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October 18, 2013

Paws up! Two new military working dogs arrive; first in three years

Staff Sgt. Jason Joye and Spc. Robert Cavaco, K-9 Unit dog handlers, 18th Military Police Detachment, strategically placed explosives under rocks during a detection training session with the new K-9 Unit military working dogs at Wren Arena, Oct. 9.

Fort Huachuca welcomed two new four-legged recruits to the 18th Military Police Detachment K-9 Unit, Sept. 19, bringing the total to 10 military working dogs.

Santy, a three-year-old German Shepherd, and Kusi, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois, recently graduated from the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Program, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where they were taught obedience skills, drug and bomb detection and basic patrol functions.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Turner, 18th Military Police Detachment K-9 Unit, explained that all of the military working dogs at Fort Huachuca are trained for dual purpose: to detect and patrol.

Their average length of training at Lackland Air Force Base is four months.

Staff Sgt. Jason Joye, K-9 Unit dog handler, 18th Military Police Detachment, hid explosives for a detection training session with the new K-9 Unit military working dogs at Wren Arena, Oct. 9.

“It varies with each dog. Typically they have 120 days total, 60 days in patrol and 60 days in detection, but some dogs certify faster or slower,” he said.

Here at Fort Huachuca, Santy and Kusi will continue their training daily. They are currently in an evaluation process that allows them to acclimate to the new surroundings and meet the dog handlers.

“Once we get [the dogs] we have a rapport-building stage where they can hang out and get used to the kennels,” said Turner. “Once they have adjusted to their environment, we slowly start bringing them out and work on very basic skills to see where they stand. We slowly progress their training from there.

“If you were to look at it in a Soldier aspect, they would be equivalent to a Solider coming out of basic training and [Advanced Individual Training]. They are brand new to the Army and this is their first duty station,” Turner said.

Spc. Robert Cavaco and Staff Sgt. Jason Joye, K-9 Unit dog handlers, 18th Military Police Detachment, trained with Santy, a new military working dog, at Wren Arena, Oct. 9. Following their graduation from the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Training Program at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, the dogs continue their training daily once they arrive at their final duty stations.

Turner explained that receiving new members with the latest training is a rare occurrence for the Fort Huachuca K-9 Unit. Santy and Kusi are the first to join the team in the last three years.

“It is definitely a welcome addition getting these two new dogs in the kennels,” he said. New dogs, he explained, bring updated systems or methods that have evolved in the training process.

For more information, contact the military working dog kennels, 533.0292, or visit http://www.napwda.com/the-dod-military-working-dog-program.

Santy, one of Fort Huachuca’s new military working dogs, trained on explosive detection with the K-9 Unit at Wren Arena, Oct. 9. During their training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, the dogs are taught to detect drugs and bombs, and perform patrol functions in support of worldwide missions.

Kusi, one of Fort Huachuca’s two new military working dogs that recently arrived, plays with his reward during explosive detection training, Oct. 9.

Staff Sgt. Jason Joye, K-9 Unit dog handler, 18th Military Police Detachment, prepares to reward Kusi, one of the two new military working dogs, during a training session at Wren Arena, Oct. 9.

Santy, one of Fort Huachuca’s new military working dogs, trained on explosive detection with the K-9 Unit at Wren Arena, Oct. 9.

Spc. Robert Cavaco, K-9 Unit dog handler, 18th Military Police Detachment, trained with Santy, a new military working dog, at Wren Arena, Oct. 9. One of the most important concepts of a military working dogs training is drive building, grip development, and environmental and social stability.

Kusi, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois, is one of Fort Huachuca’s two new military working dogs that arrived on Sept. 19.




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