News | Sept. 1, 2017

Misawa staff hosts special trainees for local unit

By Tim Hoyle DLA Dispositon Services

 Offering training to customers is nothing new for DLA Disposition Services sites until the trainees are four-legged and wear a different kind of dog tags.

Staffers at the Misawa, Japan, site recently opened their doors to military working dog handlers from the 35th Security Forces to train a new member of their unit. Site Manager Michele Clay said the unit received the pup two months ago, and the visit was the dog’s first time testing in a new environment. Air Force Staff Sgt. Victoria Dames said she often noticed the DLA site on her way to her unit and thought DLA Disposition Services would be an ideal location to train.  

“So, when I stepped into the trainer slot in mid-July, it was one of the first locations I called to see if they would have us,” Dames said. 

The advantage of the DLA site, according to Dames, is that it offers a place where there is little foot traffic. The fenced in compound is away from general base populous, which helps limit exposure to the smallest amount of people for the shortest amount of time. The close proximity to the kennels is also a major benefit to reduce time in transporting the military working dogs.

Dames said the training at the site involved substance detection training. This consists of taking items the dog is trained to identify and hiding them at various heights and depths.

“The training we conducted at DLA was entirely successful,” Dames said. “Both dogs who trained on that day accurately located all of the placed training aids--detection rate was 10 percent above the requirement.”

Dames said she would love to train at the site again. Next time, she said the can do substance detection or human detection. With the latter training the dog is locating a hidden person simulating someone who is trying to evade police by hiding.