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Ahead of President Obama's Visit, the Elite K9 Squad of US Secret Service Arrives as a Security Detail

22 Jan 2015 | by Neha Manchanda | Posted in: Wag Brag

US Secret Service

As the nation gears up to celebrate Republic Day on 26th January, the country is also excited about the most awaited visit of US President Barack Obama as the Chief Guest for this year’s Republic Day Parade. Ahead of President Obama’s visit, a team of important dignitaries have already reached New Delhi to sanitize the area where President would be present. The team of dignitaries are 20 Dog Officers of the elite K9 squad of the US Secret Service and they are here as an integral part of President Obama’s security detail and form a core security layer to sanitize everything in the 100 meter vicinity of President Obama.

The advance team of the elite K9 squad is here to overlook the security detail while the rest of the team will be arriving in New Delhi on 25th January along with the President. The elite squad includes 20 Belgian Malinois, the dogs well known for their capture of Osama Bin Laden. Dog Commandoes Jordan and Hurricane are well known for single handedly intercepting and pinning down an intruder in the White House and have been called President’s Best friends. Other team members include K9 Officer Rock and K9 Officer Frederick.

About the Elite K9 Squad

The Elite K9 Squad is a part of US Secret Service and was established in 1977. the squad was formed with a mission to provide skilled and specialised explosives detection support and is being funded by the Federal Government. The squad consists of Malinoises, Dutch Shepherds and German Shepherds who are admitted through a professional working dog breeding programme. The unit has around 75 dogs each costing around $9000. They receive five months training at a facility spread over 400 acres at Maryland. No pups are included in the training, only grownup dogs are admitted in the program.

Earlier, the unit included sniffer dogs but now the K9 officers are being trained to intercept and handle attackers. In the past couple of months Belgian Malinois are being prefered over German Shepherds as they have proved to be extremely sharp. 

The K9 officers are specialists in explosive detection and have been trained to sniff out minute and old traces of explosives such as RDX, potassium mixtures and even IEDs. Not just that, the squad is trained to overpower the target within seconds. The K9 officers can run at speeds of 40 - 50 kmph and have a deadly bite.

The officers also get handsome perks for their services. Apart from being paid a handsome salary, the dogs join the junior constabulary and get promotions and appreciations along the way. For their upkeep, the handlers are trained to provide luxurious environment to their K9 partners along with a well balanced diet of meat, pedigree food and bread. When on duty, the K9 officers stay in 5 Star Hotel suites The dogs stay with their handlers even after they retire at the age of 10 years. 

If you happen to meet a K9 officer from the elite US Secret Service squad, please do not approach them and be extremely cautious. The K9 officers do not like to be distracted while on duty and do not appreciate obstructions.

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