Soldiers look for perfect holiday gift at Bagram bazaar

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A shopkeeper stands by his store in the Bagram Airfield bazaar Dec. 11. The bazaar brings in more than $30,000 into the local economy on a (click for more)

AUP, TF Lethal capture munitions cache in Jaji

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A member of the AUP performs a search during an AUP-led operation with Company A, 1st Battalion, 168 Infantry Regiment in Jaji District Dec. 16. (click for more)

Kapisa PRT visits Ghayn Valley

KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Local children watch members of Kapisa PRT pass as they leave the Abdul Salam High School in Ghayn Valley Dec. 15. (click for more)

Veterinary Services keep donkeys in the fight

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Maj. Ted A. Broome (right), and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eleazar Vizcaino, both assigned to 358th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services, evaluate a donkey at (click for more)

Kunar PRT attends Manogai District elections

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Haji Sher Badir, Manogai District subgovernor, speaks during the election ceremony for the Manogai District Community Council Dec. 9. (click for more)

Next step to Ghazni 2013 project

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Key elders listen intently while the U.S. and Polish ambassadors, Musa Khan, Ghazni provincial governor, and Amina Safi Afzaly, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, speak (click for more)

Iowa ADT supports Kunar veterinary conference

U.S. Army Maj. Loren Adams, veternarian from New Liberty, Iowa, supervises as an Afghan veterinarian puts final sutures into a neutered dog at a continuing education conference organized by the (click for more)

USO Holiday Tour comes to Bagram

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Actor and comedian Robin Williams talks with U.S. Army Maj. Gen John F. Campbell, Combined Joint Task Force 101 and Regional Command East commander, before the (click for more)

Ambassador Eikenberry dedicates playground at Ghazni orphanage

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, shakes a little girl's hand during the playground dedication at Ghazni City Orphanage in Ghazni Dec. 15. (click for more)

Bravo strengthens relationship with Afghan people

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Shane Taylor, a Slater, Iowa, native and Bravo Troop Soldier, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Red Horse, plays with Afghan children (click for more)

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PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Pfc. Raborne Vines, 54th Engineer Battalion, Task Force Dolch, chaplain’s assistant and native of Abbeville, Ala., spends some quality time with Sir Fred the Mine Dog, a working dog assigned to 49th Mine Dog Detachment, TF Dolch, before a training exercise designed to keep mine-detection dogs’ senses sharp at Bagram Airfield Dec. 15. The Queen of England knighted Sir Fred, a 10-year-old golden retriever who was one of the first British working dogs American forces trained for mine detection. Sir Fred has served on more than eight deployments as a working dog, and since the publication of this article, retired from active service into the care of his handler. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Larson, 54th Engineer Battalion, Task Force Dolch)PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Ever heard the phrase, “Every dog has its day”?



Well, the mine detection dogs and handlers from the 49th Mine Dog Detachment, 54th Engineer Battalion, Task Force Dolch, based at Bagram Airfield, know that better than most. These highly trained animals are used to help Soldiers on the ground find some of the most elusive enemies in theater - landmines and improvised explosive devices.

The 49th MDD, attached to TF Dolch for their deployment to Afghanistan, consists of only a handful of Soldiers who are responsible for conducting clearance operations alongside multiple route clearance patrols and many other missions that TF Dolch Sappers execute. Sappers are elite Ranger-like combat engineers who work with demolitions.

The dogs are tested regularly to ensure they can maintain the high find rates required of their job. Using actual land mines and munitions found around Bagram that coalition explosive ordnance detachment members rendered inert, the handlers built training lanes designed to help keep their companions mission ready at all times.

“We have anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines (and) anti-personnel landmines that are used as boosters for anti-tank mines, hand grenades, artillery rounds and everything in between,” said U.S. Army Sgt. John Bornhoff of the 49th MDD and resident of North Prairie, Wis.

There are 10 training and testing lanes, which are one meter wide by 10 meters long each. Bricks divide the lanes, and random ordnances are buried throughout.

“The dogs will key on even the slightest explosive scent that, (when) combined with a visual signature, will give the dog more than it needs to know that something is there,” said Bornhoff.

The presence of the MDD gives the Soldiers of TF Dolch a bit more confidence and a nice morale boost.

“Just being able to be around the dogs makes the morale of the Soldiers that much better,” said U.S. Army Chaplain (Capt.) William Robinson Jr., chaplain for the 54th Engr. Bn., TF Dolch, and native of Youngstown, Ohio.

The MDD is a great asset for TF Dolch Soldiers to remove at least some of the unexploded ordnance and IED threats military personnel and local civilians face in Afghanistan.PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Perry Pyle, a dog handler with 49th Mine Dog Detachment, 54th Engineer Battalion, Task Force Dolch and native of St. Louis, rewards his partner, Finta, with some play time for a job well done on mine-detection training lanes at Bagram Airfield Dec.15. The dogs are tested regularly to ensure they can maintain the high find rates required of mine detection dogs. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Larson, Task Force Dolch)PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Dustin Pape, a dog handler with 49th Mine Dog Detachment, 54th Engineer Battalion, Task Force Dolch and native of Pipestone, Minn., holds the leash of his mine dog, Gonzo, as he goes through training lanes at Bagram Airfield searching for buried landmines Dec. 15. The dogs are tested regularly to ensure they can maintain the high find rates required of mine detection dogs. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Larson, Task Force Dolch)

 

Last Updated on Friday, 31 December 2010 05:38
 

    

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