Home' Air Force News : November 25th 2010 Contents A MilHOP, SKIP
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November 25, 2010
LAC Aaron Curran
AFTER four years of exceptional ser-
vice, one of Air Force's first Explosive
Detection Dogs (EDD) has retired to
the backyard to pull out pot plants and
roll around in the clover.
Bea, a 10-year-old labrador from
382 Expeditionary Combat Support
Squadron (382ECSS) at RAAF Base
Amberley, came to Air Force in 2006
after serving as a Queensland Police
detector dog since 2002.
SGT David Skeels, from the EDD
section at RAAF Base Amberley,
said: "Bea was the first EDD to receive
the Canine Service Medal from the
Australian Trackers and War Dog
Association because of her combined
Queensland Police and Air Force ser-
MEMORANDUMS of Understanding (MOUs) to
support Defence reservists who are employed with the
NSW and Western Australia Police have been signed
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione
and WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan
joined with the Head of Defence's Cadet, Reserve
and Employer Support Division, MAJGEN Greg
Melick, to sign the MOUs at separate events.
MAJGEN Melick said the MOUs aimed to create
a mutually understood approach and better manage-
ment of a shared workforce.
"Reservists bring valuable life and work skills
back to their civilian workplaces and that includes
our nation's emergency services," he said.
Mr O'Callaghan said reservists and police person-
nel shared similar skill requirements, including high-
level decision-making and teamwork.
"Reservists can learn a range of skills which can
be transferred to their daily role in WA Police -- it's
a great foundation in terms of team work, discipline
and leadership," he said.
In NSW, the new ADF Reserve Service -- Policy
and Guidelines agreement, developed in conjunc-
tion with an MOU, streamlines the management of
military leave and Employer Support Payments for
almost 180 NSW police officers serving in the Navy,
Army or Air Force Reserves.
So long, thanks
for the donuts
During her service, Bea took part
in Operations Deluge and Testament
and Exercises Pitch Black and Night
"Bea performed routine screen-
ing for visiting VIPs, point of entry
clearances, evacuation handling centre
searches, screening of people and bag-
gage, load clearances, and searches of
facilities, vehicles and aircraft," SGT
Skeels said. "EDD Bea's performance
during her entire career was out-
standing; she was a happy-go-lucky
dog who would do anything for her
handler, all with a cheeky look in her
He said Bea would search from sun
up to sun down and all for the reward of
a pat and a scratch from her handler.
"All handlers had great respect for
Bea," he said.
"It was like nothing could faze
her. She took all situations and dis-
tractions in her stride and earned the
affectionate nickname of the 'combat
After an expression of interest pro-
DOGGONE: Retired Explosive
Demolition Dog Bea.
Photos: LACW Jessica Smith
with LAC Robert Pender from 382ECSS.
SGT Skeels said LAC Pender was the successful
adoptee because he had a lot of experience with dogs
and a young family with time to spend with Bea.
SGT Skeels remembers one story about Bea
during Op Deluge in support of the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation forum in 2007.
"Bea, along with her handler SGT Cameron
Scott, was searching along a line of personal baggage
belonging to the US Secret Service just before they
were about to board a flight back to the US," he said.
"One of the agents had purchased a box of Krispy
Kreme Doughnuts for the long trip home and unbe-
known to SGT Scott, decided that he better place the
open box down to be searched."
He said Bea then searched along the line of bags
until she came to the open box of donuts and without
breaking stride downed at least two, slobbered over
the rest then continued the search "leaving the agent
devastated at the loss of his mid-flight snack".
Bea's retirement coincides with the Air Force
EDD capability having attained operational status on
October 1. This capability will significantly enhance
security at fixed bases and on deployed operations.
Bea is awarded
her Long Service
Medal after five
years of service.
Bea is now
with her new
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