504th Military Police Battalion
504th Military Police Battalion
The 504th Military Police Battalion is a combat Military Police Battalion with a Headquarters Detachment and three line companies; the 66th MP Company, the 170th MP Company and the 571st MP Company. The 504th also fulfills the Law and Order mission for Fort Lewis and Yakima Training Center.
The 504th MP Battalion is a unit with a 70 year history of accomplishments and pride, and is the most decorated Military Police Battalion on active duty today. The Battalion's history began 1 April 1922 when it was constituted in the Organized Reserves of Tennessee as the 304th MP Battalion. On 1 June 1940, the unit was redesignated and was activated in the Regular Army as the 504th MP Battalion at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, on 15 May 1941. The battalion now celebrates this day as its birthday.
The 504th had no sooner formed than it began training for its first major challenge. For two years, the battalion prepared for its baptism of fire. In February 1943, the 504th was alerted for deployment to Europe, and on 18 March 1943, landed on the beaches of North Africa as part of the first Allied force of World War II to fight against Rommel's Africa Korps. As the battle widened the battalion spread over some 400,000 square miles of desert. As the Africa Korps gradually fell against the combined American-British advance, the 504th assumed control of huge numbers of German prisoners. But the battalion's attention was quickly turned to the north as the Allied force prepared for their first landing on the European continent to strike against the "soft underbelly" of the Third Reich. On 10 July 1943, elements of the 504th joined 800,000 Allied soldiers as part of Operation " AVALANCHE", the Allied landing at Salerno. Soldiers of the battalion had now been combat tested in nearly every type of operation for which the military police were then trained. Later actions of the 504th during World War II included the August 1944 landing in Southern France to support the earlier D-Day invasion of Normandy and its movement across 500 miles in Europe in one month as part of the Seventh Army. Following the Allied victory over the European Axis powers, the battalion was assigned to the Third Army Headquarters in Munich. In 26 months of fighting, the 504th had emerged from World War II as the most decorated MP battalion of the conflict by earning nine battle stars and four bronze arrowheads for amphibious landings. The battalion was deactivated in 1947. Its colors would not fly again until 1950, with the start of the Korean Conflict.
On 2 October 1950, the 504th was reactivated at Camp Gordon, Georgia and for the next 12 years, remained a combat ready military police force that was called many times to deploy throughout the world.
In October 1962, the battalion was restationed to Fort Lewis, Washington. Its time at Ft. Lewis was soon to be interrupted by the Nation's involvement in Vietnam. In August 1965, the battalion landed in Qui Nhon, Republic of Vietnam, and for the next seven years, soldiers of the 504th engaged in the seemingly endless struggle against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army. The battalion was involved in countless operations during this period carrying it from one end of Vietnam to the other, until its redeployment to the Presidio of San Francisco, California, in 1972. The battalion restationed to Ft. Lewis in June 1984.
On 22 February 1988, the battalion was authorized the special distinctive designation -" DRAGON FIGHTERS "- under which it continues to render loyal and faithful service.
The 504th MP Battalion's contributions included pre-planning phases of Operation "JUST CAUSE"; the battalion was deployed to Panama from August through December 1989. Also, the battalion was responsible for the train up, readiness and deployment of two reserve companies supporting Operation " DESERT STORM" . Additionally, the battalion deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from November 1991 to February 1992 in support of Joint Task Force - Guantanamo. As the first Army unit in Cuba, the battalion quickly established security and provided outstanding humanitarian relief efforts to all Haitian migrants.
Today, the 504th MP Battalion consists of a Headquarters Detachment, the 66th MP Company, the 170th MP Company, and the 571st MP Company.
On 04 November 2001 Task Force 716th Military Police, Fort Campbell, Ky., gave way to Task Force 504th Military Police out of Fort Lewis, Wash., during a Task Force Falcon Military Police transfer of authority ceremony. Each task force is comprised of both active component and reserve component elements, so having a year to prepare for this allowed them to bring all the units together as a team and train on a number of occasions. The Military Police train to do peacetime, wartime and these types of contingency operations. The MP mission is exactly suited for what happens in Kosovo, to include law enforcement operations, maneuverability support operations, keeping the lines of communication on the roads open, doing checkpoints, Cordon and searches, interpersonal communication skills meeting with the local people.
The 504th Task Force is comprised of several different active and reserve component units including the 66th MP Co., Fort Lewis, Wash., the 209th MP Co., Fort Polk, La., the 2175th MP Co (Missouri Army National Guard), and Det. 6, 391st MP Bn, Columbus, Ohio (Army Reserve).
■66th MP Company
■170th MP Company
■571st MP Company
■Fort Lewis, Washington
Posted by Rodney Brewer
Nov 02 2010 08:23:43:000PM