Davis-Monthan installs facility to improve training for military - Tucson News Now

Davis-Monthan installs facility to improve training for military working dogs

"This is helping me out a lot because the dogs will really get overheated," said dog handler Senior Airman Tanner McKinley. (Source: KOLD News 13) "This is helping me out a lot because the dogs will really get overheated," said dog handler Senior Airman Tanner McKinley. (Source: KOLD News 13)
DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is home to a new dog-training facility designed to make training courses much easier and safer for their military working dogs, especially during Arizona's hot, summer months.

"We're obviously in the desert to where we reach extremely hot temperatures," said trainer Sgt. Alexandra Springman. "With our old training yard, because of the heat, the ground would become intensely hot to where the dogs would hot step with their feet and we'd be unable to train for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time."

The facility, worth just over $700,000, took 6 months to build and was officially put to use in March.

It serves as an obstacle course and features different training equipment, padded turf and a canopy used for shade.

"The environment has become very difficult for us to train here in Arizona," Springman said. "This is a great climate that matches to what we see in the Middle East, but it's also very stressful on the dogs. So, this was a great project for us and it's a huge benefit when it comes to training."

Springman said this is a part of a "green initiative" for all bases assigned under the Air Combat Command to improve the dogs' training.

"This is helping me out a lot because the dogs will really get overheated," said dog handler Senior Airman Tanner McKinley.

Springman said D-M has eight military working dogs on board right now trained to detect both narcotics and explosives.

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