FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The 8th Military Police Working Dog Detachment, 91st Military Police Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI), recently was recognized as winner of the U.S. Army Forces Command's Best Military Working Dog Detachment Award.

This prestigious award recognizes the detachment that best exemplifies the Army's rigorous requirements for combat readiness.

Some of the criteria considered for this award are team certification rates, overall combat readiness rates, and the Annual Kennel Inspection and Assessment rating. The detachment maintained the highest certification rate throughout FORSCOM for the entire fiscal year and received a rating of excellent on its AKIA.

"Everybody at the kennels works really hard," said Sgt. Justin S. Martin, a dog handler assigned to the 8th MWD Detachment.

Additionally, the detachment provided unflagging support to more than 21 continental U.S. support missions, including missions to protect the president and vice president of the U.S. as well as other government officials. They provided fully trained and certified explosive detection MWD teams to complete nine outside continental U.S. deployments.

While at home, the narcotic and explosive detection teams perform law enforcement support for the Fort Drum community. The dogs are trained in patrol functions, such as providing stand-off from a suspect and performing the bite on command from the handler, and they are used for their detection capabilities.

The 8th Military Working Dog Detachment received this esteemed award due to their hard work and commitment to the Fort Drum Military Working Program. Soldiers of the detachment now seek to continue to maintain a high level of combat readiness and a disciplined training program to ensure that they are once again competitive for the honor next fiscal year.

"We all do our jobs to accomplish any missions that come down," Martin said.

(Melton serves with 91st Military Police Battalion)