2nd Joint Bomb Dog Training, Burgdorf

 

"Gute Riecher gegen Bin Ladens Bomben" - the headline on Burgdorf's daily newspaper, the Burgdorfer Tagblatt, on its front page reflects how popular bomb dogs has become today (see pdf file in "NEWS"). After a successful K-9 training at Payerne AFB in April 2001, SMEDDS arranged again a similar training at Burgdorf's Armed Forces' Motor Pool on Wednesday,10 October. 

The participating teams are with Police Departments in western Switzerland (Lausanne, Vaud, Fribourg, Neuchatel and Valais) and SMEDDS staff; due to some operations in the Geneva area the same time, the Geneva P.D. canine officers were unfortunately prevented from coming. The training sites, all inside that military installation, proved to be more of a challenge than most anticipated. Authentic, genuine hiding places, as seen during international missions on the Balkans, has been used to stock manifold and different explosives. TNT were discovered in an answering machine on a desk next to the telephone, Composition 4 (C4) has been found by the dogs in a 3-cell D Mag-lite barrel, Sempex behind a Jeep's push-rod and Detonation Cord in a power switch box. Other explosive devices, in very small to really large bombs were placed all over the base.

 

These programs offer both basic and advanced training techniques in detector work and some requested visionary responses by the dog handlers. Beside a regular training, that event has been used as a moment to display our important work to law enforcement and military authorities and high ranking politicians. Guests travelling from as far away as Tokyo (the National Police Agency of Japan) and the United States (Department of Justice / Dept. of Defense / Dept. of State), as well as from all over Switzerland. Mr. Samuel Schmid, Minister of Defense, sent his regrets and could not attend our training, notwithstanding the fact, that he admires and likes dogs very much and honours its great services provided to the public. A few other invited friends and esteemed guests must cancel their visit due to the most recent terrorist threats and following counter measures.

 

The training ran from 08:00 to 14:00 when all went together to a nearby Restaurant for lunch; this opportunity to dine with policy & decision makers and K-9 police officers from various departments on one table, to network with fellow attendees and to share practical knowledge has been appreciated and welcomed by everybody.