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The Army Handed Off War Dogs To Whoever Would Take Them Fast, But It's Okay, They’re Sorry
After a Department of Defense Inspector General report found the Army mistreated military working dogs after they returned to the states from their deployments, the service announced Monday that, well, yeah, you got us, we fucked up. Trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices, the Army’s military working dogs and their handlers deployed to battlefields abroad, forged bonds in training and under fire, and saved lives by identifying roadside bombs. But when it came time for the service to shutter its bomb-dog program, some of those canines returned to the states and were forgotten.
The March 1 report found that leading up to the closure of the Army’s Tactical Explosive Detection Dog (TEDD) program, which ran from 2011 till 2014, the service mismanaged its handling of how the animals were adopted, or transferred to other government agencies.
The report paints the closure of the TEDD program as a frantic scramble to move military working dogs out of the service as quickly as possible — and at times, without any regards to who was adopting the dogs:
A member of the kennel staff reported during a group interview with DoD OIG team members that the Army’s disposition of the TEDDs was uncoordinated and that it appeared the Army’s priority was to get rid of the dogs as quickly as possible. Kennel staff familiar with the MWD adoption process expressed concern over what they observed. Staff members explained to our team that the adoptions were unplanned and rushed and that “some individuals seeking to adopt a dog were not capable of handling these types of dogs.” One source described the adoption process as “organized chaos.”
Additionally, the handlers who wanted to adopt the dogs they served with downrange weren’t informed that they were allowed to do so, and what’s more, that they actually had priority in adopting their dogs.
The report also found that prospective owners weren’t screened prior to adopting the dogs, which led some animals with histories of biting — ahem, it’s a war dog — to be paired with families with children. One dog described as having “canine PTSD” was paired with a family with children, because there was no record indicating whether or not it might be aggressive — the dog was transferred to the Sheriff’s department nine days later.
Other dogs were handed off to owners who were either unable, or lacked the resources, to properly care for them.
And, in one particularly egregious case, 13 dogs given to a private company for use as veterans’ service dogs were later abandoned at a Virginia kennel, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
In a statement provided to Reuters, Army spokesman Maj. Christopher Ophardt said “The Army concurs with the DoDIG (Defense Inspector General) report and is complying with” their recommendations — which include planning ahead of time for a dog’s adoption, and generally not being an asshole.
CORRECTION: This article has been corrected to reflect that 13, not two, Tactical Explosive Detection Dogs were left at a Virginia kennel. (3/9/18; 4:20 pm)
Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.
The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.
Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.
It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.
More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.
Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Joshua Kaleb Watson has been identified as one of the victims of a shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, CBS News reported.
The 23-year-old Alabama native and Naval Academy graduate was named to the Academy's prestigious Commandant's and Dean's lists, and also competed on the rifle team, Alabama's WTVY reported.
NAS Pensacola shooter railed against the US and quoted Osama bin Laden online hours before the attack
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - The Saudi airman accused of killing three people at a U.S. Navy base in Florida appeared to have posted criticism of U.S. wars and quoted slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media hours before the shooting spree, according to a group that monitors online extremism.
Federal investigators have not disclosed any motive behind the attack, which unfolded at dawn on Friday when the Saudi national is said to have began firing a handgun inside a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola.
NAS Pensacola shooter reportedly hosted a 'dinner party' to watch mass shooting videos the week before the attack
The Saudi military officer who shot and killed 3 people at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday reportedly hosted a "dinner party" the week before the attack "to watch videos of mass shootings," the Associated Press reports, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
The Minnesota National Guard has released the names of the three soldiers killed in Thursday's helicopter crash.