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NEWS | June 14, 2024

U.S. Marshals train at Fort Indiantown Gap

By Brad Rhen

About 30 U.S. Marshals from around the country conducted training here June 3 to 13.

The training included classroom instruction, firing ranges and scenario-based training at the Combine Arms Collective Training Facility.

Known as the High-Risk Fugitive Apprehension - Human Performance course, the training was designed to identify and enhance individual officer skills and overall performance when faced with stressful events.

The students were subjected to stress-inducing drills and given mission specific tasks to complete. The goal was for the students to develop a better understanding of how the human body processes information and performs in stressful situations.

“The objective of this course is to immerse our students in high-stress drills and scenarios so that they can evaluate their skills – where they’re at under those rapidly evolving stressful situations,” said Brett Hall, acting deputy assistant director, U.S. Marshals Training Division. “What this allows is to make them critical thinkers and decision makers. Our objective is overall officer safety for our mission, so it’s paramount that we train our folks to be proficient decision makers.”

Hall noted that Marshals don’t necessarily investigate crimes, but instead they are usually attempting to apprehend people who have already been charged with or convicted of a crime. Knowing that they are going after a “bad guy” can add to the stress of a situation, he said.

“The mission of the Marshal service is to protect, defend and enforce the justice system, and one of the ways we do that is fugitive apprehension from violent crimes, so these are people we know are violent and they are fugitives from justice,” Hall said. “Safety is paramount for us. Not just officer safety, but for the public and the subjects we’re apprehending, and that’s what this course allows us to prepare our folks for that.”

John Lindeman, assistant chief inspector, U.S. Marshals Training Division, said the training gave the students the opportunity to better grasp how they react to stress.

“We operate in an environment that’s tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving,” Lindeman said. “When we put the students in individual drills, everybody deals with stress in a different way, and sometimes they got to know that they can make decisions under that intense amount of stress.

“When we put them under stress, and they understand how their body deals with that stress, they’ll be able to better draw back on those mental files that they built through this training and say, ‘I’ve been here before. I’ve seen this. I’ve done this. I know how to control my body, and I know how to control the situation,’” Lindeman added.

The CACTF is an urban operations training facility consisting of 12 buildings, including a hotel, a church, a cemetery with vault, power plant and underground tunnels.

There, the Marshals were able to conduct various scenarios, including traffic stops, delivering paperwork and entering and clearing rooms.

Hall said the training went great, and he was very grateful for the opportunity to train at Fort Indiantown Gap.

“The facilities are phenomenal,” he said. “To have the opportunity to train in a tactical village such as this, it truly allows for immersion. It gives different types of buildings that we will be operating in, and so it allows us to build those files where they’ve been there before, and they understand how to operate in it. You cannot ask for a better training facility.”