KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – A select group of Seabees attached to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 28, constructed a covered, outdoor training area where military working dog handlers with the 4th Infantry Division (ID) will be able to build a stronger working relationship with their Military Working Dogs (MWD).
“The area we built is 96 feet long, eight feet wide and eight to 10 feet high with a lean-to roof. The roof is 10 feet wide allowing for a two foot overhang,” said Builder 1st Class Mark Campbell, the team leader in charge of building the yard area. The project also consisted of grading, erecting a timber frame and adding a chain link fence with two gates.
“There’s a yard now where the dogs can run, play and exercise, and pretty much a dog can be a dog”, said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Douglas Fisher, MWD handler deployed with the 4th ID. “The handlers and the dogs can build a better rapport now that we have a controlled area where we can do a little off leash training with them.”
Fisher joined the Navy in 2007, and has been working as a MWD handler since graduating from the three month dog handling school at Joint Base San Antonio (Lackland Air Force Base), San Antonio, three years ago. “Working as a dog handler is a great job, it’s one of the better things I feel that I have done with my life and my career, it’s a very rewarding job,” said Fisher, who is stationed in Rota, Spain, and currently deployed to Afghanistan with the 4th ID.
“The dogs do patrol, which is attack work, and then also detection, whether it be drugs or explosives,” said Fisher. “When we are back at home station we train and train and train, so very rarely do we get to utilize the dog in a real situation. So it’s good to see all the dedication and hard work pay off here in country.”
Fisher mentioned that he saw Seabees around the base; he tracked down their unit and asked for their assistance. Fisher explained, “They [NMCB 28] have helped support us immensely in the short time they have been here. They have got a few more projects that they are doing for us.”
“I just want to give a special thanks to the Seabees that came out and helped us,” said Fisher. “What may seem like little projects to them are definitely big for us and the dogs, and it will truly benefit the war effort out here in Afghanistan.”