MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --
The 341st Security Forces Squadron military working dog kennels are undergoing renovations to improve the living areas for the dogs while increasing training opportunities and security of the compound.
Construction began May 9, 2022, with the renovations focusing on upgrading the original design of the indoor kennels and the outdoor training area of the compound. Improvements include adding reinforced fencing around the facility, drainage systems inside of the kennels for easier cleaning and adding windows to isolation kennels.
The obedience yard, a large outdoor field equipped with an obstacle course for the dogs to work off leash, will be upgraded with new concrete obstacles; and a lighting system will be added to give night-shift workers and their companions improved training opportunities.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Hotine, 341st SFS military working dog handler, said the upgrades will positively affect mission readiness and happiness of the dogs.
“The new obedience yard will have a recreational-area added to it,” he said. “We’re also replacing our vinyl obstacles with concrete obstacles, increasing the lifespan of the equipment and decreasing the likelihood a dog injures itself on sharp vinyl.”
At the start of construction, Malmstrom’s seven military working dogs were relocated to temporary kennel facilities, but will be moved back into the newly-furnished kennels Aug. 19, 2022, as indoor construction finishes.
Tech. Sgt. Tommy Duncan, 341st SFS kennel master, said the completion of the renovated kennels comes at a perfect time, due to the 341st SFS expecting the arrival of an eighth dog in the coming weeks, adding to an already mission-capable squadron of K-9’s.
“This project will improve the safety and quality-of-life for the dogs, giving them improved living conditions while also creating a more secure and suitable training environment,” he said. “Maintaining mission readiness and prioritizing the safety of the dogs and the handlers continues to be our top priority; and this project directly supports those key-factors.”
Outdoor construction of the K9-compound is expected to be completed in November 2022.