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Rio, a 7-year-old German Shepard, chases down Staff Sgt. Darren Smith with the 529th Military Police Company on Friday after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new kennel at Miesau Army Ammo Depot. The scenario was a demonstration of a felony traffic stop while using a canine.

Rio, a 7-year-old German Shepard, chases down Staff Sgt. Darren Smith with the 529th Military Police Company on Friday after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new kennel at Miesau Army Ammo Depot. The scenario was a demonstration of a felony traffic stop while using a canine. (Steve Mraz / S&S)

Rio, a 7-year-old German Shepard, chases down Staff Sgt. Darren Smith with the 529th Military Police Company on Friday after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new kennel at Miesau Army Ammo Depot. The scenario was a demonstration of a felony traffic stop while using a canine.

Rio, a 7-year-old German Shepard, chases down Staff Sgt. Darren Smith with the 529th Military Police Company on Friday after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new kennel at Miesau Army Ammo Depot. The scenario was a demonstration of a felony traffic stop while using a canine. (Steve Mraz / S&S)

Rio, a 7-year-old German shepard, holds down Staff Sgt. Darren Smith with the 529th Military Police Company on Friday after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new kennel at Miesau Army Ammo Depot.

Rio, a 7-year-old German shepard, holds down Staff Sgt. Darren Smith with the 529th Military Police Company on Friday after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new kennel at Miesau Army Ammo Depot. (Steve Mraz / S&S)

MIESAU, Germany — A dog kennel at Miesau Army Depot has received a new lease on life thanks to the war on terror.

Military working dog teams will be able to use the facility, which is capable of housing 60 dogs, during their transits to and from locations downrange. And in addition to housing working dog teams in transit, the facility also will support the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

A ribbon-cutting took place Friday morning to celebrate the The newly refurbished facility, which is on the western edge of the Kaiserslautern Military Community and just minutes away from Ramstein Air Base.

“Recently with the global war on terrorism, we’re looking at huge numbers of dogs we have to transit through this community,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth S. Throckmorton, military working dog program manager with the Headquarters U.S. Army Europe Office of the Provost Marshal. “Every time we move dogs through here we’re not talking five or 10. In some cases, we’re talking 30, 40 dogs because no longer is the (military police) corps the unique provider of military working dogs. You have engineers, Special Forces, infantry and so on.”

Years ago, the Miesau kennel housed sentry dogs that patrolled the installation when sensitive items were stored there. For 20 years, it was the largest kennel in the Army, but the kennel closed as Miesau stopped housing the important equipment.

As a result of needed support for the downrange mission and the prospective “end state” of U.S. Army bases in Europe, a decision was made to revive the Miesau kennels, Throckmorton said.

Now, the Miesau kennel is the premier military working dog facility in Europe, said Col. Jack McClanahan, U.S. Army Europe provost marshal.

“A lot of people kind of grin whenever they say, ‘Ah, it’s just a working dog facility,’” McClanahan said. “Well, ask the warfighters, community commanders and senior mission commanders if they can do without their working dogs. Let me just tell you. I’ve gotten three-star (general) phone calls about shortages of one working dog, one explosives dog in a far-off place before that I had to scramble and pull together. I guarantee you, people care.”

Given the importance of combating hidden explosives and roadside bombs, military working dog teams are some of the most deployed, most in demand and dependable force protection tool available.

“They are absolutely essential,” McClanahan said.

The highlight of Friday’s ceremony was a demonstration of a felony traffic stop involving a military working dog. Staff Sgt. Darren Smith with the 529th Military Police Company put on a protective jacket before attempting to outrun Staff Sgt. Clayton Glover, also with the 529th MP Company, and Rio, a 7-year-old military working dog. Smith did not make it far before Rio, a German shepherd, bit his left arm and pulled him to the ground while Glover slapped a pair of handcuffs on Smith.

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