Kentucky’s 1103rd MPs home from Afghanistan

Story by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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Spc. James Moore with the 1103rd Military Police Detachment hugs his fiance during a welcome home ceremony in Louisville, Ky., March 25, 2014. The unit spent nine months in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Excited friends and family members joined ranking officials of the Kentucky National Guard to welcome home the Soldiers of the 1103rd Military Police Detachment in Louisville, Ky., March 25.

“These are some of the best days in the Kentucky National Guard, when we welcome our Guardsmen home,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Campbell, the Kentucky Army National Guard’s Land Component Commander. “I want to thank the 1103rd for representing the United States Army and Kentucky Army National Guard in an outstanding manner.”

MPs of the Brandenburg, Ky.-based unit spent nine months as the sole law enforcement unit stationed in Regional Command North in Afghanistan. An area the size of Washington State. The unit provided force protection support, police investigations, patrols and military customs enforcement.

To see more photos from the ceremony, click here.

The 1103rd worked as law enforcement liaisons with NATO military police organizations in a true interagency and multinational mission.  The Guardsmen served alongside German, Croatian, Mongolian, Swedish, Belgian, and Latvian MPs and Soldiers daily, and with numerous U.S. contractors.

A couple of the Kentuckians worked as undercover agents for a FBI task force and the unit assisted with counterintelligence investigations within the country. The mission marked the first time in 10 years that a Kentucky Guard MP unit operated overseas as a MP asset in theater.

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Capt. Michael Holliday, commander of the 1103rd Military Police Detachment speaks to his unit and friends and family members during a welcome home ceremony in Louisville, Ky., March 25, 2014. Holliday said the mission was the first in 10 years for the Kentucky Guard that a MP unit served as a military police asset overseas during a deployment. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

“We had quite a diverse mission,” said Capt.Michael Holliday from Harrodsburg, Ky., commander of the 1103rd. “But we were lucky to have the opportunity to use the skills they have been taught as military police officers. We did a purely law and order mission and it’s pretty extraordinary to do that.”

Police work was not the only duty, however, for the unit as they helped reduce the U.S. military’s footprint in Afghanistan by retrograding $5.1 million worth of unnecessary unit equipment and redeployed 15 personnel before Feb. 1, without affecting their mission readiness or completion.

An additional highlight of the deployment for the 1103rd was their humanitarian mission in providing winter clothing to an Afghan orphanage in Mazr e Shariff.

Lt. Col. John Treufeldt, commander of the 198th Military Police Battalion complimented the unit on a job well done and expressed his gratitude to the Soldiers for using their MP training.

“I am extremely proud of their many accomplishments,” he said. “But mostly that they proved once again that military police Soldiers can deploy in small teams and accomplish the mission in a distinguished manner fitting of the MP Corps.”

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Brig. Gen. Scott Campbell welcomes home Soldiers of the 1103rd Military Police Detachment in Louisville, Ky., March 25, 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

As the Soldiers got off their bus, some needed to take few steps to be in the arms of family.

Spc. James Moore from Hopkinsville, Ky., was met quickly by his fiance, daughter and niece. Moore described his feelings as unlike anything he has felt before.

“It’s like I just jumped out of a plane, I’m almost hyperventilating,” said Moore. “My insides are shaking, my knees are buckling. I just remember grabbing people and hugging them. It’s crazy, but just great.”

“This is the best feeling ever. I feel like I’ve feel in love with everything again. I won’t take anything for granted after this. I’m just so happy to be home.”

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