CHIÈVRES AIR BASE, Belgium – A photo of a mindful Military Working Dog taking a look at his camouflage-clad handler through a tunnel welcomes individuals when they open a wide range of Army programs from the Enterprise Access Management Service-Army login page.
That dog is Torro, a U.S. Army working dog and his existing handler is Cpl. Henry M. Blanco.
The seven-year-old German Shepherd is stationed on Chièvres Air Base, Belgium. Also referred to as the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Airfield, the NATO base is supported by U.S. Army Garrison Benelux in Belgium.
Blanco said Torro is trained for patrol and explosive detection service.
Providing paws on the ground outside the wire and inside the cordon, Military Working Dogs with explosive detection abilities like Torro assistance Explosive Ordnance Disposal service technicians all over the world.
U.S. Army EOD service technicians are explosive specialists trained to challenge and beat whatever from a hand grenade to a nuclear weapon.
Headquartered on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command is home to 75 percent of the active-duty U.S. Army’s EOD service technicians and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) professionals, along with the first Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, 5 Weapons of Mass Destruction Teams and 3 Nuclear Disablement Teams.
From 19 bases in 16 states, Soldiers and Army civilians from 20th CBRNE Command handle the world’s most harmful dangers in assistance of joint, interagency and allied operations.
U.S. Army EOD techs typically depend on Military Working Dogs to support operations. Approximately 1,600 Military Working Dogs serve in every branch of the U.S. armed force. Military Working Dogs assistance operations on land, at sea and in the air.
Since the 1950s, the U.S. Air Force’s 341st Training Squadron has actually been training the dogs.
Torro belongs to the Combined Military Working Dog Detachment-Europe (CMWDD-E). Assigned to the U.S. Army’s 18th Military Police Brigade, the detachment has 59 Military Working Dogs and more than 70 workers.
With big, medium and little kennels, Combined Military Working Detachment-Europe has mainly German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois that are stationed in the nations of their origin, serving on setups in Germany, Belgium and Italy.
Sgt. First Class Brandon T. Meyer, the kennel master for the 100th Military Police (MP) Detachment (MWD), said the Military Working Dogs and their handlers cover the whole U.S. Army Europe-Africa footprint and assistance contingency operations all over the world.
“We currently have missions in Africa, Kosovo, Egypt and Kuwait,” said Meyer. “We work closely with our joint service counterparts for unity of effort to accomplish all missions in our area of operations.”
Meyer said the MWD groups train everyday to remain accredited for operations.
“Each kennel location conducts realistic training scenarios daily to ensure the Military Working Dog can be employed in unique and complex environments,” said Meyer. “Our dogs are capable of serving on ships and aircraft but our main objective is land warfare.”
A local of Scottsdale, Arizona, Meyer has actually served in the U.S. Army for 11 years and released to Afghanistan for 9 months in assistance of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force.
Meyer chose to sign up with the Army after satisfying a schoolmate in high school who lost his mom throughout the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers.
“Something hit me right then that I needed to ensure something like that never occurs again,” said Meyer. “I initially enlisted as an MP since it would translate to the civilian sector.”
Meyer was among the very first privates chosen from basic training to participate in the Military Working Dog Handler’s Course in a test pilot program. Military Police formerly needed to be an expert prior to participating in MWD training.
“The highlight of my job is seeing the development of a MWD team from beginning to end,” said Meyer.
Taken by Jason Johnston on April 24, 2018, the image on the EAMS-A login page was from the Boeblingen Local Training Area in Germany.
At the time, Torro was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, and his handler was Cpl. David Stefanik.
Meyer said that seeing the EAMS-A picture advises him of the essential objectives that his kennel carries out daily in assistance of U.S. forces and NATO allies in Europe.
“Every time I see Torro on the EAMS-A login page it reminds me of the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that our MWD teams conduct everyday around the world,” said Meyer. “It gives me a sense of purpose and motivation to continue my career in the best job in the Army.”