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Andersen's MWD handlers conduct advanced training

Moni, a 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, bites a hard sleeve worn by Staff Sgt. Aaron Rustici, 36th SFS military working dog handler as Staff Sgt. Joshua Beck, 36th SFS military working dog handler, remains close by to give the dog commands during advanced decoy training Dec. 16, 2014, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. During training the decoys use suit jackets, different bite sleeves, hidden sleeves and multiple agitation tools such as whips and bamboo sticks to increase the agitation of the dogs and make them more aggressive toward threats. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Moni, a 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, bites a hard sleeve worn by Staff Sgt. Aaron Rustici, 36th SFS military working dog handler as Staff Sgt. Joshua Beck, 36th SFS military working dog handler, remains close by to give the dog commands during advanced decoy training Dec. 16, 2014, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. During training the decoys use suit jackets, different bite sleeves, hidden sleeves and multiple agitation tools such as whips and bamboo sticks to increase the agitation of the dogs and make them more aggressive toward threats. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Staff Sgt. Mario Rey, 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, maintains hold of a leash while Staff Sgt. Joshua Beck, 36th SFS military working dog handler, commands Moni, 36th SFS military working dog, to release a hard sleeve during advanced decoy training Dec. 16, 2014, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.  Advanced decoy training gives the trainers an opportunity to become more comfortable in high-threat situations and allows the dogs to become more confident. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Staff Sgt. Mario Rey, 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, maintains hold of a leash while Staff Sgt. Joshua Beck, 36th SFS military working dog handler, commands Moni, 36th SFS military working dog, to release a hard sleeve during advanced decoy training Dec. 16, 2014, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Advanced decoy training gives the trainers an opportunity to become more comfortable in high-threat situations and allows the dogs to become more confident. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Staff Sgt. Aaron Rustici, 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, flees from Arno, 36th SFS military working dog, as he bites a hard sleeve during advanced decoy training Dec. 16, 2014, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Advanced decoy training gives the trainers an opportunity to become more comfortable in high-threat situations and allows the dogs to become more confident. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Staff Sgt. Aaron Rustici, 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, flees from Arno, 36th SFS military working dog, as he bites a hard sleeve during advanced decoy training Dec. 16, 2014, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Advanced decoy training gives the trainers an opportunity to become more comfortable in high-threat situations and allows the dogs to become more confident. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Staff Sgt. Michael Hensley, 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, challenges Johny, 36th SFS military working dog, during advanced decoy training Dec. 16, 2014, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Hensley is wearing a hidden hard sleeve causing Johny to focus more on the threat and not the standard gear used during training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Staff Sgt. Michael Hensley, 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, challenges Johny, 36th SFS military working dog, during advanced decoy training Dec. 16, 2014, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Hensley is wearing a hidden hard sleeve causing Johny to focus more on the threat and not the standard gear used during training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Johny, 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, displays aggression during back-tie work, for advanced decoy training Dec. 16, 2014, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Back-tie work is a style of training that limits the dog’s area of movement to prevent injuries and also build a dog’s confidence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

Johny, 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, displays aggression during back-tie work, for advanced decoy training Dec. 16, 2014, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Back-tie work is a style of training that limits the dog’s area of movement to prevent injuries and also build a dog’s confidence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amanda Morris/Released)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam-- -- Military working dog handlers from the 36th Security Forces Squadron recently conducted advanced decoy training at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

The training featured the use of tools like padded suit jackets, bite sleeves, hidden sleeves and multiple agitation tools such as whips and bamboo sticks to increase the agitation of the dogs and make them more aggressive toward the threat.

"We have had a lot of new guys come in and we are introducing them to new training and tools," said Staff Sgt. James Colip, 36th SFS MWD trainer supervisor. "This training makes the handlers better so they can make these dogs better."

Advanced decoy training helps the dogs as well as the trainers. The animals learn different catching methods while the decoys become more comfortable in typically uncomfortable situations, allowing them to get as close to the dogs as possible.

"This training enhanced my skills and taught me better ways to do my job and train these dogs," said Staff Sgt. Mario Rey, MWD handler. "This was my first time doing this kind of advanced training and I learned a lot today."

Training is non-stop; the handlers spend countless hours training with their dogs. Handlers are assigned to a specific dog and are typically paired by personality. In instances when the handler and dog cannot be paired by personality, the handler will reflect the dog's personality to build a bond.

"The newer dogs have a lot of quirks, they are puppies around a year and a half to two years old and they don't know the game," Colip said. "We have to be able to forecast them messing up and try to guide them in the right direction. Similar to having a new troop you want to put the animal in the right direction because it's going to shape the rest of their career."

Military working dogs are used for combat missions as well as government support missions whether it's local or global.

"Working with the MWDs is incredibly important; they provide a tool and a method of detection that no other tool on this base can do," Colip said. "No machine or person can do what these dogs can do so what they provide is very important."

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