Established in 1996, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a little-known government body that is both a combat support agency under DOD, and an intelligence agency of the United States Intelligence Community. It sprang from the old Army Map Service (AMS) / U.S. Army Topographic Command (USATC) and has some 16,000 employees, headquartered at Fort Belvoir, who are all about mapping and tracking military and strategic objects.
They just released, through ODNI, a really interesting piece on their nine Explosives Detection K-9 teams.
The first six-week phase of training focuses on imprinting, which is a form of learning that typically happens at an early age and lasts the lifetime of the animal. During this process, a K-9 is offered an explosive compound to smell, and then given a food reward. Repetition is vital, which is why the smell-eat process may be repeated up to 200 times a day.
Once imprinted, the dogs are then taught to alert their handlers by sitting when they smell the odor. At that point, the cycle of detection — smell, sit, eat — is complete.
The second phase of training, which lasts for 10 weeks, introduces the K-9 to its handler as the two begin working together to refine their search techniques. This phase is vital to both the dog and the handler, as they begin to develop their bond and learn how each team member goes about conducting such an important mission.
During this period, the handler learns the dog’s personality and tendencies, which helps them to recognize the subtle clues their canine partner cannot vocalize.
Based off a finite group of explosive components, ATF estimates there are 19,000 explosive formulations.
At SHOT you run into all sorts of people. I shook hands this year with Lou Ferrigno, Jesse James, R. Lee Ermey, lots of industry types and sharpshooters, Second Amendment attorneys, politicians etc.
However, after running into Arkos, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois service dog, complete with mandatory ear-and eye-pro at Industry Range Day on Monday, I knew it was going to be a great show.
Therefore, I give you the Dogs of SHOT Show.
While, yes, it may be a phrase from Act 3, Scene 1, line 273 of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and was likely written sometime around 1599, both Caesar’s army and those of Shakespeare’s own time, as today, contain military working dogs and canine mascots.
And the one thing that unites them all, is our desire to mark them as part of the unit.
An now, for something completely different
The Russians are now equipping their bomb-dogs with Walkie Talkies and Small cameras to serve as remote control bomb-sniffers. In the West this is done with ROV robots, however the Russians think they can do better with Dogs..
The Soviets were well known for oddball Animal experiments. It should be remembered that for more than 100 years the Russians have done this research.
The Russian scientist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born in 1849 in Ryazan, where his father worked as a village priest. In 1870 Ivan Pavlov abandoned the religious career for which he had been preparing, and instead went into science. There he had a great impact on the field of physiology by studying the mechanisms underlying the digestive system in mammals.
For his original work in this field of research, Pavlov was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904. By then he had turned to studying the laws on the formation of conditioned reflexes, a topic on which he worked until his death in 1936. His discoveries in this field paved the way for an objective science of behavior.
The Soviets, always eager to find weapons to get the upper hand, created a unit of Anti-tank dogs before WWII
(Russian: собаки-истребители танков or противотанковые собаки; German: Panzerabwehrhunde or Hundeminen, “dog-mines”) were dogs taught to carry explosives to tanks, armored vehicles and other military targets. They were intensively trained by the Soviet and Russian military forces between 1930 and 1996 and used in 1941–1942 against German tanks in World War II. Although the original dog training routine was to leave the bomb and retreat so that the bomb would be detonated by the timer, this routine failed and was replaced by an impact detonation procedure which killed the dog in the process. The U.S. military trained anti-tank dogs in 1943 for use against fortifications, but never deployed them.
Creepier Still is the Russian Cyborg Dogs, apparently of the 1940s-1960s….while this has not been proven, it has not been disproved.
There is even video of a disembodied head blinking and licking its face.
Russia Strong! In an homage to Yakov Smirnov, “In Russia, Dog walks YOU!”