JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. –
During the month of July the U.S. Army 333rd Military Police Brigade from Farmingdale, New York, engaged in a large-scale training and development exercise at the Army Support Activity Fort Dix range complex and other Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst sites. Named Gotham Justice, this annual U.S. Army Reserve Command exercise focuses on detention operations and basic soldier skills such as weapons qualification and land navigation.
Last held in 2019 under the name Guardian Justice, this exercise marks a return to large-scale training conducted by the unit since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The purpose of this exercise is to train, challenge and improve soldier primary skill sets and core military police competencies required in detention operations, and security and mobility support operations,” said U.S. Army Maj. James Vaz, 333rd MP Brigade, plans officer. “Leadership and staff development are our primary focus. Unit commanders and staff at the brigade and battalion levels will train and exercise the military decision-making process, while company, platoon, and squads will train and exercise troop leading procedures to plan, coordinate, support, and execute deployment and redeployment in a simulated combat theater of operations.”
The exercise was split into two phases, where approximately 2000 personnel overall engaged in training with the simulated environments.
Critical to the success of any large-scale training is the necessary logistical support and sustainment for all personnel involved, often numbering in the hundreds or even thousands.
“Gotham Justice was a collaborative process that required participation at all levels to ensure that sustainment was provided for two rotations of personnel at designated Joint Base MDL sites,” said U.S. Army Maj. James Goodgion, 333rd MP Brigade logistics officer. “Significant focus was placed on ensuring that approximately 1,000 soldiers would have two hot meals and one meal, ready-to-eat provided over the duration of 30 days.”
Over the course of the month, the 333rd MP Brigade operated more than122 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles and 63 Light Medium Tactical Vehicles operating during the exercise. Additionally, the exercise required more than 30 culinary specialists were brought in to support cooking operations for a large unit in a deployed environment.
The large amount of logistical support needed to carry out Gotham Justice also served a dual purpose in promoting readiness through certification as soldiers learn to take on more versatile, multi-capable roles within their units.
“This exercise was significantly important in helping prepare soldiers for future sustainment requirements,” said Goodgion. “Sustainment military occupational specialties would be challenged to conduct tasks to support supplies, transportation, cooking and maintenance. As a result, many soldiers have added additional certifications, such as forklift operator, that allow them to support in an expansive role to sustainment support.”
While the environment at ASA Fort Dix and other Joint Base MDL sites are simulated, Gotham Justice will play a crucial role in combat readiness for future conflicts.
“By simulating an austere environment and learning to operate with as many organic resources as possible, we’re effectively training soldiers for the next real fight,” said Goodgion. “This training teaches units about the importance of planning, tempo, maintenance needs, contracting support, equipment movement, troop transportation, risk analysis, retrograde operations, and other essential operational functions and core competencies. This allows soldiers to see multiple components of an operational environment without the associated risk factors.”
The scale of the Gotham Justice demonstrates the capacity of ASA Fort Dix to host large-scale training exercises, according to Jim Matheson, ASA Fort Dix training division chief.
The range complex at Joint Base MDL permits units to simultaneously train all live-fire tasks from individual and crew-served weapons qualification to collective live-fire exercises up to company level.
"Exercise Gotham Justice involved approximately 2,000 soldiers overall split between two phases from the 333rd MP Brigade, making it one of ASA Fort Dix’s primary training support efforts this summer,” said Matheson. “ASA Fort Dix staff worked closely for many months with planners from the 333rd MP Brigade to ensure that the exercise was properly resourced with training support facilities and necessary materials.”
333rd MP Brigade Gotham Warriors stand poised once again, combat-ready, to deploy whenever, wherever, and at any time to project convergence with the Joint Force on a global scale.