From the Associated Press:
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) -- The Marine Corps has created its first law enforcement battalions - a lean, specialized force of military police officers that it hopes can quickly deploy worldwide to help investigate crimes from terrorism to drug trafficking and train fledgling security forces in allied nations.
The Corps activated three such battalions last month. Each is made up of roughly 500 military police officers and dozens of dogs. The Marine Corps has had police battalions off and on since World War II but they were primarily focused on providing security, such as accompanying fuel convoys or guarding generals on visits to dangerous areas, said Maj. Jan Durham, commander of the 1st Law Enforcement Battalion at Camp Pendleton.
The idea behind the law enforcement battalions is to consolidate the military police and capitalize on their investigative skills and police training, he said. The new additions come as every branch in the military is trying to show its flexibility and resourcefulness amid defense cuts.
This caught my attention because the Marine Corps is a military organization, and while they have MPs for base security, they don't have a role in law enforcement. Yet, here they are setting up whole battalions for busting drug runners and investigating terrorism. However, I would bet a months pay that these units are really meant to be used inside the United States to keep the peace when things hit the fan.