- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Rebecca Frankel
Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent
Earlier this month a report came out over the military newswire with news that for the first time narcotic detection dogs and bomb detection dogs were patrolling together. It was part of Operation Clean Sweep in Kandahar City, where the 563rd Military Police Company joined with Afghan police officers for a mission that included coordinated "traffic control points" while compounds were searched and cleared.
The idea behind adding the drug dog to the search was, according to one of the 563rd’s platoon leaders 1st Lt. Megan Conroy, to show Afghan Uniform Police "how to handle drug finds and process the offenders."
Adam Serella, the handler in the photo above, said the combination of the two kinds of detection dogs allows for increased safety; the bomb dog go through first, clear an area so the drug dog team can come in and work without worry.
Above, Sgt. Adam Serella, a narcotics patrol detector dog handler with me 3rd Infantry Division, ensures his dog, Nero, inspects every level of a compound in Kandahar City, on Oct. 3.