Red Bulls patrol area around COP Najil

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Capt. Jason Merchant, the company commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Ironman from Dysart, Iowa, hands out cards Dec. (click for more)

64th MPs: Brothers, sisters in arms

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Lauren Hyman of Texarkana, Texas, armored vehicle driver for the 64th Military Police Company based at Combat Oupost Fortress, says hello to an (click for more)

Iowa town showers small Afghan school with supplies

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Taylor Gingrich, an infantry officer from Cedar Falls, Iowa, with Task Force Ironman, draws a smile from an Afghan boy as Gingrich (click for more)

TF Knighthawk Soldier prepares for recording contract during deployment

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Brian Stowe, a human resources specialist from Elkmont, Ala., with Task Force Knighthawk, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, sings a ballad he wrote and (click for more)

Guard team partners with Afghan security forces

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Servicemembers defend the wall after an improvised explosive device detonates on Forward Operating Base Lightning Dec. 5. (click for more)

French forces support Afghan troops in Kapisa

KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan and French military chiefs conduct a briefing before deployment during a security operation. Afghan National Security Forces and French Task Force Richelieu conducted Operation Montevideo (click for more)

Panjshir PRT engineers inspect Paryan road

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Phil Compton, Doty, Wash., Panjshir PRT engineer, and PRT local Afghan engineer Abid Wardak check the structural integrity of the retaining (click for more)

TF White Eagle saves lives of mother, infant

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An Afghan family looks at their new family member after she was delivered by the Polish Army medical team at Forward Operating Base Warrior Jan. 3. (click for more)

1st Bn., 187th Inf. Regt., patrols Sabari District

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, maneuver through Sabari District during patrols to disrupt insurgent activity in the (click for more)

Freedom Restoration Center helps troops get back to duty

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Shawn Fouste, Decatur, Ill., noncommissioned officer in charge of the Freedom Restoration Center with the 455th Expeditionary Wing, Task Force Med, plays with (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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