News: Mick and Marty - Part 7, week 10
Release Date: Thursday, December 16 2010, 03:21 PM
The final National AFP Canine recruit group for 2010 was deployed to Sydney Airport this week to train in the operational environment they will be working in after completing the 11 week course.
Instructor Jayson Mesman said it was important for the dogs and handlers to have had a chance to familiarise themselves with the airport environment before they are deployed.
“The objective behind this week is getting them used to the operational environment,” he said.
“It’s exposing them to as many different circumstances as we can and making sure they‘re comfortable and deployable to each one of these search areas.”
Instructor David McCambridge said the opportunity to watch recruits using their training to conduct searches in the live operational environment is particularly rewarding.
“We’re moving into a very exciting time of the course for us as instructors,” he said.
“We get to see the handlers displaying all the kinds of skills and knowledge that we have imparted to them over the last 10 to 11 weeks and see them demonstrate those under assessment conditions, and show us that they are capable of passing this course and graduating as a Firearms and Explosive Detection Dog team.”
This week is also the point in the course where instructors have to make critical assessments about which handlers and canines will deploy together, and the decision was made to separate Federal Agent Mick Simmons and his canine partner of 10 weeks, Marty.
Instructor Mesman said the decision was made based on operational requirements.
“Mick’s going to be going to Sydney with an experienced canine due to the workload that Sydney creates,” he said.
“Marty will be left in Canberra to develop for a few more weeks, and he’ll be reteamed with a handler over in Perth.”
Federal Agent Simmons said he was disappointed with the decision, but looking forward to working with his new partner.
“I’ll be a bit sad to see him go, he’s a great dog and Perth is lucky to have him,” he said.
“I’m told my new partner is a pretty experienced operator, I’m looking forward to building that bond again and being a really strong team.”
The recruits still need to overcome one last challenge before they graduate, the final practical assessment and written exam, which has a pass mark of 80 per cent.
A graduation ceremony will be held this week to formally recognise the recruits’ achievements and their standing as qualified AFP canine handlers.
You can watch Mick and Marty's journey so far as they have trained to join the ranks of the National AFP Canine Unit.