55th Security Forces Squadron MWDs on the move

  • Published
  • By Charles J. Haymond
  • 55th Wing/Public Affairs

Col. Mark Howard, 55th Wing commander, visits the new temporary facility for 55th Security Forces Squadron and their Military Working Dogs Sept. 25, 2023 at Offutt Air Force Base.

After the historic flood of 2019, the kennels were moved to five different places on base until they were able to obtain their upgraded building.

“I got here right after the flood,” said Tech. Sgt. Blake Radey, 55th SFS kennel master. “We have moved once every single year since I’ve been here.” 

It is very important for the 55th SFS MWDs to have an adequate facility where they can sharpen and maintain their readiness for the 55th Wing and Offutt’s tenant agencies.

 “K-9 is a part of the Department of Defense mission, and our mission just doesn’t stop at the wing” Radey said. “So having a compound where we can keep the dog’s health at its maximum is paramount to supporting the president of the United States through the Secret Service and being able to meet that mission set.”

The 55th SFS kennel team, members from 55th Contracting Squadron, and the base veterinary staff collaborated and devised a plan to modify a facility to ensure the health and safety of the dogs.

“The three most important things that I care about as a veterinarian, is to maintain their health, welfare, and safety so they can perform their jobs appropriately,” said Army Capt. Christina Elder, 55th Wing base   veterinarian.

While determining where to relocate the kennels, the team had to follow all Air Force Instructions and Army regulations to decide if the building would fit the needs of the MWDs. The codes also gave them guidance in the health maintenance of the facility to keep the building sanitized for the dogs and sizes of their kennels.

“This has been a months-long process to get this building where it needs to be, it is a satisfactory building in regard to health and safety and that makes me very happy,” Elder said. “The dogs have been healthier, they have been slimmer because they have been able to run around the obstacle yard, and they have had more vitality overall.