Okinawa-based Marines, sailors, Bangladeshi service members and local-law-enforcement personnel performed a riot-control demonstration after two weeks of training July 22.
The demonstration was part of Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar 2008, a bilateral exercise headed by U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, and conducted by III Marine Expeditionary Force's Special Operations Training Group to teach Bangladeshi service members non-lethal tactics.
The demonstration displayed the non-lethal skills and tactics learned during their training, July 12 – 21, and promoted the training to representatives from 13 countries.
“The reason for the demonstration is to provide the executive-level participants a first-hand look at non-lethal tactics and techniques in practice,” said Col. Aydin D. Budak, MARFORPAC reserve chief of staff. “It went extremely well and gave myself and everyone else a greater appreciation for the level of training required to properly execute these types of missions.”
During the demonstration, the Marines and Bangladesh participants formed riot-control formations and used the techniques they shared earlier in the week to suppress a crowd of Marines, sailors and Bangladeshis acting as aggressors, using non-lethal techniques.
As the aggressors became more and more uncooperative, the team escalated their force using non-lethal munitions such as rubber balls, tasers and pepper spray.
Once the crowd threatened to draw weapons and shoot the riot control team, the team employed deadly tactics, demonstrating the final step in the force continuum.
Several of the participating officers were impressed by the professionalism and precision displayed.
"The demonstration was very beautiful," said Bangladesh Armed Police Battalion Lt. Col. M. Habiburrahm, superintendent of police. “It was same in many ways but different for movement, command, and recovering rioters. It was a learning point for us. It was very disciplined and excellent.”
Several participating observers have decided to adopt Marine non-lethal tactics based on the demonstration.
“Watching the demonstration, I noticed we do the same thing but we use the same weapons as we would use in combat,” said Papua New Guinea Navy Cmdr. Thomas B Siraivett, director of strategic capability analysis for his service. “In today’s environment, there is a need for non-lethal weapons and I hope the United States can help me bring them to my country.”
With the demonstration and training at an end, officials plan to continue talks and promote the use of non-lethal weapons for future applicable operations.
NOLES is scheduled to end July 24.