Listen: Organizer Breck Philip talks about an event at Harlow's on Thursday 9/23 featuring several loca musicians to benefit an organization of Vietnam Dog Handlers.
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This is from Bill McCarver. He will be at the Harlow's event.
“Phan Rang AB was the most attacked base in Viet Nam. It was protected by very dedicated group of airmen, who volunteered to be Sentry Dog Handlers. Due to the hazardous duty, it was a strictly volunteer position. The dogs had only one friend and that was their handler. A bond that cannot be explained was formed between the two.
Phan Rang had 26 miles of perimeter, which was guarded by 66 Sentry Dog posts. Each post was 300-500 meters long. The dog teams patrolled the perimeter from one half hour before dusk, to one half hour after dawn. The perimeter fence consisted of three strands of Concertina wire, which did not prevent anyone from coming through, it just slowed then down a bit. The dedicated dog teams were the first line of defense on the air base. Many lives would have been lost and major damage to aircraft and resources would have occurred had it not been for the Sentry Dog Teams.
The Sentry Dogs would alert on persons outside the wire, the handler would alert the base, call for mortar flares, engage the enemy and if need be release his dog to attack intruders if they made it through the wire.
The Sentry Dog Teams of Phan Rang had the distinction of never allowing the enemy to penetrate the base. Dogs and handlers were lost defending the base from Sappers or other ground troops and although substantial damage from rockets and mortars was recorded, no successful ground attack ever got past the dog teams.
The handlers of the 35thSecurity Police Squadron, Sentry Dog Section, were proud to have served and are proud of the difficult task they performed.”