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A man’s best friend: Team Kirtland welcomes its newest Military Working Dog

photo of dog and Air Force service member

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. William M. Mongeon, 377th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, greets his new MWD Betyar at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, April 17, 2020. Kirtland is MWD Betyar’s first duty station where he will remain for his time of service, ready to serve and protect the base and its community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

photo of dog walking on road

U.S. Air Force Military Working Dog Betyar from the 377th Security Forces Group goes for a walk to adjust to his surroundings at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, April 17, 2020. MWD Betyar will spend the next few weeks acclimating to his new environment and bonding with his handler. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

photo of dog walking with Air Force service member

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. William M. Mongeon, 377th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, walks MWD Betyar at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, April 17, 2020. MWD Betyar arrived at KAFB, his first duty station, after completing MWD training at Lackland Air Force Base.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

A wet, black nose pokes out of the window and sniffs curiously. Big brown eyes scan their new surroundings. A tan, furry tail wags excitedly, taking it all in.

His new home and first duty station, Military Working Dog (MWD) Betyar arrived April 17, 2020, ready for duty.

MWD Betyar, a two-year old Belgian Malinois and dual purpose MWD, trained in both patrol and detection, entered into the MWD training program at Lackland Air Force Base after arriving in early 2018 from Von Liche Kennels in Indiana. Last year, MWD Betyar began puppy basic training and just recently graduated.

Similar to an Airman’s process into the military, the dogs follow the same order. They undergo screening at the Military Entrance Process Station and go to basic military training and Tech School before beginning additional training at their permanent duty station on their way to becoming fully operational.

Now that MWD Betyar has arrived to Kirtland, he will begin Phase 1 of the process, an acclimation period.

“Initially, MWD Betyar and his handler will be conducting detection and patrol training problems, as well as basic obedience tasks,” said Tech. Sgt. Joseph E. Tejada, 377th Security Forces Squadron kennel master. “After he is certified, he will patrol all around the base. He is authorized to go into any facility the handler may go to perform law enforcement or security duties.”

Tejada says some of MWD Betyar’s tasks will range from random vehicle inspections at the gates to patrolling facilities such as the BX or Consolidated Support.

MWD Betyar will do this with his new handler, Staff Sgt. William M. Mongeon, 377th Security Forces Squadron MWD handler.

“I’m very excited,” said Mongeon. “It’s a great opportunity to be able to work with a new MWD.”

After Phase 1 is complete, MWD Betyar and Mongeon will begin their patrol and detection training together as a team. This can last several months, as specific training milestones must be met.

Finally, the team will complete an evaluation of their abilities. Once they are certified, MWD Betyar and Mongeon will be fully qualified to work the road and secure the base as a MWD team.

“In the future I know we will grow together and make a great team,” said Mongeon. “After meeting MWD Betyar, I can see he has a lot of energy. I’m ready to see what else he has in store.”

Over the course of MWD Betyar’s service, he will remain at Kirtland, ready to serve and protect the base and its community.