Having a military police dog (MPD) working overseas is a reminder of the importance and dependability of a longstanding capability.
CAPTION: Military Police Dog Handler Private Aidan Fleming with his working dog Drago after taking part in urban warfare training in Singapore. Story by Lieutenant Amy Johnson. Photo by Leading Seaman Nadav Harel.
MPD Drago arrived in Singapore with his handlers Private Aidan Fleming and Corporal Jessica Baxter to support a series of training activities as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE22).
When military dogs worked outside Australia, Corporal Baxter said they were provided with a whole new swatch of sights, smells and distractions in an unusual landscape.
“Being in another country means Drago has to stay focused on his job and follow his training, while also managing a range of new distractions in an unfamiliar environment,” Corporal Baxter said.
Drago’s presence at Singapore’s Murai Urban Training Facility allowed soldiers to experience the benefits and challenges of training alongside a military working dog.
CAPTION: Private Aidan Fleming with Drago at Murai Urban Training Facility, Singapore. Photo by Leading Seaman Nadav Harel
During a training session, as blank rounds popped overhead, Drago turned his laser-focus towards an ‘assailant’ emerging from a building, capturing and holding him.
The ‘assailant’, Corporal Baxter in a bite suit, showed how closely military police officers worked alongside their four-legged colleagues.
“Being on the receiving end of Drago’s take-down is the best way for us to understand and shape the desired response in him,” Corporal Baxter said.
“I’m glad I wear the ‘bite suit’ because Drago is a seriously powerful dog.”
The process of getting Drago into a foreign country required support from a number of military and civilian organisations.
“Moving Drago through the required import and export processes was an excellent learning opportunity for the team, which was supported by many organisations to help achieve us getting him over to Singapore and back into Australia safely,” Corporal Baxter said.
“IPE22 has been an excellent opportunity to test our deployability and showcase how military police dogs might be used to support ADF operations around the world.”