GREAT FALLS – In February, Ffarah, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois, arrived in Great Falls from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. She is the newest member of Malmstrom’s 341st Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dogs.
Staff Sergeant Christopher Hotine will be Ffarah’s first handler with whom she will work.
“I have been a handler for three years,” Hotine said,
Over that time, Holine has worked with four military working dogs.
Both Ffarah and Holine have their initial training in Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.
“My training, learning how to work the dogs, starting out. And then being able to maintain the dog in what it is trained to do, along with other security forces duties,” Holine said,
When Hotworks with a new dog, they are already trained in the basics and it is just building upon what they already know.
“It is a lot of advancement training. Trying to get them where we need them to be,” Holine said.
The K-9’s are not only trained in patrol work but K-9’s are also taught either drug or explosive detection.
Hotine says it is important to honor the work that these dogs do for our country,
“The dogs they sacrifice just as much as we do. I have known dogs that have saved many lives and have saved a lot of people. People are able to go home to their family’s cause of these dogs capabilities. That is implacable. I think it is a honor to be able to celebrate some of the dogs that have either pasted away in conflict or retired over the years,” Holine said.
March 13th is the unofficial K-9 Veterans Day where military working dogs are honored for their work.
Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News