ID public affairs chief Maj. Karl Ivey said the training was “step one in making good on our promise to Uijongbu City Council, business owners and the people of Uijongbu to plus up our patrols and police our own as well as making the link up with the KNP (Korean National Police) for the joint patrols."