Andhra Pradesh anti-terror unit gets elite dog squad

Hyderabad: For the first time in the country, a canine assault force of Belgian Malinois, said to be one of the world’s most ferocious dog breeds, have been inducted into a state police force. This is the breed that was used by US Navy Seals to sniff out Osama Bin Laden from his safe haven in Pakistan.

The dogs have been assigned to the elite anti-terror commando force, Octopus (Organisation to Counter Terrorist Operations) and anti-Naxal commandos. One of the dogs is appropriately named ‘Rambo’ and another ‘Rocky’. They are used in both urban and jungle guerrilla warfare.

The 41 canines were added to the state police dog squad at the 13th passing out parade on Wednesday at the Integrated Intelligence Security Wing’s training academy in Moinabad in the city.

Assault dogs trained for police squad

Hyderabad: Inspector general of police Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat of the Intelligence Security Wing said that five different types of dogs have been trained and inducted this time: German Shepherd, Doberman, Labrador, Cocker spaniel and Belgian Malinois.

“For the first time we have assault dogs that can fight and attack the perpetrators. It is the world’s second most ferocious dog breed. They have been trained for the past 10 months.” Bhagawat said.

Around 71 handlers have been trained in the same academy. The dogs and handlers have been inducted into the district police, commissionerates, Greyhounds, Octopus and ISW that guards VIPs of the State.

The new batch of dogs brings the total numbers of dogs in the dog squad of the AP police to 150. The dogs are used for assault, sniffing explosives and narcotics and for tracking.

Bhagwat said the academy has trained dogs since 2004 for various other states and security forces. “We have trained dogs for Goa, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, the CRPF, the CISF and also organisations like the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, GMR Shamshabad airport security and AP Forest department, the latter for sniffing red sanders. The puppies are trained when they are six to nine months old,” said Bhagwat.

At Wednesday’s passing-out parade the trained dogs demonstrated their ability to detect improvised explosive devices, attack suspects, and track.

The training academy at Moinabad has international level infrastructure — kennels, cloak rooms, round-the-clock veterinary doctors and dog trainers and handlers.

“The academy has grown by leaps and bounds. Dogs are so helpful in crime and criminal detection,” said DGP B. Prasada Rao.

Malinois helped in laden operation

Nato Forces, US Navy seals and the Israeli army use these dogs as they are highly reliable and energetic.
The sense of smell inp Belgian Malinois is 40 times more than in humans and they are ideal for sniffing out explosives and also for their endurance, speed, intelligence and adaptability to harsh climates.
During the operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed, a Malinois named “Cairo” was deployed.
Malinois are similar to German Shepherds but are smaller and more compact, with an adult male weighing in the 30-kilo range. The breed is considered better for tandem parachute and rappelling operations. They can also jump solo if jumping in water.
The dogs, in later stages, can also be made to wear infrared night-sight cameras to undertake reconnaissance missions in danger zones before the commandos follow, an officer said.

Andhra Pradesh

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