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Maci, a military police working dog, attacks her target during a controlled aggression demonstration at the Military Working Dog Demonstration Nov. 22 outside of the Columbus Club. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Daniel Lile)
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Columbus SFS takes a bite out of hunger

Posted 11/27/2013   Updated 12/2/2013 Email story   Print story


by 2nd Lt. Cory Concha
14th Student Squadron

11/27/2013 - COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Columbus Air Force Base personnel recently showed their support for the local community by participating in and attending a military working dog demonstration outside of the Columbus Club.

The event, led by the 14th Security Forces Squadron asked attendees to donate one non-perishable food item to the United Way of Lowndes County as the price of admission.

The demonstration highlighted the MWD team's members, handlers and dogs alike, in scenarios where the team would have to deploy their skills.

The MWD's, ranked members of the Air Force, helped pursue and immobilize perpetrators in a series of simulated scenarios. The dogs' obedience was also demonstrated as Technical Sergeant Thomas Blandino narrated the events, highlighting the precision with which the dogs both attack perpetrators and respect their handler's commands - even when distracted by gunfire, smoke and other distractions.

"It's important for the public to see what we do [and the] different capabilities we have," Staff Sergeant Franklin Walton said. Walton is a military working dog trainer for the canine personnel of Columbus Air Force Base and participated in the demonstration.

Colonel Jim Sears, 14th Flying Training Wing Commander also donned the "bite suit" and attempted to run away from a dog ordered to stop him, to no avail.

The event, though a fun demonstration of the MWD teams' effectiveness, was a way the squadron decided to help the local community in a time of need.

"It's so important to do it, especially during the holiday season," said Staff Sergeant Karl Stefanowicz, 14th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler and demonstrator. "We just want to give back to the community."

The rainy weather was no barrier either, as both the demonstration and the food drop off at the United Way of Lowndes County happened in wake of continuous rain all morning long, not allowing the rain to dampen the squadron's efforts to take a bite out of hunger.

"It was great to see everyone supporting, despite the weather," said Walton, "we appreciate the public being able to see what we do and getting the opportunity to give back to our community all at the same time."

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