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    Sit, stay, rappel: Dogs fast rope with their handlers

    Sit, stay, rappel: Dogs fast rope with their handlers

    Photo By Cpl. Ryan Mains | Marines with 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion secure a working dog to his handler’s...... read more read more

    CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, JAPAN

    10.07.2014

    Story by Lance Cpl. Ryan Mains 

    III Marine Expeditionary Force   

    CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan – Military working dog handlers put a spin on the old adage, ‘teach an old dog new tricks,’ by participating in a fast-roping exercise with their dogs Oct. 7 at the Camp Hansen rappel tower.

    This was the first time handlers with 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion tried fast-roping with their dogs. Alongside Helicopter Rope Suspension Techniques masters, the handlers used the best and safest methods to rappel with the canine partners.

    “The [fast-roping] was a lot different because you had a dog on your back, and he is [moving] around,” said Lance Cpl. David Hernandez, a military working dog handler with 3rd LE Bn., III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF “This is an experience most dog handlers do not get to have.”

    According to 1st Lt. Christina Nymeyer, a platoon commander with the unit, the battalion plans to use the new skill for simulated air assaults in upcoming exercises.

    “If we were to get attached to a unit that is trying to do an air assault, and that handler dog team had never done that kind of training before, they wouldn’t know what to do,” said Cpl. Nicholas Mejerus, a military working dog handler with 3rd LE Bn. “Now that we have done it, we can share our knowledge with other Marines.”

    Before harnessing the dogs, Marines familiarized themselves with fast-roping techniques while wearing field gear, which included Kevlar helmets, flak vests and assault packs. As the exercise progressed, Marines learned proper landing techniques and how to secure a rope.

    “We didn’t know how the dogs were going to sit with the harnesses,” said Mejerus, from Mazeppa, Minnesota. “We walked around a bit with them on the harness and [once] they did well with that, we [executed] the fast-rope.”

    Training opportunities like these provide handlers additional chances to develop relationships with their dogs that are essential to accomplishing missions the teams will face, according to Hernandez.

    “We work with our dogs all the time,” said Hernandez, from San Fransisco, California. “They are our partners and we have to have confidence in the dog team, so that when we face challenges we can get through them.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 10.07.2014
    Date Posted: 10.20.2014 19:54
    Story ID: 145580
    Location: CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, JP
    Hometown: MAZEPPA, MN, US
    Hometown: SAN FRANCISCO, CA, US

    Web Views: 341
    Downloads: 2

    PUBLIC DOMAIN