Fort Benning hosted their week of deployment readiness training for soldiers from all over the U. S. and their furry companions tagged along as well.
“Coming here, everyday we learned something new that I could carry on that I didn’t previously know,” Stickley said.
Military work dogs and their handlers trained on helicopters, taking part in urban warfare scenarios, and other exercises that are vital for combat situations. Alex Stickley attended the training with his dog Rex. He says he’s been with his military working dog for two years, but the training he experienced at Fort Benning for the past week was more hands on than in other areas.
“As a younger team, looking at this from that perspective, I feel like there’s a lot that we don’t normally get access to at these smaller kennels and stuff. And coming here and seeing those types of training scenarios and stuff like that and the buildings and the situations and having different commanders out prepares those young soldiers for completing their mission down rage,” Stickley said.
Staff Sergeant Brandon Spears says during his deployment he noticed that some military dogs were not ready and he wanted to provide extra training to those deploying this fiscal year. This is the first training event to feature military working dog kennels across the U.S.
“We’re trying to come up with a good standard across the military working dogs program and more specifically TRADOC itself, so we can get these working dog teams ready for anything they can see on their deployments or counterinsurgency operations downrange,” Spears said.
Spears says not only is this training important for getting the military working dogs more comfortable with certain tasks, but it also strengthens the relationship between the dog and its handler.
Stickley who attended the event with his military dog Rex agrees. He says the stronger the bond the more your dog is willing to listen and trust you. Spears says he plans to continue this event at Fort Benning every year.