With the Fort Bragg and XVIII Airborne Corps Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera’s priorities at the forefront, the elements of readiness and safety were evident during active-shooter training at Albritton Middle School, June 22.

With the Fort Bragg and XVIII Airborne Corps Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera’s priorities at the forefront, the elements of readiness and safety were evident during active-shooter training at Albritton Middle School, June 22.

Soldiers from the 21st Military Police Company (Airborne), 503rd MP Battalion, 16th MP Brigade, gathered at the middle school parking lot before sunlight to hone their response-to-threat skills.

“Our Soldiers are the initial response to an active-assailant situation,” said Capt. Jeremy Forman, commander, 21st MP Co. “If we practice and rehearse the response before it happens, it will not be the first time our MPs have been exposed to the situation.”

As the Soldiers cleared the classrooms and hallways, ammunition rounds were scattered on the ground, yellow “Police Line Do Not Cross” tape displayed, and sirens can be heard in the background. These tools were used to simulate a real-life scenario.

“The training is designed to expose Soldiers to the stresses involved when responding to an active shooter, as well as have them refine their response skills,” said Forman. “Preparing MPs to respond to the threat while keeping the service members, Families and civilians on post safe is our number one priority.”

The training benefited not only the readiness of the 21st MP Co. Soldiers but other partners as well.

Lida Ratliff, an observer, followed closely behind the participants to gain insight on responding to an active threat.

“I’m observing because I feel it’s something we can use,” Ratliff said. “This is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed because it’s becoming more and more frequent, and our people need to be prepared for this type of incident.”

Ratliff said that she wanted to see how the responders and role-playing assailants reacted to the scenario, what events could happen, and to get a better idea of what to expect in the case of an active threat.

Realistic training such as this one helps to maintain readiness, proficiency and professionalism of Fort Bragg’s first responders. The training ensures the MPs can respond effectively in order to neutralize the enemy and protect the hostages.

In the event of an active-shooter situation, Forman said to follow one’s workplace protocol.

“Follow the directions of responding forces,” he said. “Assist responding MPs with critical information like description of the subject, direction of travel, and how armed, if known. Don’t actively engage the subject, unless it is a last resort.”