FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood military police and local law enforcement are going head-to-head this week to see who has the best K-9 unit.
”We have a full week of events scheduled,” said SSG Carlos Wade, Staff Sergeant with 226th Military Police Detachment.
“The only days that are actually competitions are day one and the fourth and fifth days. The second and third days are all training events and scenarios — learning how outside agencies work and learning how we work.”
They kicked things off with the hardest hitting dog competition, and the military police have no problem taking the hit — as long as they have their bite suits on.
”Obviously the suit is there to protect us, but you can still feel the pressure of the bite,” said SSG Jay Espinosa, Staff Sergeant with 226th Military Police Detachment.
“Some are stronger than others, but the protective suit really does help out — it increases these dogs' aggression.”
Proving their dog can take down a target is the main reason why people attend this competition.
”It’s great to network with different handlers, to get exposed to different training methods, and just to see what other handlers are doing,” said Andrew Converse — officer and dog handler with University of Texas in Austin.
Officers with the University of Texas in Austin are eager to learn and go toe-to-toe on bomb detection.
”We do a lot of large events, sports events, and football games of course,” Converse said.
“Anytime we're exposed to different types of training where we can get our dogs exposed to different types of explosive odor — it’s definitely beneficial.”
Participants agree, and while it can be a great way to learn from each other, nobody has forgotten that it is a competition — and the military police aren’t holding back.
Winners will be announced after the final event on Friday.