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The Army’s Tactical Explosive Detection Dog Disposition Process from 2011 to 2014

DODIG-2018-081

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Background

In 2010, the Army began developing the Tactical Explosive Detection Dog capability to support Brigade Combat Teams deployed to Afghanistan to mitigate Improvised Explosive Device attacks and to reduce casualties resulting from Improved Explosive Devices. Because of its temporary duration, the Army developed the TEDD capability as a nontraditional Military Working Dog program. The Army procured and trained the dogs through an Army contract rather than procuring them through the Air Force’s 341st Training Squadron, the agency authorized by regulation to procure Military Working Dogs for use by DoD components. The Army selected and trained soldiers attached to deploying units as temporary TEDD handlers only for the duration of deployment. The Army ended the TEDD Program in 2014.

 

Findings

We found that:  DoD policy did not prioritize applicants for transfer or adoption of TEDDs.

The Secretary of the Air Force, as the Executive Agent for the DoD MWD Program, did not provide sufficient management and oversight of the Army’s plan and process to dispose of its TEDDs.

The Department of the Army did not allot sufficient time to dispose of TEDDs when the program ended. The Army did not initiate planning for TEDD disposition from the commencement of the program. The Army Provost Marshal General did not exercise the option to extend the contract, or implement other contract methods to provide time to adequately vet and dispose of the remaining dogs in the program.

The Army did not use the DoD Working Dog Management System, as required by the Joint Military Working Dog Instruction and Army Regulation 190-12. As a result, the Army’s Office of the Provost Marshal General did not ensure accuracy in the tracking of some TEDDs through final disposition.

 

Recommendations

We recommend that the Secretary of the Army:

  • Review, revise, and ensure Accountable Unit Commanders enforce Army Regulation 190-12, “Military Working Dogs,” dated March 11, 2013, to ensure it complies with the requirements of “Air Force Instruction 31-126, Army Regulation 700-81, OPNAVINST 5585.2C, MCO 5585.6, ‘DoD Military Working Dog (MWD) Program,’ ” dated February 28, 2017, particularly with respect to the disposition process (Recommendation C).

  • Ensure that all future Army-funded Military Working Dog programs establish individual modules for tracking each nontraditional capability, such as Tactical Explosive Detection Dogs, within the established DoD Working Dog Management System (Recommendation D.2).

We recommend that the Secretary of the Air Force, as the Executive Agent for the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Program, in collaboration with the DoD components with Military Working Dog assets, review “Air Force Instruction 31-126, Army Regulation 700-81, OPNAVINST 5585.2C, MCO 5585.6, DoD Military Working Dog (MWD) Program” dated February 28, 2017, to ensure that it:

  • includes guidance that addresses the vetting of non-military transfer and adoption applicants for Military working Dogs (Recommendation B.2.a).

  • includes guidance for temporary, nontraditional Military Working Dog capabilities that are not directly supported by the 341st Training Squadron (Recommendation B.2.b).

We recommend that the Secretary of the Air Force, as the Executive Agent for the DoD Military Working Dog Program, maintain accountability for Military Working Dogs in nontraditional programs by ensuring the Services maintain all mandatory records within the DoD Working Dog Management System (Recommendation D.1).

We recommend that the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, as the Principal Staff Assistant for the DoD MWD Program, revise DoD Directive 5200.31E, “DoD Military Working Dog (MWD) Program,” dated August 10, 2011, to clarify the Military Working Dog Executive Agent’s management and oversight authorities in cases where needs of the Services require nontraditional Military Working Dog programs (Recommendation B.1).