Marines train with Hiroshima police

22 Feb 2016 | Lance Cpl. Aaron Henson The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines from the provost marshal’s office K-9 unit trained with Hiroshima Prefectural Police Headquarters policemen at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Feb. 17, 2016.

Military working dogs are trained in a variety of areas such as locating explosives or narcotics and conducting patrol work. Handlers and their dogs train regularly in order to maintain operational readiness, become a more effective team and ensure the safety of the station residents.

“We conducted this joint training with the Hiroshima dog handlers and gave them access to our explosives in order to teach their dogs how to detect explosives,” said Lance Cpl. Landon Gilliam, provost marshal’s office military working dog handler with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “To prepare them, we train them up using scent boxes.”

K-9’s are trained on scent boxes in order to get accustomed with the different scents of various explosives. An explosive material is placed inside one of multiple boxes in order to familiarize the K-9’s with the scent so they can later detect these dangerous materials.

This training is beneficial to the Hiroshima police headquarters for special events and is valuable for investigations. The training Marines provided to the officers allows them and their K-9’s to locate explosives and then search for hidden explosives.

“The purpose of the this police dog training is for security purposes and explosives search at the upcoming G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Hiroshima and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games,” said police Lt. Muneyuki Hirao, a police dog trainer at the Hiroshima Prefectural Police Headquarters. “The location and types of training are changed each time to broaden the capabilities of the dogs as well as the handlers.”

According to Cpl. Colton Corsetti, provost marshal’s office military working dog handler with H&HS, conducting bilateral training helps maintain situational readiness and build better relations between the U.S. and Japan. 

“When you take two types of handlers, especially from different ethnicities, backgrounds, styles of training, and you put them together, a lot can be learned and shared so that everyone can walk away from the experience being better handlers,” said Corsetti. “Whenever two different organizations or groups come together for one common purpose or goal, they can see the similarities between each other and build stronger relationships."

The officers from the Hiroshima headquarters expressed they would like to continue training their police dogs to detect different types of explosives. 

“I was very interested in the intramural training because there are no facilities like this provided by the Hiroshima Prefectural Police,” said Hirao. “I hope to continue joint training and to further train our dogs allowing a deeper bond between the U.S. and Japan.”