Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristopher S. Haley
SASEBO, Japan (Aug. 25, 2016) A ceremony was held in remembrance for two Commander, U.S. Fleet Activities Sasebo Security Department Military Working Dogs at the Community Education Center chapel on Aug. 23, 2016.
The ceremony was attended by the CFAS security department to show support for the MWD handlers.
“The memorial is held as a payback and a respect for the contributions that the MWDs provided for the U.S and Japan,” said Master-At-Arms 1st Class Justin Treml, CFAS Security Department MWD kennel master.
MWD Dabby and MWD Oscar had more than 20 years of military service between them and were laid to rest after honorable careers. Both MWDs passed on after complications with medical issues. In attendance was Dabby’s handler, Master Labor Contactor Shigeki Wakasugi, and Oscar’s handler, Master-At-Arms 2nd Class Nicholas Byers.
“I see them as a partner. Whatever I put into that dog, that dog is going to give back to me,” said Byers, “If I treat that dog just awesome, you know amazing, not just training, it’s caring for it, bathing them, keeping them groomed, just maintaining him, that dog is going to do the same back for me.”
Both Dabby and Oscar received awards in during their time of service. Wakasugi and Byers accepted Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals on behalf of the dogs for their many accomplishments and contributions to the U.S. Navy and CFAS.
One such accomplishment was Oscar’s Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait in 2008. While in Kuwait, Oscar contributed to the overall health and welfare of personnel, according to his career award. As in Sasebo, Oscar worked with military personnel to detect an array of illegal substances, bombs, and to help in suspect apprehension.
“So the biggest thing is the IED threat, and obviously the whole anti-terrorism aspect of the MWD,” said Byers, “A dog’s nose is thousand times stronger than humans and just using that asset down range, in Afghanistan and Iraq it’s a vital, vital asset.”
Just as her partner Oscar had done, Dabby contributed to the safety and security of the personnel station at CFAS. Over a decade of service, she completed thousands of hours of anti-terrorism and force protection work.
“Thank you very much to the many people who attended the ceremony,” said Wakasugi. “I think Dabby can go to heaven peacefully.”