As you may have noticed last week from the picture I posted, our team was able to train at our local regional airport recently. We trained with the plane.
Why the airport?
One the things that our team does, and in my opinion does well, is train in different environments. Last week we were able to train at Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois. They just happen to have an old jet that is used for just for the purpose of training. When they offered the chance to use it, we jumped.
By doing this we were able to expose our K-9 partners to a large regional jet and all its smells and size. We were also able to expose our K-9’s to the noise of a working airport.
The plane was set up with several drills in mind for our tracking K-9’s. The first drill was made to replicate the idea of someone walking off from a downed plane. The second drill was a scent discrimination drill. In both cases, the K-9 and handler needed to work through very highly contaminated areas. After sniffing out their one person from the scent article they were given, they then needed to find them.
The Area Search and Human Remains K-9s worked drills in which they needed to approach the downed plane on their own and find victims in, on, or under the plane.
After the “big dogs” were finished our team’s junior handler was given the opportunity to expose her dog to the new environment. All in all, it was a full, fun-packed game of training that we all love to do, Training Search and Rescue dogs.