CAMP ZAMA, Japan – U.S. Army Garrison Japan’s Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) hosted Japanese law enforcement officials during a bilateral visit here Nov. 17 that included a military working dog demonstration.
DES director Lt. Col. Brian Pilch welcomed the officials from Zama Police Station, Sagamihara Police Department, Sagamihara South Police Station, Kanagawa Police Station and the Yokohama Harbor Police Station.
Pilch thanked the visitors for making the trip to Camp Zama, and explained that he was excited to once again start conducting engagements after a pause due to COVID-19.
“We invited you here today to help show you some of our unique capabilities,” Pilch said, before turning the demonstration over to the Soldiers of the 901st Military Police Detachment.
During Pilch’s opening remarks, the dogs barked excitedly in the background from their kennels.
“You can hear the dogs and they’re ready to come out and show you what they can do,” Pilch joked.
Military working dog handler Cpl. Taylor Reed then briefed the visitors on the work and training the Soldiers and the detachment’s dogs conduct daily.
Reed explained the crucial importance of the obedience training, as Pfc. Anthony Branham walked one of the dogs, Suki, through the paces, demonstrating how the dogs could be used as force multipliers for law enforcement and force protection.
Following each successful demonstration, and round of applause from the visitors, Branham would briefly allow Suki to play with a chew toy as a reward for a job well done.
The group also watched as Suki navigated an obstacle course, part of a normal weekly training event.
Reed explained that running the dogs through the course allows them to maintain stamina and agility, and also gives the handlers the “chance to work with the dogs over complex obstacles.”
The handlers also showcased how the dogs were trained for controlled aggression, working through a series of scenarios ranging from the dogs simply watching the role-player “suspects,” to actually chasing down and apprehending fleeing role-players dressed in protective padded suits, helmets and gloves.
Following the demonstration, Pilch thanked the officials for spending the time to help learn a bit more about the capabilities his team can offer.
“We wanted to host you so you could see part of what we do, and that will allow us to better work together in the future,” Pilch said.