Archive for canine pride

Vietnam Veterans ‘Feed the Dawgs’

Posted in air force teams, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by wardogmarine

by Lisa Camplin
95th Security Forces Squadron

4/22/2009 – EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  — On any normal day in Military Working Dog sections around the world the phrase “Feed the Dawgs” brings to mind the handler’s daily chores. However, on April 19 at the 95th Security Forces Squadron, Military Working Dog section here it had a completely different meaning.
vietnamvets
Vietnam veterans ‘Feed the Dawgs’
Staff Sgt. Eric Magnuson, 95th Security Forces Squadron K-9 handler, handles Military Working Dog Nix as they display the capabilities of today’s military working dog to group of Vietnam-era dog handlers at the 95th SFS working dog area April 19. “Feed the Dawgs,” is a group of Vietnam era dog handlers who visit K-9 handlers and provide meals for the handlers and their families. (Air Force photo/Lisa Camplin)

“Feed the Dawgs is a U.S. Veterans group of Vietnam era dog handlers who travel from base-to-base to provide a meal for K-9 handlers and their families,” said Kenneth Neal, Vietnam Dog Handlers Association member.

The Veteran dog handlers brought everything from cases of steaks to bags of homemade cookies, all served with a healthy side of K-9 war stories.

“The hardest part about going to war and coming home during the Vietnam Era was that nobody said thank you,” said Jon Hemp, U.S. Air Force K-9 Veteran. “We want to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” 

Mr. Neal served two tours in Thailand during the Vietnam War with his partner Sentry Dog Rinny.

“Back then military working dogs were sentry dogs, which meant they were virtually uncontrollable. Once the dog was released there was no calling them back,” he said. “Those dogs went through weeks of aggression training after their regular canine training at Lackland AFB, Texas. Their purpose was to cause irreparable damage.”

Regardless of the extreme ingrained aggression of military working dogs back then, the bonds formed between handler and dog were just as strong as they are today.

“I loved my dog [Astor]. He weighed 85 pounds to my 165 pounds but, he took me wherever he wanted to go,” said Mr. Hemp. “K-9 was the Air Force’s night vision back then. We stood guard along the perimeter at night watching for threats.”

Sadly, Sentry Dog Astor was killed during the U.S./Libyan stand-off at Wheelus Air Base, Libya. In fact, many MWD’s failed to return home during the Vietnam War era either due to loss in combat or because they had to be left behind due to threats of foreign disease and viruses.

As quickly as the Veterans eyes saddened while they reflected on their personal stories, they brightened again upon seeing Edwards working dogs brought out for a demonstration in the training yard.

Tech. Sgt. John Ricci and Staff Sgt. Eric Magnuson, 95th SFS military working dog handlers, escorted military working dog Nix. Together, they put on an attack work and bite training demonstration to show the skills of today’s Air Force working dogs.

“In the 60’s and 70’s our bite wraps were made of used fire hoses covered with old field jackets,” Mr. Neal said, as he watched Sergeant Ricci take several aggressive bites from military working dog Nix.

Today’s bite wraps consist of layers of burlap and leather, which take most of the pressure and pain out of a bite.

After the demonstration, several of the military working dogs were brought out to capture a rare group photo of Air Force K-9 handlers past and present.

“To be lucky enough to have prior K-9 handlers take the time to recognize what we do and to share their stories is so invaluable.” expressed Master Sgt. Jon Camplin, 95th SFS Kennel master.

“Working with military working dogs isn’t an exact science because you’re dealing with a living, breathing animal that has a mind of its own,” said Sergeant Camplin. “A great K-9 handler learns everything possible from other K-9 handlers and puts all of that knowledge into their own little bag of tricks.”

“Just spending 10 minutes with any of the war veteran handlers here today is one of the most special learning experiences any of our current handlers could hope for,” said Sergeant Camplin.

By the end of the afternoon one message was clear, even decades after a military working dog handler’s career ends, he or she still has a K-9 bond with all handlers that only people like them could understand. Their patriotism and love and respect for all things K-9 stands true.

You can see this article here: K9 Vietnam Vets

Advertisements

Man’s best friend wags tail to security in Mosul

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

By Pfc. Sharla Perrin, 3rd HBCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE MAREZ, Iraq – The 351st Military Police Company, deployed under Task Force Greywolf, 25th Infantry Division, coordinated for 2nd Battalion, 6th Brigade., 2nd Iraqi Army Division soldiers to participate in a military working dog demonstration, April 6, at Combat Outpost Spear Base in Mosul, Iraq.
Running from Rronnie
Pvt. Khalaf Kassim Ketti, an infantryman with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division, donned a padded suit and played the part of “chew toy” as part of a demonstration at Combat Outpost Spear April 6. Rronnie, a military working dog used in Mosul, and his handler Staff Sgt. Michael Hile, with the 527th Military Police Company, demonstrated the importance of utilizing the dogs by performing several tactics including “pursue to attack.”

The demonstration was to prepare the Iraqi troops to potentially handle military working dogs in the future.

“Today at COP Spear we’re teaching these Iraqi Soldiers the importance of having a military working dog,” said Spc. Aaron Moseley, with the 351st MP Co., a native of Cordova, Ala. “Sometimes the military working dog can find things the human cannot, so we’re trying to convey the importance of having the K9 working with them.”
Find It!
Rronnie and his handler, Staff Sgt. Michael Hile, with the 527th Military Police Company, search a vehicle staged with a hidden baggie of explosives as part of a demonstration at Combat Outpost Spear. April 6.

Staff Sgt. Michael Hile, a military working dog handler with 527th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, demonstrated several search and attack tactics with his canine partner, Sgt. 1st Class ‘Rronnie.’

Rronnie successfully discovered a hidden baggie of C4 explosives in a staged vehicle, chased and attacked an escaped detainee and escorted the detainee to a secure location.

Moseley agreed to play the part of detainee by putting on a two-piece cushioned body suit and harassing and running away from Hile in the “attack” portion of the demonstration. Moseley prompted five attacks from Rronnie and both were panting for air by the end of the exercise.
Not All Dogs Are Evil
Staff Sgt. Michael Hile, a military working dog handler with the 527th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, and a native of Prineville, Ore., explains the importance of the military working dog to the Iraqi Army soldiers, April 6, at Combat Outpost Spear in Mosul. Hile and his canine companion, Rronnie, demonstrated their skills in search, detain and attack for the Iraqi soldiers.

“It was good, I really enjoyed it,” Moseley said. “It got a little nerve racking right before he let the dog loose. Once he actually latched on, I felt a lot of pressure on my hand. I didn’t feel the teeth, but it still hurt a little.”

Moseley wasn’t the only one that let himself be used as a chew toy. One IA Soldier also took the challenge and donned the bear-like suit.

Hile said that trying to get someone to get bit by the dogs is hard, and typically Iraqis are afraid of dogs.

“An Iraqi doing it is great,” he said. “It showed them to be less scared of the dogs and what it feels like to actually get bit.”

Moseley said that the training was a hit among his IA counterparts.

“I believe they enjoyed it very much,” he said. “They were attentive and wanted to join in on the class. I think that anything with hands-on activity is received pretty well.”
Break For It
Spc. Aaron Moseley, with the 351st Military Police Company, who hails from Cordova, Ala., played the part of ‘chew toy’ during a demonstration of one of Forward Operating Base Diamondback’s military working dogs. Moseley donned the padded suit and performed several scenarios, including “escape,” so the dog would attack him.

Being prepared to use military working dogs is another step towards the Iraqi Security Forces’ mission to permanently secure Iraq.

Moseley said that he likes teaching the IA Soldiers what it takes to complete their mission.

“I enjoy helping others. For us to be able to come and help the Iraqi forces gain some knowledge to help their country be a safer country,” he said, “you know, that’s something I take pride in.”

Article found here: Mosul K9

Bomber sniffs out jail cell phones

Posted in Miscellaneous, Various Teams with tags , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by wardogmarine

IN MOST PRISONS, sharp-eyed guards keep contraband out by doing surprise shakedowns, pat-downs and body-cavity searches, and by passing visitors and packages through metal detectors so sensitive that orthopedic implants, body piercings and even intrauterine devices can make them whoop.
prison dog
Bomber shows his stuff with Corrections Officer William McAdams during training session in the now-closed Holmesburg prison.

But Philadelphia has a new tool to keep contraband cell phones off its cell blocks: It’s a furry, four-legged 60-pounder who likes Milk Bones and squeaky tennis balls.

Bomber, a Belgian Malinois, began working in the city’s six prisons in January. He’s the only dog trained to sniff out forbidden phones in prisons in Pennsylvania.

Following the lead of his proficient proboscis, he has found 10 cell phones in the past three months – more than guards found all last year in the state’s 26 prisons.

And that’s not because Philly thugs are more cunning than inmates elsewhere at sneaking forbidden phones past security, experts say.

“I just think dogs are better at finding cell phones” than metal detectors, guard searches and other screening methods, said Sgt. William Finn, who supervises the Philadelphia Prison System’s five-dog canine unit.

“Dogs have a keen sense of smell,” Finn added. “A dog has more than 220 million olfactory receptors in its nose. Humans have only five million.”

From shivs and shanks to cash and corrosive substances, the list of what’s considered contraband in Pennsylvania prisons seems longer than a repeat offender’s rap sheet.

But prison officials, from rural reformatories to federal lockups, say that contraband cell phones are a growing – and sometimes deadly – problem behind bars.

In Philadelphia last year, inmate Hakeem Bey used a throwaway cell phone to order the retaliation slaying of Chante Wright, a once-protected witness in his murder case.

A Maryland prisoner used a cell phone in a similar scheme in 2007, arranging the murder of a homicide witness.

Other inmates have used smuggled cell phones to plot escapes, continue their criminal doings, coordinate prison riots and threaten witnesses, lawmakers and others.

“A cell phone is the most dangerous weapon you can get into a prison,” said Terry Bittner, director of security products for ITT Industries, a Maryland-based company that developed a system of sensors that it markets to prisons to detect cell-phone signals in the slammer.

“An inmate using a cell phone is not using a cell phone because it’s cheaper than calling collect,” Bittner added. “They’re using it to conduct their business from the inside; it’s unmonitored communication. That means the state is now giving them food, lodging and health care to continue being criminals.”

Pennsylvania legislators years ago outlawed cell phones in prisons after drug kingpin Ronald Whethers used one to run his narcotics operation from a Westmoreland County prison. Most other states have similar restrictions.

But the law hasn’t stopped many incarcerated thugs from breaking the ban.

Some use the age-old strategies of smuggling contraband in body cavities or bribing guards. Four prison officers at Graterford were arrested in 2007 for sneaking cell phones and drugs in to inmates.

Other jailbirds have gotten more creative.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, inmates – assisted by accomplices outside prison – bred and raised carrier pigeons to fly out to fetch cell-phone parts. Other prisons have discovered visitors chucking cell phones over fences to incarcerated loved ones. And in Tennessee, prison officials banned peanut-butter jars after an inmate used one to hide a phone, with which he orchestrated his escape.

It’s a problem that promises to worsen, experts say, as technological improvements shrink the size of cell phones and their parts, making them easier to sneak into prisons and hide.

Some cell phones now are as small as a credit card, and the memory chips inserted into them – called SIM, or subscriber-identity module, cards – are postage- stamp-sized, Bittner said. That means a single cell phone can be used by countless inmates, who can just switch out their SIM cards.

Inmates who have contraband cell phones also tend to have other contraband items, said Lt. Xavier Beaufort, of the Philadelphia Prison System.

Cell phones can be big business behind bars. Some inmates will pay $300 or more to get one, and inmates with SIM cards but no phone will pay to “rent” cell phones from cellmates, Finn said.

Finn is banking on Bomber to take a bite out of that business.

Bomber is a pioneer in his field.

Law-enforcement officials for decades have used dogs to detect drugs, cadavers, explosives and missing people, and to assist officers in other ways.

But coaching canines to detect that cell smell is a new phenomenon, said Bill Reynolds, who owns the Reynolds Canine Academy, in Northeast Philadelphia, one of only a handful of schools nationally that trains dogs in cell-phone detection.

Reynolds donated Bomber last fall to Finn’s unit, which also has four dogs trained to detect drugs.

It isn’t clear which parts of phones the dogs detect, but Maj. Peter Anderson, head of Maryland’s K-9 operations for prisons, told the Washington Post that the animals are trained using the same techniques as those sniffing for drugs and other things. They probably take in a combination of odors from various sections, he said.

New Jersey’s Department of Corrections has gone to the dogs, too. Several dogs trained in cell-phone detection began making surprise sweeps of the state’s 14 prisons last October, the department said. Since then, the dogs have found 15 cell phones, five cell-phone batteries and numerous accessories, including chargers and SIM cards, corrections officials said.

Still, most prisons nationally try to quell the swell of forbidden phones by trusting technology – beefed-up front-door security, restrictive screening of jail mail and even triangulation technology that alerts guards to cell-phone signals.

And although jamming cell signals is illegal under federal law, some groups that want to use jamming technology to thwart thugs have petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to bag the jam ban.

Exactly how many cell phones make their way into prisons is unknown, because federal, state and local prison officials aren’t required to keep such data. Experts say that most prison officials probably find just a fraction of them anyway.

In Pennsylvania, for example, state prison officials found just eight cell phones in 2008 (through October, the most recent month data is available), 15 in 2007 and 10 in 2006, said Susan Bensinger, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman.

Bensinger attributed the state’s low numbers to aggressive screening. All visitors and staff must pass through metal detectors to get into prison and face physical pat-downs, Ben-singer said. All prison areas undergo regular, random shakedowns and searches, and officials scrutinize incoming mail, she added.

Pennsylvania is using Bittner’s sensor system, called Cell Hound, in an undisclosed location, Bensinger said.

But Bittner said that metal detectors and spot searches aren’t fail-safe. He suspects that thousands of cell phones are getting into American prisons every year. *

Staff writer Jason Nark contributed to this report.
This article was found here: Philadalphia News

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…

K-9, handler work together to keep servicemembers safe

Posted in air force teams with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2009 by wardogmarine

by Staff Sgt. Dilia Ayala
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

4/17/2009 – JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — It is often said a dog is a man’s best friend. For a Joint Expeditionary Tasking or JET Airman here, his dog is not just a friend, but a tool that could mean life or death for servicemembers patrolling the Iraqi streets.

balad1
At the ready
CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Senior Airman William Bailey, a military working dog handler and Joint Expeditionary Tasking Airman from the 732nd Air Expeditionary Group attached to the Army’s 1st Calvary Division, and his MWD Robby, an explosives detector dog, train together here March 24. A native of Richmond, Va., Airmen Bailey is deployed here from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lionel Castellano)

Senior Airman William Bailey, a military working dog handler and JET Airman from the 732nd Air Expeditionary Group attached to the Army’s 1st Calvary Division here, and Robby, a nine-year-old Belgian Malinois patrol, explosives detector dog, work together to keep servicemembers safe

“My mission here is to search for and expose explosives in any form,” said Airman Bailey. “(Robby and I) go on cordon walks, air assaults, raids, anything that the Soldiers on the ground need help in protecting themselves by the detection of explosives.

balad2
Man’s best friend
CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Senior Airman William Bailey, a military working dog handler and Joint Expeditionary Tasking Airman from the 732nd Air Expeditionary Group attached to the Army’s 1st Calvary Division, praises Robby, his nine-year-old Belgian Malinois patrol, explosives detector dog, after he successfully completed an obstacle course as part of daily training here. Airman Bailey and Robby are deployed here from the 4th Security Forces Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. Airman Bailey is a native of Richmond, Va. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Dilia Ayala)

“We go out and find the bombs before something could go off and injure our fellow men and women fighting together,” he added.

The duo is constantly training to ensure they are always mission-ready.

“We do training daily,” said the Airman, deployed here from the 4th Security Forces Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. “Training is constant with us; we have to stay proficient in our duties because of the dangerous aspect of it.

balad3
To serve and protect
CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Military working dog Robby, an explosives detector dog, charges a simulated aggressor to protect his handler, Senior Airman William Bailey, a MWD handler and Joint Expeditionary Tasking Airman from the 732nd Air Expeditionary Group attached to the Army’s 1st Calvary Division, during a training session here March 24. A native of Richmond, Va., Airmen Bailey is deployed here from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lionel Castellano)

“Obedience (training) is done daily, and explosive detection (training) is done as often as possible,” said the native of Richmond, Va. “It’s vital.”

Paired for almost a year now, Airman Bailey said the team hit it off from the first time they met.

“We have a great bond together,” he said. “We’ve been together since June of 2008. We just mesh together perfectly.

“(Being deployed with Robby) has been a fun experience,” he said. “(Military working dog handlers) get a little extra privilege by having a little buddy with us the whole deployment. It’s nice to have that bond especially on those tough days when you’re feeling a little bit down. You just look down at the dog and see how happy he is to just be hanging out with you. It just brightens your day.”

balad4
Tackling an obstacle course
CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Senior Airman William Bailey, a military working dog handler and Joint Expeditionary Tasking Airman from the 732nd Air Expeditionary Group attached to the Army’s 1st Calvary Division, prepares to let Robby, his nine-year-old Belgian Malinois patrol, explosives detector dog, complete an obstacle as part of their daily training here. Airman Bailey and Robby are deployed here from the 4th Security Forces Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. Airman Bailey is a native of Richmond, Va. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Dilia Ayala)

As a JET Airman, Airman Bailey has had the opportunity of being attached to the Army, and he said he has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Army’s 1st CAV MWD team. His Army counterpart feels the same way about Airman Bailey.

“It’s great having him as part of the team,” said Army Staff Sgt. David Harrison, 1st Calvary Division kennelmaster, who is deployed from Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. “He goes out on missions and does his part like any Soldier would. There isn’t a difference.

“We work well together,” added the Castle Rock, Colo., native. “We are helping keep our fellow servicemembers safe.”

As his deployment nears its end, Airman Bailey reflects on his appreciation for his K-9 Robby.

balad5
Side by side
CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Senior Airman William Bailey, a military working dog handler and Joint Expeditionary Tasking Airman from the 732nd Air Expeditionary Group attached to the Army’s 1st Calvary, keeps his MWD, an explosives detector dog, fit to fight by running with him through an obstacle course here March 24. A native of Richmond, Va., Airmen Bailey is deployed here from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Lionel Castellano)

“It’s been a great experience; I’ve had a lot of fun,” he said. “I was a little nervous (about being deployed to Iraq) this being my first time over here, especially with the dog. It has created a lot of good memories.

“The bond that I share with (Robby) is probably the most meaningful part of the job,” said the Airman with a smile. “If I didn’t have him, than I’d have to learn how to smell bombs. It would be much more difficult, more time-consuming, and a lot more dangerous. He’s been doing this all his life, and he loves to do it.”

Together, Airman Bailey and Robby will return together to Seymour Johnson AFB and continue working as a team — and preparing for future deployments.

This article is here-Air Force K9 Team

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.

Navy Brass Salutes One of Kitsap’s Top Dogs

Posted in Navy dog teams, retired dogs with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2009 by wardogmarine

— After 11 years of sniffing out drugs and patrolling Naval Base Kitsap, Benny the military working dog is retiring to an Illinois horse ranch.

The 12-year-old German shepherd received a farewell salute — and several treats — during a sunny retirement ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the Bangor base.

He joined base commander Capt. Mark Olson at the podium to accept a Navy Commendation Medal, a plaque from Navy Region Northwest with a letter of appreciation from its commander, Rear Adm. James Symonds, an American flag, a stunning blue “civilian” leash and a paw shake.

Benny’s first handler, Michael DeBock, traveled from Duvall to speak to a crowd of about 30 people and six of Benny’s kennel mates.

benny-retires
Benny, a military service dog, enjoys a bite of his retirement cake after formal ceremonies at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. With Benny is his handler, Allan Tetreault, who has worked with the German shepherd for 18 months. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

“Out of all the dogs I handled in the military, Benny by far was my favorite,” said DeBock, now retired from the Navy and a police sergeant. “I’ll never forget him. He was definitely the best patrol pal anyone could ask for.”

Looking down at Benny, he added, “Enjoy long days basking in the sun. You deserve it.”

Benny got off to a rough start. Straight out of training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, the puppy just wanted to play. But soon he became a top performer.

In January 2000, he earned the top dog award at a Naval Base Kitsap competition. Three months later, he and DeBock finished fourth out of 58 teams from around the world at a competition in San Antonio, were the top Navy team there, and were featured in a magazine.

bennyretires2
Benny, a military service dog for 11 years, was the guest of honor at a retirement ceremony Tuesday at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Benny’s handler, Allan Tetreault, led Benny past the Bangor canine unit to the podium. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

Benny served at Bangor from March 1998 to December 2008, playing a key role in ensuring a drug-free workplace by inspecting buildings, bachelor housing rooms, vehicles and submarines. He also served two stints in Iraq and another in Kuwait.

“He was a very passionate dog, very people-friendly, just a good partner,” said 1st Class Petty Officer Allan Tetreault, his handler the past 18 months.

br3
Military service dog Benny, center, and handler Allan Tetreault pose with other members of the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor canine unit. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

The dog’s handler gets first dibs on him, then the other handlers have a chance. If none of them take him, members of the public can sign up at http://www.workingdog.com to adopt one. In Benny’s case, he was adopted by a woman who owns a horse ranch in Illinois.

Unlike police dogs, military dogs don’t live with their handlers, and their handlers change more often because sailors don’t usually stay at one base for long. The dogs are retired when they’re physically unable to perform or, like people, when they get tired of working, Tetreault said.

The civilian leash represents a dog’s working days are over and he can go home and be a dog.

“He was much more than a dog,” said Chief Amanda Cooper of Naval Base Kitsap Security, the master of ceremonies. “He was a friend and companion who put his life on the line to protect others. Military Working Dog Benny, you stand relieved. We have the watch.”

br4
Mike DeBock, left, and Allan Tetreault visit while military service dog Benny finishes up his retirement cake Tuesday at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. DeBock was Benny’s first handler at Bangor, and Tetreault his last. Benny is retiring after 11 years and has been adopted by a horse ranch owner in Illinois. (Steve Zugschwerdt | For the Kitsap Sun)

This story was found here: Benny Retires