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Team Kirtland celebrates retirement of four-legged defenders

Commander presents military working dog with certificate of retirement.

U.S. Air Force Col. David S. Miller, 377th Air Base Wing commander, presents Military Working Dog Mex with a certificate of retirement at the Mountain View Club on Kirtland Air Force Base, March 2, 2020. MWD Mex retired after seven years of service and has been adopted by his former handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Edwin Argueta-Hernandez.

Commander presents military working dog with certificate of retirement.

U.S. Air Force Col. David S. Miller, 377th Air Base Wing commander, presents Military Working Dog Saxo with a certificate of retirement at the Mountain View Club on Kirtland Air Force Base, March 2, 2020. MWD Saxo retired after six years of service and has been adopted by his current handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tyler Adams.

Commander gives military working dog a toy upon retirement.

U.S. Air Force Col. David S. Miller, 377th Air Base Wing commander, presents Military Working Dog Mex with a toy after his retirement at the Mountain View Club on Kirtland Air Force Base, March 2, 2020. MWD Mex retired after seven years of service and is going to live the couch life at Dover AFB with his former handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Edwin Argueta-Hernandez.

Commander gives military working dog a toy upon retirement.

U.S. Air Force Col. David S. Miller, 377th Air Base Wing commander, presents Military Working Dog Saxo with a retirement toy at the Mountain View Club on Kirtland Air Force Base, March 2, 2020. MWD Saxo retired after six years of service due to medical limitations and has been adopted by his current handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tyler Adams.

Military Working Dog Mex receives some love from his owner after his retirement ceremony.

Military Working Dog Mex receives some love from his owner after his retirement ceremony at the Mountain View Club on Kirtland Air Force Base, March 2, 2020. MWD Mex retired after six years of service due to medical limitations and has been adopted by his former handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Edwin Argueta-Hernandez.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Members of Team Kirtland gathered at the Mountain View Club on Kirtland Air Force Base to celebrate the retirement of two Military Working Dogs (MWDs), Mex and Saxo, on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Mex, a nine-year old Belgian Malinois, served as an Explosives Patrol MWD and was assigned to six different handlers throughout his career. Mex recently finished cancer treatment and now that he is cancer free, is headed home to Dover AFB with one of his former handlers, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Edwin Argueta-Hernandez

“I was a new handler when I got him, so he taught me a lot,” Argueta-Hernandez said. “When you’re working the road together on 12-hour shifts, you do build that bond.  Sometimes you think handlers are just saying that, but it’s 100% true.”

Saxo, a nine-year old German Shepherd, also served as an Explosives Patrol MWD. Throughout his career, Saxo was assigned to five different handlers and is retiring due to hip and back issues that have degraded his performance and capability.  Saxo will be adopted by his current handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tyler Adams.

“The best way I could describe him is to call him goofy, and I’m goofy too, so it’s great,” Adams said. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with him.  I wish we had more time to work together, but it’s time for him to come home.”

During their time at KAFB, Mex and Saxo performed countless security and law enforcement operations. They also ensured several event areas were safe for the thousands of personnel in attendance and cleared several facilities during credible bomb threats.

Additionally, they traveled across the country to provide explosive detection capability for the U.S. Secret Service securing the president, vice president and others in high-level leadership. 

While their service to Kirtland and the USAF has been nothing short of remarkable, those in their lives are most excited to welcome them into a well-deserved retirement full of love, treats and toys.