Eyes,  Ears of Guards

Without the German Shepherd as his companion, the perimeter patrol guard of the 635th Security Police Squadron would not be as effective against intrusion by hostile elements into U-Tapao.

The primary job of the dog-guard team is to detect intrusion onto the base. Once the patrol guard notifies the Security Alert Team (SAT) or the Quick Reaction Force (QRF), he determines whether he will attempt apprehension or wait for the SAT or QRF.

The security dog ia an extension of the eyes, ears, and nose of the security guard. The dog guard teams patrol primarily the 17 miles of perimeter fence but also guard warehouses and hootches. Patrols take the teams in and around the jungle areas about the base. The 635th SPS had determined that insurgency action, if it comes, will probably occur during the hours around midnight, the prime sleeping hours. As a countermeasure, the canine patrols are run in two shifts that cover dusk to dawn.

U-Tapao's sentry and patrol dogs receive six hours per week of proficiency training here by their handlers. Sentry dogs receive obedience training, scouting, chase and agitation drill. Patrol dogs also receive obedience training and controlled agitation but also learn vehicle search, tracking, and scouting.

The canine section has one marijuana dog, used to search for drugs. The dog has been conditioned to search for marijuana on the command of "Mary Jane."

Security dogs are procured from the United States. Sentry dogs are trained for eight weeks, at Lackland Air Force Base , Texas. Patrol dogs receive 12 weeks training at Lackland. After three weeks the Air Force determines whether the dogs qualify for duty. About 10 per cent fail to qualify for various reasons: health, gun-shyness, inability to scout, and in rare cases under-aggressiveness and over-aggressiveness.

Printed in Stars and Stripes

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Dangers Darken Duty

“Back out into the little black jungles of U-Tapao again. Wonder who’s coming through the fence tonight? What would he want this time —– a B-52 or will it just be another attempted theft?

“Oh-uh, the dog stopped. Another snake? Looks like we walk around the one, whatever it is. I’m not flushing it out of that tall grass. Guys bring back more reptiles than anything else; Cobras, Kraits and Vipers.

“If it’s not a snake or someone sneaking through the fence, it’s a monkey or a mongoose scaring you, or a pack of those huge rats. Two patrollers and their dogs came across a panther the other night. Their dogs wouldn’t budge, not even bark

“Although the CAR-15 is an excellent gun, I wouldn’t want to be walking out here without my dog, Right now he’s the best friend I’ve got. “

Published June 12, 1970, Stars and Stripes

During attack practice A1C Tommy L Crockett, in suit plays the role of intruder while “Pistol: gets a good grip. Sgt James M. Monger, Pistol’s handler comes up to call the dog off.

US Air Force Photo by Sgt Gary McKenny, 
Printed in Air Force Times, Articles Courtesy of Mike Monger

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My First Night

U-Tapao RTNAFB Nov 1972 - May 1973: I arrived as a SSgt T88170A from Lackland AFB Texas assigned to the 635th SPS K-9 Section. After finally completing all of the in-processing and training, I was assigned duties as K-9 Night Supervisor/Training NCO. My first guardmount went fairly quietly until we all reached the kennel area. Upon entering the kennel office, I was greeted by a group of Thai and GI handlers lined up very silently staring at me. Nothing was said for a while until the apparent group spokesman stepped out and asked me how was I going to supervise "Was it going to be Thailand Style or what.?"

We retired into the inner office and had our discussion after which, he went out and talked to others. Posting took place without any further incidents and shortly there after, My CQ (Cates or Gates) asked to use the 2 1/2 truck to go to the dinning hall. Permission was granted and noting further was heard, until I got word over the radio to meet on duty LE Fight Chief up by the dinning hall. There I personally got introduced to the 635th SPS Commander who took great pleasure in telling me that my CQ took the long way to chow and wrecked the bomb dump gate shack, a 5 ton munitions hauler as well as my 2 1/1 ton truck . What a way to start a tour.

These were Good Times - Bad Times - Sad Times - Fun Times for all of us. Now they are just times to be remembered: Crying , Laughing or Silently, Sadly remembering many of long ago four footed friends and their handlers.

God Bless All Dog Handlers and our Most Trusted K9 Companions!!!!!!!

Courtesy of Vernon Anderson, U-Tapao Night Supervisor (Retired MSgt)

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U-Tapao RTAFB   Dogs of U-Tapao   Handlers of U-Tapao

 Thai Handlers of U-Tapao   History of U-Tapao   Attack on U-Tapao

 The Kennels   The Gift    Handlers Circa 1969-71

Reunion of Handlers    Stars and Stripes Articles

Southern Star Stories    Southern Star 2




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