Landmine Detections Dog On Thai-Cambodia Border
Sniffer Dogs Working In landmine Clearance
The landmine clearance operation by Thai soldiers along the Thai- Cambodian border continues, after a soldier earlier stepped on a landmine while on duty to provide security near the disputed Preah Vihear temple. Besides using metal detectors to do the job, bomb sniffing dogs are also playing an important role in the task.
These sniffer dogs are of the German Shepherd, Labrador and Malinois breeds and one dog is worth 1.4 million baht. They work together with the Humanitarian Mine Action Unit in landmine clearance operations at the Khao Pra Viharn National Park in the northeastern province of Si Sa Ket. The dogs were trained in the US for three years before undergoing a two-months of training with Thai soldiers at the sniffer dog training center in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Lt. Col. Sathit Chatuwong, landmine locating and destroying unit said “Sniffer dogs can help smell TNT, dynamite, and C4 bombs. When demining officials use metal detectors, sometimes they fing pieces of metal, not an explosive device. But the dogs work efficiently; they can detect explosive powder and we are sure to find a bomb. ”
Soldiers have to check the wind direction when the sniffer dogs work in the field, which is divided into one square meter blocks. Two teams of sniffer dogs take turns to search for a bomb, twice. The dogs will sit down when they smell an explosive device. Even though these canines are good at what they do, they too have their own limits.
1st. Lt. Damrong Paengkanya, sniffer dog trainer said “These dogs won’t work in hot weather at 40 degrees Celcius or above nor in strong wind velocity of above 12 kilometres per hour. Rain, smoke and noise also affect them. If they are not in the mood, they are not ready to work.”
Sniffer dogs work in unity with their trainers and do well in helping locate landmines, right up until they reach their retired age of eight years old.
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