K-9 unit trains to protect Marines, public
Dogs have often been referred to as man’s best friend, but the K-9 working dogs at the Provost Marshal’s Office, Headquarters and Service Battalion, are referred to as partners.
Marines, with the PMO K-9 unit on Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, conducted a search and aggresion exercise on Camp Foster July 29 to keep their dogs ready to go at a moment’s notice.
The training is crucial to the development of diligent working dogs, said Lance Cpl. Austin Nelson, a military working dog handler for PMO.
“(The training) allows us to find whatever we are searching for faster and it is very good training for both us and our dogs,” said Nelson.
The training covered carious subjects, including building clearing.
“We conducted a building search and found the suspect inside, escorted the suspect out of the building, then continued our search of the building with the dogs,” said Lance Cpl. Samuel H. Dunaway, a military working dog handler for PMO.
The Marines feel safer when their dogs are around because they know the dogs are highly trained and will respond with no hesitation to their handler’s commands, according to Nelson.
“He is my partner, I love this dog. We are together day in and day out,” said Nelson. “There is a lot of effort put into training these dogs. We’re always coming in during our off time, staying late and coming in early because our dogs come first.”
The Marines agree that training with the dogs has developed a closer relationship between them.
“I love being able to work with our dogs. They pick up on things that humans don’t. For example, if someone is in an aggressive stance, they pick up on that and prepare to defend us,” said Dunaway.
Watching the training, one can see the relationship between trainer and animal, said Cpl. Fidel E. Rodriguez, a military working dog handler with PMO.
“It’s the loyalty these dogs have for us. (The dog) will do anything for you; if someone has a weapon of any kind he will protect you without any hesitation,” he said.
The rapport with the handler and dog is amazing because it will show people that they can trust them to work together, according to Rodriguez.
“The best part is seeing the handler and the dog working together,” said Rodriguez. “The teamwork with each other is incredible; it shows all the training we put into the dogs and that they can work together. Just like us they are part of the Marine Corps. They truly are devil dogs.”
Article by Pfc. Daniel E. Valle, Marine Corps Bases Japan