Salutes & Awards

June 6, 2014

Military Working Dog sniffs out three awards

Tags:
Rebecca Amber
Staff writer

Staff Sgt. Kathryn Goldman, 412th Security Forces Squadron working dog handler, commands Rolf to jump through a “window” on the obedience course at Edwards AFB June 2.

Staff Sgt. Kathryn Goldman and her working dog Rolf from the 412th Security Forces Squadron took home three first place trophies from the Western State Police Canine Association Trial.

The two-day competition was held May 16-17 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The competition brought working dogs from the military, law enforcement, homeland security and many other organizations. In all, there were 66 competitors from 29 agencies.

The first day of competition was detection, the next day was patrol and obedience.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Goldman. “I was kind of intimidated and overwhelmed when I saw the first day how many cars there were along with dogs and handlers.”

Their first problem was outdoors in a fenced off area. Each team was given five minutes to search the area for bombs. If a ConEx was open, the team could search inside, if it was closed they were instructed to search around it. Following the same guidelines, the next problem took place in a warehouse with seven minutes for the search. In the first event, Goldman found all but one, and in the second event, she and Rolf found eight out of 10 explosives.

Meanwhile, judges were standing by to evaluate their performance.

“It really comes down to teamwork with your dog, and as a handler, you being able to say ‘my dog’s throwing a change, he found something, that’s a find let’s keep on,’” said Goldman.

She added what makes the competition so challenging are the time restrictions. It’s important to keep the job “fun” for the dog, by paying him with his toy after a find.

“That was my first time just praising him instead of paying him,” said Goldman. “They give you the option of stopping to pay your dog, but you’re on a time limit.”

Instead, Goldman kept Rolf motivated by using animated actions and verbal praise, which she found out later, impressed the judges. She was also commended for her use of a 15-foot leash, rather than the standard six-foot leash.

Senior Airman Adrian Mac, 412th Security Forces Squadron, working dog handler, is attacked wearing a bite suit by Rolf (left) and GGreta (right).

Goldman permanently changed stations to Edwards AFB in March of 2010 and has been working with Rolf since November of last year. It was Tech. Sgt. Kristina Reese, 412th SFS, MWD trainer, that first encouraged Goldman to work with a 15-foot leash.

Goldman and Rolf took home first place trophies for their Outdoor Search, Warehouse Search and overall for Explosive Detection.

“It was definitely a self-esteem boost to see that my hard work has paid off,” said Goldman. “It definitely makes you feel good.”

Staff Sgt. Christopher La Boy, 412th Security Forces Squadron, MWD handler, and his dog GGreta, also went to the WSPCA trial to participate in the patrol and obedience events.

“It’s a good experience for the kennels as a group,” said La Boy. “A lot of local police departments are more patrol-oriented. Our agencies are more geared for detection; we’re better at that than the local agencies are.”

Goldman and Rolf also participated in the patrol competitions and “knew going into it that detection is our strong suit.”

The patrol events include area search for a person, obedience, agility and protection.

The 412th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dogs unit brought home three first place trophies for explosive detection from the Western State Police Canine Association Trial. From left to right: Tech. Sgt. Ian Spivey, kennel master; Staff Sgt. Christopher La Boy, handler, and his dog GGreta; Staff Sgt. Kathryn Goldman, handler, and her dog Rolf; and Tech. Sgt. Kristina Reese, MWD trainer.

La Boy has been working with GGreta since January. Participating in the trials helped La Boy get to know her much better.

“We got there and GGreta was in love with the grass. She’s all about smelling it, trying to eat it,” said La Boy.

Tech. Sgt. Ian Spivey, 412th SFS, MWD kennel master, added that they try to expose the dogs to as many elements as possible to prepare them for any assignment, including deployments. The competition also inspired new ways to train the dogs on their obedience course.

“There was a portion of competition where the dogs had to jump over barrels,” said Spivey. “We didn’t have that for our standard obedience course, so now we’ve got three barrels, put them together and we’re training with that.”

Spivey hopes to send narcotics dogs to competition in June.

“The awards show we’re top notch,” said Spivey. “It’s rewarding to have the dog and do the mission here, but it’s also rewarding to know that they can go out and compete and then bring something back to represent what we did.”

Edwards has seven military working dogs, each with unique personalities. Part of Spivey’s job is to match the personalities of the handler to their dog.

“I love my job as a handler,” said Goldman. “Working with a dog as a partner is an awesome feeling. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of time and training goes into it.”




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


 
 

 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

M4/M9 Firing Range closure The Edwards AFB Combat Arms Firing Range is closed for M4 and M9 firing until further notice. Any required firing for PCS or deployments will temporarily be accomplished at March ARB, Calif. To schedule training, contact the Combat Arms section at 661-277-2103. It is strongly recommended that all firing be scheduled as soon...
 
 
town-hall

Edwards community holds town hall meeting

Air Force photograph by Jena Romo Col. Eric Leshinksy, 412th Mission Support Group commander, addresses the audience at a town hall meeting Oct. 15 at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center. The Edwards community gathered at th...
 
 
Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs

Online vigilance helps reduce risk

Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs The Air Force reminds us not to post information about deployment departures, locations, and on-going operations. However, even a simple photo of your family pet can reveal personal informat...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Gathering of Eagles honors 70 years of TPS

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Brig. Gen. Michael Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, offered the closing remarks for the event, reminding the audience that fundraiser is about preparing for the future. The Flight Test Hi...
 
 
commissary

Giving ‘gift of groceries’? Think Commissary gift cards

No matter the occasion, Commissary gift cards are always available to help family members, friends and organizations give the gift of groceries. “Our gift cards are versatile,” said Randy Chandler, the Defense Commi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Christian Turner

AFMC command chief visits with Edwards Airmen

Air Force photograph by Christian Turner Chief Master Sgt. Michael J. Warner, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, speaks to enlisted Airmen at Club Muroc Oct. 15. Warner held two enlisted calls speaking to junior Airmen i...
 




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>