CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Joint Base Charleston (JBC) recently welcomed their first black lab to the base.
Freddie is a military working dog (MWD) that came to JBC from the Marines after they downsized their working dog force. Her previous experience made trainers at JBC even more excited for her arrival, as “as she is already trained on some of the things [they] try to push [the] dogs to do.”
MWD’s are trained to complete various tasks, such as “finding bombs, explosives, and people.” Freddie is an explosives detector, trained in multiple explosive odors.
JBC has traditionally had German Shepherds, but Staff Sgt. Jenings Casey, a MWD trainer for the 628th Security Forces Squadron, said that labs have some advantages:
“Labs have a better working endurance than a German Shepherd because a shepherd will work and work and work and then see a tree where there is shade and go lay down in it… You don’t typically have that with labs because they are out there to work.”
Regardless of the breed, MWD’s are critical to military operations.
Staff Sgt. Jake Mikell, also a MWD trainer for the 628th SFS, said that with all of the military technology and equipment at their disposal, “nothing works better than a dog that we can train.” He explained that when searching for something, “with some of the equipment that [they] do try to use, it takes time to scan…and dissect…but with [a] dog, [he] can walk it around and in less than a minute [he knows] there is nothing there.”
Staff Sgt. Jennings said that Freddie is settling into her new home well, describing her as “a lot more social and interactive, and she’s allowed to be pet.”