Journal: DoD Goes to the Dogs…

Methods & Process, Military, Officers Call, Peace Intelligence

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(1)  Militaries have used working dogs for a variety of offensive and defensive purposes for years; (2) military working dogs have been very active in Iraq and Afghanistan; (3) airborne (parachute) units have been jumping dogs officially and unofficially for years, although this is the first report I’ve personally seen of dogs being jumped using the military freefall technique, (4) the biggest problem I see for the dogs is the landing since, before their handler lands, he will likely lower the dog on a 15-20 foot line so that the dog lands before he does so the challenge for the dog is doing a parachute landing fall with four, rather than two, rather slender and fragile legs — kind of difficult to “keep your feet and knees together”; (5) the alternative to (4) above is for the handler to execute a standing landing, something that is at least theoretically feasible for a well-trained jumper using a ram-air canopy under favorable wind and drop zone conditions; that could possibly mitigate the doggie PLF challenge; (6)  I think I’m glad I’m not the free-fall jumper since, while you can see that the dog in the photo below is muzzled to prevent bites, unless he’s also sedated, he could flop around enough in his harness to make a stable descent to pull altitude a challenge for his jumper; (7) I’m not sure the United States Parachute Association has ever considered this application of the Tandem technique which is well established for willing human cargoes.)

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