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Deter, Detect and Defeat: MWD training safeguards TLR

Military Working Dog Alfa, completes the obedience training course at Little Rock Air Force Base.

Military Working Dog Alfa, completes the obedience training course at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, June 4, 2020. To maintain proficiency, Alfa completes the obedience training course at least twice a week, while also performing multiple drug detection scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

Tech. Sgt. Brooks Jones, 19th Security Forces Squadron military working dog trainer and handler, and MWD Alfa, are the newest drug detection team on Little Rock Air Force Base.

Tech. Sgt. Brooks Jones, 19th Security Forces Squadron military working dog trainer and handler, and MWD Alfa, are the newest drug detection team on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Together, Jones and Alfa have served for over 28 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

Military Working Dog Alfa is a drug detection dog who has been at Little Rock Air Force Base.

Military Working Dog Alfa is a drug detection dog who has been at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, for over eight years. To maintain proficiency, Alfa completes the obedience training course at least twice a week, while also performing multiple drug detection scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

Tech. Sgt. Brooks Jones, 19th Security Forces Squadron military working dog trainer and handler, and MWD Alfa, prepare for the obedience training course at Little Rock Air Force Base.

Tech. Sgt. Brooks Jones, 19th Security Forces Squadron military working dog trainer and handler, and MWD Alfa, prepare for the obedience training course at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, June 4, 2020. With base security playing a critical role, the MWD team must always be on high alert as one small mistake could negatively impact the integrity of the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

Military Working Dog Alfa, performs a drug sweep as part of her weekly training at Little Rock Air Force Base.

Military Working Dog Alfa, performs a drug sweep as part of her weekly training at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, June 4, 2020. While the MWD teams spend ample time training, they are also patrol ready, maintaining security on the installation to ensure Team Little Rock members and the collective mission is not put at risk. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Irvin)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- The 19th Security Forces Squadron recently certified the newest military working dog drug detection team on Little Rock Air Force Base.

With over 28 years of cumulative service, Tech. Sgt. Brooks Jones, 19th SFS MWD trainer and handler, and MWD Alfa, stand ready to uphold the standards set by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and make a positive impact on the base.

“Working with Alfa has been very easy,” Jones said. “Since I’ve spent time training her in the past, I know how she reacts to different situations. We have a high level of trust in each other.”

With base security and drug prevention playing a critical role, the MWD team must always be on high alert as every detail is integral to upholding the integrity of the installation.

 “As Defenders, our job is to deter, detect and defeat all crimes,” said Maj. Andrew Ferguson, 19th SFS commander. “Illegal use of drugs is a crime that is incompatible with Air Force standards. If you commit a crime on LRAFB, we will catch you and you will be held accountable.”

While the MWD teams spend ample time training, they are also patrol ready, maintaining security on the installation to ensure Team Little Rock members and the collective mission are not put at risk.

“Just like Airmen in the Air Force, we must continue to train to stay efficient … it’s the same for dogs,” Jones said. “If a dog sits for a while without actively training, the capabilities will start to diminish.”

To maintain proficiency, Alfa completes the obedience training course at least twice a week, while also performing multiple drug detection scenarios.

The team often seizes the opportunity to work with local law enforcement, exposing the dogs to as many training environments as possible.

“If the dogs only see the same environment over and over, then suddenly see something different, they may not perform as needed,” Jones said. “The more environments we can safely accustom them to, the better they will operate during real world situations.”

Working with local mission partners allows both sides to exchange best practices and share lessons learned to improve the mission and safety of the respective communities.

“We benefit greatly by having a productive and professional relationship with Jacksonville Police Department, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, state police, FBI and many other departments,” Ferguson said. “We rely on our law enforcement mission partners for intelligence, patrol response and big events involving the surrounding communities.”

The Air Force is committed to working alongside mission partners to increase defense capabilities and capacity ensuring mission readiness is maintained.

“I care about the safety and well-being of everyone on the installation,” Ferguson said. “While it’s my duty, it’s also a pleasure to serve all members of TLR. If I can do anything to help keep people safe, to include having a drug dog team on the streets, then I’m happy to do it.”