FAIRBANKS, Alaska Military working dog handlers competed against each other in the first military working dog competition on Fort Wainwright.
"This event is a top dog competition to give our handlers an ability to showcase all the hard work they've put into their dogs out here, and we're going to reward our top three performers with some awards at the end of the day today," said Captain Chase Kilfoyle, Commander of the 549th Military Working Dog Detachment.
Kilfoyle says the competition was not designed to be easy, "this particular course is littered with reward toys, so these dogs are driven to work for this toy and now they are tempted to grab the toy when they are not supposed to."
Specialist Woodward says even though they were exposed to different things they haven't seen before and wouldn't be graded on, events like this remind him of his team's strengths and weaknesses. "It's easy to forget sometimes when you do this 365 days a year, that you really do have one of the coolest jobs in the army, and you offer something that not a lot of other MOS' can. The amount of protection we can afford to guys overseas who really need it, is outstanding, and some of the things these dogs do are easy to forget about how incredible it is when you do it every day."
Although they had other events scheduled, the unexpected cold temperatures shortened the first run at this competition. They are hoping to expand the competition to invite local police and state troopers and their dogs in the future.