KEY WEST, Fla. October 24, 2013 (NNS) – Service in the military often requires immeasurable sacrifice, which is unique to every member.
One of the most important services provided in keeping people safe cannot be described or told by these members: military working dogs.
Military working dogs are bred and live for the sole purpose of assisting civilian and military law enforcement in the detection and deterrence of aggressors, drugs and improvised explosive devices.
Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West’s K-9 kennel trains dogs year-round, running obedience and detection courses and obtaining security certifications.
In addition to their military service, the dogs are used to augment public safety for the local community during such events as Fantasy Fest, Oct. 18-27 of this year.
“There are going to be a lot of people out there, a lot of military, a lot of civilians, and keeping those people safe is just what we do as military working dog handlers,” said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Justin Sosa, military working dog handler from Los Angeles.
Sosa, like other handlers, was partnered up with a K-9 upon checking into the command. He and his assigned dog, Hopski, recently returned from deployment to Afghanistan.
“I love working with dogs!” Sosa exclaimed. “It took me six years to get into the military working dog program. I love doing what I do. I enjoy it.”
Once Sosa transfers, Hopski will remain at the command and partner with an incoming handler. That cycle continues for dogs assigned to NAS Key West until they retire. After retirement they may be placed in the homes of military dog handlers who volunteer to care for them.
For more news from Naval Air Station Key West, visit www.navy.mil/local/naskw/.