Defenders, K9s relocate to new home

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kentavist P. Brackin
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

U.S. and Royal Australian Air Force Airmen with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog Section recently moved into their newly constructed K9 compound at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.


Military working dogs and their handlers provide detection capabilities to U.S. and coalition partners, acting as a physiological deterrent against possible threats.


“The capability is here now to hold more dogs safely with more individual kennels,” said Capt. Rice, 380th ESFS director of operations. “The new kennels provide our military working dogs, not only the care and safety that is up to standards, but what they deserve. This enables us to care, not just for the MWD teams here now, but for those in the future when we have more teams together from both the RAAF and USAF.”


The design and construction of an improved MWD facility, from the initial sketches of building to its completion, was a three-year long project between 557th RED HORSE and the 380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Jan. 15, 2016.


“This is my first time being in a kennel facility this nice while at a deployed location,” said Tech. Sgt. William, the 380th ESFS kennel master. “The old one was a temporary facility that has been here many years whereas the new one is a hardened facility built for an enduring presence.”


Various improvements to the compound include a conference room, larger kennels and a bigger obedience course, in addition to the compound itself being four times larger than its predecessor.


“The conference room will definitely aid us with the training aspect,” said William. “We now have a set area where we can discuss training and a monitor to where we can watch videos of the dog teams training to identify areas of improvement furthermore giving us the capabilities to increase the proficiency of each team.   


The compound also boasts approximately 160 percent larger kennels with a house inside for the dogs to rest in.


One of the biggest improvements will definitely be the obedience course, according to William.


“The old training yard was used at a minimum due to safety concerns because the dog’s pads would get cut on the rocks and gravel during training,” he said. “With the new one and the inclusion of Astroturf, the dogs will have a safer environment to train on.”


Engineers plan to install Astroturf or artificial grass on the obedience course later this year.


“The best part about the new facility is seeing how happy the MWDs are with having all the additional space in their kennel to be able to move around in,” he said. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who contributed towards this project.”


(Due to security and safety concerns some last names were removed)