News: Qatar military dog show enhances bilateral relations
Story by Dustin Senger
CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar — Forty-seven members of the Qatar military police exhibited working dog capabilities for U.S. service members at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, April 13. The first-time event was coordinated to enhance bilateral relationships between the two nations' armed forces, following talks between Maj. Gen Thamer Al Mehshadi, Qatar army military police commander, and Col. David G. Cotter, U.S. Army Central Area Support Group Qatar commander, March 26.
Surrounded by curious spectators, Sgt. Maj. Abdulla Al Ghanem, Qatar army military police canine trainer, directed the demonstration of fitness, skillfulness and obedience. Several German and Belgium shepherds (Malinois), along with an English springer spaniel, traversed through various obstacles and mock scenarios. The dogs showcased aggressive attack procedures, situational restraint during riot control and hostage rescue, as well as detection of narcotics and explosives hidden on persons and vehicles.
"I like how obedient the dogs are," said U.S. Air Force Jennifer Asia Gonzales, from Chicago, Ill. She was attending the demonstration while enjoying a four-day pass from duty in Iraq, by participating in the U.S. Central Command rest and recuperation pass program in Qatar. "I've seen a lot of dog shows before but this was really good — especially the drug and bomb detection."
"This is paving the way for more military integration in the future," said Lt. Col. Nasser Al Halbadi, Qatar army military police canine unit commander. "We plan to continue these joint training opportunities, so our military units learn from one another."