Fairchild K-9 team responds to bomb threat

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- A 92nd Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog team and local law enforcement responded to a bomb threat at Washington State University campus in Pullman Aug. 3.

The 92nd SFS MWD team worked closely with local law enforcement agencies including the WSU Police Department, Whitman City Police Department and Whitman City Regional SWAT. The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service also responded to the threat.

Dog teams from numerous agencies searched more than eight different academic buildings on WSU’s campus, searching nearly 1.4 million square feet.

“As MWD handlers, we are federally trained with our K-9s for bomb detection,” said Senior Airman Kyle Wentz, 92nd SFS MWD handler. “We are trained to locate explosives during a variety of threats.”

92nd SFS MWD focuses on the detection of explosives and narcotics and deterrence of individuals at home, in training, while deployed and in the local area. Through rigorous hours of training, the unit conducts detection sweeps of roadways and villages, ruck marches with simulated explosives and gunfire and challenging physical training.

“Our MWD team is a force multiplier,” said Capt. Luke Restad, 92nd SFS operations officer. “Our MWD program is essential to our success both here and overseas in deployed environments. Our handlers are constantly training with their MWDs to ensure our teams are the most effective they can be. They allow us to capitalize on their many capabilities such as explosive detection, drug detection, less-than-lethal force and being an unrivaled listening and observation post.”

The unit also conducts training with local law enforcement, ensuring compatibility and shared knowledge of K-9 handling techniques.

As part of the Mutual Aid Agreement with local law enforcement agencies and with the appropriate approval, the 92nd SFS supports these agencies to help protect the general public when needed. Security Forces has capabilities and resources that many other law enforcement agencies do not have access to, putting them in a position to be able to help local agencies when the need arises, Restad said.

“By keeping a positive working relationship with these agencies, we ensure the information and resources are being shared when need be,” Restad said. “It also means that when one of us needs assistance, we can count on help being on the way.”