U.S. Marine Corps, Japanese K-9 Handlers Conduct Joint Training


U.S. Marines with Provost Marshal’s Office here conducted joint dog training with members of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Hiroshima Police headquarters, March 12.

MCAS Iwakuni PMO hosts joint K-9 training
Yutaka Fujii, a civilian K-9 handler with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, passes a ball to his canine at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, March 12, 2018. The training brought Japanese K-9 handlers from the JMSDF Kure Repair and Supply Facility Petroleum Terminal unit and the Hiroshima Police headquarters to the air station, where they practiced detecting explosives with K-9’s. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Jones
MCAS Iwakuni PMO hosts joint K-9 training Passes Ball
Yutaka Fujii, a civilian K-9 handler with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, passes a ball to his canine at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, March 12, 2018. The training brought Japanese K-9 handlers from the JMSDF Kure Repair and Supply Facility Petroleum Terminal unit and the Hiroshima Police headquarters to the air station, where they practiced detecting explosives with K-9’s. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Jones

The training brought Japanese canine handlers from the JMSDF Kure Repair and Supply Facility Petroleum Terminal unit and the Hiroshima Police headquarters to the air station, where they practiced detecting explosives with working dogs.

Beneficial Training

This K-9 training occurs once a quarter and benefits the Japanese and Americans by allowing them to study and learn from each other’s methods. It also gives the Japanese an opportunity to detect explosives that they don’t have access to in their own facilities.

“It’s definitely a culture shock and a change of pace for us,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Luke Fetterolf, a military working dog trainer with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.

“It’s a really good experience for all the handlers, and myself as a trainer, to have that relationship with our Japanese counterparts,” he added, “because they train a lot different than us. It’s good for us to incorporate both styles of training together.”

Explosives Detection

Marines with PMO gave their Japanese counterparts scented rags to train their dogs, and they utilized explosives that could be found in real-world situations.

Hiromichi Nakashima, a senior police officer with Hiroshima Police headquarters, said the scent of the rags was weaker than real explosives and their dogs responded well to the scent of the real thing.

Most Japanese K-9’s are trained for search and rescue type situations, but training them to detect explosives can increase partner capabilities, security and safety for the people of Japan.