DOD’s dogs: Training military K-9s (PHOTOS)
The U.S. Air Force’s 341st Squadron, located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, is responsible for training all of the Department of Defense’s dog handler teams that help detect explosives or find drugs in a number of different situations.
Today, there are more 1,300 dog handler teams worldwide, and the working dogs from the other services — Army, Navy and Marine Corps — have all been through the Air Force Dog Handler Team program.
Here’s an Air Force photo gallery of the dogs at work:
Staff Sgt. Erick Martinez, a military dog handler at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, uses an over-the-shoulder carry with Argo II on March 4, 2011. This exercise helped build trust, loyalty and teamwork between Martinez and Argo II, who have worked together for only two months. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Allen Stokes)
Senior Airman Stephen Hanks, 447th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Geri, 447th ESFS patrol and explosive detector dog, look through a window while securing an abandoned building on a routine patrol on Sather Air Base in Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 11, 2011. For the last six months Geri and Hanks, have been supporting Operation New Dawn by providing explosive and psychological deterrence. Hanks and Geri are deployed from Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Hanks is from Amherst, Mass. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)
Senior Airman Stephen Hanks and Geri, a patrol and explosive detector dog, both with the 447th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, patrol the perimeter of Sather Air Base on Dec. 11, 2011, in Baghdad, Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)
Rambo, a patrol and explosive detector dog assigned to the 447th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, attacks Senior Airman Stephen Hanks while training on an obstacle course Dec. 9, 2011, in Baghdad, Iraq. For the last six months Rambo and Hanks, have been supporting Operation New Dawn by providing explosive and psychological deterrence. Hanks is a 447th ESFS military working dog handler, (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)
Senior Airman Salema Panama and her military working dog partner “J Jackson” run through a security vehicle sweep before a presidential mission at Joint Base Andrews, Md., June 1, 2010. Security forces routinely support the U.S. Secret Service to ensure safe passage of the president, vice president, congressional members and heads of state. Airman Panama is a 316th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler. (U.S. Air Force photo by Bobby Jones)
Senior Airman Jamie Harkin, 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, directs her dog, Erdo, through a tunnel during the obstacle course exercise in Southwest Asia on July 20, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Boutte)
Staff Sgt. Pascual Gutierrez praises and prepares to give Coley a chew toy Feb. 18, 2011, at Forward Operating Base Lagman, Afghanistan, after Coley successfully sniffed out explosive devices during an explosive device detection training session. Sergeant Gutierrez is a military working dog handler and Coley is a military working and patrol explosive detection dog assigned to Combined Team Zabul, Afghanistan. The team is composed of working dogs and dog handlers from the Air Force, Army and Navy who help support the various units at FOB Lagman during patrols and other various missions.(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)
Staff Sgt. James Rybacki and his military working dog Torca search for narcotics Jan. 3, 2010, at a checkpoint near Dabaray, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Francisco V. Govea II)