Malmstrom welcomes new MWD
By Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 01, 2018
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --
The 341st Security Forces Squadron military working dog section received a new military working dog, Kay, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois in early January 2018.
Senior Airman Benjamin Huntley, 341st SFS MWD handler, has been assigned as the handler for Kay, and is prepared to put Kay and himself through rigorous training to become mission-ready.
Before arriving to their duty station, K-9s receive initial training at the Dog Training School in Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, where it is decided if the dog will be trained on explosives or drug detection, and certified as a patrol dog if they are deemed fit.
Being Huntley’s third and youngest MWD, Kay will be training alongside the handler to improve on his skills in obedience, detection and patrol work.
“When it comes to detection, we’ll take Kay out and introduce him to all the aids again and see how he responds to them,” said Huntley. “Then we’ll put him through training to get him to where we need him to be.”
Aids are the substances, such as specific drugs or explosives, that a dog is trained on for detection.
MWD handlers and their dogs are given monthly training requirements to ensure they are receiving proper training and improving on their skills.
“You’re going to focus on areas your dog is weak in until you fix those problems,” said Huntley. “With training, you have to teach them and keep them proficient in everything they do.”
Kay’s patrol work will include bite work, patrol aggression, protection of his handler and overall tracking skills.
Staff Sgt. Jordan Caldwell, 341st SFS MWD trainer, said that the handler and his dog will go through a long period of validations and certifications to guarantee they’re mission-ready.
“K-9 is a competitive career field, and we like to compete with each other to make each other better,” said Caldwell. “The dog will be a true reflection of the handler.”
Though Kay is young and new to the Malmstrom environment, Huntley is determined to instill control and obedience in the new K-9, while giving him room to express his personality and explore those experiences.
“Who doesn’t like working with dogs? Having that bond with your dog, knowing that you have his back and he has yours, you’re a unique force,” said Huntley. “The ultimate goal is to become a better handler, learning as much as I can and to teach him as much as I can.”