Military working dog shows how to stop 'trespasser' at RSAF50@Heartlands exhibition in Punggol

ST VIDEO: CHERYL TEE

SINGAPORE - Six-year-old Anneli Teo watched with bated breath as a military working dog raced after a hooded "trespasser", sinking its teeth into his sleeve in an unflinching grip.

"I have not seen that before, so it was very exciting and I had a lot of fun," she said.

This is young Anneli's third RSAF50@Heartlands event in two months - she showed up for its last two stops at Toa Payoh and Sembawang with her brother Reuel Teo, four, and mother Priscilla Quek, 36.

The dogged pursuit, held by the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) Military Working Dogs (MWD) and their handlers, on Saturday (April 14) was a public demonstration held at Punggol as part of the RSAF's golden jubilee celebrations.

A bout 15,000 people are expected at the two-day event, which ends on Sunday.

There will be two demonstrations on both days, one at 11.30am and the other at 1pm.

Military Working Dog Demonstration Team Lead, Captain Chua Lee Tat, 37, said: "This demonstration is to showcase the capability of the military working dogs and at the same time, allow our fellow Singaporeans to better understand our airbase security operations."

Currently, the MWD unit at Paya Lebar Airbase houses over 15 dogs.

These dogs fall into two main categories: arms and explosive search (AES) dogs, which can sniff out hidden arms and explosives, and guard dogs, which are trained to quickly take down intruders or trespassers.

Handlers conduct obedience training, as well as attack training for guard dogs, and search work for AES dogs.

They also help to groom and feed the dogs.

Warrant Officer 3 Winson Wang Lusen, 37, who is a dog trainer with the Military Police, said: "These activities enhance bonding and help both handlers and dogs to be more familiar with each other's habits and character. These contribute to both handler and dog working well as a team."

At the exhibition, visitors can also try out a ground-based air defence system simulator, as well as tour static and interactive displays like the SPYDER and RBS70 missile systems.

The two remaining RSAF50 exhibitions will be held at Bedok on May 12 and 13 and Jurong East on May 26 and 27.

Each two-day exhibition will be held from 10am to 9pm.

Earlier this month, the RSAF displayed its Super Puma helicopter at the exhibition at the open field beside Sembawang MRT station.

The helicopter was used last August in search and rescue operations of the USS John S. McCain warship collision which took place in Singapore waters.