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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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Camp Pendleton Marines organize regional ATF K9 training

By Lance Cpl. Betzabeth Galvan | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | May 24, 2018


Marines with Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton organized 20 local, state and federal explosive detection canine teams in partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for specialized training, May 22-25.

The training, held at Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook, Calif., gave participants the opportunity to take the ATF-administered National Odor Recognition Test. NORT is a voluntary test used to evaluate a canine teams ability to detect 10 fundamental explosive odors. NORT has been administered to more than 2,000 canine teams since September 2005, and is recognized by Congress as the standard for canine explosives detection.

In addition to testing, networking, and discussing tricks of the trade, the training gives handlers the chance to ask ATF canine and explosives subject matter experts questions.

“The importance of the training is for explosive detection dogs, not only on base but in the surrounding community, can find basic explosive odors,” said Cody Monday, instructor and public officer for National K9 Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “The other part is that we bring homemade explosives that are made by our chemists and shipped here in a safe manner so that we can imprint dogs that have never seen those before.”

This was third time MCB Camp Pendleton has organized NORT, which is carried out about 12 times a year at different locations across the country. Not only is the base a central location for other bases and agencies to access, it also has a realistic training environment for the teams to perfect their skills in.

“Being a dog handler is all about the training,” said Michael Peters, MCB Camp Pendleton K9 handler. “Being able to train and learn more things and be a better handler is beneficial.”

ATF is a principal law enforcement agency within the U.S Department of Justice dedicated to reducing violent crime, preventing terrorism, and protecting the nation.

“The reason that we do this is to make sure that all the communities and their state, local partners and our federal partners are prepared in case they need to come in contact with these explosives,” said Monday.