Military working dogs Lucy and Ace hone their skills in Jordan
Two of the Army’s military working dogs proved as popular as they passed during a key training exercise in Jordan.
As they gather admirers wherever they go, Springer Spaniel Ace and Belgian Malinois Lucy perform critically important tasks, with the former able to detect weapons and explosives and the latter a key part of the duties of detection, detour and detention.
They are part of 1 Military Working Dog Regiment based at St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham in the East Midlands.
This month they are taking part in Exercise Olive Grove with 2 Rifles in northern Jordan, about an hour from the capital Amman.
Lucy’s handler is Private Jamie Agnew, 24, from Arbroath in Scotland.
He volunteered at an animal shelter for three years, working with troubled dogs, before joining the military two years ago.
He described Lucy as a real morale booster for the soldiers at the camp.
“Everyone likes to come and fuss with her, which she swallows,” he told the PA news agency.
However, he said she had two sides, with a much less friendly face for her daily work.
“When I had Lucy she was already at a good level, she was in Kenya but this is her first time in Jordan,” he said.
“We don’t normally do that kind of training, so it’s good to see where her flaws are and what we need to work on, but she’s doing really well.
“We mainly focus on detection, deterrence and detention so that we can detain people by releasing the dog, allowing the dog to bite and hold the person until we come to relieve them.
“There are definitely two sides to her, as some saw when that side came out, she’s a different dog.”
Meanwhile, Ace’s handler is Private Molly Shaw, 23, from Manchester.
She said Ace was the second dog she was in a relationship with, having passed out from training about a year ago.
He can search for ammunition, weapons, explosives, and bomb-making materials.
Ace’s career would last six to eight years.
“He’s my second search dog, but I’ve been in a relationship with him longer, he’s cheeky but he’s adorable. Every dog has a different character,” Private Shaw said.
“It can be deployed anywhere from operations in the UK or anywhere in the world on exercises such as Kenya, Jordan and Cyprus.
“It’s been brilliant exercise, spending four weeks with my dog, doing a lot of training, working with the Rifles and different detachments.
“Everyone loves him. He has a lot of admirers.