Event to showcase Military Working Dogs – Fort Carson Mountaineer
By Scott Prater
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson is set to host one of the first friendly competitive events since the international pandemic shut down most activities last year.
The K9 Competition, co-hosted by the 69th Military Police Detachment (Military Working Dog), 759th MP Battalion; and the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), is scheduled to begin June 13, 2021 and will continue through June 17, 2021 at multiple Mountain Post locations.
Military working dog teams from both units will compete against other military working dog teams from the 89th MP Brigade as well as local and state law enforcement K9 teams.
“We may also have teams associated with local Air Force units competing,” Master Sgt. Brandon Spears, kennel master, 69th MP Det. “We have 30 slots, so we will be able to accommodate 30 teams during the competition which will consist of five separate events.”
The teams that will participate in the event will work through detection, combat detection, obedience, an agility course and controlled aggression routes. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of each category and an overall champion. All events will take place at Iron Horse Park, the 10th SFG(A) complex and at various distances across the facility.
“After all this time, we know people can’t wait to get out there and experience something lively and interesting,” Spears said. “We will set up Iron Horse Park, for example, with events spaced out, which will allow spectators to watch and visit sponsor vendors on site.”
Working dog teams under the umbrella of the 89th MP Brigade have already committed to compete. They will depart from the brigade’s home base of Fort Hood, Texas, as well as Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and Fort Bliss, Texas.
The idea to create the contest came from Lt. Col. Ranjini T. Danaraj, commander of the 759th MP Bn., who made clear his desire to see a K9 contest early in his tenure at Fort Carson.
“From the very beginning of the idea, we wanted to include the military working dog teams from the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) because they have partnered with us over the last 18 months providing pre- deployment to our teams going overseas,” the captain said. Justin Scott, commander, 69th MP Det. “They bring a much more combat-focused direction to training, whereas we tend to lean towards the law enforcement side.”
K9 competition events will focus on the skills that military working dogs and K9 teams must master to be effective in real-world scenarios, both combat-oriented and law-enforcement-oriented.
“We will have live shooting events, shooting with mock rounds, events with heel dogs and advanced obedience tasks,” Spears said.
Competitors will need to complete tasks vital to law enforcement and combat patrol, demonstrate their ability to apprehend suspects in a controlled manner, and navigate obstacles designed to test their agility.
While this competition could be a highlight of the summer of 2021 at the Mountain Post, MP leaders said it will also serve as a precursor to a much larger event planned for 2022, when they hope to attract up to 80 teams at Fort Carson for an Armywide military working dog competition.
“If this competition is a resounding success, it will provide proof of concept so we can expand it next year,” Scott said. “Leaders (of US Army Forces Command) have already expressed interest in sending teams from all FORSCOM kennels.”