Patrick Space Force Base Welcomes Newest K9 ‘Turbo’ a 2-Year-Old Belgian Malinois
By Space Coast Daily // July 18, 2021
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Turbo, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, sits next to his handler as tension builds. He’s focused on an Airman wearing a training decoy suit; his tail wagging in anticipation for a command to be given.
Staff Sgt. Ethan Marquis, 45th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog Handler, shouted the command word to attack.
The pent-up energy was released in one massive push. Turbo launched himself at his target, biting onto his arm. He started to pull and tug in an attempt to throw the decoy off balance.
Clenching tightly onto his arm, Turbo waited until Marquis shouted the command word to release.
“Good boy!” shouted Marquis, after Turbo released on command.
A new journey begins as MWD, Turbo, makes his way to Patrick Space Force Base to support the 45th SFS and ensure the safety of the base populace and surrounding community.
Turbo completed his training at the 341st Training Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, where all MWD are trained in drug and explosive detection, as well as specialized mission functions for the Department of Defense.
After graduating from the course, Turbo found his way to his new home here on Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, May 2021, where his new family has been waiting to meet him.
“It’s cool seeing the new training come out of Lackland,”said Marquis excitedly. “Like Airmen, dog training is ever evolving as well.”
Even though Turbo has graduated, it does not mean his training is over. With his handler next to him, Turbo will be pushed to do better every day.
“Our training days are similar to office hours, and we train throughout the day,” said Marquis. “We’ll come out to do centerline drills, it’s essentially sprints to get them acclimated and conditioned.”
Not only is Turbo an energetic addition to the team, he is also very important to the safety of Patrick SFB and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
“Adding Turbo helps ensure the longevity to the mission and safety of Patrick and the Cape.” Said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Darrow, 45th Security Forces Kennel Master.
Some may see them only as dogs, but MWD have so much more to offer the force.
“You can’t really pinpoint how much Military Working Dogs mean,” said Darrow. “They can do pretty much anything you put them through. They’re an outstanding force multiplier psychologically.”
Even though Turbo is a MWD, this does not stop him or any other dog from developing their own personalities.
“He’s a typical Malinois, very driven and will run through a wall to get what he wants,” Marquis said, as he laughed thinking about Turbo. “Which is exactly why he probably got picked in the first place.”
With Turbo being at the very beginning of his career and with the help of the MWD team, he will continue to grow throughout his career.