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Beale's K-9, EOD flights conduct collaborative training

Beale Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Military Working Dog personnel discuss plans for collaborative training on Beale Air Force Base.

Beale Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Military Working Dog personnel discuss plans for collaborative training on Beale Air Force Base, California, Nov. 19, 2020. The two agencies worked together to conduct mass odor training. Without training similar to this, the amount of odor produced by the explosives overwhelms the dog’s smell, resulting in either fringe responses or responding before the vehicle stops at the checkpoint. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Jason W. Cochran)

Staff Sgt. David Baumgartner, 9th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) K-9 handler, searches a vehicle for explosives with 9th SFS military working dog Elma during military working dog detection training on Beale Air Force Base.

Staff Sgt. David Baumgartner, 9th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) K-9 handler, searches a vehicle for explosives with 9th SFS military working dog Elma during military working dog detection training on Beale Air Force Base, California, Nov. 19, 2020. The sweep was part of mass odor training meant to prepare both the dogs and the handlers to detect large quantities of explosives. Without training similar to this, the amount of odor produced by the explosives overwhelms the dog’s smell, resulting in either fringe responses or responding before the vehicle stops at the checkpoint.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Jason W. Cochran)

Airman 1st Class Donnovan Stelly, 9th Civil Engineering Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team member, wraps detonating cord around some TNT during military working dog detection training on Beale Air Force Base.

Airman 1st Class Donnovan Stelly, 9th Civil Engineering Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team member, wraps detonating cord around some TNT during military working dog detection training on Beale Air Force Base, California, Nov. 19, 2020. The type of explosives used in the training were varied to give the K-9 handlers a better understanding of which dogs could detect certain explosives. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Jason W. Cochran)

Sofi, 9th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) military working dog, waits with her handler Staff Sgt. Jason Herrier, at a simulated checkpoint during military working dog detection training on Beale Air Force Base.

Sofi, 9th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) military working dog, waits with her handler Staff Sgt. Jason Herrier, at a simulated checkpoint during military working dog detection training on Beale Air Force Base, California, Nov. 19, 2020. The checkpoint simulated an environment to familiarize the working dog with detection of explosives in approaching vehicles and while conducting search procedures. Without training similar to this, the amount of odor produced by the explosives overwhelms the dog’s smell, resulting in either fringe responses or responding before the vehicle stops at the checkpoint. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Jason W. Cochran)

Senior Airman Hunter Rudnik, 9th Civil Engineering Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team member, demonstrates how to wrap detonating cord for Staff Sgt. David Baumgartner, 9th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) K-9 handler, during military working dog detection training on Beale Air Force Base.

Senior Airman Hunter Rudnik, 9th Civil Engineering Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team member, demonstrates how to wrap detonating cord for Staff Sgt. David Baumgartner, 9th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) K-9 handler, during military working dog detection training on Beale Air Force Base, California, Nov. 19, 2020. The two agencies worked together to conduct mass odor training. Without training similar to this, the amount of odor produced by the explosives overwhelms the dog’s smell, resulting in either fringe responses or responding before the vehicle stops at the checkpoint. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Jason W. Cochran)

Explosives, equivalent to 100 pounds of TNT, are set off during military working dog (MWD) and explosive ordnance detection collaborated training on Beale Air Force Base.

Explosives, equivalent to 100 pounds of TNT, are set off during military working dog (MWD) and explosive ordnance detection collaborated training on Beale Air Force Base, California, Nov. 19, 2020. The training was meant to familiarize both the MWDs and their handlers with mass odor, which requires more explosives than the 9th Security Forces Squadron is equipped to handle. All of the explosives used in the training were safely disposed of by the 9th Civil Engineering Squadron’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal flight. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Jason W. Cochran)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

The missions found on Beale vary widely, from high altitude intelligence, to aerial refueling, and also to space detection and observance.

It’s only through the cooperation amongst these missions, and Airmen, that they can continue upholding national security.

An example of this took place on Nov. 19, 2020, when Airmen from the 9th Security Forces Squadron’s (SFS) Military Working Dog (MWD) section and the 9th Civil Engineering Squadron’s (CES) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) flight teamed up to do mass explosive odor training.

Generally the 9th SFS K-9 handlers train their MWDs with a pound or less of explosives, said Staff Sgt. David Baumgartner, 9th SFS K-9 handler. In order to get access to and safely handle larger amounts of explosives, the 9th SFS reached out to Beale’s EOD flight.

“The training was a collaboration with EOD,” said Baumgartner. “It was mainly for the dogs to get them used to mass odor.”

The MWDs and their handlers were not the only ones to benefit from the training, said Staff Sgt. Travis Ditmanson, 9th CES EOD team leader.

“By mixing our mindset with their mindset, both of us are improving overall,” Ditmanson said. “It’s good for both of us to learn from each other, to see how each other does their job so we can both do better work when our turn comes. We set each other up for success.”

A common threat to be seen from the K-9 perspective on deployments are vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers, both situations where mass odor training proves invaluable.

“These connections are what keep the military as effective as it is,” Ditmanson said. “It’s 10,000 times more important than any training on a computer. It’s training like this that keeps us ready for any outside threats.”