“Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war.” USSOCOM is trying to upgrade the performance of its working dog component and they’re looking at pharmaceutical companies to help them do so.
The value of working dog teams with the Special Operations teams with whom they operate can’t be understated. Perhaps no dog is more well-known than Cairo the Belgian Malinois who accompanied SEAL Team 6 into Abbottabad, Pakistan on the mission to get Osama bin Laden in 2011. Cairo even has broken ranks with the Quiet Professionals and has his own Facebook page.
In fact, the enemy has decided that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and have taken to using dogs themselves now. Part of the new task for SOF dog teams is to neutralize and inhibit the work of the enemy’s dogs.
SOCom relies on dogs for jobs like detecting explosives and enemy personnel and works to keep enemy dogs from exposing its secrets.
So the command submitted a request last month through the Pentagon’s Small Business Innovation Research portal for companies interested in developing the necessary products. They are asked to respond via email to [email protected]
For its own dogs, SOCom is seeking products that optimize hearing, vision and scent, improve recovery time when wounded, and increase survivability.
The goal, according to the request, is to help the animals — called “multi-purpose canines” — perform at “very high levels for long durations” under “high levels of stress and distraction.”
At the same time, the request says, the products “must be safe, affordable and easily administered.”
The request includes references to six scientific studies on the subject.
About 150 multi-purpose canines are in use across SOCom, said Ken McGraw, a spokesman for the command.
The upgrade of the dog capability shows how quickly the operational landscape changes and how the SOF community is constantly adapting. These enhancements will make the dog teams much more effective in accomplishing their mission and reduce their chances of compromise.
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Photo courtesy USSOCOM