Residents of St Louis, Missouri, report they’re seeing U.S. Army tanks rolling down residential streets. They’re told it’s an “Army training exercise,” lasting from June 21st to June 28th, and that citizens shouldn’t be alarmed.
In this local KSDK TV news broadcast, the reporter Casey Nolan is told that the “heavily armored security vehicles” are in town for “a group of military police (MP) to train the 354th MP Company how to drive the vehicles.” Nolan is assured that the “armored vehicles” — tanks — are “harmless” and that the whole thing is “not such a big deal.”
The “armored vehicles” have been seen traveling from Ft. Leavenworth on Interstate 44. [Note: The reporter probably confused Ft. Leonard Wood for Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.]
Sightings of the tanks prompted hundreds of residents to flood local news channels and Facebook, with some expressing fears that martial law was on its way.
This is what Wikipedia says about the US Army’s Military Police:
The Military Police Corps is the uniformed law enforcement branch of the United States Army.[...] Some U.S. Army MP units, usually at the division or brigade level, are designated as combat, division MPs whose combat zone responsibilities include protection of vehicle routes, defile control, route reconnaissance and straggler control, the guidance or detention of soldiers who have become lost, separated from their units, or have fled the battlefield. Since the beginning of the war on terror, military police have become a valuable asset to combat operations due to the versatility of the MOS. They have been used more in a combat arms role rather than their normal combat support role. [...]
The Army’s Military Police can be utilized in direct combat and during peacetime. The Military Police have five main functions:
1. Maneuver and mobility support operations
2. Area security operations
3. Law and order operations
4. Internment and resettlement operations
5. Police intelligence operations
I cannot find the “354th Military Police Company” on Wikipedia’s “List of United States Army Military Police Units,” but I did find the “354th Military Police Company” on a Department of the Army pdf. And yes, the 354th MP is based in St. Louis, Missouri.