Daily routine for MPs keeps Camp Smith safe
By Pfc. J. Ethan Hoaldridge
| | May 04, 2005
U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES PACIFIC, CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii – --
A suicide bomber in a pickup truck loaded with more than 2,000 pounds of explosives crashed into the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, April 18, 1983. Sixty-three people were killed, including 17 Americans and one Marine.
In 1996 aboard Naval Submarine Base Bangor, two men employed by Johnson Controls Inc., the base operating services coordinator, set up a small methamphetamine manufacturing plant in the industrial waste treatment center on base to distribute drugs to servicemembers.
History proves there is a need for military police on every military installation to handle bomb threats, distribution of drugs, security and simple traffic violations.
The Provost Marshal’s Office here provides a 24/7 service to Camp Smith and Manana military housing in Pearl City, Hawaii. They guard against traffic and parking violations, issue parking passes, respond to residential disturbances and take care of security violations.
They strap on their bullet-proof vest, duty belt and a 9 mm pistol, preparing for the worst although a normal day consists of writing parking tickets, ensuring only authorized vehicles come aboard the base and issuing parking passes to Camp Smith personnel and visitors.
“What we do may seem simple or boring, but the moment we get complacent about our job, that maybe when the worst happens,” said Lance Cpl. Bryce White, Camp Smith military policeman.
Camp Smith is home to U.S. Pacific Command, which is responsible for the Armed Forces that cover more than half of the world’s surface and U.S. Marine Forces Pacific, which is the largest Marine Corps parent command.
The capability and responsibility these two commands hold together make it of the utmost importance for military police to stay on their toes.
Military policemen often deal with people who park in a lot they don’t have authorization for, or they park somewhere that may cause a safety violation, like blocking a fire escape exit, explained Lance Cpl. Jimmy Vasquez, Camp Smith military policeman.
Overall, PMO’s mission is to ensure they are prepared for any situation that may occur whether that is a traffic ticket or preventing major security breaches aboard Camp Smith that could cost lives.