AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar - Airmen deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, gathered for a military working dog demonstration hosted by 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Airmen April 6, 2014.
The 379th ESFS uses demonstrations as an opportunity to educate the base populous on what the MWD mission and how the mission impacts the installation.
"Educating people on what animals are capable of gives them an understanding of the MWD importance," said Staff Sgt. Zach Cahall, 379th ESFS MWD handler, deployed from Dover Air Force Base, Del., and a Cincinnati, Ohio, native. "MWDs are a huge factor in the mission because of their force protection and force multiplier skills. Without MWDs, it would make our overall job a lot harder and possibly less successful."
An obstacle course, obedience and aggression training are some of the capabilities the MWDs and their handlers demonstrated.
"Obedience is the building block of all aspects when it comes to training and utilizing MWDs," said Cahall.
Handlers spend a few hours a day practicing different tasks and commands. Providing consistent and constant training builds trust and strengthens the relationship between the handler and the MWD.
"Iggy (Cahall's MWD) and I have been to many places over the past two years," said Cahall. "I have established a bond with her that no one could ever understand."
The bond built between a handler and his MWD is the greatest part about working with K-9s, explained Senior Airman Alexander Nutting, 379th ESFS MWD handler, deployed from Moody Air Force Base, Ga., and a Savage, Minn., native.
"We trust each other with our lives," said Nutting. "We work to the best of our ability to help protect and save lives, knowing the importance of our job motivates us to work hard every day."
Military working dogs are service members too, said Cahall.
"They are on the battle field right next to us," Cahall said. "We help and save Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen all over the world and that is truly rewarding."