Care & Hygiene

Pax River Safety Opens Navy Working Canine Kennel on Base

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – NAS Patuxent River Safety minimize the ribbon on its new Navy Working Canine (MWD) Kennel this spring as a part of its dedication to larger base safety. The opening is the fruits of almost two years of labor between NAS Patuxent River, Naval District Washington, and varied safety entities among the many U.S. Navy and U.S. Military. 

Previous to the kennel’s opening at Pax River, the MWDs assigned to Pax River had been housed in kennels at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. Safety personnel at Pax sought to streamline their MWD operations by enhancing the present kennel right into a DoD-compliant facility to deal with their very own contingent of MWDs for improved safety operations that negated transport from the D.C. space. 

Credit score: NAS Pax River Public Affairs Workplace

Credit score: NAS Pax River Public Affairs Workplace

Credit score: NAS Pax River Public Affairs Workplace

Taking over this process was a devoted pair of Masters-at-Arms at Pax River, Grasp-at-Arms 1st Class Trevor Houseknecht, and Grasp-at-Arms 2nd Class Kaila Gentry.  

“It was my job to find out the failings of the unique kennel construction, discover out what we had been lacking to fulfill the requirements of the Navy Instruction, and get canine again on Pax,” mentioned Houseknecht. “MA2 Gentry and I recognized 126 discrepancies and made a Assertion of Work to appropriate all however 4 of them that had been too expensive. We had been there to look at each nail, cinder block, pipe, and paint get positioned per our Assertion of Work.” 

The workforce started engaged on the mission in late 2020 and linked up with a regional professional in MDW kennel operations, Military Capt. William Ciancarelli created a kennel that was as much as code.  Ciancarelli, the chief veterinarian of Joint Base Andrews’ Veterinary Department beneath the Public Well being Exercise at Fort Belvoir, proved to be a useful useful resource for the mission. 

“My position within the kennel mission was to supply subject material experience requested by the earlier kennel grasp to evaluate the construct of the Patuxent River kennel based mostly on my information of kennel design and its impression on animal welfare and security,” mentioned Ciancarelli. “Collectively from July 2020 to March 2022, we had been in a position to get the addition of an isolation kennel, graded flooring, bigger drains, and removing of a number of bushes that posed an imminent hazard of falling on the kennel. Spending a complete of 960 hours in planning and execution of the mission.” 

Ciancarelli added that Houseknecht hosted greater than 30 in-person conferences and teleconferences guaranteeing kennel development occurred well timed and met the scope of labor, guaranteeing seamless communication between Naval Services Command, Public Well being Command Atlantic, and the NAS Pax River chains of command. 

“MA1 Houseknecht and MA2 Gentry went in day-to-day as soon as the ultimate Scope of Work was put into place,” mentioned Ciancarelli. “I went checked in at the very least month-to-month to quarterly normally throughout my army sanitation inspections; I’ve to say we might in all probability nonetheless be engaged on this if it weren’t for MA1 Houseknecht’s drive and help from his command to have this accomplished.” 

By reinstating an MWD kennel at Pax River, the set up safety workforce not solely improved its total readiness but additionally minimize logistical prices related to housing and transporting the canine off-site. The elevated boarding additionally permits for 4 extra MWD groups to help regional safety operations. 

“The NAS Pax River kennel covers the South Potomac Area, and having the Pax River kennel operational with the extra 4 MWD groups vastly enhances our response time and safety posture,” mentioned Houseknecht. 

The specs of the services mandatory to deal with the MWDs denote the extremely specialised nature of their coaching and dealing with. The MWDs and their handlers work diligently within the detection of explosives, narcotics, and intruders. 

“MWDs come skilled when reporting to their obligation station however must be superior their coaching to acquire their certification earlier than gaining authorization to go looking on base,” mentioned Houseknecht. “This timeline is accomplished in not more than six months. Our groups gained their certification in two months – document time.  Quite a lot of arduous work, lengthy days, and sweat went into the success achieved by our junior handlers.” 

The well being of the canine can also be a major concern as nicely. MWD veterinary care, together with housing, ensures well being readiness within the occasion of deployment wants. Previous to leaving the DOD MWD Veterinary Service Canine Heart at Lackland Air Power Base, Texas, they may obtain a battery of preventative medical procedures, microchipping, and a tattoo quantity. The canine are then seen month-to-month by a 68T Animal Care Specialist for weighing and physique conditioning scoring with preventative medication checks the place flea, tick, heartworm, and inside parasite therapy is run.  

“Any considerations in regards to the MWDs are relayed from handlers to the 68T after which to the Veterinary Corps Officer chargeable for the kennel,” mentioned Ciancarelli. “MWDs are seen by a VCO at the very least semiannually for his or her Semiannual Bodily Examination. At the very least every year canine youthful than 8 they may obtain full blood screening, rabies tittering, tick-borne sickness, and heartworm screening. They may even obtain their vaccines yearly as nicely. All information will likely be inspected by a VCO at the very least semiannually to make sure that any ongoing issues are addressed and that the canine are in a position to work unimpeded. Quarterly they may even go to the kennel to carry out a kennel inspection and/or coaching for the handlers for working canine care. That is particularly emphasised at Pax River as a consequence of their distance from a army veterinarian.” 

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