New Fort Polk canine unit activates - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

New Fort Polk canine unit activates

Four military working dogs stand with their handlers during a ceremony on Oct. 16, to activate the 50th Military Police Detachment, 519th Military Police Battalion, 1st MEB at the 1st MEB field. (Source: U.S. Army) Four military working dogs stand with their handlers during a ceremony on Oct. 16, to activate the 50th Military Police Detachment, 519th Military Police Battalion, 1st MEB at the 1st MEB field. (Source: U.S. Army)
FORT POLK, LA -

The following is a story from the Army's 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade:

The 50th Military Police Detachment, 519th Military Police Battalion, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, was activated on Oct. 16, at the 1st MEB field, at Fort Polk.

Military Working Dogs have been apart of U.S. Military history since as early as 1942. The Quartermaster Corp ran the Army's then called "K-9 Corps" which was another named use for the War Dog Program.

The first official use of dogs for military purpose in the United States was during the Seminole wars, said Lt. Col. Glenn C. Schmick. The American Pit Bull Terrier was used in the American Civil War to protect, send messages and as mascots in America World War I propaganda and recruiting posters.

There has been a variety of different type of dogs use throughout history to serve in the military. There duties may have changed throughout history as we change and engage in different conflict.

Military working Dogs have been trained in many different areas thought-out history to included: attack Dogs; tactical Dogs, silent scout dogs, messenger dogs, casualty dogs sledge dogs, and pack dogs to name a few.

Military dogs have been a vital part of our defense, said Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan E. Narcisse, Command Sgt. Maj. of the 519th MP BN, there are so many unique attribute that the dogs bring to any large scale organizations and the military. Dogs are just as vital as any Soldier that we train and prepare for combat. They are a defiantly a great asset.

"This is my first experience with a canine units," said 1LT Katharine McDonald, Officer in charge of the 50th Military Police Detachment. "It's a great experience, its very different, not everybody gets the opportunity to do it."

"There is usually no officer involvement," said McDonald, so this is a great step forward for the detachment because there will be an officer involved in the canine world."

I'm excited to have another detachment as part of the battalion's legacy said Narcisse. I think it's going to bring some value added in terms of preparing future handler for deployment as well as support to the installation. It adds another legacy too the military working dog program.

I think all the roles are important because they can be deployed anywhere for pretty much anything, said McDonald. They can do health and welfares, show of force, search for narcotic and explosives and protect the populous.

There are many different reaction when people see the Military working police dogs; some people literally step back, while others want to get a closer look.

"All the dogs have different personalities but they're all very lovable," said McDonald.

"People are afraid of them because their aggressive trained but they are actually very sweet."

I keep my distance in terms of admiring them and understanding the uniqueness and what they bring to the fight, said Narcisse.

The detachment has narcotics dog teams, patrol, and explosive detective teams, said McDonald.

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