YPG Bomb sniffing dogs preparing to deploy to Afghanistan
Yuma Proving Ground--As troops head out of Iraq.
Another kind of soldier is gearing up for combat overseas.
At one local military base more than two dozen military dogs are preparing to go to the middle east.
Bart Je is a Belgian malinois breed. He's about a year and a half old and is about to start an intensive training course before going over seas.
His handler says this curious dog will be vital to his unit.
"He's a pretty good dog and he has a pretty good nose, so that's a good thing," Thurwin Lane, an army soldier said. "I think he'll be a great asset to the unit as whole."
Bart Je is among 30 bomb sniffing dogs undergoing medical exams to make sure they are healthy and suitable to go through intensive training before deploying to Afghanistan.
Each year, Yuma Proving Ground prepare hundreds of military working dogs for deployment.
"It's ideal for these dogs to come out and train here because were not only giving them the training they need with explosions but were also getting them use to the climate," Captain Emily Pieracci, veterinarian officer at YPG said. "So when they go to Afghanistan they can be successful and hit the ground running."
Pieracci said this group of dogs came in from Indiana.
Dogs are able to detect odors 100 million times fainter than humans.
She said the dogs are trained to search for a variety of explosives inside buildings, vehicles, roadways, open and underground areas.
"It's kind of interesting because we get new handlers that have never deployed and we'll match them up with a dog who deployed several times," she said. "So you have a very experienced dog with a less experienced handler, that's to build the handler's confidence."
Pieracci said most working dogs will deploy anywhere from 4 to 6 times throughout their career.
"This will be the 1st round of deployment for all of these dogs, these dogs are very new, they're young and kind of in the puppy stage and after they go down in Afghanistan again when they come back they'll be able to re-enter the program and go train with different handlers," Pieracci said.
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