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591st MP Company relinquishes mission at Joint Task Force Guantanamo

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba—The morning is warm and there is obvious excitement for many at the Buckeley parade field, Feb. 28, 2014, as the transfer of authority ceremony between the 591st MP Company and the 339th MP Company comes to a start.
Lt. Col. Darcey Overbey, commander for the 525th Military Police Battalion in charge of detention center operations, started the ceremony with her assessment of the 591st’s time at Joint Task Force Guantanamo. Overbey noted the enthusiasm and preparedness that came with the 591st when she greeted the newcomers at the airstrip, June 8, 2013.
“Like most units are when they arrive, the soldiers of the 591st were motivated and eager to get started. They were also highly disciplined, confident and young.”
The 591st MP Company provided operational support to the high risk detainee operations center and set a standard for exemplary conduct, as they started their time in a highly opportune period of the detainee operation. The mission tempo had escalated for the 525th, to a six to one work schedule.
Each work day was around fourteen to fifteen hours, and this tempo was maintained for nearly two months. With the arrival of the 591st MP Company for support operations, the 525th, which was quickly becoming weary from the work strain, was successfully able to resume its previous five-two work schedule.
At the newcomer briefing for the 591st Spartan’s, Overbey, gave them three challenges that she hoped to see them accomplish while serving here: To serve with honor, be a part of the team, and to make a difference. After completing their challenging tour of duty here, Overbey accedes that they have surpassed expectations in meeting the challenges.
“They quickly integrated into our operations; their arrival brought much needed relief in the camps as we resumed a five and two work schedule. Their boundless energy and can do attitude however, enhanced all of our operations, and they maintained that attitude for their entire tour. For the past nine months, the Spartans have surpassed each of my three challenges,” said Overbey. “Without a doubt the 591st has made a difference during their tour. The 591st MP Company: they have touched the lives of all vigilant warriors with their hard work, dedication, and even their stories.”
At the end of the ceremony, the 591st commander, Capt. Osvaldo R. Santiago, commented on how seamlessly the unit took on the obstacles of having their mission change in such a short time period, and into a area of operations so unknown to them. Within weeks of arriving, Santiago says they contributed to improving the detention center’s already smooth operation.
First Sgt. for the 591st, Roland A. Ellis, says he is incredibly proud of the performance of his unit, considering the constant change of plans at the beginning of their journey at Ft. Bliss, Texas.
“The soldiers performance here was nothing short of outstanding…once we got here, the guys hit the ground running without missing a step; again, I’m immensely proud of them,” said Ellis.
The 339th has now taken responsibility of the 591st’s area of operations and will continue to do so throughout their deployment here at GTMO.

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