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India’s dogs prove heroic in terrorism war

2012-02-09
By Anil Bhat
CLASS IN SESSION: Labrador retrievers, Doberman pinchers and German shepherds are among the breeds trained by the Indian military. [Courtesy Indian Army]

CLASS IN SESSION: Labrador retrievers, Doberman pinchers and German shepherds are among the breeds trained by the Indian military. [Courtesy Indian Army]

She does not carry a gun, nor does she speak. But she has a nose unlike anyone in the battlefield – and her heroics during a counter-terrorism operation landed her one of India’s distinguished awards.

Who is she? She is Mini, a black Labrador retriever and a soldier’s best friend. Mini’s bravery resulted in receiving an award on Independence Day [August 15] 2010. She is one of several hundreds of dogs that serve India’s military.

Handlers prepare their dogs for a parade. [Courtesy Indian Army]

Handlers prepare their dogs for a parade. [Courtesy Indian Army]

A member of the explosives detection wing of the 20 Army Dog Unit, Mini received the Chief of Army Staff's commendation card for sniffing out two IEDs [improvised explosive devices] in the jungles of the Poonch district, Jammu and Kashmir, during a counter-terrorism operation in 2009. Mini and her handler, Devi Dayal, participated in the operation conducted by Rashtriya Rifles [RR], an Army anti-terror force, at Haryana Ridge area on March 13, 2009. Two camouflaged bombs could have killed soldiers had she not found the explosive devices.

Mini is not the only canine hero. A few years ago, Rex, a golden Labrador stole the hearts of soldiers for his bravery.

Rex was born on February 25, 1993, at RVC Centre & School Meerut. After a year’s training, he was posted to 14 Army Dog Unit under Delta Force and assigned the areas adjoining the town of Bhaderwah, Jammu and Kashmir to help troops track terrorists.

In March 1995, while operating with 25 RR in the jungles of Badrot, South of Bhaderwah, he tracked a militant injured in an encounter for more than 3 kilometers in the thick of enemy fire. In a chase that lasted for more than four hours, Rex managed to recover one AK 56 rifle and a haversack containing 92 rounds.

A Labrador retriever and his handler undergo training in sniffing out explosives. [Courtesy Indian Army]

A Labrador retriever and his handler undergo training in sniffing out explosives. [Courtesy Indian Army]

In April 1998, while on patrol in the area Gulgandhar, J&K, security forces killed two terrorists and badly injured one, who managed to escape. Picking up the scent of his blood, Rex tracked him for more than 2 kilometers. The Labrador found the terrorist in a hideout where he had died from his injuries, authorities reported.

For his bravery Rex received the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command Commendation Card in 1999 for his outstanding and exemplary performance against terrorists.

Rex died shortly afterward during a training accident with the Quick Reaction Team of 25 RR in Daraba near Rajouri.

Canines instrumental in fighting terrorism

Last year Maj. Gen. Shri Kant Sharma and his team of officers organized India’s first-of- its-kind seminar on “Canines as force multipliers in the war against terrorism.” The seminar celebrated the growth of India’s training faculty Remount and Veterinary Corps [RVC] Centre and College, Meerut, Cantonment. Its aim was to interact and exchange views regarding the latest methods of training and employing canines in the battlefield.

The seminar’s theme highlighted the contribution of trained working dogs in national security in the face of rising global terrorism and increased internal and external security threats. It focused on the military roles in tackling natural or manmade disasters with trained dogs. The seminar included scenario-based training methods, adoption of innovative training methodologies, using modern training aids in enhancing operational flexibility and proactive approach toward disaster management scenarios.

A soldier and his dog are lowered from a helicopter during a training session. [Courtesy Indian Army]

A soldier and his dog are lowered from a helicopter during a training session. [Courtesy Indian Army]

Participants said they found the seminar to be a valuable platform for the exchange of views and valuable information on how dogs can be used in operational situations.

RVC Centre and College helps military train dogs

The RVC Centre and College plays a key educational role in breeding, raising, training and issuing trained dogs to defense forces, paramilitary forces and friendly foreign countries. It is also a nodal agency in dog breeding and training for India.

Canines trained here are performing life-saving duties in the nation’s Northern and North Eastern regions. For example, canines have retrieved human bodies in Leh area after a cloud-burst and provided canine security during the Commonwealth Games.

The Indian Army also could soon have its first unit of canines mounted with cameras to help troops with visual guidance during tricky situations and hostage crises. The RVC Centre and College has been testing the viability of mounting cameras to dogs.

The college is recreating dangerous situations including searching through smoke and fire or searching and locating terrorists hiding inside a building. The plan is to cut down on risk to human life by using the dogs mounted with miniature cameras. As the dogs begin their searches, the cameras will transmit audio and video to the unit and officers who will be controlling and monitoring from a distance.

 

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Reader Comments

 

jaiprakash joshi on 21/01/2014 at 04:28AM

sir, I want to join comndo force with out join any armed forces if it is possible so plz give me some suggestion. thank you

urbano on 29/04/2013 at 03:10PM

the rvc is doing a good job they should deliver as many trained dogs to the indian armed forces as possible to make it a robust force

mohit sharma on 15/09/2012 at 03:27AM

I love INDIAN ARMY, I need Join INDIAN ARMY but my hight is not O.K and I love ARMY DOGS CMANDO. SO SIR, YOU CAN HELP ME PLE GIVE ME ONE CHANCE AND CHANGE MY LIFE_§_ THANYOU SIR. ~~~JAIHIND~~~

Santanu Mukherjee on 24/07/2012 at 02:02AM

Indian Army, having such a robust and dedicated set up, may consider developing a squad of dogs of purely Indian origin, the pariah dogs of India. The dogs may be given a brand name for recognition as a pedigree dog.

sameer momin on 15/06/2012 at 09:41AM

i love dogs

dr rabindra bhattacharya on 07/06/2012 at 01:33AM

though i have highest regards for our competent staff in the army i would request highest care to see that such accidents could be avoided & we don"t lose anyone like them like rex ! we are proud for our brothers who train & take care of dogs , our best friends !!!33904

cruthick on 25/05/2012 at 11:38AM

i love dogs

R.sandeep jason on 28/04/2012 at 02:01AM

dogs are the animals which are honest and intallegent,its is the only animal which does its duty correctly and loyally,thats y i love dogs

kamal kant on 16/04/2012 at 08:38AM

It's really a out of our imagination and salutable jobs they can done. I am also a pet lover, presently I a Black Lab. due to some circumstances he can not complete his training. Sir, let me know if any one want to trained his dog like army, what he can do? is there any training centre for outside dogs.

Shyamala Suresh on 10/04/2012 at 02:33AM

I am working for Import export of Pet animal, after reading this article, I feel very proud to be a Indian and hats of to My Indian Soldiers.

SALY VARGHESE on 25/03/2012 at 07:05AM

THANKS FOR GIVING INFORMATION ABOUT OUR UNKNOWN WAR HEROS.

mr amit barhanpurkar on 21/03/2012 at 10:51AM

hi iam a dog breeder & trainer located in mumbai was very very happy for indian army doing & starting this fantastic & challenging aspect for INDIA. thanks & salute to u

aishwarya on 18/03/2012 at 10:06AM

dogs are the most most most beutiful creature 0f this w0rld

Ajay Rane on 13/03/2012 at 03:26AM

Very good article to read.

Sujit Sarkar. on 08/03/2012 at 12:10PM

Thanks for your well informed article.

rahul p oswal on 03/03/2012 at 08:48AM

i fill v proud that our indian dogs r so good in saving our country from such attacks. i have also golden lab and wish to get such training skills to her. this is best article i have raid. thanks to our indian army soliders who train them so well.

BOOPZATHY on 01/03/2012 at 05:42AM

GOOD

deepak kumar on 28/02/2012 at 12:45AM

i.like.photo

abhijyot dog farm on 26/02/2012 at 05:18AM

I REALLY FEEL PROUD DAT I M A DOG BREEDER AND SUPPLIER TO D ARMY AND OTHER GOVT AND NON GOVT AGENCIES.I M ELECTRONICS ENGINEER AND DOG LOVER ALSO.FROM D STARTING I ALSO WANT TO DO SOMETHING FOR MY COUNTRY. I GOT D WAY I PRODUCEDBEST OF D BLOODLINES IN LAB AND GSD AND GIVEN THEM TO D FORCES. TODAY I READ D ARTICLE FEEL VERY PROUD. ALL D BEST TO ALL OUR DOG SQUADS OF OUR COUNTRY JAI HIND........

RAGHUNATH on 20/02/2012 at 06:56AM

NICE PICTURE

Er S K S Deol on 19/02/2012 at 01:12AM

Hats off to our kai9 soldiers . I am a dog lover .I had tears in my eyes on reading the award winning achievements of Mini and the supreme sacrifice of Rex . Let us induct more Minis and Rexes in our police and security forces to check the wrongdoers . With best wishes to Indian Army , para forces and security agencies in this venture Regards .

R.T.James on 16/02/2012 at 07:27AM

Excellant read. I am a dog lover.The present one with me is a 'Lab'. How loveble is a dog. Each and every one who own a dog will vouch it. Iam sure our Army and other security forces can augument thier capability by absorbing this wonderful animal See, nowadays they smell and detect cancer even before any of the sophisticated diagnostic tools can. Regards

haribabu on 15/02/2012 at 01:55AM

your doing a great job for this country a great salute to all of u keep going on and on

Venu Gopal Raja on 14/02/2012 at 10:59PM

I am really happy to see that Indian Army has started to use the help of MWD (military working dogs) for its operations against terrorists & inflitrators. From my personal experience with US army, the detection dogs are the best for search & locate IEDs. They are the best for perimeter guarding, search & escue during disasters like earthquake etc. It is high time we must make good use of these K9 friends. I wish Indian Army K9 team all the best.