8 August 2014
Leading Aircraftsman Josiah Hines and Military Working Dog Endor on patrol with their Royal Australian Air Force counterparts at the Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 14.
Teeth, claws, ears, eyes, nose and gait. These are just some of the “signs of health” checks that Dargaville-born Leading Aircraftsman (LAC) Josiah Hines does at least once a day on his Military Working Dog (MWD) Endor. They are essential in ensuring the dog’s health and safety and confirming he is fit for duty.
LAC Hines and MWD Endor have a very specific role to play – ensuring the safety and security of personnel and aircraft from seven nations. Together with their Australian counterparts, their role is one of detecting and deterring anyone trying to interfere with the aircraft and equipment of the multi-national force exercising in the heat of the Australian Northern Territory winter.
LAC Hines and MWD Endor are members of the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) 209 Squadron Force Protection unit. They are in Darwin participating in Exercise Pitch Black 2014, which is the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) largest multi-national combat air training exercise of the year.
The-three week exercise aims to foster multi-national cooperation and has brought military forces from six nations to Australia. The exercise involves day and night flying and provides the New Zealand Defence Force with an opportunity to practise deployment and integration of ground support personnel into coalition environments.
LAC Hines says the exercise has provided a great chance to see how his Australian counterparts train and conduct MWD security operations for a multi-national force with a variety of aircraft and equipment.
“New Zealand and Australia are the only forces providing Military Working Dogs on the exercise. This is a great opportunity for us to learn from each other and work together in a coalition environment. Military Working Dogs are an excellent capability in this environment- the deterrent factor of a German Shepherd is huge. People who see the dogs are less likely to enter areas where the dogs are patrolling,” says LAC Hines.
LAC Hines and MWD Endor will return to their Auckland base, where MWD Endor will undergo a period of quarantine, in late August.
For further information please contact Defence Communications Group, 021 487 980.