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.


 
 

 

New form second chance to do EPRs right

Without fail, every time I am around a group of young NCOs, there is one subject guaranteed to come up — the enduring question of “How can I write a stronger EPR for my Airman?” My answer to this question is fairly standard and is one that a chief shared with me many years ago....
 
 

Plan for final out

How many of you are prepared for life outside of the military? Seriously, if you were told tomorrow was your final out, what would you do? We are currently in an environment where Defense Department rollbacks are a serious issue we must all contemplate. Fewer officers are being commissioned. Last year there was only one...
 
 

Dollars and Sense

As the economy has slowly moved along, the total amount Americans owe has increased 5 percent from last year. Revolving credit card debt has increased $12 billion in the last three months, according to the Federal Reserve. Airmen mired in debt may be tempted to take out payday loans or title loans, transfer balances to...
 

 
Stonewords-pic

Fly Over: Haus Murphy’s Authentic Bavarian food in Glendale’s historic district and ‘Stonewords: A Ghost Story’

Haus Murphy’s Authentic Bavarian food in Glendale’s historic district The West Valley landscape is dotted with fast food franchises, Mexican restaurants and Chinese super buffets, so it’s a rare treat to find a local rest...
 
 

Knocking it out of park means excellence

Over the past several years the Defense Department has seen an unprecedented reduction in force. Twenty years ago when I was a young Airman learning the Air Force ropes, our active-duty force was more than 421,000 strong. Today, our end strength stands at just over 323,000 Airmen, a reduction of roughly 100,000 personnel. Because of...
 
 

Gut check: Where do you stand?

Since the beginning of our Air Force careers, the majority of us have been taught that in order to lead, we need to lead by example and lead from the front. Today, that has not changed. However, as we all know, it is virtually impossible for all to be in front at the same time,...
 




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