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A SWAT team member with the Garden Grove Police Department practices room-clearing during a collaborated training exercise with the Provost Marshal's Office Special Reaction Team at Range 111 aboard the Combat Center Oct. 11, 2013.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Paul S. Martinez

Military, civilian police train together aboard Combat Center

18 Oct 2013 | Lance Cpl. Paul S. Martinez Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

The Special Reaction Team, Provost Marshal’s Office, trained alongside the Special Weapons and Tactics team from Garden Grove Police Department at Range 111 Oct. 11, 2013.

The collaboration between the two forces marks the third year of the SWAT team visiting the Combat Center from Garden Grove, Calif., to engage in training using its various ranges.

“Working with the military police and gaining access to these training grounds is a one-in-a-million shot for us,” said Lt. Ben Stauffer, police officer, GGPD. “We don’t have these facilities anywhere else so coming out here is great.”

The training served as a way for both forces to not only sharpen their skills, but observe and learn from their counterpart’s respective methods of operation.

“We get this chance to work with (SWAT) and see how they do things, and try to implement some of those techniques in our training,” said Sgt. Adam E. Munoz, SRT commander, PMO. “How one team clears a stairway and moves up might be more advantageous than how we do it. We might want to try their technique, and if it works, we could adopt it, and vice versa.”

The urban set-up of Range 111 allowed the teams to make full use of their weapons and equipment. Garden Grove snipers took aim from the range’s sniper towers, SWAT teams conducted tactical maneuvers across hallways and staircases, and Marines executed proper room-clearing.

“The city environment is important to us because it brings realism,” Stauffer said. “Having pop-up targets that provide immediate feedback to long range shots is also perfect.”

The Marines of SRT gained valuable insight from training with their civilian counterparts.

“A lot of Marines in the military police field don’t get this opportunity as early as these Marines have,” Munoz said. “These Marines have shown exceptional performance and ability, are experts with their pistols and rifles, and work well as a team.”

The partnership between the SRT and SWAT develops skill and mission readiness for both teams.

“We’re very glad to come out here and use these facilities,” Stauffer said. “We got training we can't get anywhere else, and aim to keep our men sharp.”

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms