Military Working Dog (MWD) Detachment Commanders and U.S. Army Veterinarians were invited to the MWD Symposium, hosted by the Headquarters Department of the Army, Office of the Provost Marshal General, Army MWD Program, held at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Butlerville, Indiana from June 25 – July 1, 2022.
Attendees observed MWD teams conducting training in addition to receiving briefs on the current and future state of the MWD program. In addition, they also attended hands-on training courses led by various K9 instructors and veterinarian subject matter experts. Handlers were challenged in a variety of events and so much more. The realistic scenario-based training that identified current strengths and weaknesses across the program provided a multitude of training methodologies to incorporate into their training programs to enhance capabilities.
More than 40 units participated in the symposium. Commanders identified training that would benefit both MWD handlers and other Military Police (MP) within their commands. The many professional Senior noncommissioned officers gained the skills and knowledge to advise commanders on industry best practices, lessons learned, and innovative equipment for improving MWD capabilities to meet requirements. With this, the MWD Symposium, supports the Army’s three priorities – People, Readiness, and Modernization and the MP Corps’ motto of Assist, Protect, and Defend as our focus.
- People (Assist): Opportunities were provided to meet and network with some of the nation’s best K9 instructors, individuals from the industry along with their fellow 31Ks from around the world. This networking was beneficial for future training events and potentially acquiring positions when they transition out of the Army.
- Readiness (Protect): The skills the participants learned will enhance their effectiveness in a variety of mission sets they support.
- Modernization (Defend): The symposium hosted a vendor show in support of the Army MWD Program’s modernization efforts. Over 25 companies demonstrated the latest tactical and medical K9 equipment available.
Additionally, the United States Army Provost Marshal General, Maj. Gen. Duane R. Miller, was on hand to recognize Mr. John Meeks, President of the Chapter 3 War Dogs Association, for support in the MWD Symposium, SPC Justin Ane, and MWD Cadir, 2nd Military Police (Military District of Washington) Detachment, Fort Meade, MD, for their exemplary actions relating to a missing person. This MWD Team demonstrated a great example of illustrating the proper use of an MWD to find a missing person.
The symposium met all established training objectives with innovative methodologies to defeat current threats both domestically and abroad. Enhancing the combat effectiveness by fielding better trained MWD teams. The symposium leveraged some of the nation’s best K9 Instructors and counter-improvised explosive device SMEs; along with strengthening collaboration with K9 industry professionals.