HomeNewsArticle Display

MWD Ttaylor arrives eager to “pawtrol” Kirtland AFB

A dog greets his handler

U.S. Air Force Military Working Dog Ttaylor bonds with his handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Collin Lewis, 377th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, May 29, 2020, on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. In the initial phase of Ttaylor’s training, building a strong, healthy relationship with his handler is vital. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

A handler pets his dog.

U.S. Air Force Military Working Dog Ttaylor from the 377th Security Forces Squadron sits by his handler on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, May 29, 2020. Ttaylor began Phase 1 of his training where he will perform various tasks, such as patrolling facilities and inspecting vehicles at the gate. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

A dog walks with his handler

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Collin Lewis, 377th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, walks MWD Ttaylor on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, May 29, 2020. Ttaylor is Kirtland’s newest military working dog and just arrived to his first station, ready for duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

A dog is sits by his handler

U.S. Air Force Military Working Dog TTaylor from the 377th Security Forces Group waits for instruction from his handler after his health and wellness check-up on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, May 29, 2020. TTaylor is Kirtland’s newest military working dog and just arrived to his first station, ready for duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

Veterinarian checks up on a dog

U.S. Army Capt. Cynthia Edgerton, U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, gives Military Working Dog Ttaylor a treat after his check-up at the Kirtland Veterinary Clinic on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, May 29, 2020. Edgerton performed Ttaylor’s first health and wellness check-up after arriving to Kirtland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

Veterinarian checks up on a dog

U.S. Army Capt. Cynthia Edgerton, U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, left, and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Collin Lewis, 377th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, right, perform a health and wellness check-up on Military Working Dog Ttaylor at the Kirtland Veterinary Clinic on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, May 29, 2020. An initial health and wellness check is performed each time a new MWD arrives for duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Ttaylor, the newest and youngest military working dog of the 377th Security Forces Squadron arrived at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, May 20, 2020.

MWD Ttaylor is the youngest dog assigned at Kirtland at just 23 months old. He is an 80 pound Belgian Malinois born and trained at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Puppy program dogs born and trained at JBSA are identifiable by the repeated first letter in the name.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Collin Lewis, 377th SFS MWD handler, is partnered with Ttaylor and will work together to keep Kirtland safe and secure. At this time, MWD Ttaylor is getting familiar with his handler Lewis and preparing to patrol Kirtland.

“Since being at Kirtland, [Ttaylor] has been in his acclimation period,” said Lewis. “This consists of walks, playing with toys, but no training. It’s also a rapport building phase, so we can get used to each other.”

The rapport building phase strengthens the relationship and establishes trust between an MWD and handler. That trust is vital to the work they do to accomplish their mission.

“Right now it’s just expected for Ttaylor to have a very basic understanding of what basic commands mean,” said Lewis. “It’s like picking up a new troop from tech school and now it's my job to mold him into a great MWD.”

Now, and even more so when fully trained, Lewis and Ttaylor bring additional and unique security capabilities to the installation.

“MWDs’ importance are nearly unmeasurable in their impact to national security and the protection of all personnel and assets on Kirtland Air Force Base,” said Tech. Sgt. Joseph Tejada, 377th SFS kennel master. “These MWDs and their handlers put in countless hours of hard work help to ensure the base is free from drugs and explosives, as well as often deterring criminal activity just by their presence alone.”

Many hours of training are being put in by both Lewis and MWD Ttaylor. Lewis expects Ttaylor to be fully trained and protecting Team Kirtland by mid-July or early August.