Friday, July 13, 2012

Mine Detection Dogs Save Lives In Afghanistan

I love dogs and there's nothing like a story like this from the Defense Department to make me appreciate their service to mankind even more.

The piece features, Lobo and his handler, Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Black, who risk their lives in Afghanistan to find and clear explosives before our troops drive over them or, even worse, step on them.  They are part of the 49th Engineer Detachment from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and the full-time job of these canine soldiers is to find buried mines and other explosives and warn the troops so further preventative action can be taken.

Here's an excerpt from the article, which tells of a common scenario:
Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Black moved back toward the mine clearance vehicle to watch from a safe distance as a team traced the wire of a suspected improvised explosive device back toward the road. 
Black’s military working dog, Lobo, was held on the end of a leash as the pair took a short break after searching the last 500 meters along the road. 
Suddenly, enemy forces unleashed AK-47 rifle fire. The U.S. soldiers hugged the ground and returned fire. Support vehicles joined in engaging the enemy and after five minutes, forced the attackers to withdraw. 
The team lost the wire’s location during the engagement and was now scrambling to find it. Black brought Lobo up to search. Lobo walked out front, nose to the ground, with Black still on the leash close behind. After no more than 70 meters, Lobo stopped. Black called Lobo back, marked the site, and called for support. The site was inspected and 200 pounds of homemade explosive was found buried four feet down.
Gutsy individuals, these men and women and their dogs, doing incredibly dangerous work that has helped save many lives during America's 10-year presence in Afghanistan.

The handlers and their dogs go through months of training together and are fully certified in explosive detection at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona before being deployed.

I always hope that when it's their time to "retire" these dogs get to go home with one of their handlers, which was the case with former Marine Megan Leavey and her dog Rex earlier this year.

So, while I'm not a cat hater, it's clear who you want on your side when you need some serious help.

You can go here to read the whole article on these amazing dogs and the work they do.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.