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U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Leon J. LaPorte chats with members of an 8th Military Police Brigade Special Reaction Team during a visit Friday morning.
U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Leon J. LaPorte chats with members of an 8th Military Police Brigade Special Reaction Team during a visit Friday morning. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The commander of U.S. Forces Korea spent about an hour visiting 8th Military Police Brigade soldiers Friday morning at the 94th Military Police Battalion’s K-9 kennels on Yongsan.

“I hear the dogs every morning” as you feed them, Gen. Leon J. LaPorte joked about living nearby.

The military police showcased their skills for their commander, running a Special Reaction Team drill, putting the working dogs through their paces and demonstrating a mobile X-ray screening system.

LaPorte spent about 20 minutes with the SRT soldiers, inspecting their black uniforms, body armor and weaponry with Staff Sgt. Lindsay Crudup, noncommissioned-officer in charge of the team.

The general chatted with each soldier, asking whether they received enough training time and what they thought of their gear.

Sgt. Brett Smith told LaPorte about some of his gear and Spc. Bradley Klink pointed out he was wearing Army-issue gloves.

Crudup told the general that many of the SRT members like to buy their own high-speed equipment, things like boots and gloves.

LaPorte also browsed through a table of SRT gear while accompanied by 1st Lt. Jeremy Prince. The display included weapons, breaching gear and a range finder.

“I could use this for golf,” he joked, peering through the range finder.

He chatted with a team sniper about the importance of that specialty throughout history, mentioning the Battle of Gettysburg.

And “snipers are paying big dividends in Iraq,” he said.

LaPorte was escorted through the kennels up to the training area on the top of a steep hill, where Staff Sgt. Ken Jurish and his working dog waited in a fenced area.

As Capt. Larry Campbell explained what would happen, Spc. Christopher Jasper entered the area wearing a protective suit.

Jasper and Jurish ran through a role-playing drill in which Jasper played the “bad guy” whom the dog loved to apprehend.

Crudup said the visit was a treat for his soldiers, who all received a commander’s coin from LaPorte.

“A lot of them are young in their military careers and haven’t met too many generals,” he said. “Getting a coin from him is like getting an award.”

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