A retired military working dog named Hertz has today been awarded a medal known as the animals’ Victoria Cross for his service in Afghanistan.
The German shorthaired pointer is the first dog in British military history to detect electronic communications equipment such as mobile phones, voice recorders, sim cards and GPS devices.
Hertz, who served with the Royal Air Force police, has been awarded the PDSA Dickin medal, the 74th recipient of the honour since it was first awarded in 1943.
Throughout his time in Afghanistan, Hertz was responsible for finding more than 100 items of contraband, including drugs and personal electronic devices (PEDs), described as a significant threat to the lives of service personnel and civilians.
In August 2013, Hertz was deployed to Afghanistan alongside Warrant Officer Jonathan Tanner, Corporal Simon Dack and the RAF Police Operations Team, where he was tasked with the vital role of protecting service men, women and allied forces in Camp Bastion from an attack.
The increased use of Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs), to gather intelligence, was a clear and present threat to coalition forces. It was Hertz's responsibility to ensure areas were free of all communication devices and controlled drugs, to secure the safety of military personnel and local people.
During his 13-month tour, Hertz was responsible for over 50 individual finds, seizing more than 100 items of contraband. And for the whole time he was on duty, there was not a single rocket attack on Camp Bastion.
His work undoubtedly saved many lives, making him a deserving recipient of the PDSA Dickin Medal.
Please join me in congratulating
Second Place goes to Cpl Mundy and Patrol Dog Nina RAF Marham
Third Place goes to Cpl Connelly and Patrol Dog Sagan from RAF Lossiemouth
Best Nightwork goes to Cpl Carrington-Bent & Patrol dog Ruby from RAF Brize Norton.
Best Bitework goes to Cpl Woods & Patrol Dog Sepp from RAF Marham.
Best arena workout goes to Cpl Smyth and Patrol Dog Gina from RAF Lossiemouth.
Best Windscent goes to Cpl Webb & Patrol Dog DJ from Royal Air Force Northolt.
The Drissell Trophy for the Best Police Dog Team goes to Cpl Weatherley and Police Dog Bolle from RAF Marham
the Winner of the Von Wolf Trophy for the Best Vehicle Search Dog Team goes to Cpl Bearcroft and search dog Coco from RAF Brize Norton
The Lady Kemball Trophy for the Best Arms and Explosive Search Team goes to RAF Police Cpl Parton and search dog Rui from RAF Waddington.
The RAF Police are thrilled to announce the first winner of The RAF Benevolent Fund McConnell Trophy and crowned the Military Working Dog Obedience and Agility Champion is Cpl Stewart and Police Dog Rover from RAF Marham.
The 5 finalists competing to be the 2021 UK Royal Air Force Police Dog Champion.
The RAF Benevolent Fund is sponsoring ‘The RAF Benevolent Fund McConnell Cup’ at the 2021 RAF Police Military Working Dog Trials.
The Cup will be awarded to the RAF Police Military Working Dog Obedience and Agility Champion. Named after veteran RAF Police Corporal Mick McConnell, the trophy has been introduced to open up the competition across all Military Working Dog capabilities. This means that Detection, Police and Patrol teams can compete against each other in Heelwork, Agility and Obedience Tests.
Mick, who received lifelong injuries whilst serving in Afghanistan, has been supported by the RAF Benevolent Fund throughout his recovery. Since leaving the RAF, Mick has remained an inspiration to the RAF Police community by always being on hand with a listening ear and a cup of tea (or something stronger). He has continued to raise awareness of the RAF Benevolent Fund and will forever be in their debt for the support they have given to him and his family.
"Mick’s story is inspirational – as well as overcoming his own personal challenges, he has a great determination to give something back and support our work. Without any Government support, the Fund exists to help RAF veterans personnel and their families. People like Mick help us to spread the word about the assistance we can give, ensuring no member of the RAF Family faces adversity alone."
Director of Fundraising and Communications, RAF Benevolent Fund
A warm welcome to Warrant Officer
Robson was appointed to the Office of the Provost Marshal as
the inaugural Warrant Officer Provost Marshal Dog Inspector in
May, responsible to the Provost Marshal for all aspects of RAF
Military Working Dogs. He is also accountable for 1st party
assurance, which he carries out whilst overseeing Provost
Marshal Dog Inspector's and section SNCOs conducting the JSP
960 certification process.
Military Dogs And Handlers To Get New State-Of-The-Art Training Facility
The carbon-neutral building will feature a rainwater recycling system and a facility to generate its own electricity.
Work has begun on a state-of-the-art carbon-neutral training facility for military dogs and their handlers.
The new building at the Defence Animal Training Regiment (DATR) in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, should be finished by October and will be 96% self-sustaining.
It will be used by the Canine Training Squadron which is home to about 200 working dogs and employs 50 Army personnel and 20 RAF Police personnel, plus a team of civilians.
The new facility will replace the portable buildings currently housing the squadron's HQ staff and the 1940s timber-framed buildings that are used for training military working dogs and their handlers.
Green features of the building will include sustainable insulation in the walls and roof, 'air-lock' doors that will prevent heat from escaping and six solar panels.
A battery storage facility will also generate the building's own electricity needs.
A heat recovery system in the plant room and network room will be used to heat the offices and training facilities, while a rainwater recycling system will collect, save and reuse water in a bid to reduce the use of the mains water supply by up to 60%.
Rainwater will also be used for cleaning soldiers' boots and bike racks will be built to encourage people to cycle to work.
Commanding Officer of the DATR, Lieutenant Colonel Martyn Thompson, said: "The planning, design and sustainability of this project will generate much-needed efficiencies in our training delivery.
"This will ensure that the DATR continues to provide defence with a proven capability which helps to protect our people, territories, values and interests at home and overseas."
The new ecological and cost-saving facility will help achieve the Army's commitment to meet net carbon emissions by 2050, the service said.
It comes after the Ministry of Defence (MOD) published a report detailing the dangers of climate change to defence.
The report author Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, MOD Climate Change and Sustainability Lead, said: "Climate change is just as much a threat to global security as more conventional threats."
The internal construction of the building means that once its use is over in its current capability, it can be re-purposed for another use without the need for rebuilding, the Army added.
Drumroll please ............... For the second year running the winner of the 2020 RAF Police Military Working Dog Trials is Cpl Chris McLean and Military Working Dog Saiid from RAF Akrotiri.
2020 RAF Police Military Working Dog Trials
Second place goes to Cpl Sian Taylor and Military Working Dog Alwix from RAF Brize Norton
2020 RAF Police Military Working Dog Trials - Third place goes to Cpl Tom Shepherd and Military Working Dog Luna from RAF Brize Norton
Zantos and his trainer, based at RAF Brize Norton, practise a show routine as the RAF Police Dog Display Team train at RAF Henlow yesterday. The team will compete in next month’s RAF Military Working Dog Trials at RAF Honington.