Teams Protect Hundreds of Military Working Dogs from Texas Weather > Air Education and Training Command > Article Display

The Warhawk Nation came together to protect its own Feb. 13, carrying 804 military working dogs indoors in preparation for a harsh winter in the Alamo area.

The dogs, members of the 341st Military Working Dog Training Squadron, were well taken care of during their time inside, ensuring their safety and well-being in the harsh conditions.

The week has been anything but normal for hard working dogs.

“Military Working Dogs and Transportation Security Administration Working Dogs are normally housed in outdoor kennels both on JBSA-Lackland and at the JBSA-Chapman Training Annex,” Lt. Col. Matthew said. Kowalski, squadron commander. “The 341st TRS has the capacity to house over 1,200 dogs at our facilities.”

The unit is also supported by the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, through the Holland Military Working Dog Veterinary Hospital on JBSA-Lackland and a veterinary clinic located with the dogs on JBSA-Chapman Training Annex, a- he declared.

The dogs located at Joint Base San Antonio have a wide variety of jobs.

“In the Department of Defense, military working dogs are used for the detection of substances, explosives or narcotics, as well as for law enforcement functions such as patrolling, arresting and searching for suspects and officer protection,” Kowalski said. “In the Transportation Security Administration, they are used to detect explosives at our nation’s airports, seaports, train stations, and package delivery locations throughout the United States.”

To protect the dogs during the extreme weather, members of the 341st TRS got together with their mission partners, active duty service members, students, and civilians to move the dogs from their outdoor kennels to warm buildings in the area. squadron training. The team collected crates, moved food, set up walking paths and provided food and drink to get the four-legged warriors indoors in anticipation of this week’s cold conditions, said Kowalski said.

“We brought the dogs in once the temperatures dropped below zero,” he said. “At that time, their water bowls would be frozen and our ability to clean their kennels would be reduced and unsafe.”

Once all the dogs were moved, the job was not done.

Throughout the week, each dog was taken out of its crate for walks and bathroom breaks every four hours, or as needed, Kowalski said.

“We have dog handlers on duty 24 hours a day, keeping the dogs happy, warm and fed,” he said.

The operation will continue until it is safe to return the dogs to their outdoor kennels.

“We plan to return dogs to normal kennel setup once temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and our teams can sanitize and disinfect kennels to receive dogs,” Kowalski said. “We expect this move to happen next weekend if the weather is good.”

Kowalski is grateful to all the volunteers who supported their mission.

“As commanding officer of the 341st TRS, and on behalf of our mission partners at the TSA and U.S. Army veterinarians, I want to thank all of these volunteers, foster families, and supporters of military working dogs who have brought food, donated towels and blankets, or donated funds to our charities. Thank you for all of your support during this emergency operation and your continued support of the working dog programs of the TSA and the Department of Defense.

Bette C. Alvarado