Marines strengthen security forces
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Marine Corps bases across Okinawa and mainland Japan are beefing up security with an Auxiliary Security Force made up of cooks, clerks and other noninfantry Marines.
At each camp, units have been tasked with providing Marines for a team that will be called on to provide additional security should the need arise, Capt. Bolivar Pluas, an ASF platoon commander on Camp Foster, said Thursday.
Military police put the noninfantry troops through rigorous training in escalation of force, the use of deadly force, vehicle and personnel searches and crowd control tactics.
ASF Marines also receive training and certification in the use of shotguns and pepper spray, Pluas said, adding that they receive refresher training throughout the year.
Marines assigned to the force are definitely prepared, said Cpl. Wesley Wallace, a military policeman based at Camp Foster who teaches ASF Marines.
The auxiliary force could be activated to provide additional security and support for military police at base gates if the force protection condition were raised to Bravo or higher, he said. Condition Bravo indicates a more predictable threat of terrorism.
The Marine auxiliary force has yet to be activated at any base, but “we want to be proactive, not reactive,” Pluas said.
“A lot of things are going on around the world,” Pluas said. “We don’t know if anything is going to happen here, but it is better to be prepared.”
For Cpl. Steven Sanders, a supply clerk with the Foster Base Supply Office, there is another benefit.
“It’s just good to get out of the office and do some training,” he said.