European Spotlight: Staff Sgt. Chad Jones and Bradley, military K-9 team
We’ll start with questions for the biped and I’ll do my best to avoid the dog puns. So you were an MP who decided to work with the dogs. What do you like about your job?
The best thing is there’s always something new. It’s not repetitive. The dog’s almost like raising a child. He’s constantly curious and interested in everything.
Are you a dog person?
For the most part.
Do you own a dog?
Ever gone downrange with a pooch?
I just got back in July of ’05. I was the kennel master for Abu Ghraib K9.
That must’ve been tough.
It was very difficult. The strenuous heat on the dog in the environment you’re in, and in a detention facility, you’ve got to watch what you’re doing. Obviously there’s a lot of press. Most of the units were National Guard, Reserve, and they’d never worked with military working dogs. They don’t know how the dogs can be properly used.
Are military dogs essential in Iraq?
An explosive detection dog like mine is a 20-times force multiplier when it comes to protection. One dog team out on the gate sniffing for explosives can take the place of a whole platoon doing ramp checks, and in half the time.
Do dog handlers bond with their animals?
Everybody’s different, but there is a certain bond. We deploy as individuals, my dog and me. You’re the father to that dog.
What’s something about being a military dog handler that people wouldn’t know?
I always thought these guys just sit around all day long and play with their dogs. But once I got into the program, our job load is unsurpassed.
It got hot as all heck this summer here in Europe. What did you guys do to keep the dogs cool during those dog days?
They have fans running, it’s air-conditioned and constant water to them. You also reduce training.
Turning to Bradley the dog: You seem hesitant to answer my questions. Have I upset you?
(Bradley licks his chops.)
... OK. Let’s cut to the chase, what’s the better treat, biscuits or sausages?
(Bradley again licks his chops and lets his tongue hang out.)
Geoff Ziezulewicz conducted this interview.
Staff Sgt. Chad Jones and Bradley
Ages: 28 and 12
Day jobs: Handler and military working dog in Griesheim, Germany, with the 529th MP Company, K9 Team
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