By Lyna Tucker, Fort Eustis Wheel PhotojournalistMay 27, 2009
FORT EUSTIS, Va. (May 27, 2009) -- Fort Eustis Military Working Dog teams brought home honors from the Training and Doctrine Command's 2009 Military Working Dog Warrior Police Challenge May 10 through 15 at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.
Three teams from the 221st Military Police Detachment, 8th Transportation Brigade put their skills to the test, competing against 43 other K-9 teams from the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and civilian law enforcement agencies in 11 categories, bringing home honors and the Top Kennel award.
The competition tested the skills and talents of the handlers and their dogs in events to include narcotic and explosive detection, building searches, open area scouting, special search missions and tactical obedience and aggression.
Staff Sgt. Allen Chrans and MWD Jings won the third place award for the Open Area Scouting event. A timed event, Chrans and Jings were tasked with locating and apprehending a suspect.
Staff Sgt. Joshua Washington and MWD Clara also received a third place award in Explosive Detection. This event tested the team's proficiency in locating explosive training aids hidden at various heights and depths in buildings, open areas and vehicles in the quickest time possible.
Washington and Clara went on to compete in and win first place in the special event, the Endurance Challenge. During this event, the team's ability to work together in a timely manner was tested on a pre-determined course laden with obstacles and challenges for handlers and their K-9 partners.
For Washington, this test was the most challenging.
"It was about a mile and a half timed course and most of the time I was carrying the dog.We finished in 11:25," he said.
Kennel Master Staff Sgt. Joseph Secrist explained that the purpose of the course was to put the participants in a battlefield situation in which the Soldier was to carry his dog, his injured "battle buddy," to safety while negotiating obstacles such as walls.
It was the performance of Sgt. Brandon Beene and MWD Chay that helped the teams win Top Kennel honors for Eustis. Although Beene and Chay didn't place in the top three of the events, the excellence of performance consistently displayed by the three teams grabbed the judges attention and the top honor for the kennel.
This was the third year of the competition; Eustis hosted the first challenge in 2006.
Military working dogs first entered the service in March 1942 to serve in the Army's K-9 Corps.
The dogs, like any other Soldier, hold rank and have a military service record book assigned to them. The K-9s play an active role in the Global War on Terrorism, searching for, locating and seizing explosives and enemy combatants.