U.S. Military Working Dogs and EOD collaborate in joint operations at Ali Al Salem

Job proficiency is key to staying on top of your game. Even while deployed, military working dogs and their trainers get top-notch experience with explosive ordnance Airmen.
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A military working dog handler assigned to the 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron and her canine companion patrol a perimeter fence during a joint exercise with local explosive ordnance disposal and MWD training exercise at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait, June 18, 2020 (Picture source: U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Isaiah J. Soliz)

Day and night, Airmen from the 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron military working dog flight team up with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Airmen to complete response training locally. “The joint-training we conduct with EOD is critical to us. It sets up realistic training scenarios that the MWDT’s (military working dog teams) could possibly encounter day to day,” said Tech. Sgt. Dominic LaForest, 386th ESFS kennel master. “We all learn from each other, which in turn gives us better knowledge when it comes to working together.”

This type of training helps MWD’s train on new tactics to keep themselves and their teammates safe ultimately, protecting the installation and its assets. “When working with EOD, we need to make sure our TTPs and comms are parallel with each other," LaForest said. “The only way to get that is training together. At the end of the day we get together, debrief and talk about ways to streamline our operations to accomplish the mission as quickly and safe as possible.”

These Airmen are able to make the most of their training environment on a daily basis. Collaborating between each organization and providing valuable tools to bring back to their home stations are what deployments are all about. “We train for the threat at hand,” LaForest said. “It all correlates together as explosive devices will be similar in theory. You can say the environment is what is the biggest difference, depending on where you are stationed. But we always try to link up wherever we are and get joint training accomplished.”

While some pandemic precautions have hindered some of these Airmen from returning to their teams and families back home, they still find a way to make the best for defending and protecting installations worldwide.