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Dog Days: Marine Corps to Close IED Detection Dogs Specialty

Marine Corps Times reports that “officials with the Marine Corps military working dog program are looking to find homes for all the service’s improvised explosive device-sniffing dogs as the Corps’ requirement for these highly trained animals draws to a close.”  

“The Marines developed a capability for IED detection dogs, or IDDs, in response to an urgent need in 2004, when hidden explosives emerged as a major threat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike other Marine military working dogs, that trained and deploy with military police handlers, IDDs were trained to deploy with infantrymen and Marines in other combat specialties, who would complete a lean five-week training program with their assigned dog before heading downrange.”  

The piece states that today “there are only about 100 of the dogs remaining stateside in training, and some 30 downrange. Of those 100, nearly 50 are awaiting disposition — adoption out of the program to a federal or other law enforcement agency or to a private individual. By the first quarter of 2015, all of the remaining IDDs will be gone, said Bill Childress, head of the Marines’ MWD program.”