Taguba Report Annex 69: Testimony of Captain Michael A Mastrangelo, Commander, 310th Military Police Company

Testimony of Captain Michael A Mastrangelo, Commander, 310th Military Poice Company. Capt. Mastrangelo described his unit and how they were assigned to Iraq. He said “We were never in charge of any accountability while we there”. “I never had anything to do with the interrogations side of the house." He then spoke about the Abu Ghraib riot, "There was a riot in late November where my unit had to respond to. One of my soldiers killed an Iraqi rioter after expending his non-lethal rounds. There were a total of four rioters killed that day in order to calm the riot, but that was only after using up all the non-lethal rounds. There were a number of my soldiers injured that day. The riot was a Camp Ganci.” He concluded his testimony with “We were not involved in detainee accountability, and my primary mission was to fill in where personnel were needed”.

Doc_type: 
Transcript
Doc_date: 
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Doc_rel_date: 
Monday, October 18, 2004
Doc_text: 

On 10 February 2004, a team of officers, directed by Major General Antonio Taguba, conducted the following interview. Major General Taguba was appointed as an Investigating Officer under the provisions of Army Regulation 15-6, by Lieutenant General David D. McKiernan, Commanding General of the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC), to look into allegations of maltreatment of detainees. detainee escapes and accountability lapses, at Abu Ghraib, also known as the Baghdad Central Confinement Facility (BCCF). The panel also inquired into training, standards, employment, command policies, and internal policies, concerning the detainees held at Abu Gharib prison. Finally, the panel looked into the command climate and the command and supervisory presence
The following persons wt re present:
MG Antonio M. Taguba,11111111111111t, DCG-CFLCC, Interviewer
CPT CFLCC-SJA, Interviewer
SFC U.S. Army MP School, Fort Leonardwood, MO,
Interviewer
CPT 320th Military Police Company,
Interviewee

The interview is summarized as follows:
My name is glIMIIIIIMINIMINMINION My social security number is MOM 11110 My rank is Captain. 1 am commander of the 320th MP Company.
1 have been Commander of the 320th MP Company since 14 JULY 2001. We mobilized out of Fort Stewart, GA. We are a combat support company. We received CCT training and marksmanship training. Assets wire not allocated for land or material, so we made up training.for the rest of the 9 weeks.'We were mobilized on 20 JAN03, and we left 29 MAR 03. We are out of 317 th MP. Battalion out of Tampa, FL. They are assigned to the
641 ASG. an army reserve unit.
We fell in on the 800 th MP Brigade upon our arrival here. We didn't find out our mission
until we arrived here in country. We arrived in Kuwait 29 MAR 03, and we arrived in
Iraq on 4 APR 2003. The 744 th was at the terminal when we arrived in country; at that
time we knew we would not perform combat support. We never received any training on
1&R. 1 also made known we had been focusing on combat support, and never performed
an internment and resettlement mission.
I was briefed that our mission was to be in charge of external perimeter security, patrols and escort missions at Talil. We relieved the 18 th Military Police Brigade in place so they could move forward and build a facility north. We knew it would be a transfer point, between Baghdad and Bucca. We handled detainees as needed, but our primary mission was escorting. We hadn't received any training on handling detainees. We have a vast number of soldiers with corrections experience.
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We basically trained ourselves based on our METL. I certified the readiness status of the Company. I reported to the MOB site commander COL Mk The resources just were not there to train job specific. The problem with our training was we didn't know what our mission would be. If I had knew at the time what our mission would be all my training would have been focused toward corrections. I made my own MTOE of what
was needed to run a routine combat support mission.
We were at Talil from April 2003 until November 2003. We were very familiar with the Geneva Convention, and ROE we certified that every soldier went through that training. We were given a TAC SOP for the 744 th , which was based on a large-scale compound, but It didn't pertain to TSB Whitford because it was a non-standard facility so we made procedures up as we went along.
There was one escape while we were at Whitford. My company was not involved with the escape, but we assisted in trying to locate the individual. We were never in charge of any accountability while we there.
In November we received word that we would be transferred to the Baghdad Correctional
Facility. We did a recon of the area and met with the Battalion Commander to see what
our mission would be. The advance party on the 16 th the main body went up on the 20 th
h MP Battalion. We had never workedof November. We were than assigned to the 320'
with the 320th before.
My unit was brought up to fill in for shortages for soldiers that had refraded. We had replaced the 447 th . We initially were put in the towers and we conducted roving patrols of the compound. There were several other units involved; they were the 229 th MP Company, 670th MP Company, 870th MP Company, and the 372Nd MP Company. We had never been associated with any of the companies. LTG111.111111, was the Battalion Commander. He explained what our mission would be in regards to filling in the vacancies left by the soldiers being refraded. We did a left seat/right seat changeover with the leaving unit. We hit the ground running having soldiers fill vacancies.
I had four platoons in the company. 2 line platoons and 1 headquarters platoon. I was
basically in charge of giving bodies to the Battalion when the needed them. That has
been our mission since we have been here. Since there have been units coming in fully
manned we can probably start tasking companies on specific task. I typically received
operational requirements from MA] S.I inte.acted with MAJ411111111111111a and LTC almost on a daily basis.
Whatever unit needed personnel, my soldiers integrated with that unit. There was
constant training on ROE, less than lethal, and handling detainees. We only work in the
Camp Ganci area. I was aware of other companies running areas in the compound. I am
also aware of non-MP's working in the compounds. 1 never had anything to do with the
interrogations side of the house. I knew that there were MI individuals on ground, I couldn't tell you where they work.
We were not given any other mission; we just fill in where we are needed. I think an improvement for incoming units would be assignments to specific parts of the prison. It would give the commanders an opportunity to be directly in charge of their personnel. The 447th MP Company worked towers in Camp Ganci and did escort missions. No one company at Abu Graib is doing one specific job; units are doing a little bit of everything. It isn't confusing because we have been doing things this way so long everyone knows what everyone else is doing.
We had heard through the press about detainee abuse at Camp Bucca. We hadn't heard
of any detainee abuse or shootings at Abu Graib. All the company commanders were
called in and told that there was an ongoing investigation at Abu Graib, but we weren't
told the reason.
I have heard of three escapes since the time I have been here. None of my personnel were involved. There was a riot in late November where my unit had to respond to. One of my soldiers killed an Iraqi rioter after expending his non-lethal rounds. There were a total of four rioters killed that day in order to calm the riot, but that was only after using up all the non-lethal rounds. There were a number of my soldiers injured that day. The riot was a Camp Ganci. 1 am not aware of any riots at Camp Vigilence or the hard site. An investigation was conducted, but I wasn't briefed on the outcome. The ROE was adjusted after the incident, so that the MP's could go to lethal force a lot sooner.
The use of lethal force is dependant on the situation. Lethal force is authorized for the
defense of oneself or U.S. Forces if necessary. The ROE is posted in the towers, and all
the soldiers are trained up. The JAG conducted a train the trainer session, and then the
XO briefed the company. I can't say whether or not the other units were trained up on
the ROE.
There are other isolated incidents where detainees have got out of control and have had to have non-lethal rounds shot at them in order to calm them done. There haven't been any more incidents were lethal rounds had to be used. There haven't any attempt escapes in any of my compounds in the past few weeks. I have personnel working at several compounds at Camp Ganci. I have bodies at the compounds; I don't actually run those compounds the 320th run the compounds.
The command climate can be described as understaffed. There is a MI Brigade at the forward operating not conducting their duties as an external perimeter security force. The 320th has been stuck with having to do everything. There is confusion there as to who is in charge of what. 1 found out in December that an MI Brigade Commander was in charge of command and control of the forward operating base. COL Pappus is the MI Commander. It wasn't explained to me what their mission was. To my understanding they aren't fulfilling their duties as an external security enforce.
I didn't find out about the allegation of detainee abuse until MAJ1111111111called a meeting with all of the company commanders. He didn't go into detail; he just said it involved the chain of command of the 320' h. There were several memorandums put out
by Gen Sanchez regarding treatment of detainees, I maintained copies and posted them in the company area.
I am aware of AR 190-8, I am also aware of the Field Manuel covering interment
operations.
I heard of General Officers coming to the camps, but times and dates were never posted
due to OPSEC. 1 personally haven't seen General officers here other than Gen Karpinski.
I interact with the other Company Commanders everyday. LTC.-held a
command and staff meeting every morning at 0900, it usually lasted about 45 minutes.
There was also a Force Protection meeting at 1600.
No SOP's we provided to us from the Battalion. In my unit we had an unwritten SOP,
everyone had an understanding of what the policies were. The forward operating base
put out a matrix explaining the uniform posture for the each threat level. At Camp Ganci,
there were weapons allowed in the facility.
My assessment of the command climate in the 320 th is they are shorthanded. I think
command is over their capabilities, and that has to have an affect on morale, soldiers are
working 12 hours a day and maybe getting a one-day off every 2 weeks. My company is
understaffed also, I have asked for replacements many of times. My authorized strength
is 180 personnel; I am down to 118.
Since the allegations of detainee abuse have become public I think everyone is trying there best to rectify the situation, but it comes down to a lack of personnel. I think that senior leadership should be put in areas of command inside the prison, for example my situation where my soldiers work for someone else.
There was another meeting COL Pappus had called that briefed that there was an
investigation ongoing, and MAJMIIIIrItad assumed command of the MI battalion
until COLAIllphad arrived.
We were not involved in detainee accountability, and my primary mission was to fill in where personnel were needed. We believe out replacement to be the 420 th MP Company. There is a new MI Battalion on board. I haven't had an opportunity to meet some of the new commanders.
My recommendations are that specific units be given specific tasks and enough personnel to complete those tasks. Also a clear understanding of what the commander of the forward operating base is supposed to be in charge of and what the commander of the prison is suppose to be in charge of. The soldiers working 12-hour shifts need to be supplemented with personnel so they can be reduced to 8-hour shifts and they can start to get time off.
Finished with the interview the panel briefed CPT affirallao and then dismissed him.

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2563
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79