Dyngo searching for IEDs

Dyngo – the best protection for GI s

Dogs are “the single greatest force protecting our troops against IEDs.”
The Atlantic, May 1, 2012
It’s winter in Helmand, Afghanistan. 20 US soldier crouch for cover in a sprawling grape field that includes low mud walls covered with windblown leaves. The platoon has just endured an insurgent attack and the gunfire has just quieted. Staff Sargetn Justin Kits and his dog Dyngo begin clearing the area for explosives. Dyngo is sniffing the ground and Kitts notices that the dog has slowed his pace and become very deliberate – a signal that he has found and IED. A short time later, they move to the other side of the field to search the other road to the field and find another one. Each bomb is made of around 50 pounds of explosives buried two feet underground and attached to a pressure plate hidden on the road. The insurgents had fired on the platoon to box it into an IED trap.
Had either of the bombs gone off that day, Kitts, Dyngo and any other soldier within three car lenghts would have been in the kill zone and those beyond could have been wounded.
Over the last seven months, they have patrolled 1000 hours in the countryside, found 370 pounds of explosive and uncovered four IEDs and received awards for valor.
A year earlier, a dog named Cairo accompanied the Nave Seals team that hunted down the world’s most wanted terrorist – Osama Bin Laden, showing the importance that dogs have in critical assignments.
Dog’s noses have several million more olfactory receptors than the human nose and can distinguish between a wide range of different bomb-making materials and can find large quantities of explosives buried upwards of five feet underground. The agency charged with the task of defeating IEDs, the JIEDDO,  announce that it had found that the single greatest force in detecting IEDs was indisputably a dog and its handler.  IEDs are the most menacing weapon in insurgents’ arsenal. They are “sickeningly cheap, easy to make, their results terrifying”. Use of IED’s have unfortuantely spread and have been used in 113 countgries (including 28 people killed from IED’s in the USA). Given the expansion of these dangerous devices, there are reports that, despite the fact that dogs are the best counter weapon to IEDs, working dog programs are feeling the pinch of belt tightening cutbacks.
One of the resources that may be on the chopping block is the Interservice Advance Skills K9 Corse at Yuma – considered the premier pre-deployment training course.  It is staffed by highly experienced instructors who deployed with their dogs into war zones. Its location resembles the Middle East and Afghanistan and is available to all branches of the military. Handler and dog teams go through detection drills to locate bombs planted near buildings, under rock piles, in ceilings, abandoned vehicles and other situations, the more unexpected, the better.
Instructors change the location of bombs and pressure plates. If a dog or handler step on a plate. a loud siren goes off and the pair are considered “blown up”. When the teams avoid the pressure plates, the instructors are happily relieved. While it’s impossible to anticipate all the possible situations, the teams leave much better prepared for when they have to do it for real.

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