Our first stop at Eglin was the military working dog training center. I love dogs, so this was a blast. We got to see the trainers, all military police (MPs) who cross-trained into handling working dogs, take the dogs through some obedience exercises before having them practice "bite work" on some brave (stupid?) souls in the class who volunteered to get attacked. Here are some photos.
|This MP and his bomb-sniffing German Wire-haired Pointer, Kanjer, recently got back from Afghanistan.|
|Going through some preliminaries before the "bite work."|
|These three guys are waiting their turn to get bitten.|
|This is Jimmy, a Czech shepherd. Apparently he is one of the less aggressive biters of the Eglin group, so he got to practice today by chasing down some JASOCers today.|
If you're wondering what it looks like in action, you're in luck. I was able to snag some video:
From the military working dog area we went to the security forces command. Air Force security forces commanders oversee both traditional security forces (guarding stuff, like planes and missiles) and military police. We were briefed on the responsibilities and operations of securities forces by the squadron commander before being turned over to some "instructors." I put that word in quotation marks because all they "instructed" us on was how to get tazed. It was actually really hilarious to see people get tazed, because everyone has a different reaction. Apparently women can often speak while being tazed, while men can't, which is due to either 1) women having a higher pain tolerance, or 2) men having more muscle, which makes them have a stronger reaction. In any event, it was pretty funny watching this parade of tazer victims. We weren't supposed to take video, so all I have for you is this picture (and I blacked out the eyes just to be safe). The girl in the middle is falling down while being tazed, and the others are holding her to make sure she doesn't hit her head on anything.
After the Security Forces briefing (aka, mass tazing), my group went to a shooting simulator that is basically a military version of the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disneyland. One side of the simulation room is a big white screen on which is projected a scenario -- for example, a mission to take out a group of terrorists loading weapons onto a truck, or an ambush of high-profile enemy targets. On the other side of the room are five modified weapons that shoot air or lasers or something at the screen. Direct hits are red and misses are green or yellow, depending on how badly you miss. Apparently the instructors can tell by your hits and misses whether there is some hitch in your shooting sequence (poor breathing, a too-quick trigger squeeze) that affects your accuracy.
|The shooting simulator|
I didn't get a readout of how well I did, because the instructors were just letting us play around and weren't doing a full analysis on each of us, but I can tell you I'm a pretty horrible shot, based on all the green and yellow I saw. I blame my left shoulder, which is still week from surgery a few weeks ago, and which tired out as I held that heavy gun and sprayed fake bullets everywhere.
More from Florida soon!