SOUTHWEST ASIA -- With 25 years in the Air Force, the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing command chief has had many experiences in his career.
After an encounter with the 332nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron military working dogs though, Chief Master Sgt. John Brinkley has learned he never wants to be the “bad guy” where MWDs are present.
“It was exciting,” said the chief, who is deployed from Scott Air Force Base, Ill. “It wasn’t scary because I trust the professionalism of the dog handlers and training of the dogs. I saw how well they listened and obeyed the orders of the handlers.
“I learned that I never want to be in a situation where I have to be taken down by a working dog or do anything that would put me on the receiving end of a real bite,” he continued.
While visiting the 332nd ESFS MWD, Brinkley learned how the dogs move and how the dogs chase and apprehend a suspect. He also felt what the 600-800 pounds per square inch bite was like, while wearing a protective sleeve.
“I felt the pressure, it was exciting,” said Brinkley, who is a native of Chesapeake, Va.
“He learned the bread and butter of what we do,” said Staff Sgt. Gary Magnelli, 332nd ESFS MWD handler. “It was an awesome experience for someone at the level they’re at to experience our jobs on the tactical level at a job that is even unique to security forces.”
Out of the more than 25,000 Airmen in the security forces career field, there are less than 1,000 MWD handlers. Their small numbers, however, don’t reflect their impact on the mission.
“Humans and technology can’t replace a dog’s nose while searching for explosives or in a search pit,” said Magnelli, who is deployed from Moody AFB, Ga., and is a native of Camarillo, Calif.
“They are a great force multiplier in protecting the base and our Airmen,” said Brinkley. “Seeing the handlers show what they do is a result of good training. I know the Air Force is in great hands because if they are called up, they will do the mission.”
The last thing the chief learned is that even bad guys can get a second chance.
“I was very impressed with the exercise where I was running away from the dog who was coming at me full speed, but stopped when the handler told him to,” Brinkley said. “The dog listened so well and did not take me down.”
This work, 332 AEW aCHIEFments: Chief visits MWD, by SSgt Amber Kelly-Herard, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.