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Fused, deployment ready

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Phillip Butterfield
  • 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
When some dogs have major surgery it usually means an end to life as they knew it. But in Jampy's case, a 56th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, he's back on the road again to a deployment in the Middle East.

Ten-year-old Jampy was diagnosed with a degenerative disc disease in February 2006. He was selected for the surgery due to his value to the Air Force so, in April 2006, two pins and four screws were implanted into the pelvic bones to stabilize his lower back.

"The Air Force purchased Jampy for about $5,000 and now he's worth more than $50,000," said Jampy's partner, Staff Sgt. John Pillarella, 56th SFS military working dog handler. "So it made sense to do the operation."

Jampy remained at the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Veterinary Service Hospital, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, for recovery and rehabilitation through June 2006 and then returned to Luke Air Force Base.

"You really couldn't tell that Jampy had any surgery at all - it was remarkable," Sergeant Pillarella said.

Now, two years later, Jampy and his handler are deployed again. Just before receiving their orders last week, Jampy and Sergeant Pillarella went through pre-deployment training together.

"Jampy was pushed to his max and he came out just fine," Sergeant Pillarella said. "That really set my mind at ease knowing he will be able to handle whatever comes his way, whether it's explosives detection or running down the bad guys."

As Jampy and Sergeant Pillarella head down range, they know the support of the 56th SFS kennels is pushing them onward.

"This is going to be the ultimate test," said Tech. Sgt. Francis Warren, 56th SFS kennel master. "But, everyone here at the kennels knows they will come out with flying colors."