News: Lassie 2.0
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — With noses to the ground and tails in the air in a combat zone, Marine bomb sniffing dogs bring yet another asset to the table in the fight against improvised explosive devices.
These canine Marines are enlisted into the Corps for the purpose of attaching to a platoon and clearing an area of IED threats before a patrol passes through. For 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, having these military working dogs increases their confidence in the ability to deter the IED threat while on patrols during their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
“The fact that these dogs are smelling odors of explosives [from their training only weeks ago] makes me confident that they can find threats when we get to Afghanistan,” said 2nd Lt. Joshua Castillo, platoon commander, 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, native of San Antonio.
Cpl. Jazz, a yellow Labrador with 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, is already a veteran of Afghanistan. She, like all of her fellow bomb-sniffers, can smell several different types of odors connected to IEDs. She goes on patrols, raids and assaults whenever her platoon does. She is an essential member of the platoon.
For Lance Cpl. Daniel Schueller, Jazz’s handler, the experience is different. He has individually trained with Jazz for six weeks, and Enhanced Mojave Viper is their first chance to train with a platoon. As the dog handler, Schueller knows Jazz intimately and can read her reaction when she finds a threat.
“They match us with a dog that has a similar personality and we have a deep relationship and bond,” Schueller said. “Being a dog handler, you have to know their characteristics, like even the regular everyday things, because it could be a signal to you that there is a threat.”
Schueller and Jazz team up every time their platoon goes out and, their efforts aid in keeping their fellow platoon members safe from IEDs.
“Without endangering Marines’ lives she can clear an area of bombs,” Schueller said.
“I love it, it’s a risky job for us — definitely for her — but it’s a privilege and makes me proud.”
For 2nd Platoon squad leader Cpl. Ronald Ruess, of Festus, Mo., having a dog in his platoon gives him faith that he and the men of his squad have ample assets to help overcome the threat of IED’s.
“There is such a variety and overwhelming IED threat that anything helps,” Ruess said. “Having a dog gives me more of an assurance about the [detection] of bombs and the fight against IEDs.”
Date Posted:03.15.2011 13:24
Location:MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA, US
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