An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

81st SFS trains with K-9 Diesel

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Davis
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

81st Security Forces Squadron members and their canines are seen at the gates and all over base, ensuring they remain at the top of their game.

The training that happens behind the kennel gates, however, is arguably the most important of all.

Under Second Air Force and Air Education and Training Command, Military Working Dog teams are trained at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas at the 341st Training Squadron to learn patrol, drug and explosive detection and specialized mission functions.

To maintain their skills, MWD handlers train with their dogs every day in obedience, patrol and detection. The handlers also practice medical and veterinary training to care for their four-legged partners.

“Something most people don’t think about is that you are your dog’s first line of safety,” said Senior Airman Jordan Ellis, 81st SFS MWD handler. “I’ve been in positions where I needed to react quickly and I’m very grateful I was able to rely on my medical training.”

The 81st SFS conducts monthly in-house medical training on various subjects, including taking vital signs, performing physical examinations, checking airways, giving injections and performing canine tactical combat casualty care.

To get the most realistic training possible, the 81st SFS handlers get to spend time with a very special MWD.

The Advanced Canine Medical Trainer K-9 Diesel was named in memory of a heroic working dog who died in the line of duty. Designed in partnership with the Department of Defense, the simulator can bark, whimper, growl, move its jaw and breathe in programmed patterns through a remote control.

“Having access to this simulator is critical for us because it replicates actual emergencies we could face in the field,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Wood, 81st SFS MWD kennel master. “We’re making sure that we can do these routine things routinely well.”