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W.Va.'s 156th MP Company maintaining order in Afghanistan

By Spc. Brianna Lawrence | West Virginia National Guard | Aug. 1, 2018

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The West Virginia Army National Guard's 156th Military Police Law and Order Detachment has maintained a strong, professional force in Afghanistan by providing 24-hour operations since January 2018.

These Soldiers operate at two of Afghanistan's largest bases, Bagram Airfield (BAF) and Kandahar Airfield (KAF), and provide support to smaller outlying bases while giving direct support to the Base Defense Operations Center.

"All of our Soldiers have been doing outstanding work and we have received numerous accolades from various leaders around BAF for our professionalism as Military Police," said Capt. John Kiser, commander of the 156th MP Company and BAF provost marshal.

Law and order operations being conducted by the 156th MP Company include conducting patrols, issuing traffic citations and conducting investigations. Since arriving in country, the Soldiers have written more than 500 citations for various offenses on BAF.

Romanian, Georgian and Czech soldiers are partners with the 156th MP Company in Afghanistan and assistance from their international partners has allowed them to accomplish the mission.

The 156th MPs' Romanian counterparts assist in handling internal security, jurisdictional quandaries and law enforcement within BAF while Georgians and Czechs provide in and outside the wire security.

Numerous nations besides Afghanistan, Czech Republic, Georgia, Romania and the United States are a part of the communities of BAF and KAF. Service members from Australia, Britain, Bosnia, contractors from Bosnia, Kosovo, U.K. Uganda, Zimbabwe and others are also present.

For many members of the West Virginia National Guard's 156th MP, it is their first time out of country.

"I think this is a great broadening experience for them, working with so many different cultures, militaries, civilians, etc." Kiser says.

In just a little over six months the 156th MPs have not only maintained law and order operations on BAF and KAF but conducted training alongside multiple international militaries, including the Bosnian Guardian Angels Soldiers. Over this course of time, they have shared knowledge and skills in formulating better law and order practices that they can bring back to West Virginia and enhance the overall readiness of the entire organization.