KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Jan. 3, 2013) -- The 438th Medical Detachment (Veterinary Service) from Fort Carson, Colo., officially opened their doors to Afghanistan's first Veterinary Treatment Facility at Kandahar Airfield, Dec. 15.

Col. Koji Nishimura, Task Force Medical-Afghanistan commander, presided over the event as joint and coalition medical command teams assembled to honor the opening ceremony.

For the last three months, 438th Med. Det. (VS), Task Force 14 Medical worked hand-in-hand with the Beautiful American Construction Company to finalize their facility to help treat both military and contracting working dogs throughout Regional Command-South.

"The working dog is a force multiplier that provides services and protection to our war fighters that is unmatched by any U.S. military equipment," said Capt. Paul Key, executive officer, 438th MDVS. "These dogs do not volunteer to serve like the rest of us, yet they are some of the most faithful, reliable and loving Soldiers out there. With the completion of this building, we will be that much more capable of caring for these amazing dogs."

Key recognized the hard work of the individuals who helped build and ensure the facility met all of the American building and safety codes, ending his speech with special thanks to them.

"The other, more subtle, but equally significant facet of this building is that it was part of the Afghan-First initiative," said Key.

This meant that overcoming multiple setbacks the tenacity of the workers built the facility to American construction codes with the intent to last.

"They were always willing to tackle any tasks you put them to with smiles on their faces," said Key.

The 438th Med. Det. (VS) supports force health protection by providing comprehensive veterinary services to include food safety and defense, animal health care, veterinary preventative medicine and stability operations to combined joint military and inter-agency operations in the Combined Joint Operations Area-Afghanistan.