Search

FREE GoGoDragon! stickers in today's EDP and Evening News!

Click here

RAF Feltwell dogs train to take on real life danger and keep base safe

16:50 23 April 2014

RAF Feltwell dog handlers

RAF Feltwell dog handlers

Archant

Dog handlers at RAF Feltwell have been showing how they help train recruits to sniff out trouble and keep the base safe.

shares
RAF Feltwell dog handlersRAF Feltwell dog handlers

The men and women of the 48th Security Forces Squadron military working dogs (MWD) unit carry out constant on-the-job training to stay ready for base patrols, real-world scenarios and combat situations.

Staff Sgt Chris Maziarka, 48th SFS MWD trainer, said: “The dogs’ sense of smell gives us the upper hand of detecting something; as a human, our eyes don’t allow us to see, whether that be an item wedged in the seats of a vehicle or a perpetrator in a low visibility scenario.”

According to Staff Sgt Christian Cykman, knowing what agitates the dog and what spots are OK to touch helps the handlers recognize changes in behavior and better communicate commands.

“Every day is different with the dogs,” said Staff Sgt. Christian Cykman, 48th SFS MWD handler. “Having a strong and trusting bond helps us as handlers adjust to the dogs’ moods and attitudes.”

RAF Feltwell dog handlersRAF Feltwell dog handlers

Some of the dogs are trained at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, through the Department of Defense working dog course, while others may be purchased from U.S. or overseas private K-9 contractors.

Once the dogs are acquired by the different MWD units throughout the Air Force, on-the-job training begins immediately. For the K-9s at RAF Feltwell, weekly training is conducted for combat obedience, as well as working on the tactical obedience training course.

“The relationship between a handler and dog is the most important aspect of the team,” Staff Sgt Cykman said. “Without a strong rapport and bond, the consequence is a weak working team when involved in real-world scenarios.”

Once established, the bond between handler and dog is unbreakable, Senior Airman Anthony Peters, 48th SFS MWD handler, said.

“Working with [MWD] Gina, I feel that when I leave at the end of the day that I have completed something. Whether it is through training or building positive camaraderie, every day feels like an accomplishment that benefits our team,” he said.

shares

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 11°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the EDP
digital edition

Subscribe

Broads Outdoor Festival

cover

Enjoy the Broads
Outdoor Festival
digital edition

Read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Enjoy the Eating Out
in the Broads
digital edition

Read

Great Days Out

cover

Enjoy the Great Days
Out digital edition

Read

Get Into Summer

cover

Enjoy the Get Into
Summer digital edition

Read