Visit to ‘Wolf Wing’

Visit to ‘Wolf Wing’ at Malaysian Army Combat Training Centre (PULADA) by the Defence Advisor – 23 Nov 2016

On 21 Jul, we featured an article about the Army Dog Wing (cawangan serigala means Wolf Wing) at PULADA and the Veterinary Officer in charge, Major Azlina binti Manshor.

Since that time, the Australian Defence Force has sent a visiting Dog Handler, SGT Le Lievre from 2 Combat Engineer Regiment (2CER) for a 4 week visit to assist with the fine training at ‘Wolf Wing’ being conducted by LTCOL Ismail (CI), CAPT Stephano (Wing CI), CPL Tuma and his dog ‘Jack’ and the other instructors and 18 Explosive Detection Dogs (EDD) at the wing.

Dogs play an important support role to the military and there are different training for the different employments;
– Explosive Detection Dogs (EDD)
– Sentries (also known as Bite/Attack or Intimidation)
– Search Dogs (also known as Tracking dogs)
– Other specialist roles such as Messenger dogs

A dog’s sense of smell is about 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human’s (depending on the breed). A human has about 5 million scent glands, compared to a dog, who has anywhere from 125 million to 300 million (depending on the breed).

In Australia, the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) is responsible for training EDD dogs at the School of Military Engineering (SME). The Royal Australian Air Force also has a school for Sentry Dogs.

On the visit to PULADA, GPCAPT Wendy Horder, Defence Advisor accompanied by LTCOL Simon Watts, SO1 MAJDP and LTCOL Nic Weston, SO1 M-ADAA went to see how the exchange instructor, SGT Le Lievre has had an impact after 2 weeks of his secondment to the EDD dogs at Wolf Wing.

His main effort has been on using techniques to move the Malaysian trainers from ‘on lead’ detection to ‘off lead’. ‘Off Lead’ increases the search area and means more safety for the handler as he is not on top of an explosive found by the dogs. But control of the dog, hand commands to direct the search and many other factors was admirably demonstrated by CPL Tuma and his dog ‘Jack’. It was his first demonstration and it was most effective, ‘crossing’ and ‘double crossing’ the area until the explosives (a tennis ball) was located. Following that, a demonstration was conducted were an ‘intruder’ was acting suspiciously, placed explosives and the EDD dog was sent to detect the location. Success again!

Well Done to all concerned. It was a credit to the enthusiasm and professionalism that SGT Le Lievre and the team of Malaysian handlers were able to demonstrate ‘off lead’ techniques in only 2 weeks.