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Military showcases recreation, military dogs

VIDEO: Fort Stewart Military Dogs

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This past Saturday Fort Stewart showcased their Military Dogs in training and celebrated the 50th anniversary of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) with outdoor events that welcomed the community to explore all they offered.

During MWR’s outdoor celebration at Holbrook Pond, off Highway 144 people were treated to a live and close look at birds of prey up from the folks at the Center of Wildlife Education. Skidaway State Park set up another booth displaying more wildlife and people were able to try axe throwing, paintball shooting, archery, canoeing and kayaking and various other activities.

“Holbrook Pond is a public recreation area,” Nikko Abreu the Lead Recreation Assistant for Hunter Army Airfield Outdoor Recreation said. “People can come out here and fish or go camping at the campgrounds or go canoeing or skeet rap, you name it, you can use these facilities.”

Abreu said the mission of the MWR is to bring the military community and the civilian community together utilizing a variety of programs and option to enjoy the outdoors, especially during the COVID pandemic. He said there is plenty of room for social distancing, having fun and getting fresh air.

“This is a great area,” Abreu said. “It is open from sunup until sundown. You have the water out here and it’s nice and breezy out here.”

Also this past Saturday Specialist Catalino Lopez, 93rd Military Dog Attachment, and Specialist Kaylie Buck were showing how they train their Military Dogs Alex and Groll.

Held a demonstration on obedience and controlled aggression. Obedience is used to train dogs to sit, stay, lay down and heel while walking. Controlled aggression training teaches the dog how to neutralize a threat through several training techniques. Dogs are trained to handle aggressors and apprehend suspects but also trained to sniff about special devices or drugs.

“Our dogs will either be explosive detector dogs or narcotic detector dogs,” Lopez said. “But they are also capable of doing controlled aggression as well.”

Lopez said the current dogs they have are still in training.

Lopez said he was assigned to his military training dog, Alex, in October 2020 and they train every day, all day long to include some weekends. Once trained the dogs will get certified and be ready to deploy. Lopez said the entire process takes around 30-90 days.

Buck showed how their dogs are also trained to wear certain tactical gear to protect their paws from broken glass or extreme weather conditions. They are trained to wear special eye protectors that protects their vision and eyes from sand storms and harsh wind conditions.

Lopez said a special bond is formed between the dog and its handler. He said these military dogs are just as willing to put their life on the line to protect their country as the soldiers.

VIDEO: Recreation Day at MWR

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