Soldier, dog training for special duty in Middle East - Tucson News Now

Soldier, dog training for special duty in Middle East

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A soldier and a dog are undergoing special training at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in anticipation of deployment to the Middle East.

The Belgian Malinois, Mushe, has an elite set of skills – he can detect bombs.

He was recently assigned to Staff Sgt. Sean McKenna, so making sure they can communicate is essential to keeping troops out of harm's way.

Obstacle courses might be fun for the dog but McKenna is trying to teach the animal how to anticipate challenges in the field, if the dog has to chase a suspect or track down a device.

"(Mushe) can pretty much locate it in any environment," McKenna said about the dog's bomb-detecting skill. "Whatever is going on, he'll find where it is."

All of this is building up to deployment.

"A lot of mobile patrols, walking patrols, just being out in the general public," McKenna said.

Until then, they are working on endurance, commands and a new friendship.

"We're making a lot of progress, I feel," McKenna said. "I'm liking where we're at.  I'm excited.  I'm excited to go out and do the job we've been training so hard to do."

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