Serving and protecting the Corps in Hawaii
By Cpl. Luis R. Agostini
| | February 27, 2002
CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii --
Resting near the crest of Halawa Heights Road in Leeward Oahu, the headquarters of the largest field command in the Marine Corps is home to countless flag officers, and several hundred Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians.
The Marine Forces Pacific headquarters building also is also host to many foreign and domestic visiting dignitaries.
With that said, no one can afford to allow force protection measures to fall to the wayside.
The Marine Corps Base Hawaii Provost Marshal's Office, Camp Smith District provides the protection.
There are currently 50 Marines assigned to the Camp Smith District, which includes MPs by military occupational specialty, Marines from 3rd Marine Regiment participating in the Fleet Assistance Program, as well as Marines in the Individual Ready Reserve.
"This diversity creates a healthy and professional balance of service provided to the tenant commands of Camp H.M. Smith," said 1st Lt. David Wagner, officer-in-charge, Marine Corps Base Hawaii Provost Marshal's Office, Camp Smith District.
The process to form the district began in July and was completed in October.
"About two years ago, the PMO consolidated all assets at K-Bay in an effort to make management a little easier, to include billeting all MPs at K-Bay. However, we lost touch with Camp Smith. The provost marshal recognized this problem, and initiated the district concept. He also determined that because of the importance of Camp Smith's tenant commands, more emphasis was needed to be placed on it than in past," said Wagner. "PMO has clearly made Camp Smith and Manana Housing its focus of effort when it comes to asset allocation and force protection."
The MCBH PMO, Camp Smith District, is comprised of 1st Lt. David Wagner, district officer-in-charge and Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Smyers, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, and 50 military policemen.
There are also four watch commanders, a pass and registration noncommissioned officer-in-charge, a physical security NCO and an operations NCO.
"The district concept has instilled a sense of pride and ownership in the MPs that work here. We have good working relationships with all of the tenant commands and recognize the majority of the individuals that work on the Camp and/or live at Manana housing."
The different setting for the Hawaii Marine MPs required different approaches to applying force protection and interior guard measures.
"Our mission differs a little from K-Bay's," said Wagner. "Camp Smith has placed more emphasis on the anti-terrorist operations/force protection aspect of our mission, rather than our law enforcement mission."
As part of the largest field command in the Marine Corps, the MPs can expect to deploy as a force-in-readiness to support major operations and exercises within MARFORPAC's area of responsibility, to include Operation Enduring Freedom.
"Maj. Manson, Gunnery Sgt. Smyers and I were appointed by the provost marshal to act as the liaison between MARFORPAC and the and MP Company in regards to any deployment and MARCENT support issues," said Wagner. "All three of us have spent some time in Bahrain in support of OEF. Quite a few of the Marines assigned to Camp Smith have already deployed in support of OEF. We work very closely with MARFORPAC Headquarters and Service Battalion, in order to provide support both here and in forward-deployed areas of responsibility."