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.


 
 

 

Resource management — Doing more with less

Since I joined the Air Force in 1992, our manpower and resources have been gradually reduced with no obvious change to the mission we support. While this has been labeled “doing more with less,” I don’t believe we’re truly doing any more than we did when I entered the military 22 years ago. We seem...
 
 

Situational awareness

Throughout my career, the importance of situational awareness has been driven into my head. This became exceedingly clear to me when I landed in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. It was March 17, 2003, about 48 hours until Operation Iraqi Freedom kicked off. We were busy building tents, making bunkers and preparing to execute the mission. Doing...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

There are times in our lives which are marked by a flash of inspiration. Some coincidental event takes place that brings new insight or understanding. One such event happened for me this past fall at the funeral Mass of one of Luke’s longtime friends, Katie Gillen. Miss Katie served as our base librarian for many...
 

 
Kingdom_Hearts_II_(PS2)

Fly Over: ‘Kingdom Hearts II’ and ‘Coaching Bad′

For Play Station II: ‘Kingdom Hearts II’ “Kingdom Hearts II” was released in 2005 for the Play Station 2 gaming console. The game is the sequel to “Kingdom Hearts” but the third in the series published by Square Eni...
 
 

Don’t get ‘Promotion Remorse’

The day I closed on my first house, my realtor and I did a final walk through to ensure there were no last-minute issues that needed addressing. Since I was a first-time home buyer, I didn’t know what to look for, so I finished my walk-through in 20 minutes. My realtor insisted on staying to...
 
 

Keep military records in check

A common issue we see at the 56th Force Support Squadron Military Personnel Section is that our military customers wait until the last minute to check their records. This can become an issue that can cause hardship on the member when it comes to promotion boards, permanent changes of station, retirement and separation. One scenario...
 




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