Met the bus at the Chamber office this morning (1/22) and rode out about 8 miles to the Laughlin Air Force Base. This base is where all the air force pilots receiving their initial training. They have about 200 in training and another 200 waiting, but doing other jobs while waiting. The young sargeant who was on our tour is not scheduled to start his flight training until September but is working in the Public Relations Dept. and receiving other training until that time. We got to see how they trained the combat/drug/bomb dogs and it was really interesting. A dog can be trained as an attack dog and drug dog, or an attack dog and bomb dog, but they can never be trained on both drugs and bombs. If they are a drug dog, they are trained to sniff and go after drugs, which wouldn’t be a pretty site if they came across a bomb! The bomb dogs are trained to work with hand signals and to just immediately sit still if they smell a bomb, and are usually 50-100 yards ahead of their trainer (and they mentioned that a flack( ?) jacket on a dog wouldn’t do much good. The dogs can be called in to any branch of the service and their trainer goes with them. Their allotment at this base is 6 dogs and they need to be continually in training in order to be deployed at any time. The dogs are about $50,000 and so they have started breeding their own, rather than getting them from Belgium, Germany and another country (I can’t remember where).
We ate at the Officer’s Club – their special was sirloin steak/baked potato for $6.50 !! Maybe we should go on the tour next week just to have another cheap meal….
We then went to where they do the hypobaric (?) training and flight simulation. We just missed an actual test they were doing on someone, but saw some films and sat inside the machine.
Then back to town, where we dumped and filled up with water. We had left our windows cracked so our little toter didn’t explode while we were gone… Had some Canadian people setting up camp next to us when we got back – seem like a fun couple but they will only be here a few days – darn.
Bob finally got around to cleaning up our cast iron skillets on the grill, so we’ll fry some fish in them tonight. Has been in high 70's the past couple days, but expect cooler weather over the weekend.