Dogs in combat have been used for centuries because of their keen senses. Each entity of SOF employs a Multi Purpose Canine program, to which every dog is Explosive/IED detection trained, can apprehend and incapacitate insurgents, and can also track fugitives from targets well ahead of patrols.
Multi Purpose Canines are faster, more agile, stealthier, and are able to keep a lower profile than their human counterpart. They simply can do things that human beings cannot. They are an incredible force protection/force multiplier. They not only enhance the capability of the operational team, but also have saved thousands of lives on the battlefield and saved millions of dollars in equipment damage from IED’s and other explosives. Of all explosive detection technology in existence, the canine is still the single most effective means to detecting explosives. It is also the cheapest, and the most portable.
The special operations multi-purpose canines effectiveness in terms of olfactory ability aren’t limited to explosives, when on patrol an MPC’s ability to detect insurgents via odor from hundreds of meters away is an enormous capability that adds to the operators effectiveness. The MPC and initial training cost by the time the dog is deployed is well over $50K. After the initial handler course, follow-on training to get the handler and the MPC ready to deploy takes anywhere from 6-12 months.
Multi Purpose Canines are also outfitted with cutting edge technology in terms of bulletproof vests, night vision cameras, and Global Positioning System tracking devices to enhance the MPC’s effectiveness. These dogs are an incredible morale boost for the troops, not only do our guys feel safer with them and more confident, but around the FOB the operators enjoy having time to spend with a dog and companion that they work with.