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NEWS | Oct. 24, 2013

JB Charleston K'9 unit trains with Federal Agencies on Explosives detection

By Senior Airman Ashlee Galloway Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The K'9 unit at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. trained with federal agencies concerning explosives detection on October 22, 2013.

The training was held at an undisclosed warehouse in Summerville, S.C.

"This is a great opportunity for all of our federal, state, and local agencies to work together as an inter-agency," said Kim Barnett, Transportation Security Inspector Explosive Detection Canine handler. "We can all learn from each other."

The JB Charleston K'9 unit headed off the installation to train with Federal agencies to ensure their mission as security forces military working dog handlers was enhanced with the cooperation of all available agencies. This establishes a relationship that can only be bettered by joint cooperation.

"I would like for my guys to be recognized for their hard work and commitment to making joint operations a priority for mission accomplishment," said Tech. Sgt. Heath Hinton, 628th Security Forces Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge, military working dog section. "Along with local Law Enforcement Agencies, we conduct training on a regular basis with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Transportation Security Administration in hopes of combining all our collective knowledge for a safer joint base and surrounding cities."

The training is held twice a year and is put together by TSA with help from the FBI.

During this training, the dogs undergo obstacles where they search through blocks or warehouse equipment for substances that may be used by terrorist or people who want to harm the United States. If they find something suspicious, then they are trained to sit in front of that item.

"I appreciate the opportunity to provide this training to the Department of Defense that is in the South Carolina Lowcountry," said Robert Schmidt, Field K'9 Coordinator for the Department of Homeland Security. "It is a wonderful opportunity to train with different dog teams from various Federal, State, and Local Agencies. We have a commitment to provide realistic, real-world K'9 training whenever possible."