Holloman bids Uro good-bye

By Tech. Sgt. Christopher D. Flahive, 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Holloman Air Force Base members said goodbye May 1 to one of their own at a memorial service rendering full military honors to a 49th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog.

Uro, a 4-year-old German shepherd, died April 24 at Holloman. His death was determined to be caused by gastric dilatation volvulus, which is common among larger breeds of dogs and also working dogs.
Uro, a 49th Security Forces Squadron military working dog stationed at Holloman Air Force Base. A memorial service honoring his service took place May 1 in Heritage Park on Holloman. (Photo provided by 49th Security Forces Squadron)

“He was a very calm and lovable dog and wanted to please everyone” said Staff Sgt. Stephanie Finch, K-9 handler/patrolman. “He was very friendly and if you just saw him (without his handler), you would never know he was a working dog.”

Born on Oct. 17, 2004, in Germany, Uro came to Holloman in September 2006, having completed over 100 days of military working dog training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Like many working dogs, Uro was dual certified in narcotics detection and as a patrol dog.

Although he had not yet deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, Uro was instrumental locally in the discovery of narcotics on five separate occasions, including two while working with a Joint Drug Task Force in El Paso.

Although loving and playful, Uro was also very protective of his fellow officers. On one occasion, Uro was dispatched to assist patrolmen who were dealing with an unruly individual. When the individual became violent, Uro’s years of training and preparation paid off as he quickly subdued the individual, said Sergeant Finch.

“We protect the base population and the dogs protect us,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Williams, K-9 handler/patrolman, who was Uro’s handler when he died.

Like all other active-duty members, Uro was provided full military honors, which included the presentation of the colors, the playing of “Taps,” a flag folding ceremony and a three volley firing party.

“The untimely death of Military Working Dog Uro was a devastating loss for both our K-9 section and the unit,” said Chief Master Sgt. Donald Tapp, 49th Security Forces manager. “Although one of our youngest dogs, he had conducted several thousand training and search hours in support of the home security mission. Uro was a true defender and a vital police asset. He will be greatly missed, but his devotion to duty in support of the 49th Security Forces Squadron mission will live on in spirit.”


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