UK Military Dogs Honored for Service With Bravery Award
Military dogs and handlers of the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment have been given bravery awards for their noble acts during their service in Afghanistan.
The 1st Military Working Dog Regiment and the 102 Military Working Dogs Squadron Arms Explosive Section (AES) from St George’s Barracks, in Rutland, England, were recognized for their selfless bravery during their time in Afghanistan with the National Service Dog Bravery and Achievement Award.
The award is given to uniformed individuals and dog teams who display outstanding bravery, achievement and dedication in the United Kingdom from the Armed Forces, Customs and Excise, Search and Rescue, Police, Prison, and Fire Services.
There are various positions where dogs can work in the military, one of them being vehicle search dogs. These specially trained dogs are deployed at several bases, including Camp Bastion (in Afghanistan), to search vehicles and ensure their cargo does not contain weapons or improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Other canine military duties include protection dogs, who help soldiers on foot patrol, as well as other sniffer dogs who locate weapon caches, roadside bombs and secondary devices to save countless lives.
During their deployment, military personnel and their dog teams face scorching daytime temperatures, which often exceed 45°C (about 113 Fahrenheit). The section’s four Spaniels and two Labradors provide vital protection and security to the thousands of British soldiers and contractors, and the this team was the last remaining Military Working Dog presence in Camp Bastion.
Unfortunately, some of the dog teams paid the ultimate sacrifice. Enemy action killed Lance Corporal Ken Rowe and Lance Corportal Liam Tasker, along with their dogs Sasha and Theo (respectively) in two separate incidents.
Major Jack Kemp, the regiment’s second in command, commended every single member of the regiment and said that they “…should be proud of the contribution they made whilst deployed in Afghanistan” and to have their work recognized with the national award is an honor.
On behalf of the section, Corporal Amy Hale accepted the award in Essex. “We were all surprised to hear we were receiving it, but we are all extremely proud to have our work recognized”