Operation Iraqi Freedom 09–11
After several months of extensive preparation and a trip to the National Training Center in the desert of California, the 545th once again deployed to Iraq on 28 May 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 09 – 10. After a short time in Kuwait to acclimatize, the unit was further deployed to Northern Iraq with the Command Element and HQS Platoon at LSA Anaconda, 1st Platoon at COB Speicher/FOB Bernstein, 2nd Platoon at FOB Summerall and the 3rd Platoon at FOB Warhorse. This will be he first combat deployment in the units history with the 545th MP Company not being assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division. We all know that the 545th will continue to carry on the traditions of the First Team’s Finest now that they are the Polar Bear’s Finest and they will continue to be the first and best at all they do! CPT Mike Mixon confirms that the unit has already mixed it up a bit with the insurgents and let them know the 545th will take no nonsense from them!
Upon arrival in country the 545th MP Company was immediately assigned to conduct Police Transition Team Operations in support of the Multi-Division North-Iraq Command, in order to assist the Iraqi Police with continued security and stabilization of that area. In order to accomplish this, the 545th was spread over a large geographical area of northern Iraq.
The 545th Military Police Company deployed to Iraq on May 28th, 2009 just 9 months after activating in Fort Richardson, Alaska. Once on the ground in Kuwait the Arctic Defenders quickly adapted to a 70° temperature change and immediately began training on the most current Enemy Tactics Techniques and Procedures for the Iraqi Theater of Operations. The 545th MP Co moved North into Iraq assuming Police Transition Team 0perations on June 12th, 2009. Our first task, supporting victory and adjusting the MP presence with the Iraqi Police. ln light of the security agreement of 30 June 2009, the 545th would be one of the initial MP units to shift from the direct support role to the advise, assist and training mode. Simultaneously MP assets were shifting to better support USD-N and provide the best coverage to the IPs. Facilitating this movement while maintaining command and control of the PTT's, the Company Headquarters relocated from FOB Summerall to FOB Brassfield-Mora, leaving the 2nd PLT on FOB Summerall to operate in Bayji supporting 2-27 IN BN. 3rd Platoon was called on to support our Arctic brethren from Fort Wainwright 1-25 SBCT in Diyala. 1st Platoon briefly assumed PTT in samarra ensuring a smooth transition of the IPs post June 30, before relocating to FOB Bemstein near Tuz, supporting the Brigade Special Troops Battalion.
In August HQ's assisted with another sign of success in Iraq playing a significant role in returning FOB Brassfeld-Mora to its original existence as a wheat silo for the iraqi Ministry of Agriculture. This prompted the reestablishment of HQ's on Joint Base Balad and shortly following, 3rd Platoon shifted efforts, and effectively saturated the Salah Ad Din province with the POLAR BEAR'S FINEST. Composed of 9 PTTs in 3 platoons, the company quickly and easily partnered with IPs in their respective AOs: Assisting, Advising and mentoring at all levels of law enforcement. During the deployment the Arctic Defenders patrolled over 30,000 miles during 1,329 Police Transition Team missions, reacting to multiple lEDs, ln-Direct and Direct Fire Attacks. They participated with Maneuver units in many combined Operations and occasionally partnered with Special Operations Units; placing their IP counterparts out front and showing the citizens of Iraq that the Iraqi Security Forces can and do capture High Value individuals. 545th conducted many non-traditronal MP missions supporting Civil Affairs and PSYOPS, getting the IPs involved in their communities by conducting Book Drops at local schools and providing assistance in Medical Civil-Military Operations. Despite the special mission requests the PTTs of 545th managed to facilitate and ensured the training of over 7000 iraqi Police, both on site and at the Joint Balad Iraqi Police Academy ensuring Iraq remains stable in the future. In April, 2010 without a MP/PTT replacement the 545th MP Co reconsolidated its forces on Joint Base Balad supporting victory in Iraq and began the responsible drawdown of forces in Iraq. Their efforts were exemplified by the awarding of 53 Combat Action Badges, 1 Army Commendation Medal with Valor, 3 Purple Hearts, 29 Bronze Star Medals, 124 Army Commendation Medals and 15 impact Army Achievement Medals. In addition, the company promoted 4 Soldiers to Staff Sergeant, 8 to Sergeant, 7 to Corporal, 50 to Specialist, 3 to First Lieutenant and 2 selections for Captain.