Page 23 - Chiron Spring/Summer 2023
P. 23

24th NATO CIED and 17th MWD Expert Panel Conference, Virginia, USA
by SSgt Scott Davison
In early December of 2022 I was lucky enough to be invited to West Virginia, United States to
attend the 24th NATO Counter IED conference as the UK MWD Expert.
The aim of the conference was for all NATO member nations to get together for the 5-day conference
to discuss all things counter IED with sub working groups or expert panels, breaking off in their specific fields of, Doctrine and Terminology, Maritime Environment, Interoperability and Technical Exploitation and most importantly Military Working Dogs.
Set in the Embassy Suites Hotel in the old town of Virginia around 90 military and civilian staff from just about every NATO member country attended, along with a few of our Partners for Peace member nations to talk about all things counter IED.
It was the first, face to face meeting in a few years due to COVID so there was an eagerness for most to see some familiar faces and get started.
The MWD expert panel started the week off with a Vendors show. About 20 companies, all providing different services to the K9 world, came
to try and sell their products and programmes. Most of the vendors were civilian with much of their business coming from the abundant private dog training companies
in the US. There were a couple of companies that had commissioned work with the US Department of Defense and provided some relevant information on what they were doing, especially from DEVCOM, the US version of DSTL. One of the most fascinating items on display was the Training Aid Delivery Device (TADD) which sounds like some highly technical device but when you see it, it’s just a little glass jar, however, coming from the science geeks
it is more than that (see attached
slide). There were the usual leashes, collars, and toys as well as some food supplements on show, and some training companies selling dogs and handler courses.
The rest of the week consisted
of MWD discussions about standardisation on terminology, so that each nation understood all the different acronyms and numerous presentations on a variety of topics such as, CBRN for MWD’s where the use of TADD came up again. One
of the US veterinary officers gave
an interesting presentation on the need for a K9 fitness test (as I found out taking your dog on a run doesn’t improve the dog’s fitness) which took the principle of human strength and conditioning and applying it to dogs. It is still in its infancy and more research is being done which will be passed on in future NATO meetings. I was extremely grateful to be part of the MWD expert panel and learned
a lot about how other nations work their dogs and the differences we
    Chiron Calling / 21

   21   22   23   24   25