Archive for military k9

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.

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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.

Raritan students remember Vietnam War dogs, handlers

Posted in air force teams, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2009 by wardogmarine

by Veronica Slaght/For The Star-Ledger
Monday May 18, 2009, 8:58 PM

When students in Evelyn Van Nuys’ seventh grade history class were studying the Vietnam War, they learned that thousands of dogs served in the military, attacking enemy soldiers and sniffing out explosives. They also learned that many of these “war dogs” were abandoned and forgotten after the war.

The J.P. Case Middle School students decided the heroic canines and their handlers should be remembered, so they joined with their teacher to create a memorial at the Raritan Township school.

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Veronica Slaght/For The Star-Ledger
Students at the J.P. Case Middle School in Raritan
Township decided a memorial to the dogs lost in the Vietnam War.

The memorial to war dogs and their handlers was dedicated at a ceremony this afternoon.

The black granite slab was donated by Rich Kulinski, and the students raised $4,000 to have it etched. It bears a Terry Waldron sketch of a war dog named “Fluffy” and his handler, and a poem called “The Soldier Dog,” written by Vietnam veteran Joe Ferrara. It also lists the nine New Jersey military dog handlers who were killed in action in Vietnam.

Today’s event drew local veterans’ organizations, politicians and members of the public to honor “courage at both ends of the leash.” Veterans’ organizations included Hunterdon County Bulldogs Chapter 957, Military Order of Purple Hearts Chapter 27, Vietnam Vets of America Chapter 452 and American Legion Post 159.

The attendees were joined by about 500 students.

During the ceremony, students and veterans placed flowers in front of the memorial for the dog handlers who died in Vietnam. The program also featured a student choir singing “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” Lebanon Mayor Mark Paradis and Dan Schultz performing Echo Taps, and Rose Holden singing “America the Beautiful.”

According to Van Nuys, dogs were considered military equipment and left in Vietnam at the end of the war. The Gifted and Talented and seventh grade students attended a special assembly featuring veterans in the community and John C. Burnam, military dog handler and founder of the National War Dog Memorial in Washington D.C.

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Veronica Slaght/For The Star-Ledger
Senior airman Rodreques Boyd, from McGuire Airforce Base, with Cici, a German shepherd who has been to Iraq twice. The two have been training together and will start their first joint tour of in September.

In addition to inspiring her students to honor war dogs, Van Nuys also inspired Flemington resident J.T. Gabriel. Gabriel formed the nonprofit organization K9 Soldiers to collect and donate necessary goods to the K9 teams at Fort Drum, Lakehurst Naval Air Station, McGuire Air Force Base and Bolling Air Force Base.

To make a donation to K9 Soldiers call at (908) 284-0284 or visit k9soldiers.org.

Gabriel also arranged to have representatives from these bases attend the dedication, which was performed with full military honors.

Senior airman Rodreques Boyd came to the event from McGuire Airforce Base with Cici, a German shepherd who has been to Iraq twice. The two have been training together and will start their first joint tour of duty in September. Boyd, originally from Atlanta, said he thought the memorial was “awesome.”

Peter Abramchak, who goes by “Pittstown Pete,” said he is glad the school did this. Abramchak served in Vietnam and is a member of the Marine Corps League. He said some military dogs are trained to attack, while others are used to sniff out bombs.

“The dogs deserve to be remembered,” he said.

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.

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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.

Man’s Best Friend

Posted in Marine dog teams with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2009 by wardogmarine

5/8/2009  By
Pvt, Spencer M. Hardwick,
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort 

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C.  — It’s always been said, although the originator of the phrase is unknown, that a dog is a man’s best friend.

Corporal James Duck knows the depth of such a statement; his job, better still, his life revolves around this four-legged creature. He is a military police canine handler with the Provost Marshals Office and he spends his days taking care of, and training, his dog, Bancuk. Bancuk is a six-year-old Belgian Malinois and has deployed to Iraq as a working dog three times. Duck and Bancuk deployed together to Fallujah, Iraq as part of II Marine Expeditionary Force.
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Bancuk, a military working dog, works aboard the Air Station with handler Cpl. James Duck, a military police dog handler with the Provost Marshals Office, Monday.

“I’ve been here close to three years and I’ve had her for about half that,” Duck said, “I really love her; I consider her one of my best friends. I look at her like I would my child.”

While in garrison, Duck and Bancuk conduct random vehicle checks, health and comfort inspections for barracks rooms and walking patrols. They work here at the Air Station, as well as Laurel Bay, Marine Corps Recruit Deport Parris Island and Naval Hospital Beaufort. Handlers are normally solely responsible for their dog. However, sometimes other Marines help out around the kennel.

A handler’s duty overseas, however, is a totally different story.

“She was with me twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week,” Duck said. “That dog did not leave my side the entire time I was there. Every patrol I went on, every cache sweep … she stayed with me.”

Based in Fallujah, Duck and Bancuk frequently ventured out to various forward operating bases to conduct sweeps for weapons caches, improvised explosive devices and house searches. They worked with various units in the province, including Navy SEAL’s and Company F, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. He cared for her, fed her and groomed her. She even slept in the cot with him, diligently watching over her master and his gear.

“Every time I hit the rack she would jump up and sleep on my feet,” Duck said. “She lived with me for seven months. This one time, I had some food sitting on my rack and I walked away to get some water. When I came back, the food was missing and she was trying to give me this innocent look like she didn’t eat it. It was pretty funny; I couldn’t stay mad at her. It was really nice having her with me. It was like having one of your best friends on deployment with you.”

Having an animal at your side constantly in a combat zone paves the way for mixed emotions as there are good and bad experiences to be had.

“It’s like having a best friend and a newborn child at the same time,” explained Duck. “They offer companionship that is irreplaceable but they also need attention and care almost constantly. I was on a patrol one time near one of the F.O.B’s outside of Fallujah checking out hot spots some choppers warned us about and we came across this irrigation ditch. It was probably two or three feet wide and had a concrete slab on top of it.  While we’re walking across this thing, she decides to jump off the slab; the problem was that I was holding her leash. So, when she jumped, I had sixty pounds of weight pulling me down and I smacked headfirst onto the concrete. I was mad at the time but its kind of funny looking back on it now. That deployment was full of situations like that.”

Their working relationship will end soon, however as Duck prepares for his upcoming end of active service date. Bancuk will likely go to a new handler because she already has established habits and she already knows what’s going on, according to Duck.

“I am not looking forward to having to leave her behind at all,” explains Duck. “I’m ready to move on with my life but I love that dog. I really wish I could adopt her and take her with me. I don’t really know how to explain it but there’s a certain bond that grows between a handler and a working dog. I’m going to miss her.”

So, as Duck moves on with his life and goes forth to do great things, Banuck will remain here, continuing to serve the Marine Corps as a faithful military working dog and a Marine’s best friend.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

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