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Spaniel Takes the Lead in Finding Hidden Weapons

February 14, 2011

Theo, a Springer Spaniel cross has been earning his keep in Helmand, Afghanistan as an Arms Explosive Search dog and now holds the record as the dog who has the most number of finds of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) and weapons.

Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and Theo

The 22-month old ‘super hero’ spaniel and his handler, Lance Corporal (L/Cpl) Liam Tasker, are part of the Theatre Military Working Dogs Support Unit (TMWDSU) based at Camp Bastion. Theo is on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. A tour is normally 6 months, with the dogs then returning to their home at 104 Military Working Dog Squadron at MOD North Luffenham, Rutland, but Theo’s tour has been extended by one month due to his amazing success.

Before coming to Afghanistan Theo had to undergo a rigorous period of training to ensure he would meet the highest standards expected of the dogs in the TMWDSU. The first stage is 16 weeks of basic training and assessment before being given to a handler. Theo and Liam then spent 15 weeks on a handler’s course, where man and dog learn to work as a team.

As an Arms Explosive Search dog, Theo’s task is to locate weapons and IED’s. He is normally the ‘front’ man of the patrol, sniffing out any hidden devices. In Theo’s first five months of duty he has located 14 finds of IED’s and weapons caches.

L/Cpl Liam Tasker said: “I love my job and working together with Theo. He has a great character and never tires. He can’t wait to get out and do his job and will stop at nothing.”

Liam initially joined the Army as a mechanic and spent 6 years with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He did not know the TMWDSU existed until a friend showed him some videos of the dogs in action. He decided to switch jobs and has not regretted it for a second. The unit has over 50 dogs, many of which are spaniels. They are trained as protection or search dogs. Theo was donated by a member of the public; other dogs have come from dogs’ homes or the RSPCA. All of them provide an invaluable service to the troops in Afghanistan and their work has saved many lives.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Ann White permalink
    February 14, 2011 18:54

    Fantastic; may both of you keep safe

  2. Jacqueline Hughes permalink
    February 14, 2011 19:35

    You bring a big smile to the faces of family/friends of our troops – absolutely brilliant!

  3. February 14, 2011 19:44

    Good boy…well done! :0)
    What a great pic:0)

    May God keep Theo and Liam safe as they do their invaluable job so well for all our boys and girls out there.

    Best wishes
    Agnes & all at ‘Support our Soldiers’.

  4. David bruce permalink
    February 14, 2011 20:14

    Well done… Amazing dog and handler.. Best wishes to u and the other dogs and handlers out in afganistan

  5. February 15, 2011 05:55

    I showed this post to my terrier…she wants be to go back to Iraq and take her with me so she can be a bomb dog.

    (I’ll just throw her a treat and she’ll forget about it in a few minutes.)

  6. sue firth permalink
    February 15, 2011 22:50

    just want to say “well done liam and theo on the fantastic job you are doing. take care”
    well done to all the lads and lasses doing such a fine job.watch out for each other.xx

    • Dean meah permalink
      March 2, 2011 23:39

      So sad to hear this terrible news…..RIP both of you.

      • Elaine Seefeldt permalink
        March 3, 2011 05:10

        God reast your brave souls, cannot believe its only weeks ago I read this lovely story of you and Theo and I never knew till your death that you came from my hometown. RIP Liam! You and Theo are a partnership that death could not seperate you, in life Theo watched over all soldiers as well as yourself but in heaven he watches over you for always. I am not surprised of your bravery, Fifers are well known for it.xx

  7. Raymond Massey permalink
    March 5, 2011 06:00

    God bless you Liam&Theo.
    I will never forget you because Ihave you on my screen saver and every time I switch on you are both there .
    The love you show to each other is priceless and Theo could not bear to be without you.
    Even though Idid not know you both I feel a great loss.
    R.I.P.

  8. October 23, 2012 19:33

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    clear their motive, and that is also happening with this post
    which I am reading here.

  9. November 1, 2012 20:03

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  10. November 5, 2012 07:13

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