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Sgt. 1st Class Frank Anderson is surrounded by his children, from left, Kelsey, Taylor, Matthew and Jordan, during the 615th Military Police Company return ceremony. About 160 soldiers from the unit deployed to Iraq last March; in December, the unit was presented the Brig. Gen. Jeremiah P. Holland Award for best military police company in the Army.
Sgt. 1st Class Frank Anderson is surrounded by his children, from left, Kelsey, Taylor, Matthew and Jordan, during the 615th Military Police Company return ceremony. About 160 soldiers from the unit deployed to Iraq last March; in December, the unit was presented the Brig. Gen. Jeremiah P. Holland Award for best military police company in the Army. (Paula J. Guzman / U.S. Army)
Sgt. 1st Class Frank Anderson is surrounded by his children, from left, Kelsey, Taylor, Matthew and Jordan, during the 615th Military Police Company return ceremony. About 160 soldiers from the unit deployed to Iraq last March; in December, the unit was presented the Brig. Gen. Jeremiah P. Holland Award for best military police company in the Army.
Sgt. 1st Class Frank Anderson is surrounded by his children, from left, Kelsey, Taylor, Matthew and Jordan, during the 615th Military Police Company return ceremony. About 160 soldiers from the unit deployed to Iraq last March; in December, the unit was presented the Brig. Gen. Jeremiah P. Holland Award for best military police company in the Army. (Paula J. Guzman / U.S. Army)
Matthew Anderson gets a close-up look at his dad, Sgt. 1st Class Frank Anderson.
Matthew Anderson gets a close-up look at his dad, Sgt. 1st Class Frank Anderson. (Paula J. Guzman / U.S. Army)
Soldiers from the 615th Military Police Company out of Grafenwohr, Germany, salute during the return ceremony.
Soldiers from the 615th Military Police Company out of Grafenwohr, Germany, salute during the return ceremony. (Paula J. Guzman / U.S. Army)

GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — The Army’s best police unit is back in Germany.

The 615th Military Police Company, which returned home last week, has a tangible reminder of its successful missions in Iraq: In December, the unit was named the Army’s top military police company.

The unit — based at Grafenwöhr, with platoons at Vilseck and Hohenfels — deployed to Iraq last March after months of training for the security missions it would perform in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“We trained here, and there was snow on the ground. “And suddenly we’re in the desert,” said Capt. Thomas Russell-Tutty, company commander. “We had a lot of refresher training and acclimatization once we hit the ground in Iraq.”

In their first month of deployment, the MPs pulled security and lent support to ground units, to include heading into Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division and supporting Marines during firefights in Nasiriyah.

“This was my first deployment, and at first I was scared to go down there,” said Spc. Kimberly Bower, a driver from first platoon. “Once we got there, I just went with the flow, and we conquered whatever we came up against.”

The unit spent most of its Iraq rotation in Baghdad, pulling security patrols and rebuilding the Iraqi police force on the west side of the city, Russell-Tutty said.

“When looting happened during the war, the police stations were burned, some of them completely,” he said. “Basically, we were starting from scratch.”

The unit conducted round-the-clock patrols.

“During the day, the kids were smiling and waving at us,” Russell-Tutty said. “At night, it was a laser light show. There was a lot of fighting still going on.”

Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed.

In early December, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of Operation Iraqi Freedom’s Combined Joint Task Force 7, presented the Brig. Gen. Jeremiah P. Holland award to soldiers of the 615th. The award is given to the Army’s top military police unit.

“The soldiers definitely deserved this recognition for the work they’ve done in the past year,” said Staff Sgt. Troy Taylor, a squad leader from the company’s second platoon. “It’s been nothing but ranges and training and the deployment. They have kept very busy.”

Units were judged on criteria that include training, physical fitness, re-enlistment and deployments. Each year, a panel of senior leaders from the military police corps selects the Army’s top company based on entry packets submitted by the units.

“It’s a validation for doing what we did in a war environment,” Russell-Tutty said. “You can show that you did all this training, but we also showed that we put that training to use in Iraq.”

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