PMO: keeping the ‘mean streets’ of Camp Leatherneck safe
by Lance Cpl. Katherine M. Solano RC-SW
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – “Someone’s got to protect the mean streets of Leatherneck.”
Though he made the statement with a slight smirk, there was a definite air of conviction to the words spoken by Staff Sgt. Charles Hadley, a Military Police Support Company watch commander with the Provost Marshal’s Office here.
Hadley, a Smyrna, Tenn., native, is currently deployed to Camp Leatherneck from I Marine Headquarters Group, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Protecting the streets aboard the base requires diligence and a constant presence of MPs. They patrol in vehicles and on foot, alone and in pairs. They not only observe actions and activities of service members, but also those of third party and Afghan nationals who live and work aboard the base.
“We always take precaution if something doesn’t look right,” Hadley said. “You always go with safety first.”
This fact holds true for MPs protecting America’s bases as well as forward-deployed areas. Hadley says there isn’t much difference between the MPs’ responsibilities in the United States and when deployed.
“We drive and patrol the same as we do back in the states,” Hadley reiterated.
The largest difference between their job responsibilities here is the type of searches they conduct.
Hadley explained that the searches can be of individuals or entire companies. They can be in response to a tip or as part of a randomly-generated search.
“Certain searches we conduct in response to some intelligence; other searches we conduct every week; some take place every few months,” Hadley said. “When we search them [individuals or living areas], we go through everything, looking for anything they are not allowed to have.”
Hadley credits the ongoing safety and stability to a few different things, including working with other nations’ security forces.
“We have a really good working relationship with the Camp Bastion MPs,” Hadley said.
“We all take pride that there has never been an attack on Leatherneck,” Hadley said. “The vigilance of security at the perimeter of the base and internally keeps it safe.”