Archive for army dogs

Four-legged Soldiers Sniff Out Insurgent Activities in 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team Area of Operations

Posted in Army Dog teams with tags , , , , , on June 12, 2009 by wardogmarine

30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team
Story and Photos by Capt. Richard Scoggins

BAGHDAD — The four-legged Soldiers of Forward Operating Base Falcon’s military police K-9 section working with the 30th “Old Hickory” Heavy Brigade Combat Team, are making a name for themselves by patrolling for explosives and conducting combat tracking.

The section is led by Staff Sgt. Christopher Jasper of Everett, Wash., and includes fellow handlers Sgt. Kyle Harris of Essex, Conn. and Sgt. Jeff Todoroff of Willis, Texas.
3oth brigade
Willis, Texas native, Sgt. Jeff Todoroff, with a military police K-9 section attached to the 30th “Old Hickory” Heavy Brigade Combat Team, walks military working dog, Kain, through Forward Operating Base Falcon, June 9. Kain is a patrol explosive dog and is responsible for helping Soldiers locate explosive material.

The group has six years of combined experience with their dog partners. Jasper’s K-9 section covers the entire 30th HBCT’s area of responsibility, and during the past eight months, has participated in almost 100 missions for two brigade combat teams.

There are three types of missions all military dogs can train for— patrol explosive, specialized search and combat tracking. The dogs are certified in a specialty, then deploy with their handlers, creating a solid bond between Soldier and animal.

The dogs at Falcon go on explosive detection missions that range from suspected weapons caches to suspected weapons or explosives smuggling operations.

“These dogs are on point every mission,” Harris said. “They are here to find explosives before humans do.”

The dogs’ jobs are very physical. Patrol explosive detector dogs can work without a leash to warn Soldiers before the Soldiers get too close. The dogs find explosive materials by scent. The dog’s sense of smell is extremely precise.

“When we smell hot stew, all we smell is the stew,” Todoroff said. “But the dog smells all of the ingredients.”

The military dogs track scents close to the ground, and can identify whether a person is running or walking, and whether that person is under stress or at ease.

3othbrigade
Sgt. James Harrington, with a military police K-9 section attached to the 30th “Old Hickory” Heavy Brigade Combat Team, coaxes his military working dog, Ryky, to bark on command at Forward Operating Base Falcon, June 9. Ryky is a combat tracking dog and is trained to find people.

The dogs’ special skills put them in danger, but the skills also earn the dogs respect from the locals. Not an easy feat, as most Iraqis have a general dislike of dogs. Even the word itself is hurled as an insult.

“They are scared to death [of the dogs], but extraordinarily intrigued.” Harris said. When Harris’s team goes on patrol, people often move to give the dogs plenty of space.

To further increase their mission involvement, Jasper’s team is planning a demonstration geared for company and battalion level leaders to educate them on the capabilities of the teams, and how these animals can give Soldiers an advantage over our enemies.

By highlighting the dog’s abilities and continuing to seek new missions from units, Jasper and his team hopes that units will understand the K-9 section’s capabilities and continue to utilize their services.

A bite out of crime in Iraq

Posted in Army Dog teams, military working dog handlers with tags , , , , , on June 4, 2009 by wardogmarine

Horseheads grad trains Army dogs

U.S. Army Spec. Gregory Corsi must have nerves made of steel because he allows 80-pound snarling dogs to lunge at him and makes sure they get a good bite.

Gregory, a 2004 Horseheads High School graduate, is a student military working dog handler with the 341st Training Squadron, wrote U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica Switzer. He spends his days at the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Corsi
U.S. Army Spec. Gregory Corsi is a military dog handler at the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.-Star Gazette

The center has courses that train human handlers and dogs to work together as sentries, and bomb and drug sniffers, Jessica wrote.

Four-legged students learn to identify the scents of a wide variety of explosives and drugs, many of which are odorless to humans, Jessica wrote. They also are trained to patrol and taught when it is and isn’t appropriate to bite a human, and when to let go.

Human students learn the basics about the dogs and then begin to work with them. For Gregory, working with canines is a completely different military experience.

“My job offers me the opportunity to encounter many law enforcement situations,” Gregory said. “I enjoy working with my dog on a daily basis; it’s very rewarding.”

He understands that facing ferocious attacks, hammering in constant commands and providing frequent praise will one day pay off with human lives saved on the battlefield.

“Military working dogs save lives in a number of situations,” said Gregory, who joined the Army for four years and served in Iraq for 15 months as a military policeman. “The dogs continue to get drugs off the streets and keep explosives off the roads in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

It may sound dangerous, but Gregory’s job doesn’t surprise his mother, Lou Ann Lance of Elmira.

“He always wanted to be a police officer,” Lou Ann said.

He also followed in the footsteps of his older brothers: Army veteran Matt Corsi, 27, a former military policeman who served in Iraq, and Army Capt. Joe Corsi, 25, a military intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan and will go to Iraq later this year.

Their father is Tom Corsi, of West Elmira. Their stepfather is Dave Lance.

Having three boys join the Army didn’t rattle their mother, she said.

“They believe in what they’re doing,” Lou Ann said. “It’s my job to support them. We’re very proud of them.”

Kingsley is a staff writer for the Star-Gazette. Neighbors runs Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Engineers and canines

Posted in Army Dog teams with tags , , , , , on May 11, 2009 by wardogmarine

By DawnDee Bostwick
Waynesville Daily Guide

Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. – The military has used animals in combat for years. From geese, to canines to dolphins, animals of all sizes and habitats have found a new purpose in helping defend the country.

The Engineer Canine Company at Fort Leonard Wood is no exception to this rule. Though they’re the first engineer company to have canines, the program isn’t something that’s new to the Armed Forces.
Historically, man’s best friend began military service in World War II. Since then, canines have served alongside men and women in uniform in Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq.

engineerdog
By submitted
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And while this company’s soldiers’ furry buddies might look like your run-of-the-mill family pet, they’re far from it.
The working dogs, as they’re often referred to, undergo extensive training to detect explosive materials.

Two types of working dogs can be found on the post, including mine detection dogs and special search dogs.
The importance of the animals is not lost on their handlers. Without their superior sense of smell and aptitude for learning, many items that could harm soldiers might go undiscovered.
“We’re taking stuff off the battlefield that can be used against us,” John Chris, one of the company’s soldiers, said.

The canines are specifically selected to serve, and while not all that are selected make it through the program, many do. Assigned a military record, the animals are even eligible for certain medals for the work they do. The length of their career depends on the animal, Thomas Jefferies, another soldier, said.
But when they’re done with their job here, that doesn’t mean they’re not able to work in another field.
These working dogs can find homes at the FBI, local police agencies and the like.

Training is no easy task either, although it can be fun for both parties.
“Dogs are like humans, they learn at different paces,” Jefferies said, explaining that it might take one dog a bit longer than another to learn a concept. But the hard work pays off, as seen in a demonstration the company had for local media on Thursday.
Once this canine found its target, he was rewarded— and happily so.
A competition on May 14 will put these soldiers against some of the best in the nation, in both military and civilian life. The working dog competition will test the soldiers’ and their furry friends skills and ability to overcome obstacles.
“We’re going to be competing with teams across the country,” said Chris, who will compete with a special search dog.

This is also the first time the competition has been open to mine dogs, something that is both exciting and intimidating at the same time.
Mark Gray might have explained it best, saying, “It’s kind of nerve wrecking, but it’s fun all at the same time. I get to play with my puppy.”
Puppy might not be the word most would go to when describing a dog with the capabilities these ones have, but it also sums up the bond that grows between the soldier and their animal.
While these dogs aren’t family pets, they are family. Having a partner that won’t talk back, argue or get upset with you also has its advantages, Michael Tucker said.

“It’s a good feeling to be able to work with something like that,” Tucker said, noting it does take effort on the part of the human to learn a dog’s ‘language’. “It’s a whole new experience. It’s a new challenge, everyday.”
And for Chris, this career is an opportunity to do something he’s always loved to do.
“I’ve turned a game, when I was a kid of playing with the dog, into something I do for a living,” he said.

Qatar Military Dog Show Enhances Bilateral Relations

Posted in Foreign Dog Teams with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2009 by wardogmarine

All pictures and Story by Dustin Senger
This article was found here: Qatar Dogs

CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar – Forty-seven members of the Qatar military police exhibited working dog capabilities for U.S. service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The first-time event was coordinated to enhance bilateral relationships between the two nations’ armed forces, following talks between Maj. Gen Thamer Al Mehshadi, Qatar army military police commander, and Col. David G. Cotter, U.S. Army Central Area Support Group Qatar commander, March 26.

qatar1
“I’ve seen a lot of dog shows before but this was really good – especially the drug and bomb detection,” said U.S. Air Force Jennifer Asia Gonzales (center), from Chicago, Ill., after a Qatar military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. Gonzales was enjoying a four-day pass from duty in Iraq, by participating in the U.S. Central Command rest and recuperation pass program in Qatar. Also on pass from Iraq (far right): U.S. Air Force Brianne Gordon-Garcia, from Charlotte, N.C. and Army Pfc. Sharmeka Reed, from Hollandale, Miss.

Surrounded by curious spectators, Sgt. Maj. Abdulla Al Ghanem, Qatar army military police canine trainer, directed the demonstration of fitness, skillfulness and obedience. Several German and Belgium shepherds (Malinois), along with an English springer spaniel, traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios. The dogs showcased aggressive attack procedures, situational restraint during riot control and hostage rescue, as well as detection of narcotics and explosives hidden on persons and vehicles.

“I like how obedient the dogs are,” said U.S. Air Force Jennifer Asia Gonzales, from Chicago, Ill. She was attending the demonstration while enjoying a four-day pass from duty in Iraq, by participating in the U.S. Central Command rest and recuperation pass program in Qatar. “I’ve seen a lot of dog shows before but this was really good – especially the drug and bomb detection.”

“This is paving the way for more military integration in the future,” said Lt. Col. Nasser Al Halbadi, Qatar army military police canine unit commander. “We plan to continue these joint training opportunities, so our military units learn from one another.”

q2
Belgium shepherds (Malinois) react after stopping a “detainee” escape during a military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The dogs showcased aggressive attack procedures, situational restraint during riot control and hostage rescue, as well as detection of narcotics and explosives hidden on persons and vehicles.
q3
Lt. Col. Nasser Al Halbadi, Qatar army military police canine unit commander, accepts a token of appreciation from Col. David G. Cotter, U.S. Army Central Area Support Group Qatar commander, after a Qatar military police working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The first-time event was coordinated to enhance bilateral relationships between the two nations’ armed forces, following talks between Maj. Gen Thamer Al Mehshadi, Qatar army military police commander, and Cotter, March 26.
q4
A German shepherd locates a Qatar army military police canine trainer by following nearly 200 meters of tracks during a working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. Several German and Belgium shepherds (Malinois), along with an English springer spaniel, traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios to demonstrate fitness, skillfulness and obedience.
q5
A German shepherd searches for explosives during a Qatar military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The dogs traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios to demonstrate fitness, skillfulness and obedience.
q6
Col. David G. Cotter, U.S. Army Central Area Support Group Qatar commander, and Maj. Gen Thamer Al Mehshadi, Qatar army military police commander, finalize talks at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, March 26. The two military officers discussed ways to enhance bilateral relationships between the two nations’ armed forces. An exhibition of Qatar military working dog capabilities was immediately offered to the U.S. military installation.
q7
An English springer spaniel searches for explosives during a Qatar military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The dogs traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios to demonstrate fitness, skillfulness and obedience.
q8
Sgt. Khalid Ahmed H. Sulaiti, Qatar army military police canine handler, during a military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The dogs showcased aggressive attack procedures, situational restraint during riot control and hostage rescue, as well as detection of narcotics and explosives hidden on persons and vehicles.
q9
A Belgium shepherd (Malinois) leaps over a vehicle to apprehend a “terrorist” during a Qatar military working dog exhibition for U.S service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The dogs traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios to demonstrate fitness, skillfulness and obedience.

Iraqi Police K-9 Commander Learns K-9 Techniques, Handling

Posted in Army Dog teams, Foreign Dog Teams, Military Working Dogs, Working Dog News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by wardogmarine

Multi-National Division-Central

Story by Spc. Debralee Crankshaw
FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq – As the U.S. continues to assist Iraqis in becoming a self-sustaining force, the U.S. is providing them with valuable training, including the use of working dogs.

The 212th Military Police Detachment demonstrated to the Iraqi police K-9 unit commander from Hillah just how essential military working dogs can be in accomplishing the mission during a training excercise, March 15.

iraqi-k91
Staff Sgt. Storm jumps a wall on the obstacle course with encouragement from his handler, Sgt. David Ricks, 212th Military Police Detachment, a native of Jourdanton, Texas, as Capt. Anis Fadhil, Iraqi police K-9 unit commander from Hillah observes. The IPs visited the kennels to witness the capabilities of the military working dogs.

The 212th provided a demonstration in basic obedience and aggression. Soldiers gave commands to their dogs, led them through an obstacle course and performed biting and explosives detection exercises.

“The purpose of the training is to show the capabilities of the dogs and get the Iraqis used to training the dogs,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Rodgers, Forward Operating Base Kalsu kennel master from Bradford, Pa. “It gives them a goal to accomplish. They have seen the capabilities of the dogs so now they have something to work toward.”

Capt. Anis Fadhil, the IP K-9 commander, took the training to heart.

“When we get the dogs, we will try to duplicate the training as closely as possible,” he said.

The training not only showed the commander what to work for, it also information on how to run his own kennel.

“Seeing our kennels helped give him a good idea of how it’s supposed to happen, so they can go back and start their kennels up,” said Rodgers.

This visit was the first of many, according to Rodgers. U.S. handlers will work closely with Iraqi handlers to teach them how to manage working dogs on their next visit.

“This will help Iraq because of the situation everyday with [improvised explosive devices] and suicide bombers,” he said. “This will help decrease that kind of activity.”

iraqi-k9-21
 Capt. Anis Fadhil, Iraqi police K-9 unit commander from Hillah (right) and Dr. Abdil Husain Mohsin, IP K-9 veterinarian, greet Sgt. Xando and his handler, Spc. Timothy Conley, 212th Military Police Detachment K-9 handler and a native of Puyallup, Wash. The IPs visited the kennels to witness the capabilities of the military working dogs.

Read this story here: Iraqi K9 Handling

iraqi-k9-3
Military working dog Sgt. Ccapo attacks Army Spc. Timothy Conley, 212th Military Police Detachment K-9 handler, during a bite exercise to demonstrate the capabilities of the military working dogs to the Iraqi police K-9 commander from Hillah on Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq, March 15, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Debralee P. Crankshaw  

iraqi-k9-4
Military working dog Sgt. Ccapo attacks Army Spc. Timothy Conley, 212th Military Police Detachment K-9 handler, during a bite exercise to demonstrate the capabilities of the military working dogs to the Iraqi police K-9 commander from Hillah on Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq, March 15, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Debralee P. Crankshaw
  

Vintage Military Dogs Tribute Video

Posted in Tribute Videos, various k9 videos with tags , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2008 by wardogmarine

This is a very special  military dog tribute video. It is a tribute to the older k9 corps that existed during WWII and specifically the dogs that served in Guam. My favorite part is at 1:20 with the dog looking at the vintage sign that reads U.S. Marines War Dog Training Company. It’s as if the dog is reporting in for duty. I would love to get a hold of that sign. 

Man’s Best Friend: Combat Stress Dog Helps Put Soldiers ‘At Ease’

Posted in Army Dog teams, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , on May 8, 2008 by wardogmarine
Sgt. 1st Class Boe, a therapeutic dog being used in Iraq to help Soldiers relieve stress, sits in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division Operations Center, Jan. 10.  Photo by Spc. Richard Rzepka, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs.
Sgt. 1st Class Boe, a therapeutic dog being used in Iraq to help Soldiers relieve stress, sits in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division Operations Center, Jan. 10. Photo by Spc. Richard Rzepka, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs.

COB SPEICHER — Ever had a Sergeant 1st Class lick your face? For many Soldiers here, these are not freakish events, but regular occurrences.  Sgt. 1st Class Boe is the newest member of the 85th Medical Detachment Combat Stress Control unit at COB Speicher, and is one of two K-9 therapists being used by the Army to help prevent and control the stresses of living in a combat zone.

Along with Staff Sgt. Mike Calaway, an occupational therapy assistant with the Combat Stress Control unit, Boe is part of a new Army program, which encourages Soldiers to interact with dogs in order to help relieve the psychological stresses of war.

The dogs, two Black Labrador Retrievers, were donated and trained by America’s VetDogs and are the first dogs to be used in a combat zone for therapeutic purposes. The organization is part of the larger non-profit group, Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, which has been helping provide guide dogs for the blind since the 1940s. Recognizing a growing need for specialized service dogs for America’s fighting forces, VetDogs recently initiated the therapy dog concept.

The dogs are intended to provide comfort and relaxation through physical interaction, whether it’s a game of fetch or just a peaceful few minutes of petting.

“I felt more relaxed after being able spend some time with her,” said Sgt. 1st Class Brenda Rich, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Medical Operations. “For a few minutes it was just me and the dog and nothing in this environment seemed to matter.”

Calaway spent two weeks training with Boe in New York City to develop a bond, before the pair was sent to Iraq to take on the challenge of helping Soldiers cope with a deployment.

“She’s a very well trained and very intelligent animal,” said Calaway, who recently introduced Boe to Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at COB Speicher. “So far we’ve had an outstanding response from Soldiers,” he said, “whether they need help or not.”

Deployments can create several different kinds of stressors, said Calaway, and Boe helps to break the ice, allowing Soldiers to open up about ongoing issues in their lives.

The major types of stress deployed Soldiers must deal with include operational stress, homefront stress and sleeping issues, said Calaway.

“The Soldiers absolutely love her,” said Maj. Charles Kuhlman, 1st BCT Chaplain.

Often Soldiers on outlying bases will befriend stray dogs for companionship and to get a feel for home, said Kuhlman. “Dogs make a huge difference in morale.”

(Story by Spc. Rick L. Rzepka, 101st Airborne Division Public Affairs)

Original Article found here- MNF-IRAQ.COM

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 46 other followers