Military Working Dogs (MWDs) and attack training

Earlier in the week I talked about the RAAF Open Day, and highlighted the aircraft and the pilots. We also saw a great demonstration of the Military Working Dogs (MWD) on attack. Their role is to defend the security of the RAAF bases but they also go on some overseas postings with their handlers.

The MWD nearest the orange fence (mid-picture), is retiring after 12+ years service. Good and faithful work!

Kitting up for the attack. The extent of protection shows that these dogs mean business.

Kicking up dust and bringing him down.

Apart from being impressive I can tell you those dogs are very scary. You absolutely would not want to be the subject of their aggressive attention. Basic fact: the dog’s back teeth 5 times as much pressure as is required to break human bones. Despite being kitted out with safety gear, the “offender” must have had a few bruises on Sunday.  You also can’t outrun them either!

On the run.

The dogs were very responsive to the handler’s commands and my observant husband noticed they always circled back round the handler before coming to rest/attention beside the handler (makes sense really).  But as they were called off the cowed offender they did rather look like they’d have loved another go at him. Cries of “get him off, get him off did not deter the dog in the slightest. They are also trained to cope with the sounds of gunfire and to plunge through fire.

Amidst the gunfire.

Different breeds have different attributes but they all seemed keen to bring the offender down. I kept thinking of my friend’s German Shepherd, Bear, who is incredibly intelligent. He’d have loved being a working dog if he’d been trained as a puppy.

This little puppy is being trained..only a few months old from memory. Looks quite sweet doesn’t she?

But she’s got the drill…

And she’s not letting go! She may look like she way playing, but she surely wasn’t.

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Top Day in the Top End and a genuine Aussie “Top Gun”

What a top weekend we’ve been having here in the Top End and yesterday ‘s RAAF Open Day was a highlight! I forgot the temporary aggravation of military jets zooming overhead and remembered just how much I love them. There were 21 aircraft on display from the various countries participating in Pitch Black 12, and it’s probably unusual to see this variety in one place. Mr Cassmob and I were in heaven and it was such a thrill to be able to see all these amazing aircraft up close and personal.

I must have been hyped up because I was cheeky enough to bail up a passing RAAF Pilot and ask him for a photo opportunity. He graciously agreed to be photographed for my blog in front of this RAAF F/A18-F Super Hornet fighter jet.

Squadron Leader Matthew Harper in front A RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet on the apron at Darwin’s RAAF base.

Little did I know until I did some research this morning that I had photographed one of the RAAF’s crème de la crème, a genuine Aussie version of a “Top Gun“.

Squadron Leader Matt Harper is one of the few foreign pilots who has trained on the USA Air Force’s super stealth aircraft, F-22 Raptor. Do click on the 1st link to read his story…just as well I didn’t know all this or I’d have probably gushed embarrassingly.

Sqn Ldr Harper also generously came and talked to our grandchildren including Master 3 who had been so terrified by the aircraft noise last week. Thank you so much Sqn Ldr Harper for your time and courtesy. What a great job of PR the RAAF did yesterday!

There’ll be several more posts about yesterday’s Open Day coming up this week.  If you love aircraft, do drop by for a look. Images from Week 1 of Pitch Black 12 are here.

If I happen to make any mistakes in these posts please do jump in and make corrections – I’m not an expert even though I enjoy seeing the aircraft.