Archive for army k9

Ceremony recognizes military working dog’s contributions, achievements

Posted in Army Dog teams, fallen dogs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by wardogmarine

By: Spc. Howard Alperin, MND-B PAO.

BAGHDAD – Military working dog teams from throughout Victory Base Complex came out April 13 for a ceremony at the division chapel to honor one of their own. Kevin, a military working dog, passed away due to complications from cancer. His death was unexpected and left the other half of his team, Staff Sgt. Aaron Meier, in limbo and in mourning.
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A memorial tribute honors a fallen comrade April 13 at Camp Liberty. “Military working dogs are an important part of the military team and sometimes they are taken for granted,” said Lt. Col. Barbara Sherer, from Springfield, Mo., 1st Cav. Div. chaplain. “It is appropriate to honor their service.”

While in theater, military working dogs are not replaced, so Meier will be reassigned to other duties for the remainder of his deployment. As Meier now turns his attention to new job responsibilities, most of his focus still remains on the loyal partner and friend he lost.

“Kevin was the highlight of my day,” said Meier, a military dog handler, from Fairmont, Minn., assigned to Division Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.
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Staff Sgt. Christopher Jasper, kennel master for Camp Liberty, attached to DSTB, 1st Cav. Div., addresses Soldiers at a ceremony to celebrate the life of one of their own, April 13, at Camp Liberty.  “We consider the military working dogs to be Soldiers too,” said Jasper, from Everett, Wash.  Jasper read the poem, ‘I wait by the gate,’ in honor of Kevin.

For more than four years, Meier and Kevin built an excellent working relationship together. “Kevin was a great patrol explosive detector dog,” said Meier. “I could flip his on and off switch easily because of all the training we did together.”

During their course of working together, the relationship developed further and formed a powerful, personal bond between them. “I was planning on adopting Kevin after this deployment,” said Meier. “This was his last time deploying because of his age.”
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Staff Sgt. Aaron Meier, a military dog handler, sits somberly during a ceremony highlighting the life of his deceased partner, Kevin, April 13 at Camp Liberty. “Kevin was my buddy.  He was affectionate, very protective and an excellent worker,” said Meier, from Fairmont, Minn., assigned to Division Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division.

Though he never got to adopt him, Meier and Kevin still had many unforgettable moments together. “I pampered him a lot because a happy dog works better.” Meier recalled the first time he gave Kevin a pillow to rest his head when they were together in a hotel preparing for a Secret Service mission. “Kevin had many human characteristics,” Meier added.

Kevin’s traits will always stick out in the minds of those who knew him. “He was very protective of Sgt. Meier,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Jasper, kennel master at Camp Liberty, DSTB, 1st Cav. Div. “Besides being a great detection and patrol dog, he was good for law enforcement purposes.”

As one of the first dogs to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Kevin’s achievements were acknowledged during the ceremony. There were poems read in his honor, Taps was played by a 1st Cav. Div. trumpeter and military working dog teams left snacks in Kevin’s bowl as a tribute to his service. “It is appropriate to honor their service,” said Lt. Col. Barbara Sherer, from Springfield, Mo., 1st Cav. Div. command chaplain and co-coordinator of the ceremony. “Military working dogs are an important part of the military team and sometimes they are taken for granted.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by Staff Sgt. Jasper, “We consider dogs to be Soldiers too, they are constantly working.” The ceremony gives credit to all the dogs and all the work they do here and in the United States, he added.
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Soldiers and their military working dog partners take time to pray in honor of Kevin, a military dog who succumbed to cancer.  “It was a good memorial, they don’t happen often for the dogs,” said Sgt. Matt McCummins, a military dog handler, attached to DSTB, 1st Cav. Div.

Military working dog teams are called upon often to perform their duties, so there is rarely a chance for teams from the different camps to see each other. Kevin afforded each team the opportunity to see in each other more of the common ground they share.

As Kevin’s life, the attachment Meier had with him and the work they accomplished together were celebrated, new bonds formed among the Soldiers. They realized more the value of their military working dog teams and appreciated the chance for one of their own to be recognized.
This article found here: MWD Kevin Article

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Video of US Army K9 & Handler on Patrol in Iraq

Posted in Army Dog teams with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by wardogmarine

The 35th Military Police Detachment has added a new addition to the unit. As a team, this new addition is creating a physical and mental deterrent against insurgent activity in Iraq…

Army specialized search dog team in Baghdad proving to be a valuable asset

Posted in Army Dog teams, military working dog handlers, Working Dog News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2008 by wardogmarine

Raider K-9 team brings added capabilities to Rashid district

By Sgt. David Hodge, 1st BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B
Blackanthem Military News

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Sgt. James Harrington, a military policeman and dog handler from New Orleans, assigned to the 947th Military Police Detachment, part of the 3rd Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard,” stationed out of Fort Myer, Va., attached to the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, poses with Ryky, a Belgian Malanois, while out on mission Nov. 24 in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. The duo conducts cache search operations and route clearance in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Harrington, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B)

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq – A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldier and his four-legged partner recently joined forces with other military dog teams at Forward Operating Base Falcon in helping to make the streets of Baghdad a safer place for Iraqi citizens and Soldiers to live and operate.

    
Sgt. James Harrington, a military policeman and dog handler, attached to the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, along with Ryky, his K-9 partner, patrol the streets and communities of southern Baghdad’s Rashid district to search for weapons and make Soldiers a more effective force. 
    
Harrington, assigned to the 947th Military Police Detachment, part of the 3rd Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard,” stationed out of Fort Myer, Va., and his 3-year-old Belgian Malanois partner, completed approximately 52 missions and uncovered more than 25 finds since arriving to Rashid in October.

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Ryky, a three-year-old Belgian Malanois, is partnered with Sgt. James Harrington, a military policeman and dog handler from New Orleans, who is assigned to the 947th Military Police Detachment, part of the 3rd Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard,” stationed out of Fort Myer, Va., attached to the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad. The duo conducts cache search operations and route clearance in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Harrington, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B)

Harrington said that Ryky made several significant finds since beginning her mission in Baghdad, to include an AK-47 rifle hidden in a false ceiling and four mortar rounds that led to the discovery of a large mound of hollowed-out munitions. 

Ryky detects odors from many types of munitions, such as ammunition, weapons, mortar rounds, artillery rounds, homemade explosives and trigger devices with residue on them. 

Harrington, a native of New Orleans, said what makes the hollow ceiling discovery so significant is the fact that most K-9s do not acknowledge above space above their own height.

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Ryky, a three-year-old Belgian Malanois, rests next to four 60mm mortar rounds she discovered while on patrol Nov. 26 in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. Sgt. James Harrington, a native of New Orleans, who is Ryky’s handler, is assigned to the 947th Military Police Detachment, part of the 3rd Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard,” stationed out of Fort Myer, Va., attached to the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Harrington, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B)

“Ryky is a very friendly dog,” explained Harrington, a former infantryman in the Marines. “She is not a trained attack dog, so I allow her to be sociable with Soldiers. I let others pet her because it is a big morale booster.”

Harrington met Ryky at the Specialized Service Dog School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. 

“At the school, the dogs are exposed to helicopter rides, simulated gunfire and simulated mortars to see how they react,” said Harrington, a 14-year military service veteran with six deployments since 1995. “The dogs must be confident around the noises; they can’t just take off running.”

Capable of detecting 19 separate odors on the battlefield and the ability to run off of a leash, the SSD dogs have a distinct advantage out in sector, said Harrington.

“Having Sgt. Harrington and the SSD dog gives me the extra capability to unleash the dog into an open area,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Ogle, who hails from Dayton, Ohio, and is the kennel master for the Falcon K-9 Team, 40th MP Det., from Fort Sill, Okla., attached to the 1st STB. 

“It is that off-leash capability that puts the handler out of danger,” he said.

Harrington said he feels the ability to multitask while operating in sector and conducting weapon searches is an important quality dog handlers should possess.

“I have to be able to watch for my security, watch for the dog’s security, watch what she is searching, and finally lead the dog in the direction I want her to search in next,” he explained. “I always have to be two steps ahead.” 

Recently, Harrington and Ryky cleared a 600-meter portion of a main thoroughfare in Baghdad for a distinguished visitor; it took them approximately an hour. 

“It would take another dog three hours to complete that stretch of road because they would be on a six-foot leash and the handler has to present everything to the dog,” Harrington stated.
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Sgt. James Harrington, a military policeman and dog handler from New Orleans, assigned to the 947th Military Police Detachment, part of the 3rd Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard,” stationed out of Fort Myer, Va., attached to the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, poses with Ryky, a Belgian Malanois, in front of a weapons cache they discovered while on mission Oct. 26 in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. The duo conducts cache search operations and route clearance in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Harrington, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B) 

Usually, the team uses a leash while out in sector due to stray dogs and small confined areas, he added, but, if needed, Ryky could be up to 200 yards away and still effectively search an area.

“It takes me out of the equation in case something was to go wrong; we lose a dog, but we don’t lose a handler,” explained Harrington, who has approximately two years experience with dogs.

According to Harrington, the SSD program has potential and is quickly becoming more widespread across all facets of the military.

One particular advantage of SSDs is the dog graduates ready to deploy right after completing the school, added Harrington.

Normal working dogs leave their school able to detect nine odors and receive additional training by their handlers in theater, said Harrington.

It is said in the “dog world” that the dog always out ranks the handler because the dog will lead the handler to where the odor originates, said Harrington.

“I think Ryky and I make Soldiers’ jobs easier because we can search faster, the dog can smell better and she leads from the front,” Harrington stated.

In the future, the need for working dogs may increase on the battlefield thanks to their keen sense of smell and ability to discover weapons with minimal Soldier over watch.

The Falcon K-9 Team currently keeps seven dogs in its kennels to support military operations in southern Baghdad, explained Ogle, who has six years experience handling dogs.

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Ryky, a three-year-old Belgian Malanois, is partnered with Sgt. James Harrington, a military policeman and dog handler from New Orleans, who is assigned to the 947th Military Police Detachment, part of the 3rd Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard,” stationed out of Fort Myer, Va., attached to the 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad. The duo conducts cache search operations and route clearance in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. James Harrington, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B)

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

Army Military Working Dog Unit video-K9

Posted in Army Dog teams, various k9 videos, Various Teams with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2008 by wardogmarine

“Gotta love this job”

MPs, Dogs Sniff out Explosives in Mosul, Deny Enemy of Supplies

Posted in Army Dog teams, dogs, Military Working Dogs with tags , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2008 by wardogmarine
Sgt. Angela Mathern and her bomb-sniffing dog Vinny, both of the 51st Military Police Detachment, based out of Ft. Lewis, Wash., inspect a cart carrying propane tanks in downtown Mosul during a search of random vehicles for weapons and bomb-making materials, Feb. 14. Soldiers from the 552nd Military Police Company, based out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, pull security.  Photo by Sgt. Patrick Lair, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.
Sgt. Angela Mathern and her bomb-sniffing dog Vinny, both of the 51st Military Police Detachment, based out of Ft. Lewis, Wash., inspect a cart carrying propane tanks in downtown Mosul during a search of random vehicles for weapons and bomb-making materials, Feb. 14. Soldiers from the 552nd Military Police Company, based out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, pull security. Photo by Sgt. Patrick Lair, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

MOSUL — U.S. military police in northern Iraq are developing new tactics in an attempt to counter insurgent violence in the Ninewah provincial capital city of Mosul.

In February, the 552nd Military Police Company, based out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, working with military canine handlers, began conducting a series of random traffic searches in downtown Mosul for vehicles transporting explosives.

“If we get detection dogs and start actively seeking them out, it denies the enemy the capability of bringing them out,” said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Ford, platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, speaking of the explosive materials often used by insurgents to create improvised bombs in houses and roadways.

On Jan. 24, the issue was brought to a head when an estimated 20,000 tons of insurgent explosives detonated in a three-story building in downtown Mosul, resulting in death and injury to multiple Iraqi civilians.

“The goal here is to deny the enemy that availability of supplies,” said Ford, now on his third combat deployment to the city.

On a recent outing, Sgt. Angela Mathern, a canine handler with the 501st Military Police Detachment, based out of Fort Lewis, Wash., accompanied Vinnie, an explosives dog, in his search of vehicles at downtown intersections.

“I let Vinnie do his thing. He’s the expert on it all,” she said of the three-year-old black lab she’s trained with for nearly a year. “I’m the expert on handling him. My eyes are always on my dog.”

Both Mathern and Ford said the searches are just another way Coalition troops are working to bring security to the city of nearly 1.7 million residents.

“This is just something else we can do to help out in our area,” Ford said.

“Our basic mission here is to save lives,” Mathern said. “Whenever people ask me why I do this job, I tell them I’m saving lives every time I go out.”

(Story by Sgt. Patrick Lair, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
This article was found here- MNF-Iraq.com