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    Canine Hoist Training

    Canine Hoist Training

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Farina | Staff Sgt Buri, a Military Working Dog for the 131st Military Working Dog Detachment,...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Farina 

    Multinational Battle Group - East (KFOR)

    Military Working Dogs are well-trained, serious animals that often work in difficult, hard-to-access terrain because of their maneuverability. If a MWD gets injured during one of their missions here in Kosovo, The Medevac Aviators of Multinational Battle Group – East will come to their aid like any other Service Member in need of medical attention.

    In order to remain proficient in this specific capability, Medical Aviators and Military Working Dog Handlers of MNGB-East teamed up to carry out canine hoist training with a UH-60 Medevac August 1, 2017 on Camp Bondsteel.

    Hoisting capabilities can get an injured MWD out of those hard-to-access areas they tend to work in.

    “We have the hoist capabilities and we can hoist up to a maximum height of 295 feet,” said MNBG-East Standardization Instructor Sgt. Zachary Smith, a Critical Care Flight Paramedic for Detachment 1, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation Regiment of the Oklahoma National Guard. “It doesn’t really matter where you are. We should be able to get you with the tools that we have.”

    If a MWD team was out in a mountainous area where there is no landing zone and something happened to the canine service member, whether it hurt its foot, stepped on a mine or was so sick that it could no longer perform its job, a Medevac can come in to hoist them out of there, Smith Explained.

    The MWD and its handler are hoisted together using a 420C rescue device, said Smith. It is used for the canines because it has a small seat that allows the handler to pin the MWD in between themselves and the seat. It allows for less movement of the dog.

    MNBG-East Kennel Master Sgt. Bruce Brickleff, a Military Working Dog Handler for the 131st Military Working Dog Detachment out of Grafinvere Germany, said the Hoist training serves as a way to familiarize the dogs with the aircraft as well as getting lifted up into the helicopter. It also trains the Medevac Aviators on how to maneuver the MWD team into the black hawk once hoisted up.

    Brickleff and his MWD, Staff Sgt. Buri who is a male Belgian Malinois Shepard mix, were hoisted together several times during the training.

    “He has full and total trust in me as the handler and knows that I am not going to let any harm get to him,“ Brickleff assured.

    When it comes to hoisting a canine into a helicopter, special safety equipment is used and certain aspects are taken into consideration.

    Brickleff goes over the precautions as they prepare to be hoisted up. Weather is usually a factor. During this day’s training in particular, the heat was a concern. Dogs can overheat so he ensures Buri is drinking water. He monitors the interactions between Buri and the other Soldiers participating in the training. He observes the preparation for hoisting as the Medevac Aviators on ground use d-rings and harnesses to properly secure them into the 420C.

    Buri is outfitted with canine-specific eye protection called “Doggles” and a muzzle.

    “It’s fun to use the Doggles,” acknowledged MNBG-East Veterinary Officer Capt. Jarrod Miller, a Field Service Veterinarian for Task Force Med, 21st Combat Support Hospital out of Fort Hood, Texas.

    Soldiers wear eye protection when conducting training and operations with a helicopter. This includes canine service members, said Miller.

    It is also good to have the MWD wear a muzzle during possible stress-inducing training conditions, Miller assured. If the dog gets stressed around the intensity of the helicopter while working with unfamiliar personnel such as a crew chief, the muzzle eliminates risks.

    Miller explained that the canine Hoist training is something that’s been developing within the last several years. MWD Handlers and veterinarians brainstormed with Medevac Aviators on how to evacuate canines if they are in a hard-to-access location. This capability is up and coming. Aviators and dog handlers are working with MWD hoist procedures a lot more now.

    The ability to hoist a MWD team via Medevac helicopter out of an otherwise inaccessible area allows for MNBG-East to protect a valuable and multi-faceted force asset.

    “Their primary mission here is they are a force multiplier. They can go essentially anywhere,” said Miller.

    According to Army Regulation 190-12: Military Police Military Working Dogs, MWD teams are used in garrison and combat support missions including area security; movement and mobility support operations; law and order; and force protection, including narcotic, human, landmine, firearm, ammunition and explosive detection.

    “We are here to assist in any way possible that we can, in accordance with our regulation,” Brickleff assured.



    Date Taken: 08.01.2017
    Date Posted: 08.09.2017 14:52
    Story ID: 244132
    Location: CAMP BONDSTEEL, ZZ 

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