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319th Security Forces Squadron partners with local law enforcement during military working dog training day

Two Airmen stand facing each other with a Military Working dog sitting at the feet of the one standing on the right as they prepare for a demonstration.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Samuel Wells II, left, and Senior Airman Alejandra Garcia, 319th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handlers, perform a MWD demonstration with MWD Tomi, at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., Oct. 21, 2021. Wells, Garcia and Tomi gave a demonstration on how the MWDs are trained to guard a suspect when his trainer searches them and apprehend personal if they were to run away. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Roxanne Belovarac)

A Trooper leads his dog around a car, directing the dog to smell areas in search of hidden narcotics.

Trooper Troy Roth of North Dakota State Highway Patrol directs his dog, Bodo, to smell out narcotics hidden within a vehicle during a training day at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., Oct. 21, 2021. The 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron supplied the vehicles and locations for the training, which allowed the 319th Security Forces Squadron to partner with local law enforcement agencies and improve their security capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Roxanne Belovarac)

A bloodhound stands, looking into the camera.

Bleu, a dog in the man-trailing division of the North Dakota State Highway Patrol stands with his officer, Trooper Steve Mayer of the man-trailing division of North Dakota State Highway Patrol, as the trooper gives a presentation at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., Oct. 21, 2021. The North Dakota State Highway Patrol’s Bloodhounds are some of the only man-trailing dogs in the state and were able to provide a unique training opportunity for the other dogs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Roxanne Belovarac)

An officer prepares explosive odors for the military working dog training.

Officer Jennifer Gustafson with the Fargo Police Department prepares explosive odors for a military working dog buried explosive training exercise at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., Oct. 21, 2021. Gustafson was one of the local law enforcement partners that participated in the joint training day at Grand Forks AFB with 319th Security Forces personnel and assisted with boosting security capabilities not just for the base, but all across North Dakota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Roxanne Belovarac)

A dog sits in the back of a car, waiting for their handler.

Toby, a K-9with the Fargo Police Department, waits for his handler Jennifer Gustafson to finish her preparations for the dog training course that she is setting up at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., Oct. 21, 2021. Toby was trained in how to find buried explosives by the Minot AFB and Grand Forks AFB K-9 teams. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Roxanne Belovarac)

An Airmen follows his dog as they walk through a warehouse searching for explosives.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Samuel Wells II, a military working dog trainer for the 319th Security Forces Squadron, follows his dog, Flex, as they search a warehouse for fake explosives at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., Oct. 21, 2021. The warehouse was rigged with fake explosives by the Fargo Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit with some even wired to have a fake detonation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Roxanne Belovarac)

A dog runs across an indoor field.

Pepion, a U.S. Air Force military working dog with the 5th Security Force Squadron, runs after a fleeing would-be suspect in an MWD demonstration at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., Oct. 21, 2021. The demonstration was open to the public and showed the capabilities of the dogs from the Fargo Police Department, Minot AFB and Grand Forks AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Roxanne Belovarac)

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --

K-9 handlers across the state of North Dakota came together at Grand Forks Air Force Base where the 319th Security Forces Squadron held the first statewide military working dog joint training session on Oct. 21, 2021.

The training day was a time for the 319 SFS and local police units to work together, combine their knowledge and practice specialized working dog techniques.

“The goal of the training day was to build relationships with K-9 units and officers across the state and to learn different ways each unit interacts with the K-9s,” said 319th Security Forces Squadron Staff Sgt. Sean King, MWD trainer. “It’s always a great opportunity to work with local law enforcement and we get to implement the things we learn in our own unit.”

Over six law enforcement units participated in the training day, sending their dogs through several stations and exercises in finding narcotics and explosives in vehicles, luggage and buildings.

The Fargo Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit rigged a warehouse with fake booby-traps and bombs to provide support for the training and the Fargo FBI provided a specialty explosives training course.

“It’s cool to get to see a lot of different agencies come together because it’s not common,” said Jennifer Gustafson, an officer with the Fargo Police Department, who brought her dog Toby with her. “Today’s training was a great opportunity for me to try and teach Toby new tools of the trade like finding buried bombs which isn’t common for city PDs to know.”

There was also a section taught by the North Dakota Highway State Patrol man-trailing K-9 division to show what their bloodhounds can do when it comes to detecting missing or wanted individuals.

“We can always learn from other dogs and dog handlers, and constructive criticism is key,” said Kristian Janhelgoe, K-9 trooper with the North state Highway Patrol. “We’re always learning.”

The day was full of different perspectives on how to train and everyone that came was able to walk away with something new to pass on to their units.

“It’s a good thing to have eyes on the other teams and everyone can give a little bit of advice here and there,” said Janhelgoe.

Many of the K-9’s present had a specialty and their handlers were able to share their knowledge by offering crash courses on their area of expertise.

Grand Forks AFB’s K-9 unit offered a tour of their military working dog facility with specific demonstrations on how they stay prepared to defend the base daily, protect the mission and remain ready for the future.

When the base and the community come together to work as a whole, assuring and defending the security of not only Grand Forks but the whole state, it makes all that are involved stronger.

Participants said this partnership between the base and local law enforcement ensures all parties emerge with enhanced capabilities; boosting security at Grand Forks AFB and the entire state of North Dakota.