MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
In preparation for Combat Logistics Regiment 15’s upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, military police at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz., trained and familiarized the regiment’s security company with the use of military working dogs in hostile areas July 15, 2010.
Although the Camp Pendleton-based regiment, which was already in Yuma for predeployment training, doesn’t have its own K-9s, they will be working closely with military policeman and working dogs while deployed.
“We wanted to get an idea about how we utilize military working dogs in-country,” said Sgt. Tom Stark, a security company squad leader. “A lot of these guys in the company aren’t MPs and have never even seen an MWD, so we want to get them used to it.”
The station military policemen were happy to pass on their knowledge to their fellow Marines.
“These guys are the security element,” said Cpl. Brian Friedman, station MP. “They’ll be working with K-9s a lot while deployed, and we want to help them get used to it before they go.”
Throughout the day, the dog handlers demonstrated how they use a K-9 to take down a fleeing offender, how a handler’s K-9 will defend him if threatened, how they search for ordnance or illegal substances with the dogs and more.
While the training was intended primarily for the security company, the sight of Marines in bite-suits being chased by the K-9s quickly drew a crowd from various sections within the regiment, many eager to be tackled by one of the 60-pound animals.
“It was pretty intense,” said Sgt. Jay Parales, regiment logistician, who also participated in the training. “That dog took me down like I was a little toy. It was a little scary, but it was fun.”
Though the training was intended for the individuals who would be doing most of the legwork, it was exciting for Marines of all ranks.
“This was some good training,” said Lt. Col. Mike Murchison, the incoming regiment commanding officer. “We got a little bit more than we expected.”
The regiment, which is slated to deploy in September, will be tasked with supporting both ground and aviation combat units in Afghanistan, providing utilities, motor transport support and mess halls, as well as other vital support roles, said Gunnery Sgt. Victor Leanos, the regiment’s headquarters company gunnery sergeant.