The Royal Air Force has won a four-legged battle with its US counterparts.
The RAF Police Military Working Dogs and their handlers were testing their skills in a friendly competition at RAF Lakenheath.
SrA Bryce Bates and Gina
The RAF team consisted of four handlers drawn from various units and the USAF team included personnel from both RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall.
Judges from both forces, including an independent judge without military working dog expertise, chose Corporal Shaun Perkes from RAF Brize Norton as the day’s ‘Top Dog.’
Cpl Ali Shannon and Tommy
It’s the first time the RAF Police have been invited to compete against the USAF at RAF Lakenheath since 2001.
It was part of a series of events marking National Police Week which commemorates those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
The USAF’s Master Sergeant, Jason Hallmon, said:
“I’ve had links into the RAF with our exchange officer for a while now. This is a great way to bring the two communities together, build relationships and look to the future as we hope to do more together.”
It is seen as an important step towards strengthening ties between the forces ahead of the arrival of the F35 into the UK.
The aircraft is scheduled to be based at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Marham so both teams will be tasked to provide security.
Cpl Peter Ratcliffe and Kwinto ‘attack’ Sgt Andy Ackers
Warrant Officer Lee Close, from the Military Working Dogs, said:
“Today has been a lot of fun and we’ve enjoyed the level of hospitality extended to us. For me, it’s not just about the contest or the demonstrations though - it’s a way for us to start furthering our professional relationships with the USAF ahead of the F35’s arrival.”
“The vision is for our two organisations to share policing and security intelligence plus operating procedures to ensure the aircraft remains fully protected on station. This has been a great first step in that process.”