Or should I say, the DOG’s dog teams or maybe I should just stick with the politically correct canine teams. At any rate, three Guardians from Deployable Operations Group (DOG) units graduated from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Canine Enforcement Training Center (CETC) in Front Royal, Virginia, yesterday;
- MK2 Akiyoshi Atsumi from Maritime Security Response Team (MSRT) Chesapeake, Virginia
- BM2 Ryan Cross from Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) Seattle, Washington
- GM2 Joseph Tokarsky from MSST Kings Bay, Georgia
A particular shout-out to BM2 Ryan Cross who earned the title of Honor Graduate for having the highest academic average and being the top performer in his class on performance evaluations.
The Coast Guard has 15 canine teams total. Each team is comprised of one Guardian and one dog. There are two teams at every Deployable Operations Group (DOG) unit and one team at Sector New York. The DOG units include MSST Seattle, MSST San Francisco, MSST LA/LB, MSST Galveston, MSST Kings Bay, MSST New York and MSRT Chesapeake.
The Coast Guard launched the Canine Substance Detection Program approximately one year after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The program’s goal is to enhance detection and deterrence capabilities in the maritime environment, adjacent lands, and waterside installations. This initiative is in line with the President’s national strategy for Homeland Security, and allows the Coast Guard to support the Department of Homeland Security initiatives such as the Canine Rapid Deployment Force. The Coast Guard canine teams are used in maritime ports, waterways and shoreline facilities, including during boardings of commercial vessels before the vessels reach the United States.