Security forces partner with local police departments

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tara Fadenrecht
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
A school building may not seem like a typical place to conduct drug and explosive detection training, but that is exactly where McConnell security forces partnered with the Kansas Police Dog Association to carry out these exercises.

The abandoned building in Independence, Kansas, provided a unique environment for McConnell military working dogs to train.

"We try to vary our training areas because it's absolutely necessary to get our dogs into a different environment," said Staff Sgt. Michael Urquhart, 22nd Security Forces Squadron military working dog trainer. "When something really goes down we're going to be stepping into a place we've never been to."

The training session brought the 22nd security forces team together with local organizations including the Elk County Sheriff's department and the Kansas Department of Corrections.
Each group deals with different scenarios while on the job, so it was a great opportunity to share training ideas and techniques with the other departments, said Urquhart.

During the first part of training, K-9 teams used various search techniques to find narcotics and explosives that were placed in separate portions of the building.

The trainers and their dogs also practiced different methods used to search buildings and locate suspects.

"The ability to have 20 people around to huddle up and come up with ideas of how to fix a problem is extremely beneficial," said Sgt. Chad McCluskey, Augusta Department of Public Safety K-9 handler and KPDA trainer. "It gets us to think of techniques outside of ones we commonly use."

From problem solving to putting plans into action, the training was not only beneficial to the bond between the trainers and their dogs, but it also worked to strengthen the relationships between the members of different organizations.

"There was a lot of camaraderie just between the different police organizations," said Urquhart. "We don't work together on a regular basis but just by nature of what we do we get along really well. It was a really good, fun training day."