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Lackland Training Detachment

Senior Airman Linda Johnson and Gizmo
Senior Airman Linda Johnson and Gizmo, a Belgian Malinois, 37th Security Forces Squadron, Lackland AFB TX as they check a truck, 2002. Gizmo is certified as a drug detector and patrol dog.

Today in WW II: 23 Nov 1940 Ford delivered the Pygmy prototype jeep to the US Army.  More 
23 Nov 1942 SS Ben Lomond sunk by German U-boat off the coast of Brazil.
23 Nov 1943 Deutsche Opernhaus, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, and many other buildings destroyed by a 764 aircraft RAF bombing raid on Berlin [22-23 Nov].
23 Nov 1944 Strasbourg, in eastern France, liberated by French General LeClerc's 2nd Armored Division. Eisenhower orders controversial halt at the Rhine by US Sixth Army Group.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

War Dogs: Lackland Training Detachment

The Lackland Training Detachment (LTD), 701st MP Battalion, is located at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. Its mission is Joint Service assistance in the training of all military working-dog (MWD) handlers, MWDs, and traffic-accident investigators deployed worldwide. The base is the only facility in the U.S. that trains dogs for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Canines are dual certified in explosive detection and patrol, which means they will attack on command, or, to protect themselves or their handler. After training, they are posted to assignments to fullfill military requirements wherever U.S. forces operate.

Training at Lackland, 1965

The new centralized U.S. Army Military Working Dog School at Lackland was started in January 1974. The U.S. Army Military Police School Training Detachment was also established there on 2 October 1974 (Photo to the right shows USAF Security Police, 1965). After several changes, on 5 December 2002, the detachment was redesignated as Company D ("dog"), 701st Military Police Battalion, 14th Military Police Brigade.

The 341st Training Squadron at Lackland was once known as the Military Working Dog Studies Branch, Security Police Academy, and before that era, as the USAF Sentry Dog School.

Training Military Working Dogs and Handlers

Training at DoD MWD Center

The 341st Training Squadron oversees the Millitary Working Dog Handler Course, with instructors from all four branches of service. The U.S. military is increasing its reliance on working dogs. Before 11 September 2001, Air Force security forces trained about 200 working dogs a year for the Defense Department. That number increased to more than 500 in the next few years, with the vast majority of dogs being trained as sentries and bomb-sniffers.

Intense, intelligent and hard working Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds are the primary breeds trained. The 120-day program teaches the dogs basic obedience as well as more advanced skills, such as how to attack and how to sniff for specific substances. The initial training program, conducted by the 341st Training Squadron team, is based on "positive rewards" -- generally a ball or rubber toy rather than food.

Once the dogs receive their initial training, members of the 37th Security Forces teach the dogs and their trainers to work as a team. The dog has skills to learn and the handler has to learn to recognize what the dog is trying to communicate.

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