The mission of the 341st Training Squadron is to provide trained military working dogs and handlers for the Department of Defense, other government agencies and allies through training, logistical, veterinary support and research and development for security efforts worldwide.
To be the recognized world leader in procurement, training and distribution of working dogs and handlers; to promote teamwork and continuous improvement through unparalleled veterinary care, sound breeding practices, and innovative training techniques and technologies; to explore new and effective ways of employing working dogs; and to have the world-class facilities to support our critical mission. These things we do for the protection and security of our nation and its resources throughout the world.
The first Air Force sentry dog school was activated at Showa Air Station, Japan, in 1952. In 1953, the second school was opened at Wiesbaden, West Germany. The Army continued to train and supply sentry dogs to Air Force units in the United States until the Sentry Dog Training Branch of the Department of Security Police Training was established at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in October 1958.
In 1966, four sentry dog teams from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, were given patrol dog training by the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department. The additional advantages and capabilities of more tolerant and controllable dogs were quickly proven, and the patrol dog training program expanded. By 1969, the Air Force adopted the patrol dog as the standard military working dog. To combat the growing use of marijuana and other drugs in Southeast Asia, a drug detection course was added in January 1971 to the MWD program. Based on the programs merit and success, the marijuana detector dog program expanded introducing cocaine, hashish and heroin to the program to expand the dog's capabilities. Also in 1971, the Air Force began training dogs to detect explosives.
In 2005, a new type of detector dog was introduced into the DoD inventory in response the rising threat of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Aptly referred to as Specialized Search Dogs (or SSDs), these highly skilled counter-terrorist search assets are trained to detect arms, ammunition, and explosives – both of the conventional and homemade varieties. They differ from their standard Explosive Detector Dog (EDD) counterparts in the fact that they are far more independent and work primarily off-leash via voice and directional commands issued by the handler. In early 2010, the 341st TRS began assisting the Marine Corps in training Combat Tracker Dog Teams to recognize and follow a human quarry. This is the first program of its kind since the end of the Vietnam War. Upon deployment, Combat Trackers assist Unit Commanders by tracking enemy insurgents, IED makers, and snipers. This force multiplier offers the abilities to both stop current attacks and prevent future ones.
POINT OF CONTACT
341st Training Squadron
1320 Truemper St., Suite 2
JBSA-Lackland, TX 78236-5103