92nd SFS hosts interagency military working dog training at FAFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Matthew Arachikavitz
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Military working dog handlers assigned to the 92nd Security Forces Squadron hosted an interagency training event with security and law-enforcement working dog teams from Idaho, Washington and Oregon at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, Feb. 21, 2024.

Members of the 92nd SFS, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and the Providence Sacred Heart Hospital spent the day at the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape mock village conducting scenarios in narcotics and explosives detection and other tactical situations.

“It's always great to learn new methods and new ways of training because you can never stop learning,” said Senior Airman Casi Smith, a military working dog handler assigned to the 92nd SFS. “Today I learned different tactics and what my dog's strengths and weaknesses are. I learned what we need to work on as a team and how we can get better.”

Training events like this enhance combat readiness of Fairchild AFB’s security forces Airmen by exposing military working dogs and their handlers to different scenarios they might not see in their day-to-day duties. Each agency brought a unique training perspective that was beneficial to the other according to Patrick McKenna, Providence Sacred Heart K-9 supervisor.

“By mixing everybody together, we get different training scenarios so our dogs aren’t seeing the same thing time after time,” said McKenna. “Being able to train for those scenarios builds confidence in our dogs [if and when we need to use them.]”

Harvey Ballman, a Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office deputy, said it’s critically important to build relationships with other K-9 units and other entities. He added that collaboration like this highlights the partnership between Fairchild AFB, the Spokane community and other agencies throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“We get to learn from a DOD perspective, and then we can teach from a civilian law enforcement perspective and make everybody better,” said Ballman.