Salutes & Awards

October 4, 2012

Airmen honor Belgian Malinois

Tags:
Mike Joseph
Joint Base San Antontio - Lackland Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force)
Tech. Sgt. Joseph Null, 341st Training Squadron military working dog adoptions coordinator, places the 37th Training Group medal of heroism on Layka at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland,Texas on Sept. 12, 2012. Severely wounded, Layka attacked and subdued an assailant, protecting the lives of her handler and other coalition team members behind her

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — A Belgian Malinois became the first military working dog honored by the 341st Training Squadron for her heroic actions while assigned to a U.S. Special Forces unit in Afghanistan.

Layka, an almost 3-year-old female, was recognized Sept. 12 at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas, for saving several Coalition Forces team members during a June 4 special operations mission.

Layka had been dispatched to clear a building of explosives and help look for enemy combatants after a brief fire fight.

During her search, the dog was ambushed by one of the assailants. Layka received multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen and a limb, which later had to be amputated.

Severely wounded, she attacked and subdued the assailant, protecting the lives of her handler and other coalition team members behind her.

Once the area was secured, Layka’s handler and a physician’s assistant began treating the injured canine. Layka was then flown to a theater hospital for the first of several surgeries, eventually losing her right front leg. She arrived in San Antonio in early July for rehabilitation at the Daniel Holland Military Working Dog Hospital.

“This has never been done before by us, but we wanted to thank Layka,” said Maj. Jason Harris, 341st TRS commander, who presented the dog with a medal of heroism from the unit’s parent organization, the 37th Training Group.

The squadron provides trained military working dogs used in patrol, drug and explosive detection, and other specialized mission functions by the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

“The medal is unofficial because no decoration exists for military working dogs, but we felt Layka deserved recognition,” Harris said. “What these dogs do, day in and day out, is phenomenal. They do save lives.

“Layka was shot and still attacked the person shooting her. She’s been through a lot, and what she did is nothing less than heroic.”

Following the ceremony, Layka was flown to Georgia to be reunited with her handler, who is still on active duty.

No longer able to serve because of the injuries, Layka has been adopted by her handler, who cannot be identified for reasons of security.

“He’s very excited to get her and thankful he had her that day (in Afghanistan),” Harris said. “Layka is very handler-protective, which led to what she did over there.”

Tech. Sgt. Joseph Null, the 341st TRS military working dogs adoptions coordinator, said MWDs are invaluable to the armed services.

“She surprised the terrorist, who was waiting to lay down fire on the team. I heard from people on the mission that if Layka hadn’t reacted like she did, there was a potential for multiple casualties,” Null said. “Layka needed to be recognized for her sacrifice.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force illustration/Senior Airman Micaiah Anthony)

AF begins testing phase for women in combat roles

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — In April 2015, the Air Force will begin conducting the physical evaluations required to explore opening the last six career fields currently closed to women. When the law prohibiting women in ground co...
 
 
DoD

New tuition assistance tool attuned to troops’ educational needs

WASHINGTON – The Defense Department continues to invest in its service members and has introduced a new online informational tool tailored to their unique school programs and educational needs, the Defense Department’s chief of voluntary education said in a DoD news interview this week. Dawn Bilodeau discussed a new online tool called “Tuition Assistance DECIDE.”...
 
 

D-M Airmen freefall into the blue

BUCKEYE, Ariz. — You’re standing in an open door of an aircraft soaring 12,000 feet above the ground. You have put your full trust into the person strapped to your back, who you’ve known for less than two hours, to bring you back down to Earth safe and sound. The count begins. “Out…in…out.” The floor of the...
 

 

Enlisted members selected for promotion to get EPR on “select” grade closeout date

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — In line with a recent update to the Air Force policy on enlisted performance report static closeout dates (SCOD), effective immediately, all future EPRs for promotion-selectees will close out on the date of the promotion-select grade. At the direction of Headquarters Air Force, Airmen promoted to technical sergeant...
 
 
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

First Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event a success

The 162nd Wing’s Air Wing Integrator hosted her first Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event on April 10 at the Hilton Garden Inn Tucson International Airport. Christina Desiato began working here last September with a pur...
 
 

Make time to mentor your Airmen

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ — The Air Force is comprised of Airmen with many skills and talents. The backbone to our continued success is our men and women who strive to be excellent on a daily basis. However, there are times when our focus is derailed by our own personal and professional guidelines. I was taught...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin