Animals

How Military Dogs Help Protect RAF Akrotiri

Around 10 dogs make up the Military Working Dog Section at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

The Royal Air Force Police and their working dogs have been practising how to apprehend offenders in the water off the coast of Cyprus.

Known as sea to shore training, the personnel worked with their dogs to stop a colleague, pretending to be an intruder trying to enter RAF Akrotiri.

The training sees the dogs jump off a power boat and swim towards the individual before detaining them.

They are then back up by their handler who is following behind.

RAF policeman Corporal Daniel Copcutt and his five-year-old patrol dog, Son, a Belgian Malinois, took part in the exercise.

He said: "If this was a real-life scenario and there was a criminal on the beach, or some kind of intruder that was posing a threat, and I released it [the dog], it obviously just shows that she's not afraid to jump in on her own, swim, bite the criminal, detain them until I finish swimming and get out of the water.

"Then hold them in a guard until Quick Reaction Force get there and take over from us.

"All the dogs out here are quite good in the water, obviously it comes with living in Cyprus.

"They get exposed to this kind of scenario quite a lot."

RAF Police dog during sea to shore training in Cyprus 280720 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
The dogs practised how to apprehend offenders in the sea.

RAF policeman Corporal Joshua Withers and his police dog, Logan, also took part in the training.

He told Forces News: "He did really well, considering I've done quite a lot of training with him in the water and previous efforts he's been a bit sort of timid and scared of the water.

"I don't think it could have gone any better [than] the way it went. Everything ran smoothly, I was happy how he performed.

"He swam straight to the shoreline, did exactly what I expected of him."

Military dogs are specially selected and trained to handle the most stressful of situations.

Around 10 dogs make up Military Working Dog Section at RAF Akrotiri which is vital for the base's protection.

Corporal Withers said: "It's not only providing a physical deterrent for anyone who's trying to attack our bases, but also provides a sort of presence for everyone and the reassurance to know that we're on the area, keeping them safe."