MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Cpl. Christopher Krupa, a military working dog handler, and his dog Hrom, a Belgian Malinois, pass through the extensive gated passage to the training field. The students begin to look and point saying “oh my God” and “wow” under their breath as they look at the the dog in awe. Sgt. Shain Nickerson, a military working dog trainer, wearing bite protection armor, waits in the training field for Krupa and Hrom.
The students are about to witness the raw power of the military working dogs. The students from Craven County Community College, Criminal Justice Society Club came to Cherry Point to watch a live demonstration of the air station’s military working dogs in action Dec. 9.
The club takes frequent trips to destinations in Eastern North Carolina including gun ranges, prisons and State Bureau of Investigation crime lab and other places that involve criminal justice.
“This club is meant to broaden the student’s horizons after they get their degree,” said club president Tim Meadows. “We are trying to go to as many places as we can. It doesn’t matter if it’s military or civilian we just want to get them exposed to everything.”
The working dogs demonstration included drug detection, an obstacle course and attack drills.
“It’s good for people to come see what we do,” said Nickerson. “There are a lot of myths that have evolved from our job like training the dogs in foreign languages. The demos give the students a chance to ask questions and see what we do with their own eyes.”
After watching the dogs the students were given a chance to ask questions about being a K-9 handler and take a closer look at the gear used in daily training.
“I think these students learned a lot and really enjoyed it,” said retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth Hunter an instructor and advisor for the club. “My favorite part was seeing the capabilities of the working dogs.”
“I couldn’t believe how well the dogs responded to commands,” said Alex Lehr, a student in the Criminal Justice Society Club. “This is something that I was interested in and this demo did nothing but reinforce my interests in this field.”