Military combat dogs can be indispensable during nighttime raids, when their superior sense of sight and smell give them an edge over human fighters. A military dog’s loyalty, energy and tireless work ethic makes it an essential asset on the combat field. War dogs have a long history of service in the U.S. military, assisting in battle since before the Civil War. Therefore, it should be no surprise that when it was thought that the life of a fellow service member was on the line, one heroic dog jumped into action.
In 2009, Military Working Dog Remco was involved in the effort to rescue Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after he disappeared from his post in Afghanistan. Remco and his handler, Navy Sr. Chief Mike Toussaint, were dropped from a helicopter into the middle of a firefight. Remco and Toussaint coordinated with Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch to outmaneuver enemy fighters as they tried to approach the spot where they believed Bergdahl was being held.
Two Afghan insurgents tried to keep them from getting to their target area, but Remco had the upper hand. Despite the chaos on the scene with bullets flying and women and children running for cover, Remco stayed focused. When Toussaint positioned his dog downwind from their scent, he caught the scent of the fighters a good distance away. As Remco led three humans to the heavily-armed insurgents, they saw them approach and dug in, ready for a fight. Remco seemed to know that life or death was on the line.