The program that deals with the Department of Defense Military working dog program is the United States Air Force. Air Force Dog handlers work with their canines to train and detect explosives, or find drugs in a number of different situations. There are over 1300 working Dog handler teams worldwide, and the working dogs from the other services; Army, Navy, and Marine Corps have been through the Air Force Dog Handler Team program. The 341st Squadron is responsible for training Dog Handler Teams, and it is located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Do You Like Working With Dogs?
Working as an Air Force K9 Dog handler involves working together with your assigned dog to train and learn how to perform the detection mission. On a single day as many as 108 different dogs may be working and training, with their handlers at the Air Force Base. Dogs are exposed to training regimes that teach both the dog and handler how to deal with different types of situations. There are two different types of Dog handler missions:
Drug Interdiction: This is the mission where the K9 handler and dog work as a team to learn to detect and reveal hidden supplies of drugs. Part of the training mission for these dog handler teams is handled along the border with Mexico, because of the sheer availability of drugs and the need for odor of drugs, training is conducted in both the classroom and in live actual field training exercises, using real supplies of drugs and illegal narcotics to train and reward the dogs efforts.
Bomb Sniffing: This is the mission where the Air Force handler and his dog work to learn how to recognize and detect the presence of bombs and explosives hidden in luggage, packages and other materials. This is an intensive program, and the dogs and handlers work hard in learning the specific methods that are used to try and slip explosives by. All military dog handling teams, both in the Air Force and in the other services are trained at the 341st Squadron facility, which is known as the Dog School. Each year the dog school trains about 300 detector dogs a year. A trained dog will be either a bomb detection dog, or a drug dog.
Personnel, who are headed for training for handler complete basic training, then are assigned to the dog school for their technical school training. They are paired with a dog, and work to become a trained detection team.
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