The Real Dogs of War:

Air Mobility Command has ramped up training for its four-footed warriors and their human handlers because more and more these airmen are supporting ground forces in Southwest Asia. Maj. Michele Gill reports that AMC has just included its first group of military working dogs and their handlers in a 16-day Phoenix Warrior course conducted at Ft. Dix, N.J., the home of the Air Force Expeditionary Center. The course exposed the six dogs to “more than 10,000 rounds of live weapons fire,” said SSgt. Mark Ochoa from the 319th Security Forces Squadron at Grand Forks AFB, N.D. Another handler, SSgt. Derrick Bowen with the 60th SFS at Travis AFB, Calif., noted that during the training the dogs encountered more than 15 times the amount of explosives odor they normally train with. The training at Ft. Dix, down to the mock village and high level of explosives, resembled as closely as possible the conditions the dogs and their handlers will face in SWA.