FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico –
Members of the installation’s Directorate of Emergency Services, K9 Explosives Detection team were successfully recertified recently after Dave Barnes, the Installation Management Command K9 program manager, conducted a detailed validation process.
“There were five days of intensive evaluation which included obedience, obstacle course, patrol work, building search and explosive detection among other tasks,” said Angel Rivera a Department of the Army civilian police on post.
Rivera was evaluated and certified along with his military working dog Eendora, a 9-year-old Belga Malinois. Meanwhile Nelson Del Valle and Zada, a two-year-old German Shepherd also received the certification.
At the end of the evaluation, Barnes classified Fort Buchanan’s program as excellent, with a 95 percent rating.
It is important to note that Fort Buchanan’s K9 team regularly deploys around the Caribbean in support to the U.S. Secret Service for a variety of missions.
“I love my job as a K9 handler. The dog is my partner. Eendora is always there for me, and I am always there for Eendora. We protect each other during every mission,” said Rivera.
The successful re-certification of members of the Fort Buchanan’s k9 team, clearly showcases the installation's high level of readiness.
As the Department of Defense's center of gravity in the region, Fort Buchanan serves a diverse military community comprised of approximately 15,000 Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard soldiers, members of the Air Force, Marine Corps Reserve, and the Navy's Operational Support Center.
In the U.S. Army dogs are trained for specific jobs, including tracking, explosive detection, patrol, search and rescue, and attack. Their work is invaluable, and mission essential.