Paramilitary: December 17, 2003


The American armed forces are rushing to convert active duty and reserve troops to military police. The navy is expanding it's Master at Arms (naval military police) force to over 10,000 sailors. This is to provide more security for warships in port. The Coast Guard has traditionally provided this, but is now being eased out of the job. The air force has been constantly expanding it's Security Force units. The air force security people are divided into "police" (who guard the air base gates and provide police services) and the Security troops, who are trained and equipped as light infantry, and provide tight security for things (warplanes and nuclear weapons, for example), that need it. The air force has more security troops than the army has infantry. Since September 11, 2001, the air force security troops have been getting heavier weapons and more electronic monitoring equipment. The army is retraining 2,000 reservist artillerymen, from seven disbanded artillery battalions, to form 18 Military Police guard companies. Through the 1990s, many officers noted that the many reserve artillery units were not needed now that the Cold War was over. The introduction of smart bombs, rockets and shells has reduced the need for artillery even more. So it was not unexpected when many reserve artillery units were ordered converted to military police. The artillery equipment was taken away, replaced with more light vehicles and police equipment. The troops underwent retraining. Even without all this retraining, since September 11, 2001, over a hundred thousand reserve troops were mobilized for security duties that they were not trained for. So while the armed forces have resisted creating special peacekeeping units, they have acquired a divisions worth (over 12,000 troops) of new military police since September 11, 2001.




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