Fort Rucker military working dogs, handlers leave for Afghanistan
July 1, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Two 6th Military Police Detachment military working dog handlers and their canine partners departed Fort Rucker for Fort Benning, Ga., June 25 in preparation for a yearlong Afghanistan deployment.
Sgt. Adam Lee and Staff Sgt. Jonathan Rose deployed for the first time with a canine partner to that country.
Rose's partner, Micki, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, can detect a variety of threats to his handler, he said. The two have worked together for about two years, training for overseas service.
"This is what training works you up for," Rose said. "One of the biggest differences is you can see the results of training almost instantly with the dogs. (Micki) loves his job. So long as he gets his toy, he loves doing the job."
His wife of 10 years, Michelle, said she and their sons noticed a difference in his demeanor since he began working with Micki.
"He seems to enjoy his job a lot more now that he's working with the dog," she said. "It's going to be a little different this time since he's going with a canine."
He replaces Sgt. Stephen Rose, who was injured in Afghanistan in May by an improvised explosive device, according to Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Timmins, 6th MP Det. kennel master. Stephen's partner, Bento, also a Belgian Malinois, was killed in the incident.
Lee and his partner, Baco, a 4-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer, have worked together for about six months. Baco is a specialized search dog and has the ability to search, off-leash, for distances up to 100 meters. Specialized search dogs typically work off-leash in order to better protect the handler, he said.
"So long as he can hear my commands, he can work effectively without a leash," Lee said. "His personality makes him easy to work with, too."
Lee's wife of eight years, Sherry, and their children, bid farewell to the Solider, who is on his second deployment to Afghanistan.
"The kids and I are each other's support group," Sherry said. "We've been through this before, but we still worry."
The Family met and spent time with Baco and felt Lee has a strong partner to work with, she added.
During deployment preparations, Capt. Kari Proper, Fort Rucker Doctor of Veternary Medicine, examined both Micki and Baco. Although both dogs recieved clean bills of health, she still worries any time military working dogs deploy.
"It's like sending off my children," she said. "Both of them are in very good shape and should be fine."