by Senior Airman Christine Halan
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
6/22/2015 - RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Members
of the 100th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog unit and the
Central Region U.K. Border Force trained alongside one another June 16,
2015 on RAF Mildenhall, England.
The two agencies worked together conducting training in the passenger
terminal, detecting drugs within suitcases that were scattered
throughout the facility. The British and Americans performed
demonstrations for each other, highlighting the handlers' differences in
detection methods and training.
Alison Bailey, Central Region U.K. Border Force dog unit team leader,
explained the basic principles of training are very similar, but the
teams work slightly differently. The border force handlers work within
closer parameters in a more controlled environment, with working dog on
the leash, rather than letting the working dog work further afield from
The training also enabled the U.K. Border Force dog team to work in a different environment.
"The use of someone else's training samples is really nice, because they
(the dogs) do get used to the same samples used." Bailey said. "It's
more difficult for them to pick up other ones. Dogs generally give a
different indication. The scent they come across is different to them,
but they're not necessarily sure. Whereas if we use other people's
samples, they'll think 'I'll get awarded on that, since its similar',
they'll freeze a lot quicker if they continue to use the same samples
all the time."
"Different locations [help] as well," said Lesley Meanley, Central
Region U.K. Border Force higher officer. "We work in similar
environments every day, and in that you get used to working, so here is
The border force team uses a variety of dogs including Springer
Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, Sprockers (Cocker Spaniel and
Springer Mix) and Springerdors (Springer Spaniel and Labrador Mix).
They search for drugs, cash, tobacco, cigarettes, clandestines and fire
arms in airports, freight ships and mail distribution centers. Teams can
also be called out for house searches if requested.
This kind of joint training also brings benefits to the 100th SFS MWDs.
"This joint training project affords us as a Military Working Dog
section, a direct vision into how our U.K. civilian counterparts
perform," said Staff Sgt. Joseph Serrano, 100th Security Forces Squadron
MWD kennel master. "This opens a training channel, aimed at gaining
insights into both agencies capabilities while simultaneously addressing
each other's challenges. Therefore enabling both of our organizations
the ability to pitch derived solutions, solidifying techniques and
procedures with our four-legged companions.