Soldiers going through basic training work with military dogs and handlers
FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) - Fort Sill soldiers going through basic training spent the day learning from some four-legged heroes.
Wednesday morning, every soldier in basic training got hands-on experience training alongside military working dogs and their handlers.
The dogs are experts at detecting explosives or narcotics, which their handlers know, but often soldiers who don't routinely work with the dogs, don't fully understand.
"They're very new to the Army and they don't very many experiences yet but them understanding these are some of the experiences we have will greatly help them in their futures," said Specialist Gregory Grubbs.
Specialist Grubbs went through the training with his dog Ash, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois. He said they do this training to give soldiers a better idea of what they'll likely see during their military career.
"It's extremely important for us to work together because when we do deploy and go down range, these are the guys we're going to be with. The more training they get with us, the better they understand our capabilities and we understand theirs, the better we're going to operate," Grubbs said.
The trainees followed along as Ash sniffed around a car and a fence until the unit was ultimately met by a surprise attack. The soldiers then got valuable training on how to respond to that attack, while having Ash and Grubb alongside them. First Sergeant Mica Snell said Wednesday was the perfect example of the diverse training soldiers receive at Fort Sill.
"When they go forward in their careers, they're going to see a lot of things. The more exposure we can give to them in basic training, the easier it will be in the future for them to adapt and overcome those challenges when working with outside agencies," Snell said.
The dogs and their handlers routinely train with a variety of units on Fort Sill, but Snell said he hopes to do more training with soldiers going through basic training in the future.
"Since we are in a rotational basis, there's always going to be a basic training cycle. Working this into every basic training cycle is not only feasible but it will enhance that training in the future," Snell said.
There are seven military working dogs on Fort Sill, most of which are trained to work as patrol dogs with law enforcement. All of them are trained to locate narcotics or explosives, according to Grubb.
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