By Kendra Williams, 55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 17, 2021
A photo of a Military Working Dog in training at the former MWD facility destroyed by the March 2019 flood. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tish Cunningham)
Four Military Working Dogs and their kennels were recently relocated to a temporary facility near the Satellite Pharmacy on Custer Dr. while awaiting the completion of permanent housing that is currently under construction.
This was one of many moves the MWDs have made since the MWD facility was destroyed by the infamous March 2019 flood.
“When I first got here, this whole side of the base was in a wreck and the kennel facility was completely under water,” said Tech. Sgt. Blake Radey, 55th Security Forces Squadron trainer. “They were in a separate facility and we were pulling 24-hour operations to watch them.”
Prior to the flood, the MWD facility provided kennels, a training yard and offices for the handlers. Since then, the MWDs have had to live in temporary facilities to include a house in the Coffman Heights housing area as well as deployment kennels.
Lack of space to train and house the MWDs at 100 percent proficiency has been a cause of concern for the handlers since the flood so the new temporary facility and its accommodations are much appreciated.
“The new move is good,” said Radey. “The dogs have a larger space to live and stay. It’s good they have some comfort.”
“They are happy every time they get out,” said Tech. Sgt. Mark Allen, 55th Security Forces Squadron kennel master. “Their old spaces were six by six [feet], the new ones are eight by eight [feet].”
The MWD’s are projected to use these temporary facilities for 2-3 years until construction of the permanent facility is complete.