Home' Air Force News : March 17th 2011 Contents 11
March 17, 2011
FLTLT Skye Smith
THE latest addition to the Super Hornet
family has arrived safely at RAAF Base
Amberley with a puppy named Rhino in
honour of the fighter jet.
Rhino is one of the Air Force's
'Romeo' three litter pups and has eight
siblings -- Raptor, Razor, Rolly, Roman,
Reaper, Ripper, Raven and Riley.
The pups, named by Amberley's Health
Operational Conversion Unit, are 15
weeks old and have been enjoying week-
end home stays as they prepare to go into
a foster care home as part of puppy devel-
The Air Force's Canine Breeding Cell
supervisor, Steve Cannon, said Rhino had
already had "heaps of training" and had
made many public appearances, but he
would not be ready for course until
he was about 18 months old.
Military working dog (MWD)
raining, including the fundamen-
al task of preparing handlers for a
areer with their new canine part-
ners, is conducted by the Security
and Fire School at Amberley.
"Rhino is bold and outgoing,"
Mr Cannon said. "He shows plenty
of potential to become a MWD in
the future and is popular with eve-
ryone he meets."
The MWD Training Flight
introduced the Puppy Foster Care
Program in 2005, in which mem-
bers from the public can raise
puppies to seven months of age.
The program is crucial to the
dog's development, as adoptive
families are required to expose
the pups to as many situations as
This includes taking them to
The past 50 years has
allowed for many techno-
logical advances, but noth-
ing has yet been invented
that can match a human
and dog team in their ability
to detect, track down and
apprehend an adversary.
Military dogs have a
long and successful his-
tory in many of the world's
conflicts. Today, military
working dogs carry out
essential protective opera-
tions in places like East
Timor, as well as on bases
in Australia, safeguarding
aircraft and other critical
WE'RE ALL EARS
places like shopping centres, beaches
and sporting events -- slowly preparing
them for roaring jet engines and artil-
lery, which they will be exposed to once
deployed or patrolling the flightline.
The pups then join a juvenile devel-
opment program, or 'high school', and
go through more training. Here they
learn to grab things on command and
chase down people, as well as hone
their human-trailing abilities in order
to prepare them for detecting and
tracking an intruder.
At 18 months the dog is ready to be
deployed with its handler as an invalu-
able security and protection asset.
Rhino has paid a visit to his name-
sake jet and will return to the flightline
of Amberley in about 18 months' time.
A DAY AT THE OFFICE TO BE: Military working dog puppy Rhino gets
comfortable in his new surroundings. Rhino is bold and outgoing, according
to his supervisor.
Photos: LACW Kylie Gibson
CHAP (SQNLDR) Robert Paget addresses the crowd at RAAF
Base Amberley on March 1 during the blessing of the 6SQN Rhino
fleet before the squadron's first flight as the Super Hornet operating
Photo: LAC Dan Pinhorn
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