Doggy things


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Congratulations to  Cpl Robin Taylor and MWD Iwan on becoming the Military Working Dog Trials Champion 2018


Letter: RAF police dogs were a treat

Dorset Echo

RAF Police Dog Display Team at Weymouth Beach. Picture: Sam Beamish

I served in the RAF Police Provost section joining in 1952.

I did my training at RAF Netheravon alongside the police dog training school and the police driving school.

I saw first hand the dedication of the handlers and the ability that the dogs achieved.

After training I served in North Wales and then was posted to RAF Police HQ in Germany.

We worked alongside a police dog section on many occasions. Here I saw first the value of these well trained dogs.

Some years ago I saw the RAF Police dog display at the Royal Tournament at Earls Court. It was one of the highlights of the show.

I am sure that the public enjoyed the displays by the team when they performed in Weymouth during Carnival week.

M Mortimer 

Robin Close 


The first ever RAF Police Northern Ireland Working Dog Championships - 1962.
Left to Right:
Lee Rudd - name of dog not known
Bob Lintell - AD Salome, Bob was one of the last National Servicemen
Keith Bell - AD Sheba
Myself - AD Judy
Ian Askew - AD Leah
The Trials were to include RAF Aldergrove, Bishops Court and Ballykelly dog sections. However Bishops Court had a sickness in their kennels which prevented them taking part.
The Trials therefore became a contest between Aldergrove and Ballykelly.
In those days dogs and bitches were not mixed on the same section, Aldergrove had an all bitch section.
The outcome of the Trials was Ian Askew with Leah in 1st Keith Bell with Sheba in 2nd place (1/4 point behind Ian) and a Ballykelly handler first name Max ( no other details remembered) in 3rd place. I was in 4th place The day was an "Open Day" and the event was well attended by the local populous.
Our then Vet - either George Stewart or Stewart George donated a cup for the winner. I last saw the cup in the SHQ Trophy Cabinet at Aldergrove when I visited in 1972.
The building in the background is the Officers Mess at Aldergrove.
Keith Bell had a confession to make - His bitch was just coming out of season - and he walked her up-wind of the Ballykelly dogs just before the field trials began - the BK dogs basic instincts kicked in and they collectively started walking on five legs and lost interest in anything else!!!
So if any BK handler is still around who was there - Keith is sorry(sort of) - he did what he had to do!!!!

Maurice Burns



The Reunion is to take place on Friday 28th June 2019. 

The venue is RAF Waddington's Sgts Mess with an attendee limit of 200. The Head Chef is putting together a very classy buffet menu and the Mess Manager is working on the total cost. Staff costs are lower on a weekday evening so Friday will suit you all hopefully. 

I am working on a few ideas for the afternoon of the event namely A visit to Newark Air Museum, a visit to the new Bomber Command Centre & a visit & display at Waddo Dog Section.

I have also booked a former Officer Commanding 617 "Dambusters" Squadron to give us an interesting and inspiring presentation He confirmed his attendance this morning. 

This Reunion will I hope be on the scale of the 2008 event which many of you attended and enjoyed. It is a massive jigsaw at present with the main pieces being you the attendee. I have posted on The Grooming Range a few weeks ago and received good interest. It is important that i get firm committment from people who would like to attend. We have people willing to travel great distances from abroad so before they book flights/accommodation my aim is to consolidate this booking with the Sgt,s Mess asap. Do not look to book accommodation as i will talk to hotels re a reduced rate for a group booking. Anyone interested in attending please email me your contact details with details of any guests. 

My contact info is telephone 0116 2740443 & email Thanks for reading this and i look forward to adding you to the list. Tell any QPD people you know about this  Kev


New national memorial honouring military dogs to be based in Flintshire.
A new national memorial to honour military dogs that saved lives will be constructed in Flintshire.
The National Military Working Dog Memorial will be based at the Pet Cemetery in Brynford.
 This memorial will be constructed on site and has the support from members of the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force.
The mausoleum will cost around 150,000 to build and will feature four bronze statues who will guard over the plaques commemorating the work of the Armed Forces service animals who have served with distinction.

The four dogs guarding over the mausoleum will be based upon four dogs who served with distinction.
The first will be of Buster who died in 2015 aged 13. He served in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq – sniffing out ordnance and booby traps before they could kill British service personnel.
On retirement Buster became the mascot of the RAF Police.

Another dog to be immortalised in bronze will be Theo, who died of a broken heart after his owner Lce Cpl Liam Tasker was shot dead in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2011.
Theo was only 22 months old, suffered a fatal seizure just hours after his master’s death and was posthumously awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for bravery – the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
The other bronze will go to Judy. Judy served on the Yangtze River in World War Two and even survived a pirate attack before becoming a Japanese POW.
The final plinth will be occupied by Air Dog Lucky, who tracked insurgents through the jungles of Malaya during Malayan Emergency.
Both Lucky and Judy survived their service and were awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for bravery.
A fund-raising drive is now on to build the memorial following the granting of charity status to the National Military Working Dogs trust.
The local Member of Parliament, Rt. Hon. David Hanson MP, is in full support of this campaign to see the new national memorial built.
He is hosting an event in the Houses of Parliament on the 19 June 2018 to secure further support from the UK Government and other MPs and Peers.
 Representative from NMWDM, Emma Ward, said:
 “The new national memorial is well overdue and look forward to being able to commemorate the service dogs who protected our Armed Forces over many decades.
The interest we have had from the local community has been extraordinary. But we have also seen a fantastic response from the Armed Forces who are on board with the project.
We are now in the process of raising the funds needed to complete the construction of mausoleum and would be grateful for donations – no matter what their size – to help us in commemorating our service animals.
The stories of Buster, Theo, Judy and Lucky demonstrate just why a national memorial is needed. These dogs were dedicated to their partners and would do anything to ensure that their Armed Forces partners were kept safe.”
Flight Sergeant Michael Barrow RAF Police said:
“Many thousands of dogs have served with the Armed Forces throughout many conflicts. They are a great force multiplier and have saved lives in various guises.
 To finally have them and their contribution recognised is superb.
The design and location of the memorial are both stunning and it’s unveiling will be a great spectacle. I am looking forward to seeing the completed design and being able to pay respect to all Military Working Dogs.”
David Hanson MP said:
“When I first heard of this memorial I was struck that it has taken this long for someone with the dedication and passion to see it come into being. The work of all those making this national memorial become a reality is truly inspiring.
I have arranged an event in Parliament and invited the Secretary of State for Defence to attend. I hope the Government will see what an excellent plan this is and support it to the fullest.
Brynford is such a beautiful part of the country and I cannot think of a more fitting place for a new national monument to be built.”


From Alan Weeks

Kennel Maids at Debden 1971-72 a good bunch of Girls.

My first Dog was 7779 A/D Bruce.a long haired Shepherd.


POLICE and the RAF took search dogs around Swindon bars and clubs in a night-time operation targeting drug use.
A total of 14 people were stopped. Three are currently being investigated for possession of cocaine, one was given a fixed penalty notice and three more were given street warnings.
The RAF’s passive alert drugs dogs Ninja and Sonic were sent into 20 nightspots inOld Town and the centre on Friday night.
PC Paul Bezzant, Swindon town centre community coordinator, said: "In addition to drugs found in people's possession, several others had evidently anticipated the inevitable and discarded drugs before Ninja and Sonic could sniff them out.”
The dogs found a number of self-seal bags that had been thrown away and are thought to contain cocaine.
"One of the main aims of this operation was to send a clear message that people who come to Swindon to enjoy a night out can do so safely, he said.
“Use of the passive alert drug dogs like Ninja and Sonic greatly enhances our ability to target and deal with those involved in illegal drug use.”
And he warned: “We will be making this a regular tactic to drive drugs from our streets and the night time economy."
Pubwatch chairman Dave Broome backed the operation. “We welcome this initiative from the police and welcome the drugs' dogs into our venues,” he said. “We look forward to continually working with the police to make our venues as safe for our customers as they can be.”
The RAF dogs are used as part of a long-standing arrangement between the RAF Police and the Wiltshire Force, particularly through events like the Royal International Air Tattoo.
Flt Lt Matthew Jones, who commands the police and security flight at Brize Norton explained: "Supporting policing operations provides the RAF Police specialist military working dog teams perfect training opportunities and the prospect to develop our interoperability with Wiltshire Police further, while contributing to the safety of both the civilian and military communities."


Piped music, heated beds: it’s a Madrid police dog’s life

POLICE dogs in Madrid will be treated to heated beds and stress-busting music therapy sessions when their newly upgraded kennels open this week.

The 22 dogs are due to move back into their home after a three-month renovation aimed at improving their health and well-being, the city’s municipal police said.

The redesigned building has its own veterinary clinic and a bathing and personal care centre, as well as a grass play area and shaded patio where the animals can keep cool in the summer months.

An audio system has been installed for the music therapy sessions, using a technique called the Mozart Effect, which the police said they had found to reduce stress in the dogs.

Each animal will be played classical music at intervals throughout the day, with the treatment tailored to their individual needs as well as their field of police work.

While all the dogs are trained as detectors, they are dedicated to particular specialities, sniffing out either explosives, narcotics or counterfeit money, while others are assigned to rescue operations.

Following a day’s work the dogs will now be able to rest in newly-improved kennels with heated beds – part of a climate-control system which a police spokesman said would yield energy savings of up to 80 per cent.

A 2017 study by the University of Glasgow found that dogs’ stress levels are reduced when they listen to music, with reggae, soft rock and classical music yielding better results over pop and Motown – though the research team said individual animals responded differently to each genre. Previous studies have suggested they are not fans of heavy metal.     


Aussie seeking old RAF dog handlers

A FORMER military dog handler of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is searching for his Malaysian counterparts whom he met almost four decades ago.

Alan Grossman (pic), 61, said that his old partners would most probably be in their 70s now and worked for the British Royal Air Force (RAF) in Butterworth.

“They were known as RAF auxiliary police dog handlers and were located at Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Butterworth between 1969 and 1971.

“I’m currently working with the RAAF Reserve but I started my career as a RAAF police or military dog handler.

A FORMER military dog handler of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is searching for his Malaysian counterparts whom he met almost four decades ago.

Alan Grossman (pic), 61, said that his old partners would most probably be in their 70s now and worked for the British Royal Air Force (RAF) in Butterworth.

“They were known as RAF auxiliary police dog handlers and were located at Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Butterworth between 1969 and 1971.

“I’m currently working with the RAAF Reserve but I started my career as a RAAF police or military dog handler.

“I escorted these dogs to Butterworth in October 1978 and was posted there for three years in 1980,” Grossman wrote in an e-mail to The Star recently.

He said the era’s history was not recorded and potentially could be lost.

“I wish to discover more of the social and cultural atmosphere between 1969 and 1971 involving the RAF Auxiliary Police dog handlers,” said Grossman, who is in Brisbane and is on the board of directors of the International Working Dog Breeding Association.

He said he made contact with some of the surviving RAAF dog handlers at the unveiling ceremony of a plaque at the air force base in Butterworth last September.

“It was highlighted that security duties were taken over from RAF Auxiliary Police Dog Handlers in 1971 and many of them were Chinese and Indian handlers.

“What happened to those handlers when they left the RAF Auxiliary? What happened to the dogs provided to the RAF Auxiliary?” Grossman asked.

He will be in Penang between Feb 6 and March 25.

Those with any information can send him an e-mail via


Breaking new ground: training explosive detection dogs for the aviation industry

Securitas reveals the highs and challenges of the process for achieving FREDD (Free Running Explosive Detection Dog) certification – the EU standard for the use of dogs in aviation cargo security.

Since the EU Commission authorised the deployment of dogs to detect explosives in the aviation sector, countries around Europe have successfully used our four-legged friends to screen cargo, people, vehicles, aircraft, in-flight supplies, cabin baggage and hold baggage. 

Each member state uses the EU standard as the baseline measure, introducing its own additional procedures based on its risk profile known as More Stringent Measures (MSMs).  

It’s no surprise the UK has a greater risk profile than many other member states, and theDepartment for Transport (DfT) has always been keen to enforce rigorous security measures. With the benchmark set, DfT drew on the expertise of Defence Science & Technology Laboratories (Dstl) to establish a standard that would enhance the EU criteria without disrupting industry. 

Raising industry standards

Once the standards were in place, it was up to the private security sector to deliver the service.  

Be under no illusion, the certification process is difficult!  Numerous tests are carried out in different phases of increasing difficulty and duration until both handler and dog meet the required standard.  Training dogs for combat operations is one thing (and something the team is comfortable with), but this was something else. Training dogs to an extremely specific standard, in a dynamic environment, with quantities of explosives that are not usually searched for made the process much more challenging.

Under the watchful eye of Ken Braddick and Adrian Davies (both former military working dog trainers with a wealth of operational experience), our team of carefully selected dogs started training. Ken served 36 years in the RAF Police and his experience includes the role of Provost Marshals Dog Inspector, a post that certified and managed the fleet of RAF dog teams for global deployment. Adrian Davies, a former Royal Army Veterinary Corps Warrant Officer Class 1 (RSM) and Chief Trainer at the Defence Animal Centre served for 28 years.

There is intense but friendly rivalry between trainers, and their constant drive to nurture more agile and capable detection dogs creates a superb team dynamic.

Handler selection is equally important. We looked for handlers that combined a calm methodical approach with a high level of customer service and attention to detail. Once we had identified the handlers we set about pairing them with dogs based on personalities and experience. Some dogs can be a real handful during training, while others are almost robotic and can be teamed with less experienced handlers. Although Ken was the senior trainer, he was pipped to the post as the first to pass the  DfT test by Adrian; this was purely down to the running order, but that didn’t get in the way of brilliant banter (of course, Ken still trained the dogs! Go the RAF Police!).

Put through their paces

The extensive process began – a mixture of environmental training and odour recognition.  First, the dogs were trained to find target odours.  The process was straightforward: approach the target odour and we offered rewards, gradually ensuring the detection was more specific before offering another prize. The reward was simple: interaction with the handler they’re familiar with. Playtime is essential for dogs as they thrive on positive encouragement and reinforcement. The more enjoyable it is, the deeper the desire to play the game becomes. In allowing the dog to learn for itself it makes their response more robust and less likely to result in a false alarm. Some dogs catch on quite quickly and learn new odours in an afternoon – others require more time and patience, but the outcome is worth it.

Training was then extended to include a passive response, a sit, a stand, stare, or any other change in behaviour that instantly indicated a target odour has been detected. Further developing the dog’s focus, stamina and search pattern allows the handler to become less involved, which provides greater scope to observe the dog’s small changes in behaviour. A flick of the ears or head tilt, a change in speed or tail direction can all be indicators that the dog has found something. However, this can easily be missed if the handler is too close to the dog, or not of the right calibre. 

Training in the operational environment is key. The distractions, sights, smells and noises can be replicated in part, but to truly nurture desired behaviour and minimise unwanted behaviour, dogs must be trained in a realistic setting. A dog that can’t concentrate in a dynamic operation will make mistakes, so only the most robust and focused dogs are certified. Our dogs train in a realistic environment full of the types of distractions they will experience at work, ensuring they are ready to be certified and, most importantly, fully trained for the real thing.

Strong support

The training teams are reinforced by a superb support function. Trainers ensure handlers and dogs deliver a quality service consistently using reporting tools that provide real-time assessment and assurance. The Securitas Operations Centre (SOC) provides immediate personnel support, with governance and compliance teams safeguarding both Securitasand its customer’s brands, guaranteeing a high level of quality assurance. The tailored technology used by the training teams continues to evolve to provide best practice.

What’s Next?

We’re continuing our research into developing the team’s capability, pushing boundaries and creating a more robust detection asset. Explosives detection teams can be deployed in many environments adding depth to the security solution. It’s not the only tool in the box, but it’s very effective!


A tail of valour! Special Forces dog who helped SBS troops seize a key stronghold in Afghanistan from the Taliban despite being blasted by THREE grenades is awarded the animal Victoria Cross


Please note that the Commander of Combat Support Group last week unveiled a plaque at the “Boatie” not far from the section last week. I have attached a copy.

Wording for the plaque came from Mark Donaldson VC (our most decorated Canine Handler in the Australian Defence Force). A bit of PR will be generated through Air Force HQ in the near future.

From here and quite possibly during Butterworth 60th Celebration we will try and arrange a get together of those members that served in Malaysia and Singapore and hold a lunch at the Boatie dates TBC as we work through the finer details with CO 19SQN (Butterworth).

I received quite a lot of information pertaining to the arrival of RAAF Dogs in Both Singapore and Malaysia including the names of our original personal. I was unable however to correspond with any of the RAF Auxiliary Dog Handlers, I hope I can get to speak to one or more in the future.

Again a big thank you to all that helped from the UK.

Kind Regards


FSGT Alan Grossman

MWD Projects


Amberley AFB



Explosives search dog Dee is new mascot for RAF Lossiemouth

A RETIRED Military Working Dog has become the new Station mascot at the Highland base - and is promoted to rank of Sergeant. Dee was appointed the position after retiring from his role as an Arms & Explosives Search Dog following injury.

He was presented with his new mascot’s coat by the Station Commander, Group Captain Paul Godfrey, in the Sergeants’ Mess. Dee has also been awarded the rank of Sergeant and will now appear at appropriate official occasions. MWD Dee was born in the Netherlands in 2011 and joined the British Armed Forces at 16 months old when he began training as an Arms & Explosives Search Dog at the Defence Animal Centre.

On completion of training Dee was posted to RAF Marham as an Arms & Explosives Search Dog, and then assigned to No 4 RAF Police Squadron, at Aldergrove, Northern Ireland, as one of 8 search dogs in the Province. He became an integral part of RAF Police Search handlers working alongside 321 Explosive Ordnance Device Squadron, Royal Engineers, Search Teams, and the Police Service Northern Ireland whose main effort is to locate the presence of explosive devices, firearms and ammunition.

Unfortunately in 2014 during a routine exercise Dee ruptured a ligament in his front right leg and due to the complexity of the injury a fixed plate was fitted to the area to enable pain free mobility. After several veterinary reviews, the plate was removed in the hope it would be strong enough to take the weight of normal canine mobility. By this point Dee was assigned to No 4 RAF Police Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth with his handler Corporal Adam Renison and showed signs of a promising recovery. However, despite Adam’s hopes that Dee would be able to return to active service his leg never recovered, and it was decided that Dee’s front right leg was to be amputated.

Despite no longer being able to fulfil an operational role, Adam realised that Dee had become an asset in the dog kennels and across the station. Adam said: “Dee has such a relaxed and happy personality that he helps Treacle, another of our working dogs, to de-stress in the kennels after her duties. So whilst we can keep Dee in the kennels here at RAF Lossiemouth we will do.”

Despite no longer being able to fulfil an operational role, Adam realised that Dee had become an asset in the dog kennels and across the station. Adam said: “Dee has such a relaxed and happy personality that he helps Treacle, another of our working dogs, to de-stress in the kennels after her duties. So whilst we can keep Dee in the kennels here at RAF Lossiemouth we will do.” READ MORE: RAF Lossiemouth jets scrambled to monitor Russian bombers Adam had to do a bit of research into military regulations to ensure that all of the correct paperwork had been completed to enable Dee to join the Mess. Adam added: “Dee now has her own service number, a jacket for formal occasions, and his own bowl in the Mess. I’ll make sure he respects all of the military rules and regulations when attending any formal functions. And I’m sure he will just be his usual happy self and not let his rank go to his head.”


Heroic dogs of war to honoured by monument in North Wales
The pet cemetery in Brynford will home the National Military Working Dog memorial, honouring dogs such as springer Buster who saved 1000 lives.

A memorial to honour military dogs that were bombed, shot at and attacked by pirates as they saved lives has been set up in Flintshire.

The National Military Working Dog Memorial will be based at the Pet Cemetery in Brynford near Holywell and is the brainchild of Emma Ward and her father John.

After being granted charity status they plan to build a permanent monument to mark the heroic deeds of the dogs who safeguarded their masters and civilians during armed conflict.

The pair, directors of Pet Funeral Services Ltd, wanted to honour the canine Bravehearts after public calls to remember their contribution to UK military history.

One trustee is former RAF Police Flt Sgt Will Barrow whose book about the life of 'Buster - The Dog Who Saved A Thousand Lives', was a best seller.

Springer spaniel Buster died in 2015 aged 13 and the book chronicles how he served in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq - sniffing out bombs and booby traps before they could kill British service personnel.

On retirement Buster became the mascot of the RAF Police.Springer spaniel Buster died in 2015 aged 13 and the book chronicles how he served in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq - sniffing out bombs and booby traps before they could kill British service personnel.

On retirement Buster became the mascot of the RAF Police.

He will be represented as one of four Bronze statues who will guard the impressive mausoleum, costing around 150,000 to build.

“I read about Buster and when he passed away I said it would be lovely to do a memorial for him,” said Emma Ward. “We have been working on this for about three years and we are really excited now things are starting to happen.”

One of her friends from the dog show circuit, Rita Morgan from Higher Kinnerton, pushed her to start the charity and so Emma started reading up on other stories of canine heroism.

“Rita’s husband George, who was a real raconteur and had an unbelievable personal history in the military, passed away this year and he asked that donations be made to the charity at his funeral,” she continued.

“He was really supportive of the idea and Rita has carried on his enthusiasm.

“So we have got on with it and the interest has been incredible. We have a celebrity patron lined up and the military are also on board with it.”

Another of the dogs being immortalised within the mausoleum is Theo, who literally died of a broken heart after his owner Lce Cpl Liam Tasker was shot dead in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2011.

Springer spaniel Theo, who was only 22 months old, suffered a fatal seizure just hours after his master’s death and was posthumously awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for bravery - the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Judy of Sussex, who served on Yangtze River in World War Two and even survived a pirate attack before becoming a Japanese POW, will take another plinth on the memorial.

The final space will go to Air Dog Lucky, who tracked insurgents through the jungles of Malaya during World War Two.

The other three dogs on his detail died but Lucky, like Judy, was awarded the PDSA Dicken Medal for bravery.

A 150,000 fund-raising drive is now on to build the memorial and they plan to install plaques to honour all dogs who served with distinction for the armed forces.

To donate to the charity, you can send a cheque payable to the NMWDM, to Pet Funeral Services, Brynford, Holywell, CH8 8AD.

Alternatively for more information email


ADU(NI) lay a wreath at the RAFP memorial

Drugs have been removed from the streets of Skegness in a special police operation to make the town safe for visitors.

 Last night officers from Skegness were accompanied by Cpl Hallworth and RAF Police Dog Sonic as they visited clubs and pubs around the town.

Earlier in the day, visitors would have noticed a larger that usual police presence in the town - all part of a special Easter operation focusing on priority issues identified by the resident community.

Operation California was a joint operation involving East Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire Special Police, Lincolnshire Police volunteers and Skegness Police.
Insp Colin Haigh, of the Coast Neighbourhood Policing Team, tweeted at 10pm: “Drug operation in Skegness tonight. Extra resources supporting @SkegnessPolice to ensure we keep you safe #OpCalifornia.”

And there was an invitation by East Lindsey’s Chief Inspector Dan Whyment: “Excellent work keeping people safe in Skeg. Please enjoy a night with us on the coast - no drugs though!! #opcalifornia.”
Insp Haigh said this morning: “The latest Operation California drug operation was a huge success with the police and East Lindsey District Council colleagues sending a clear message that Skegness and Ingoldmells are family resorts and drugs are not welcome.
“We searched numerous people during the operation under the Misuse of Drugs Act and a male was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon after trying to run away from officers.

More operations will be carried out during the summer to ensure we keep the coast area drug free and bring offenders to justice.
“We continue to enjoy the support of all licensees and Skegness Pubwatch in conducting these operations and we receive positive comments from the public who appreciate the difficult job that officers do.”

Visitors will continue to see an increased police presence in Skegness over the Bank Holiday.

Insp Haigh said: “We have co-ordinated our resources in order to be as visible as possible when our calls for service are at their peak.
“We are expecting a large influx of holiday makers and day trippers and I want them to feel safe whilst they are in the town.
“In addition to tackling ASB and shop thefts, we will be focusing on our local priorities, which include street drinking and cycling on pavements”.

The mobile police station will be parked in the Lumley Road and Grand Parade areas and the Skegness policing team will be available to offer crime prevention advice on scams, fraud prevention and caravan safety.
The team are keen to encourage people to visit them at the mobile police station or to stop them for a chat whilst on patrol.


War hero gets a new four-legged friend after his bomb-sniffing military dog dies of cancer

Ex-RAF dog handler Mick McConnell served with life-saving spaniel Memphis in Afghanistan and was devastated by his death but new pup Sasha has given him a new lease of life.

RAF veteran Mick McConnell loves getting out and about with new dog Sasha

A war hero who lost his life-saving military dog to cancer has adopted a new four-legged pal.

Mick McConnell was seriously injured while serving in Afghanistan with his spaniel Memphis – who prevented countless deaths and won a medal for sniffing out Taliban bombs.

But the brave pooch died last month after a battle with cancer.

Now  former RAF police dog handler Mick – who lost his leg in a booby trap bomb blast – has taken on a new pup called Sasha.

Mick McConnell with his new sprocker pup Sasha 

Mick, 42, from Elgin, said: “Sasha is doing brilliantly. When I lost Memphis, I started going downhill a bit. I was sleeping during the day and not being as proactive.

“But Sasha has given me a great boost. She isn’t being trained as a working dog – just as a companion for me. She has given me a new lease of life.”

He said his new sprocker pup – a cross between a cocker spaniel and a springer spaniel – will never be a replacement for his combat buddy Memphis.

Sprocker pup Sasha will not be trained as a working dog 

Memphis was walking ahead of Mick on patrol in 2011 when the squaddie stepped on the device.

Mick eventually lost his foot in 2013.

The loyal dog went to his injured handler’s side and stayed until help arrived.

From Dave Acott

Demo Team - Edinburgh

Royal Tournament at Earls Court 1980.   I am in the front row 4th in from the right.
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, ocean, sky, dog, outdoor and nature

We are very sad to hear of the passing of Memphis, the Arms Explosive Search dog who belonged to former RAF police dog handler, Mick McConnell. In 2011 Mick wasinjured in Afghanistan after stepping on an IED and after two years of rehabilitation, he took the difficult decision to have his foot amputated. He said Memphis had been instrumental in helping him cope with his life-changing injuries. In 2015 Memphis received the Canine Award at the Soldiering On Awards for his dedication.


I have had a plaque made commemorating all RAAF Police Dogs that served in Butterworth and Tengah, this will be unveiled by my current OC in Feb 2017 close to the section that has sine been torn down, after 1996 RAAF Police Dogs no longer deployed. Tengah is a stumbling point at the moment. my first posting to Butterworth was from 1980 -1983.
FLTLT Bill Perrett -- Bill was considered the father of the Dog mustering here in Australia, ex Brit was commissioned in Australia, passed away about 10 years ago. Wondering why the significance of Bill having a photo outside the section, was it a Handover??? I don't know.
RAF Auxiliary Police Dogs -- going through our records I see a number of Malaysians were supplied dogs from Australia, some Brit's as well. were they trained at out Police Dog School here in Australia or were dogs simply sent to Butterworth and trained in Malaysia??? I don't know.
RAF AUX Dogs patrolled the Base until RAAF dogs arrived in September 1971, this I think is on the mark, I have spoken to a guy that escorted the dogs from Australian to Butterworth. Old RAAF Historical records are a little inaccurate talking about RAAF Police Dogs patrolling areas when indeed it was the RAF Auxiliary dogs. I have names of the Malaysian and Brits who these dogs were teamed with.
Any information pertaining to Butterworth or photos would be greatly appreciated. I know the small set of kennels that I was told were RAF kennels north of the cricket oval are no longer, that was a small kennel bank. I was last in Butterworth last Jun 2012 looking at siting a new kennel bank on base near the flight line.
I am keen on holding an event for past and present dogs handlers at a location called the "Boatie" a few hundred meters from the old section to commemorate our dogs, looking at the later half of 2017. I know CO 19 SQN (RAAF Butterworth) is favourable. I want a clear accurate record left for those coming after us.
Thank you again for your help, any help would be greatly appreciated as I am concentrating on Butterworth and will try and ascertain more information on Tengah (Singapore) as well.
We just didn't keep records to well.
Kind Regards
FSGT Alan Grossman
95 Wing Headquarters
RAAF Base Amberley QLD 4306
07 53614925

RAF Northolt Dog Section


Wimblington couple pay tribute to RAF police dogs with ‘Rusty Rooster’ memorial art at Newark Air Museum.

13:40 15 November 2016

Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial

Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial

A Wimblington couple’s ‘Rusty Rooster’ memorial art has been installed in the war memorial gardens of Newark Air Museum.

Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorialSara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial

Steven and Sara Raven have been designing and creating rusty metal garden art since May 16.

The husband and wife team were approached by Nigel Bean, a former RAF police dog handler - who served for 23 years and trained 17 dogs - who spotted the pair at a county show.

Sara & Steve Raven with their memorial art piece.Sara & Steve Raven with their memorial art piece.

The memorial they then created for the Newark Air Museum is a tribute to all RAF police dogs who had served from 1942 to 2014.

“Family and friends all loved it and wanted pieces for themselves. So this hobby business began and ‘Rusty Rooster’ was born,” said Sara.

Nigel Bean, former RAF laying a wreathNigel Bean, former RAF laying a wreath

“Steve has always loved working with metal. Growing up on a farm there was always something requiring his attention; needing to be welded, grinded, cut from metal.

“Then one day he finally treated himself to a new plasma cutter and cut something for the garden.”

Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorialSara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial

Steven added: “Initially it was an idea that we simply stumbled upon by chance.

“It has quickly proven a hit at the local events we have attended.”

The tribute, named ‘Rusty’, was installed in the memorial gardens in September.

For more information on Rusty Rooster Garden Art visit

Newark Air Museum

C shift dog handlers RAF Tengah 1965. Thanks to Dave Jenkin's son who took the photographs.

L to R in the group standing. Ian Myles. Bob McGhee. Les Coomber. Bob Laird. Dave Jenkins. Brian Dixon.


Corporal Kieran Jones and Borik an RAF Police attack and explosivesfirearms search

Corporal Kieran Jones and Borik, an RAF Police attack and explosives/firearms search dog, are taking part in an eight-nation Deployed Operating Base exercise in Germany this week.
Corporal Kieran Jones and Borik an RAF Police attack and explosivesfirearms search


This morning was time to dedicate a tree and plaque in memory of a friend Clive Gilmore, over 46 years service to the RAF Police Dog School.

Air Dog Baco who won the Dog Trials this year

Newark Air Museum
This morning Jude and I placed our memorial to all RAF Police and working dogs around the world, Tuesday the 16th August is International Working Dog Memorial Day and we hope that our commissioned piece of work Air Dog Rusty will be a fitting memorial to those dogs that have served their countries in times of peace and conflicts.
We will remember them.
Nigel Bean

RAF Police "Air Dog Baco" getting a jump on things...


Memorial to AES A/D Buster unveiled at RAF Waddington

on 16th July 2016

More photographs can be found at:[/url


Last surviving 9/11 rescue dog put down - with a hero's send-off

Bretagne, the last surviving search and rescue dog from 9/11 is walked by her handler Denise Corliss past a flank of members of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department as she was brought into the Fairfield Animal Hospital to be euthanized.  CREDIT: KAREN WARREN/HOUSTON CHRONICLE VIA AP

The last surviving rescue dog who worked at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terrorist attacks died on Monday.

Bretagne, a 16-year-old golden retriever, was put down at Fairfield Animal Hospital in Cypress, Texas, with her handler Denise Corliss by her side.

As Bretagne entered the hospital she was saluted by representatives of agencies including the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department and Texas Task Force 1, who came to pay their respects.

An American flag was draped over her body after she was euthanised, and officers saluted once again as she was taken away.

Denise told TODAY that Bretagne’s kidneys had started to fail in recent days, and that she realised the time had come to say goodbye when the food-loving retriever refused her meals for three consecutive days.

"She was really anxious last night and she just wanted to be with me," Corliss said on Monday. "So I laid down with her, right next to her. When she could feel me, she could settle down and go to sleep. I slept with her like that all night."

Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department Captain David Padovan told TODAY that his team’s attendance was “a very small way for us to pay tribute to a dog who truly has been a hero … Just because she's a K9 doesn't make her any less part of our department than any other member."

Corliss, an electrical engineer, first became interested in the work of disaster search dogs in the late 90s. She took ownership of Bretagne, then an 8-week-old puppy, in 1999, and began training as a volunteer dog/handler team to help support federal emergency response efforts at disaster sites.

“I was so excited about doing this, but I didn’t have the appreciation of how life-changing it would be,” she recalled last month. “It took 20 to 30 hours a week easily to stay on top of training. This is what I did when I wasn’t at work.”

The two of them qualified as members of Texas Task Force 1 in 2000 – and their first deployment was at the World Trade Center site in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Together they spent two weeks working 12-hour shifts at Ground Zero.

In the following years they were deployed to disaster sites including Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ivan, before Bretagne’s retirement from search work at age 9. Bretagne continued to work in her retirement, frequently visiting a local school to help first-graders and children with special needs.

Bretagne was last survivor of around 300 dogs who worked at Ground Zero. Dr. Cindy Otto, a vet who worked with 9/11 search dogs, said: “You’d see firefighters sitting there, unanimated, stone-faced, no emotion, and then they’d see a dog and break out into a smile.

“Those dogs brought the power of hope. They removed the gloom for just an instant — and that was huge because it was a pretty dismal place to be.”


RAF Police Military Working Dogs Join Their USAF Counterparts

20 May 2016

News articles by date

RAF Police Military Working Dogs and their handlers have had their skills tested in a friendly competition against their United States Air Force (USAF) counterparts at RAF Lakenheath.

Cpl Ali Shannon and Tommy

It is the first time RAF Police have been invited to compete against their USAF colleagues at RAF Lakenheath since 2001 and before the contest commenced, both teams performed a capability demonstration, with the RAF team focusing on attack work and the basics of tracking.

Throughout the week, RAF Lakenheath has seen a series of events organised by the USAF Security Forces Squadron to mark National Police Week which commemorates and pays homage to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. 

SrA Bryce Bates and Gina

One of the organisers, Master Sergeant Jason Hallmon was instrumental in securing the attendance of the RAF team and said: “I’ve had links into the RAF with our exchange officer for a while now. This is a great way to bring the two communities together, build relationships and look to the future as we hope to do more together.”

The RAF team consisted of four handlers drawn from various units and the USAF team included personnel from both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. This interaction is seen as an important step towards strengthening relationships with the USAF Security Forces ahead of the arrival of the F35 into the UK. The aircraft is scheduled to be based at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Marham so both teams will be tasked to provide security. 

The Teams

Warrant Officer Lee Close, Training and Operations Manager, Military Working Dogs said: “Today has been a lot of fun and we’ve enjoyed the level of hospitality extended to us. For me, it’s not just about the contest or the demonstrations though - it’s a way for us to start furthering our professional relationships with the USAF ahead of the F35’s arrival. 

Cpl Peter Ratcliffe and Kwinto ‘attack’ Sgt Andy Ackers

“The vision is for our two organisations to share policing and security intelligence plus operating procedures to ensure the aircraft remains fully protected on station. This has been a great first step in that process.”

With differences in the way that the two nation’s dogs work, judging duties were carried out by experts from both the RAF and USAF to choose a winner for each team, with an independent judge, without military working dog expertise, choosing an overall ‘Top Dog’ for the day. Corporal Marc Lawson from RAF Marham and Staff Sergeant Kelly Webster from RAF Mildenhall won the individual titles, whilst ‘Top Dog’ for the day went to Corporal Shaun Perkes from RAF Brize Norton.

Editor: Sal Davidson

Photographs: TSgt Matthew Plew

Cpl Ali Shannon and Tommy.

SrA Bryce Bates and Gina.

The Teams. 

Cpl Peter Ratcliffe and Kwinto ‘attack’ Sgt Andy Ackers.

MOD Crown Copyright 2016


Air dogs put through their paces at RAF Marham

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. SAC Rose Buchanan ANL-160513-115853001

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. SAC Rose Buchanan ANL-160513-115853001



RAF Marham has hosted its first dog trials for eight years, an unusually long time for these annual events to have been missed.

That was due to operational commitments and shows just how busy the personnel at Marham have been all over the world over much of the past decade.

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. The handlers along with their canine companions take part in several different events that test their handling skills. This event is an annual tradition for dog sections across the Royal Air Force. ANL-160513-120044001

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. The handlers along with their canine companions take part in several different events that test their handling skills. This event is an annual tradition for dog sections across the Royal Air Force. ANL-160513-120044001

Historically, station trials at a dog section would be an annual occurrence, where dog handlers would compete against one another in the disciplines that would be expected of a protection dog team while they are on patrol.

This year, however, Sgt Furniss was able to host RAF Marham’s Station Dog Trials 2016.

He entered five teams into trials: These were, Cpl Roberts and MWD (Military Working Dog) Monica; Cpl Lydon and MWD JoJo; Cpl Matthews and MWD Fedor; Cpl Pitman and MWD; and Cpl Fields and MWD Diva.

These disciplines that were to be tested were ‘Manwork’, where the dog team would apprehend a criminal through a bite, ‘Windscent’, where the dog team would use the scent of an individual on the wind to locate them on the airfield, ‘Nightwork’, where the dog team would have to protect a given area that contains assets where a ‘criminal’ is trying to get on their area and lastly the ‘Arena’, where the Dog Team would be marked on obedience and agility.

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. Photo: SAC ROSE BUCHANAN ANL-160513-115600001

RAF Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. Photo: SAC ROSE BUCHANAN ANL-160513-115600001

At the end of an exhausting and nerve-racking two days, Cpl Roberts was awarded first place in the Criminal Workout, Windscent and Nightwork, whilst Cpl Matthews was awarded first place for Best Turned Out and first place for a near perfect Arena.

Cpl Matthews and MWD Fedor were the only team to successfully complete a 20m send away

Special recognition went to Cpl Pitman’s Dog, MWD Dara, who hit the ‘criminal’ so hard that she was able to completely take him of his feet before he face planted into the grass.

OC RAF Police at RAF Marham, Flying Officer Hitchen said, “I am immensely proud of the hard work that all of the dog section members have put into support these trials but in particular the pride, confidence and professionalism shown by the competitors.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity for the handlers to showcase themselves and encourages them to strive for perfection.”

The only thing that was left was for the Stn Cdr, Gp Capt Davies, to award was 3rd, 2nd, and 1st places; 3rd place was awarded to Cpl Matthews and MWD Fedor, 2nd place was awarded to Cpl Pitman and MWD Dara, with 1st place going to Cpl Roberts and MWD Monica.

Cpl Roberts said, “I am over the moon with the result.  Monica is a fantastic dog but she can be stubborn so I have had to work really hard over the last year with training.  The competition was tough so I take my hat off to the other competitors.”

This year the RAF Marham Military Working Dog Trials was sponsored by the London Road Veterinary Centre and head vet and practice owner Alex Dallas attended the trials.

He said: “It is an honour to work with the RAF Police Dog Section and I have always admired the work they do.

“To see them in action has been eye-opening and I have renewed respect for both the handlers and dogs!”

London Road Veterinary Centre in Lynn has been working with the RAF Marham Police Dog Section for the last 40 years.

This year the winner of the trials will receive the London Road Championship Cup.

Alex Dallas added, “Over many years of working with the Police Dog Section we have got to know both the dogs and handlers well, so congratulations to the champions!”



Hero Hounds: The Training Behind Military Working Dogs

Now that British combat operations in Afghanistan have come to a close, the role of the military working dog (MWD) is changing.
In this special report, Forces TV takes a look at the dogs helping to keep our British soldiers safe.


Military working dogs and handlers based in Rutland given bravery awards




In action - Man's Best Friend


Security Professionals Award for RAF Police Dog Handler

A RAF Police Dog Handler has been recognised at an awards ceremony hosted by the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (WCoSP).

Sgt Bullen and Airdog LassSergeant Claire Bullen is a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer who has been in charge of a RAF Police Working Dog Section for three years. The section provides the vital arms and explosives search capabilities to UK Police forces and other Government organisations.

Responsible for maintaining and deploying her team, plus ensuring the health, welfare and operational capabilities of a fleet of dogs, it has been Sergeant Bullen’s efforts in the current challenging environment that led to this formal recognition from the WCoSP.

The awards ceremony, held at Sadler’s Hall in London, is now in its fifth year - with the RAF Police winning the military category on three occasions. It was attended by a range of military, police and security professionals who had gathered to honour the winners from a range of categories.

Presenting the award was Master of the WCoSP - Stuart Seymour, who said: “There is no doubt about the number of lives saved by military search dogs and this award to Sergeant Claire Bullen recognises the vital role in their welfare and deployment fulfilled by the leaders on the front line.

“The Company is delighted to honour Claire and all the handlers, kennel staff, vets and dogs that keep the RAF Police's Military Working Dogs in the forefront of the fight against terrorists and criminals.”

Sgt Bullen’s section has been instrumental in the discovery of improvised explosive devices, homemade explosives and numerous amounts of ammunition. These successes were in no small part to enhanced search techniques that were devised and implemented by Sgt Bullen.

On receiving her award at the prestigious ceremony in front of colleagues and family members, Sgt Bullen said: “I feel very honoured to receive this award, but I couldn’t do this job without the support of a team of dedicated and professional people who work extremely hard day-in and day-out. This award is really recognition for the efforts of the whole team.”

Editor: Sal Davidson

Photographs: Provided by Gerald Sharp Photography

Sgt Bullen and Airdog Lass.

MOD Crown Copyright 2015



DSPG Netheravon Flight Parade

I was honoured to receive the RAFPA trophy today for best GPD. Please find an attached photograph.

Kind Regards,
Cpl A Bell

Reading a pensions magazine when I came across an article by a Mike Brown.
Mike said he was a dog handler, 1955 time. He was on the demo team and then was posted to Ringway/Handforth. He had a black dog named Sugar.
Another ex dog handler read the article and contacted Mike. His name is Colin Norman, he had a white dog named Mougli. Served at the same time, but I don't know where.
If this rings a bell with any Associate members and they wish to make contact, I should be able to provide some contact details.


The attached pictures show a four foot square, hand made quilt, donated by the maker, to be sold in aid of our EMB charity ‘Children’s Brain Tumour Research’
I am hoping to get in excess of 75
I wonder if any of the dog handlers (or anyone for that matter) who visit your sites can suggest a venue to sell it and get the best price for our charity I would appreciate it.
Rather than clog up your site with replies(a lot of members won’t be interested) could they email me direct on
Thank you in anticipation




Unsung heroes: the brave dogs who fought in WWII

Would you send your pet to war? Reams of once secret documents have revealed the heroic deeds of the British dogs recruited in the fight against Adolf Hitler

WWII troops with graduates of the War Dogs Training School, near Potters Bar

6:00PM BST 26 Sep 2015


In May 1941, during the dark days of the Second World War, a few small adverts started appearing in the columns of various press publications up and down the country.

“To British Dog Owners,” the bulletins proclaimed. “Your country needs dogs for defence. Alsations, Collies and other large breeds. Here is your great opportunity to actively help to win the war – will you loan one?”

The adverts were primarily designed by the War Office to test public opinion over the merits of sending people’s beloved pets to combat, but the response was overwhelming.

Within two weeks there had been a staggering 7,000 offers of dogs – not least because in such straitened times many were struggling to feed their pets.


One woman sent a message to accompany her offer: “my husband has gone, my sons have gone, take my dog to help bring this cruel world to an early end.”

And so, the most unusual regiment of the war started to form.

Britain had used dogs in military service before. During the Great War, Lt Col Edwin Hautenville Richardson had trained hundreds of Airedales up at his kennels in Shoeburyness, Essex, to carry messages along the communication lines of the Western Front.

But the War Dogs Training School was a different beast altogether. When it officially opened for business on May 5, 1942 at a greyhound kennels in Northaw, near Potters Bar, 40 recruits were eagerly awaiting training. By the end of the war some 3,300 had been successfully dispatched to units across the globe.

Around 200 were killed or reported as missing in action, others went on to achieve some of the most heroic deeds of the war. A few animals were heralded following the end of hostilities, but for many their contribution was never fully recognised. Indeed hundreds were simply disposed of by the authorities in 1945, never to see their beloved owners again.

Now a new book, written by husband and wife team Christy and Clare Campbell, aims to re-write the role of the war dogs in history. The pair, both journalists and authors, have uncovered reams of once secret documents detailing the fiascos and bravery of the animals recruited in the fight against Hitler.

Those such as, Rex, a stray black labrador, who in 1945 helped detect so many mines in the Reichswald Forest that he was hailed by his platoon commander his platoon commander, Lt Peter Norbury, as the bravest dog he had ever seen: “saving casualties that would most certainly have occurred but for his devotion to duty.”

The duties so faithfully carried out by the graduates of the War Dogs Training School also paved the way for the heroism of their modern forebears in the Royal Veterinary Corps. The PDSA Dickin Medal, which was introduced in 1943 as the Victoria Cross of animals to recognise incredible bravery on the frontline, has been awarded 65 times since, including four times to dogs in Afghanistan.

In 2010 it emerged that UK Special Forces were parachuting German Shepherd dogs equipped with video cameras into Taliban strongholds to search buildings for insurgents. At least eight animals were killed during operations but as one SAS source said, “that would have been eight SAS men.”

Many more were attached to regular troops, searching the ground for Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and buried weapons and rooting out ambushes. The arms and explosives search dog Buster, who passed away in retirement in July this year aged 13, was known among troops as the dog that saved 1,000 lives.



'The search and patrol dogs give the guys a little bit of home when they are out there'
Corporal Stacey Graham


Corporal Stacey Graham was one of the dog handlers deployed to Helmand in 2012 alongside Bosh, her Belgian Malinois. “As soon as he arrived it was like an instant input of morale,” says the 27-year-old RAF police officer. “The search dogs and patrol dogs give the guys a little bit of home when they are out there. Also there is the reassurance of what the dogs can do.”

Back in the Second World War, soldiers given animals from the War Dogs Training School were expressly ordered not to grow attached – “DON’T make friends with or pet any of these dogs,” barked an official decree.

But in Afghanistan, Graham admits, this is not something she ever quite managed with the now retired Bosh. “Not to sound like a big softie but he was my best friend out there. I loved that dog to absolute pieces and still do. He meant the world to me. When things were bad I had him and he was there to look after me and the guys I was with. It gave me massive reassurance.”


In 1942, the dogs were sent into combat with nothing like the training they receive today. The war dogs made their debut in North Africa but the experiment proved a disaster. Of the 36 listed as being sent out to the campaign, only five survived. The curt description of their deaths in the records tells of many a tragic end. Chum, an Airedale, was described as “drowned on landing” in November 1942. Prince, a Labrador attached to the 5bn Northamptons was said to have “burned to death in a bombed out vehicle.”

However under the expert eye of Herbert Lloyd, the legendary Cocker Spaniel breeder and chief technical adviser at the War Dogs Training School, its training methods soon began to dramatically improve.

Lloyd’s daughter is 78-year-old Jennifer Lloyd Carey, herself a renowned canine expert and the longest-running competitor at Crufts who has attended every show since 1948. She remembers, as a child, saluting at the trucks as they shipped donated animals to the training centre - and her father being constantly busy doing night-training with the dogs. “The book is an amazing investigation and makes me very proud of my father,” she says.

As the war progressed, not only were the animals trained to guard, patrol and sniff out enemy mines, but some were even taught how to parachute in behind enemy lines. Brian, a two year-old Collie Cross, was one of the most-famous so-called “paradogs” and was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for his service. During the D Day Landings, Brian and several other animals dropped in to France under heavy enemy anti-aircraft fire.

He survived the war and returned to his owner to resume civilian life before dying of natural causes in 1955.

Yet many would not prove so fortunate. Only 1,500 of the war dogs actually came home. The rest were bought by the government for further service in Germany and destroyed (the strays first) when their “military usefulness” was over. Of the 17 dogs cited for the RSPCA For Valour Medal - only three actually ever received it.

Even in the modern era, many who have served their country so bravely have ended up meeting a similar fate, due to fears of dangerous behavioural issues back in the real world. In 2013, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sparked anoutcry after it emerged that 280 dogs had been put down in the previous three years – including two that had been assigned to guard the Duke of Cambridge. As a result it said it would review its procedures so former guard dogs are checked by a military vet and an experienced dog handler before a decision is taken whether or not to put them down - and will always try to re-home them wherever possible.

Perhaps, finally, Britain's pet veterans can look forward to an honourable retirement.

Dogs of Courage by Clare and Christy Campbell is published by Corsair priced 14.99. To order your copy for 12.99 plus p&p call 0844 871 1514 or visit

6th September

Rogues gallery — with Mick Larkman, Steve Gray,Dusty Mack, Iain Todd and Stewart McArdle at Windermere House

Okay, folks ! At the request of his wife and friends, I am afraid that I bear bad news regarding one of our erstwhile colleagues, Roger Johnson.
I am sure that there are quite a few of you who remember Roger. Unfortunately, he is now suffering from a condition called "Picks Disease" (aka "Picts Disease") which is an aggressively progressive form of Dementia. The prognosis is that Roger has only a very short time left !
Friends arranged a "party" for Roger and others in his Care Home on Sunday 6 September.
A few old Dog men (and a woman - Georgie Mack) attended at Windermere House, in Hull, to help raise funds for the Dementia Charity.

Address :-
Windermere House,
Birkdale Way,

 Chris Wyman and Nigel Cox


US Military Allies Explore New Hyper-Sensitive Bomb-Sniffing Dogs

Global Dynamic Security trains dogs to use their natural hunting instincts to find bomb odors more quickly than conventionally trained and operated bomb-sniffing dogs. Photo courtesy of Global Dynamic Security
Global Dynamic Security trains dogs to use their natural hunting instincts to find bomb odors more quickly than conventionally trained and operated bomb-sniffing dogs. Photo courtesy of Global Dynamic Security

A handful of key U.S. allies around the globe are considering the purchase of a new kind of bomb-sniffing dog designed to harness innate wolf-like hunting instincts and locate dangerous source odors much more quickly than conventional bomb-detecting dogs.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are among the countries exploring dogs trained by a small Virginia-based firm called Global Dynamic Security, which was founded in 2010, company officials said.

"We are currently preparing to train and ship dogs to U.S. allies," Shawn Deehan, Global Dynamic Security founder and CEO, told in an interview.

Deehan claims his innovative training methods, proven in numerous test scenarios, are based on prolonged study of the natural hunting behaviors of wolves and thousands of years of evolution.

"Our behavioral science model is based on the evolved nature of canines and based on evolution itself. I studied wolves for more than 10 years and observed their behaviors. That was instructive, and it illuminated what was really happening with wolves," Deehan said.

Unlike most existing bomb-detecting dogs, which are usually led on a leash by a handler, Deehan's dogs are trained to rapidly use their natural hunting abilities without needing to be led by humans.

"We hyper-sensitize them to an odor. We amplify and intensify natural canine hunting behavior and allow them to perform off of a leash," he said.

Having trained thousands of dogs over the years, Deehan says he has succeeded recently in demonstrating how quickly his dogs can independently detect bomb, drug, ammunition and other key odors. The four demonstration dogs trained using Deehan's new method are able to detect source odors in a different, much faster way compared to most existing bomb-sniffing dogs currently used by the military and law enforcement communities, Deehan said.

The demonstration dogs include two Malinois, which are Belgian Shepherd dogs, a Dutch Shepherd and a Czechoslovakian Shepherd, Deehan said.

"We felt that in order to have integrity, we needed to prove the method 100 percent in a number of scenarios. In the last three years, our dogs have been as close to 100 percent reliable as they can be," he said.

For instance, Deehan said his dogs were able to locate a bomb-scented Q-tip buried in the mud in an upside-down salt shaker three acres away in less than four minutes.

"The salt shaker contained a Q-tip that had been in a bag containing bomb odor. The salt shaker was then put into a hole that was two inches in diameter. The holes were turned upside down and the shaker was put into the mud beneath the grass. The dog was starting from 120 yards away. The dog worked a three-and-a-half acre field. Our dog found it in around four minutes," Deehan said.

Deehan argues that most conventionally trained bomb-sniffing dogs, which are often brought through areas in grid pattern and typically led by humans, would likely need at least 45 minutes to an hour to find the same Q-tip.

"Dogs can follow the trail of a deer for three miles. Dogs have been hunting prey for millions of years. The conventional method has introduced human behavior into something where human beings were never present. We studied evolution itself in a way that no one has ever studied," he claimed.

Deehan plans to train thousands of these dogs and deliver them to interested U.S. allies around the globe. Each dog costs $110,000; however, that price includes a one-year maintenance, support and training contract, he said.


These were taken at a 2TAF Dog Trials '67 '68.

Could have been Geilenkirchen or Rheindahlen. Long time ago but could be of interest to your Doggie readers.
Mike Lester


From Will Barrow.... Just been presented this by the lads and lasses on the Henlow RAF Police flight in remembrance of Buster. Proper choked. A great bunch who I will miss.

PICTURES: The Lossiemouth Raft Race


The annual Lossie raft race took place on Sunday (August 2) drawing a crowd of over 3000 people despite the unpredictable weather.

The race is organised by the Royal Air Force (RAF) base along with Moray Council and Grampian Police to raise money for local charities and engage with the local community.

This year Cash For Kids and the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ were the chosen charities.

Of the 19 teams that started the race only 5 managed to finish, with one team’s raft falling apart even before the start line.



RAF Lossiemouth’s Police Dog Section were the victors ending the Steamboat Inn’s short 1 year hold of the title.

The winning craft was built from oil drums.

The design, used last year as a Viking ‘long ship’, proved manoeuvrable and quick as it led in a close finish with ‘Cash for Kids’ raft.

Flight Lieutenant Ollie Harbridge said: “The raft race was a great success again this year. I’m obviously happy that a RAF Lossiemouth team won and I think the friendly competition helped to make this year’s event the most enjoyable yet.

“It was however a shame that most of the rafts didn’t make it to the finish, with only 5 teams making the finishing line.

“I’d like to thank the local businesses and residents of Lossiemouth for their continued support, for their patience during the disruption of the day, and their generous donations that have enabled us yet again to raise so much money for charity and put on this community event with such success.”

The money raised from the event will be split equally between MFR Cash For Kids and the Make a Wish Foundation. These were chosen to ensure two local charities receive all the benefits from the generosity of local people.

The final result of the race was:

1st – RAF Lossiemouth Police Dog Section
2nd – MFR
3rd – The Steamboat Inn, Lossiemouth
4th – 1 (F) Squadron
5th – ‘The Spitfire Sirens’, RAF Lossiemouth
** Remaining teams failed to finish.

Fancy Dress Competition Winners: ‘The Spitfire Sirens’, RAF Lossiemouth

The Annual Lossiemouth RAFT RACE 2015. This years theme was BoB First place, the RAF Lossiemouthpolice  Dog Secotion. 2nd; MFR  3rd the Steamboat

The Annual Lossiemouth RAFT RACE 2015.


The Annual Lossiemouth RAFT RACE 2015.

The RAF Police winners


The Annual Lossiemouth RAFT RACE 2015.

No hard feelings from runners up…or those whose craft couldn’t cross the finish

The Annual Lossiemouth RAFT RACE

Outfits that don’t seem too tactical for the chilly waters


Lossie Raft RAce

A great spectacle for service men and women as well as local people


Lossie Raft RAce

Is that a bit of sabotage going on there? Or is it a rescue?


Lossie Raft RAce

Sabotage seems more and more likely…who can say though


Help required from someone trying to research his late father's RAFP service... This photo was possibly taken in Malta... Given the prominent sign for the dog section, can anyone confirm the RAF station/unit...??

Steve Davies's photo.

Steve Davies