Military Working Dog Khan and his handler AC Havill in action at their graduation at Base Auckland on Thursday
11 December 2014
Aircraftman (AC) Gareth Havill and his Military Working Dog (MWD) Khan graduated Basic MWD Handler training at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Auckland today in a ceremony presided over by Commanding Officer 209 Squadron, Wing Commander Darryl Cockroft.
AC Havill and MWD Khan, a Dutch Shepherd/German Shepherd Cross, were paired on day one of the 12 week MWD Handler course. The graduation marked both the success of AC Havill as a new dog handler and MWD Khan who is now the youngest Military Working Dog at Base Auckland.
At the graduation, the duo demonstrated several of the techniques they have learned during the course including obedience, agility and an apprehension demonstration.
For the partnership to be successful the handler and his dog need to have a great relationship. This is why they are paired up at the start of the course and will remain as a working team throughout AC Havill’s posting at the MWD Unit.
AC Havill says he and MWD Khan will join other MWD teams at Base Auckland whose primary role is to provide security for the aircraft and facilities, both on base and whilst they are deployed away.
“Over Christmas Khan and I will start continuation training so we’re constantly improving our skills. We’ll start doing activities like building searches and tracking, which involves training Khan to locate personnel in buildings, and to follow the ground scent of someone evading on foot,” said AC Havill.
In July this year the Air Force deployed three handlers and their dogs to Exercise Pitch Black in Darwin, Australia. This training is fundamental in simulating a real-life operation and ensuring the dogs can perform away from home. AC Havill is looking forward to the opportunity of deploying with MWD Khan in the future.
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