Commentary

May 17, 2013

MWD team takes training downrange

Tags:
Senior Airman DAVID OWSIANKA
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Steven Bruner, 56th Security Forces Squadron kennel master, and Chrach, 56th SFS military working dog, pose in front of a Polaris Ranger vehicle in Herat Province, Afghanistan, during a deployment with an Army Special Operations Task Force West unit. The MWD team received a Bronze Star Medal for actions during their deployment including locating four separate improvised explosive devices totaling more than 150 pounds, and recovering 50 blasting caps that could have been used to make IEDs.

[Editor’s note: this is the third in a 3-part series on military working dogs]

The 56th Security Forces Squadron military working dog team goes to a 45-day training course at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., before a deployment. The team performs MWD training then works with the other security forces members for combined training.

“Our main priority while deployed is detection,” said Staff Sgt. Jessie Johnson, 56th SFS MWD handler. “We perform outdoor and open area searches, and buried aides and mass odor detections, which are things we will see downrange.”

MWD teams will work heavily on their communication during training.

“Being the only K-9 handler of the group and having a whole team behind you, the unit needs to work on how to communicate, and how to interact with the dog,” Johnson said.

Deployment tasks vary depending on what an MWD team is tasked to do. They may receive a Joint Expeditionary Tasking order where the pair will be assigned to an infantry unit to clear routes of explosives.

The handlers and dogs travel together to the deployed location.

Staff Sgt. Steven Bruner, 56th SFS MWD kennel master, and Chrach, 56th SFS MWD, deployed with an Army Special Forces unit on their last deployment to Afghanistan.

“It was different from my previous deployment because I had never been attached to a special-forces unit,” he said. “Being the only handler at the post, I was tasked to go on several missions with my unit. Having Chrach there allowed the unit to clear out areas they couldn’t go to before because they didn’t have a MWD with them.”

Bruner and Chrach received a Bronze Star Medal for actions during their deployment including locating four separate improvised explosive devices totaling more than 150 pounds, and recovering 50 blasting caps that could have been used to make IEDs.

Being deployed to Afghanistan has made Bruner more aware of how dangerous his job is and the importance of a MWD team.

“I responded to a vehicle that was blown up and had four personnel in there killed during the explosion,” he said. “There was a secondary IED set up to get any other personnel who would come to help those in the vehicle. By having the dog out there, he was able to find the secondary IED and save lives.”

Bruner and Johnson have come back from deployments with more than just a better understanding of their job.

“Deployments are probably one of the most bonding experiences an MWD team can have,” Johnson said. “There wasn’t more than two hours a day I wasn’t with my dog. I needed him to protect myself and the team, and he needed me to take care of his daily needs.”




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


 
 

 

Let’s be an all-volunteer force

Well, we made it through the holiday season. Hopefully we have all reset and are ready to rock and roll this year. By now we should be well into fulfilling the New Year’s resolutions that we set in place to improve ourselves. I’m sure you are hitting the gym more or maybe just starting to....
 
 

Stay out of rain; see bigger picture

Supervisors, you build and lead teams to the best of your abilities. You hold an umbrella of protection over your people, but what do you do when one of your members runs into the rain via a bad decision? Do you take your protective umbrella from other members to go cover your solo member? Or...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” -George MacDonald, Scottish author and poet One can see the self-evident truth of this statement, for trust is earned through the actions and character of the person being trusted, while love can flow from a sense of ought-ness rather than a sense of merit. For...
 

 
American-Horror-Story

Fly Over: ‘Get On Up’ and ‘American Horror Story: Coven′

On DVD: ‘Get On Up’ Several months ago, I rushed to the theater to watch “Get On Up” the latest music biopic on the big screen. My expectations were high as I found a seat in the theater packed with fans waiting to see ...
 
 

Financial responsibility — vital to readiness

In the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, there is a line in the movie where the soldiers are told to make sure they sign up for life insurance to ensure their next-of-kin gets $10,000 upon the soldier’s death. While none of us are about to make a combat jump in 1944 to fight the Nazis, Airmen...
 
 

Adapt, overcome, succeed

Change is inevitable, especially in today’s Air Force. If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, it’s likely you’ve experienced everything from new physical fitness requirements to the implementation of force management programs. Enlisted performance reports and feedback forms have been altered and changes to the promotion system are rapidly approaching. We expect...
 




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