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Saber MWDs keep president safe

Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Hensley, 52nd Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Tina, 52nd SFS MWD, stand outside Air Force One Jan. 26, 2018. Two MWD teams were part of the security detail for President Donald J. Trump’s visit to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, where they worked alongside Secret Service dog teams.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Hensley, 52nd Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and Tina, 52nd SFS MWD, stand outside Air Force One Jan. 26, 2018. Two MWD teams were part of the security detail for President Donald J. Trump’s visit to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, where they worked alongside Secret Service dog teams. (Courtesy Photo)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

On a recent mission to Davos, Swizerland, two military working dog teams provided security for President Donald J. Trump’s visit to the World Economic Forum, where they worked alongside Secret Service dog teams.

Axel, accompanied by Air Force Staff Sgt. Dennis Subject, 52nd Security Forces Squadron K9 handler, and Tina, accompanied by Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Hensley, 52nd SFS K9 handler, searched luggage, vehicles, aircraft equipment, and anything else on or around Air Force One.

“Our job was to go and sweep anything that was going to touch Air Force One,” Subject said. “Everything has to be searched daily prior to the president arriving.”

The MWD teams stayed on location for the entire visit, but didn’t interact with the president.

“We’re typically completely out of sight,” Subject said. “We’re always one step ahead of wherever he’s going next.”

The teams are selected to support the Secret Service based on proximity to the assignment location and type of service required.

“They task out the closest units to the area and if they don’t have enough, they’ll pull from other bases,” Subject said. “We provided two teams, there were also teams from Ramstein Air Base, and we also met Navy teams from Naples, Italy.”

The detail arrived before the president to allow the MWDs to become acclimated and comfortable with their new environment. During the assignment, the MWDs stay in the same hotel room as their handlers. For the MWDs, it’s a chance for them to experience life outside of the kennels.

“We bring their travel kennels, but as long as we’re in the hotel room, we let them out to jump around, play, and relax,” Hensley said. “These are the rare moments where the dogs get to experience typical dog life.”

However, these MWDs aren’t typical dogs. During this assignment, they were vital to keeping the commander in chief and his team safe.

“We live in a world where bad things can happen and when you factor in the president being here, it ups the chances,” Hensley said. “They bring us here because our dogs are proficient and we will stop any potential issue before it happens.”