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.


 
 

 

Is being good, good enough?

In today’s Air Force can you settle with just being good? I say, “No.” With the Air Force executing the deepest force cuts since the end of the cold war with programs such as the Quality Force Review Board and the Enlisted Retention Board, what you do and how well you do it matters more...
 
 

Your career – as easy as 1, 2, 3

Oftentimes at retirements we hear the phrase, “This is one chapter in my life.” No matter what our goal is, whether it is to serve for four years or 20 years, each of us will leave the Air Force at some point. This leads to the question, “What does it take to have an Air...
 
 

This Week in History

July 20, 1969: Apollo XI On a hot July evening, my dad hauled our 12-inch portable black and white TV out onto the patio, where he grilled dinner. From that vantage point, my family watched the first manned landing on the moon and the first steps on the moon. Apollo XI launched Monday, 45 years...
 

 

Dollars and Sense

Many entry-level jobs are characterized by significantly low wages and unpredictable schedules. If you find yourself in this type of scenario, savings, second jobs, affordable loans and child care are all but impossible to arrange. Inescapable poverty changes the way we think about money and time, as short-term concerns glare so blindly that it’s almost...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Chaplain’s Thoughts

Courtesy photo John Wooden “There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience.” ~ John Wooden How do you sleep at night? Are you so troubled with life and its situations that you find it hard to sleep? One of the best pieces...
 
 
FLYOVER-Memoirs-of-a-Geisha-movie-poster

Fly Over: ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ and ‘Return of the Living Dead’

On DVD: ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ It’s not every day you find a movie that is just as good as the book it’s made. With “Memoirs of a Geisha,” fans of the original novel and first-time viewers will not be disappo...
 




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