18th Military Police Brigade (United States) - History - War On Terrorism

War On Terrorism

In support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I, the 18th Military Police Brigade crossed into Iraq on 22 March 2003. During its year of deployment, the brigade established Prisoner of War holding areas for over 3,600 Iraqi prisoners and conducted main supply route patrolling over 2,500 kilometers in southern Iraq. The Brigade entered Baghdad in April 2003 and began establishing the new Iraqi Police Service and rebuilding Iraqi police stations. From the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom until February 2004 the Brigade provided command and control for seven Military Police battalions, one Mechanized Infantry battalion, 30 Military Police companies, and two Law and Order detachments. The Brigade’s MPs conducted over 24,000 combat patrols, apprehended over 2,400 criminals, confiscated 7,500 illegal weapons, and trained over 10,000 Iraqi police officers. During their deployment, the Brigade recovered several precious artifacts, such as the Warka Mask, which was recovered on 23 September 2003. The brigade returned to Sandhofen in 2004 only to return to Iraq in 2007.

The 127th and 630th Military Police Companies began serving in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II in mid-2007. The 127th Company served in Iskandariyah, on patrol operations with local police. In November 2007 the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the brigade and the 793rd Military Police Battalion deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. The brigade replaced the 89th Military Police Brigade which was assigned there previously. The transition ceremony for this command was held on 30 October as 100 soldiers from the brigade's headquarters took charge of the 89th's area of responsibility. They deployed to the Baghdad area, and took responsibility for the training of the Iraqi Police. The brigade is supporting Iraqi police logistics, personnel management, maintenance, budget, operations, training, leadership and judicial integration. Other training for Police units included proper search of vehicles, providing medical assistance to Iraqi civilians, as well as expanding the number of Iraqi police and improving their training overall. In theater, the brigade commanded over 5,000 soldiers. Units that the Brigade assumed control of included the 153rd Military Police Company of the Delaware Army National Guard and the 223rd Military Police Company of the Kentucky Army National Guard. The brigade worked with the 35th Engineer Brigade to finish construction on the Furat Training Facility, the primary training facility for thousands of Iraqi police. The project was completed in February 2008. In August 2008, the brigade began facilitating the transition for the 8th Military Police Brigade, which was set to replace the 18th MP Brigade when its 15-month tour of duty ended. The brigade cased its colors on 2 December 2008 and began redeploying back to its home bases. The 18th MP brigade trained 20,000 Iraqi police during its deployment, and lost 15 soldiers.

In addition to the brigade's support to the War on Terrorism, many soldiers of the brigade continually conduct law enforcement and force protection duties in communities located throughout the central region of Europe.

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