Security forces military dog section honors one of its own|
Posted 9/13/2005 Updated 10/19/2005
by Senior Airman Jet Fabara
95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
9/13/2005 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFMCNS) -- Since the initiation of the first U.S. sentry dog training branch at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in 1958, military working dogs in the United States and abroad have been honored for playing an active role in the Air Force mission.
That honor was once again passed down Sept. 1 during a Military Working Dog funeral at the Edwards MWD facility for Berry, a 95th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, who died Aug. 15.
"When looking at what we do as a military working dog section, people don't often realize how essential these dogs are to Air Force safety, so when we lose a partner and dog like Berry it is felt throughout the MWD section," said Tech. Sgt. Gregory Jones, 95th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog section kennel master.
Just like any Airman, military working dogs arrive to their first duty station already trained, but are in continuous training throughout the remainder of their military career.
And, like any other Airman, working dogs spend their careers as a vital part of the Air Force mission, both at home station and while deployed.
After being certified in April 1995 as a patrol and narcotic detector dog from Lackland, Berry arrived at Edwards for duty May 16, 1995. While at Edwards, Berry had 25 drug finds that helped confiscate various amounts of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines from the streets, Sergeant Jones said. Over a 10-year span, Berry was able to accumulate almost 1,100 hours of search time and 47 drug finds.
"During deployments, military working dogs are usually positioned in Entry Control Points in camps and bases in the Middle East," Sergeant Jones said. "Some are also attached to Marine units in order to search for explosives."
While on a temporary deployment to U.S. Customs Service in El Paso, Texas, Berry had 22 drug finds that netted more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana and cocaine.
"After looking at Berry's career, it just goes to show that military working dogs continue to contribute to the Air Force and the safety of their handlers," Sergeant Jones said.