March 14, 2017

Last week, the Nevada Legislature took up a request from the Nevada National Guard to fund the replacement of US Military personnel with private rent a cops to protect our National Guard bases here in Nevada. I joined the US Army in 2005 and went through Military Police basic training and then Military Police School (AIT) to become a Military Police officer in 2006.  I was trained in force protection, including fighting off terrorist attacks at the front gate, perimeter security of a US military base, identifying threats, IEDS, suicide bombers, ect. It was my duty to fight and, if necessary, give my life to stop an attack at the front gate in order to protect our troops inside a base. Will private rent a cops sacrifice their lives for the troops inside? Not likely.

National Guard bases are not just hosts to beer parties for weekend warriors, but critical security sensitive infrastructure requiring highly trained military personnel protecting it’s people and mission. Almost two thirds of the personnel serving overseas during the Iraq War were Reserve and National Guard MP’s and other support elements.

It is the job of our US Military Police to provide force protection and private rent a cops pose a threat to our troops. They are less trained and less screened. I am saying, as a private citizen, what every MP is thinking, but can’t say due to military rules restricting them from communicating with the press. According to testimony before the Nevada Interim Finance Committee, Col. Cory Schultz, Nevada National Guard Public Affairs Office said there’s a legal issue with security officers using their own firearms and there’s not an armory on every base in Nevada to provide government owned arms security personnel. So if we need to change the law then let’s change the law.

Let me give you a real world example why MP’s are uniquely trained to protect our bases. One morning, I was waiting outside a small PX on base to open. A PX is a retail store on base for US military personal to buy personal stuff, get hair cuts, buy socks and other items they may need and of course snacks. While I was waiting outside for the PX to open, I noticed a briefcase near the front door just sitting there. There were civilian contractors outside waiting to go into the PX as well. As a well trained MP, aware of my surrounding, I immediately moved everyone back from the brief case and called base MP’s to investigate. Not one of the civilians noticed the briefcase sitting there or thought anything about it. But I knew a briefcase sitting alone, by the entrance of a PX, used by our troops, at a base with a history of terrorists targeting us, could be a bomb. BTW the base was in the US not overseas.

MP’s are trained to defend our US military installations in the US and abroad. It is our duty to give our lives, if necessary, to stop an attacker trying to get through the front gate to harm the troops on the base. Period. Will your average private rent a cop sacrifice his life to protect our troops? I’m not willing to take that chance.

Rob Lauer

Former US Army MP

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