K9 heroes in training

(KHQ/NBC News) Fairchild Air Force Base recently gave reporters a behind-the-scenes look at the training that military K9s and their handlers undergo.

The dogs are highly-trained and selected before being deployed. Most of them are either German Shepards, Dutch Shepards or Belgian Malinois.

Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado is a handler of one of the dogs on Fairchild Airforce Base.

“The training for the dogs happens at Lakland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. It’s actually a DTS, a dog training school, and it’s not only the Air Force that could become a dog trainer; it’s all around the board, Army and Marines as well.”

The training school, which is part of the 341st training squadron, puts out, on average, 230 K9 handler teams per year. The dogs can be used in patrols on bases such as Fairchild.

The dogs also conduct drug and explosive detection and specialized mission functions, like the highly-trained dog named Conan who sought out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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