Military dogs working for the community

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jocelyn A. Ford
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The 92nd Security Forces Squadron is the home to several military working dogs. Each dog is assigned a handler and trains daily. Each day has the purpose of advancing the dogs' ability to increase their stamina for searching for people and detecting odors.
The Airmen who handle the military working dogs also know the importance of community relations. They hold demonstrations for the base, as well as people in the Spokane community, which builds on relations between the base and community.

The military working dog handlers receive requests for assistance from off-base agencies. When called, they are ready to respond.

"It is an honor to know that our military working dog teams are well trained and respected within the community," said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Tillman, 92nd SFS military working dog handler. "We take pride in supporting local law enforcement agencies, and reciprocating the community support."

In the early morning hours on July 16 a call came in requesting help from the K-9's on base. Someone called in a bomb threat to the Coeur d'Alene Casino in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. The casino was evacuated and part of Highway 95, adjacent to the casino, was closed due to the evacuation.

Tech. Sgt. Max Talley, 92nd SFS military working dog section non-commissioned officer in charge, took two teams out to the casino. The dogs logged six hours of search time that morning to re-assure casino officials and guests there was no threat on the property.

"Our mission is to train the best resource possible for the detection of explosives, drugs or narcotics," said Sergeant Talley. "Our training is to keep the skills of a military working dog as sharp as a razor."

Just months before the incident at the casino Fairchild's military working dogs were called out to assist in a bomb search at Eastern Washington University after a note was found on a bathroom door. Again, no bomb was found.

Though Fairchild's military working dogs' priority begins with the flightline, their range of support extends past Fairchild's gates to assist with threats such as these. Overall, their range of support is vast, with a drive time of up to eight hours to assist the community when needed.

"We are a federal agency. We are charged with protecting everybody," said Sergeant Talley. "We train to be the best."