MWD team, EOD train together for 1st time
Sgt. Timothy Conley, MWD handler, HHD, 97th MP Bn., center, watches as MWD Xando, a 6-year-old German shepherd, searches for explosives Feb. 17 during a training event with the 84th EOD.
Story by: Shandi Dix
Soldiers with the Military Working Dog unit of the 97th Military Police Battalion teamed up for the first time with the 84th Explosive Ordnance Disposal, 1st Sustainment Brigade, for explosive detection training Feb. 17.
The training allowed for the dogs and their handlers to see what types of explosive booby traps are used in theater, said Sgt. Justin Wolfschlag, plans and operations, noncommissioned officer, MWD unit, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 97th MP Bn.
The MWD unit conducts training daily and is working to establish a monthly training event with the EOD unit, Wolfschlag said.
This type of training helps MWDs search for and locate explosive devices, as well as makes the handler more aware of the hazards they may face in theater, he said.
With the training, the EOD unit can give the dogs and their handlers realistic experiences based upon current and past situations, said Sgt. Joseph Makee, EOD technician, 630th EOD Company, 84th EOD. It also helps MWDs know how to respond and communicate with EOD.
"It is nice to train with EOD because it allows the handler to see how the MWDs will respond on a large quantity of odor," Wolfschlag said. "The training is very productive and prepares our MWD teams for upcoming deployments."
"It's good to work with them and do the cross training to see how the MWD (unit) operates and get an understanding of their procedures, and they can get an understanding of EOD procedures," Makee said. "Each time the units train together, it will become more efficient and worthwhile."