London: British army dogs have now been equipped with goggles, boots and ear protectors to keep them safe while on front-line duty in harsh environment.
Each dogs from the 105 Military Working Dog Squadron (MWDS) now taking part in a major military exercise in Jordan has its own body armour, ear protectors which allow them to be exposed to loud noises and eye goggles, for sand-storms and helicopter landings.
They even have specially-developed dog boots, which allow them to safely walk over dangerous liquids and jagged ground – just like human soldiers, the Sun reported.
For example, six-year-old Scooby – who is trained to sniff out explosives in vehicles and luggage – wears the protective gear while out on patrol in the Jordanian desert.
The springer spaniel is one of 35 dogs from the MWDS based in Sennelager, Germany, currently taking part in Exercise Shamal Storm in the Jordanian desert, the biggest military training exercise in a decade.
Scooby, who has been working for five years, completed a tour of Afghanistan in 2012 as a search dog.
The training exercise is to test whether the British armed forces could successfully mobilise in the event of a full-scale operation, the report said.
The loyal animals are in the Middle East to undergo rigorous training and are being put through their paces so they are strong enough to deploy anywhere in the world, military officials said.
Warrant Officer Steve Hood said each of the 35 dogs will get through on average 600 grams of feed each per day, over 75 days.
“Everyone has got their own objectives to achieve out here. The units can find out how military working dogs can support them using our capabilities. Equally, it gives my handlers experience in working in these environments.” Hood said.
“The dogs out here aren’t panting, they are used to the environment and have adapted to it. Military working dogs are still so relevant in modern warfare. They are so adaptable,” Hood said.
In the past, dogs have served alongside British troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
he dogs protect soldiers on the ground by sniffing out explosives, weapons and ammunition and some can even alert their handlers when enemy fighters are on the approach.
Major Ross Curnick of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, said it is important for the army dogs to train away from their home base.
He said: “It allows you to practice moving your animals, your people, your equipment, to prove we have the ability and capability to deploy and work anywhere in the world.”