FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Feb. 11, 2010) - Eight Training and Doctrine Command military working dog teams trained at Fort Leavenworth Feb. 1-4 as part of their annual certification requirements.

Three teams were from Fort Leavenworth, two from Fort Jackson, S.C., two from Fort Gordon, Ga., and one from Fort Eustis, Va. Five of the eight dogs have been on combat deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. James Clark, kennel master at Fort Leavenworth, said the annual certification is a four- or five-day process that tests all of the dogs' abilities.

"Once they are certified, legally they can work and be utilized - that's everything from law enforcement to combat deployments," he said.

Staff Sgt. Russell Morris of the Fort Leavenworth kennels said the certification process includes narcotics and explosives detections conducted in open areas, vehicles and a warehouse; an aggression phase; building search; and obedience course.

Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy Blankenship, TRADOC Military Working Dog Program manager based at Fort Monroe, Va., said the dogs and handlers came to Fort Leavenworth because the kennels here were scheduled for an annual technical assistance visit this month. He said military working dog teams from around TRADOC that need annual certification travel to the TAV site scheduled for that month at any of the 12 TRADOC locations with kennels.

Speaking Feb. 4 during certification at the kennels, Blankenship said the training had gone very well so far and he did not anticipate any problems with certification.

"The dogs have all done extremely well in the detection portion of certification," he said.
Blankenship said the dogs could be used in a variety of missions once certified.

"They can be employed for force protection on the installation; they can do random access measures on the installation, health and welfares; they do the patrolling portion of the installation for visual deterrent to try and keep crime down," he said.

The dogs from Fort Leavenworth include one specialized search dog, a patrol explosives detection dog and a patrol narcotics dog.

Sgt. David Hydro, a patrol explosives detection dog handler in the 500th Military Police Detachment, has trained for three months with Fema, a 7-year-old Czech shepherd. He said Fema is capable of detecting multiple explosives odors in various quantities and areas.

"She can locate subjects in open areas and in buildings, and also has the ability to apprehend subjects," Hydro said. "She is the oldest dog in the kennels, but can still out work most other dogs."

He said the annual certification tested how fast he and Fema think, and how well they work together as a team. Hydro said he and Fema scored 95 of a possible 100 points on their annual certification, and can now actively patrol Fort Leavenworth.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16