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.


 
 

 
DoD

DoD takes steps to aid absentee voters

WASHINGTON – As the Nov. 4 midterm election nears, Defense Department officials are taking steps to ensure absentee voting is even easier for service members, their families and overseas citizens via FVAP.gov. In coordination with the military services and State Department, Absentee Voting Week begins today, aiming to raise awareness and remind voters of important...
 
 

New EPR challenges status quo

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – The enlisted performance report is going to drastically change. These changes seek to combat inflated ratings, which have been a prevalent complaint from Airmen over the years. The change is right around the corner and many Airmen are asking themselves, “How will it affect future promotions, and what can I do...
 
 

55th Rescue Squadron returns home

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Elizeu) U.S. Air Force Maj. Stephanie Harley, 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bio Engineering Flight commander, and son welcome home Capt. Colin Harley, 55th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pavehawk pilot, at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 11. Capt. Harley has just returned from a five-month deployment to Afghanistan.
 

 

AF to implement TDY policy changes

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) — Recently, the Air Force started implementing two temporary duty policy changes that will impact travel reimbursements for Airmen. The first change, which took effect Oct. 1, made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations, Reimbursable and Incidental Expense Policy. The second will be a change in long-term TDY per...
 
 

OPSEC: Everyone’s responsibility

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Everyone who’s been around the military has heard the term Operations Security, or OPSEC, but do they really know what it means? Many people think OPSEC is all about classified information, when the opposite is true; OPSEC targets critical and sensitive unclassified information. OPSEC is a fundamental principle of the Air...
 




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