SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 58--RECOGNIZING THE HONORABLE SERVICE OF MILITARY WORKING DOGS AND SOLDIER HANDLERS IN THE TACTICAL EXPLOSIVE DETECTION DOG PROGRAM OF THE ARMY AND ENCOURAGING THE ARMY...; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 193
(Senate - December 06, 2018)

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[Pages S7360-S7361]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 58--RECOGNIZING THE HONORABLE SERVICE OF 
 MILITARY WORKING DOGS AND SOLDIER HANDLERS IN THE TACTICAL EXPLOSIVE 
 DETECTION DOG PROGRAM OF THE ARMY AND ENCOURAGING THE ARMY AND OTHER 
 GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, INCLUDING LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, WITH FORMER 
TACTICAL EXPLOSIVE DETECTION DOGS TO PRIORITIZE ADOPTION OF THE DOGS TO 
            FORMER TACTICAL EXPLOSIVE DETECTION DOG HANDLERS

  Mr. BLUMENTHAL (for himself and Mr. Manchin) submitted the following 
concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Armed 
Services:

                            S. Con. Res. 58

       Whereas the 341st Training Squadron, 37th Training Wing at 
     Lackland Air Force Base provides highly trained military 
     working dogs to the Department of Defense and other 
     government agencies;
       Whereas in 2010, the operational needs of the Army for 
     military working dogs increased without an increase in 
     resources to train a sufficient number of dogs for the 
     detection of improvised explosive devices at the 341st 
     Training Squadron;
       Whereas the Army initiated the tactical explosive detection 
     dog program in August 2010 as a nontraditional military 
     working dog program to train and field improvised explosive 
     device detection dogs for use in Afghanistan as part of 
     Operation Enduring Freedom;
       Whereas the tactical explosive detection dog program was 
     created to reduce casualties from improvised explosive 
     devices in response to an increase in the use of asymmetric 
     weapons by the enemy;
       Whereas the tactical explosive detection dogs were a unique 
     subset of military working dogs because the Army selected and 
     trained soldiers from deploying units to serve as temporary 
     handlers for only the duration of deployment to Operation 
     Enduring Freedom;
       Whereas the tactical explosive detection dogs and their 
     soldier handlers, like other military working dog and handler 
     teams, formed strong bonds while training for combat and 
     performing extremely dangerous improvised explosive device 
     detection missions in service to the United States;
       Whereas the tactical explosive detection dog program was a 
     nontraditional military working dog program that terminated 
     in February 2014;
       Whereas at the termination of the tactical explosive 
     detection dog program in February 2014, neither United States 
     law nor Department of Defense policy established an adoption 
     order priority, and Department of Defense policy only 
     provided that military working dogs be adopted by former 
     handlers, law enforcement agencies, and other persons capable 
     of humanely caring for the animals;
       Whereas an August 2016 report to Congress by the Air Force 
     entitled ``Tactical Explosive Detector Dog (TEDD) Adoption 
     Report'' concluded that the Army had a limited transition 
     window for the disposition of tactical explosive detection 
     dogs and the lack of a formal comprehensive plan contributed 
     to the disorganized disposition process for the tactical 
     explosive detection dogs;
       Whereas the August 2016 report stated that, in 2014, the 
     Army disposed of 229 tactical explosive detection dogs;
       Whereas 40 tactical explosive detection dogs were adopted 
     by handlers, 47 dogs were adopted by private individuals, 70 
     dogs were transferred to Army units, 17 dogs were transferred 
     to other government agencies, 46 dogs were transferred to law 
     enforcement agencies, and 9 dogs were deceased;
       Whereas the disposition of tactical explosive detection 
     dogs was poorly executed, proper procedures outlined in 
     Department of Defense policy were ignored, and, as a result, 
     the former soldier handlers were not provided the opportunity 
     to adopt their tactical explosive detection dogs;
       Whereas the Army should have deliberately planned for the 
     disposition of the tactical explosive detection dogs and 
     provided appropriate time to review and consider adoption 
     applications to mitigate handler and civilian adoption 
     issues;

[[Page S7361]]

       Whereas section 342(b) of the National Defense 
     Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (Public Law 114-92; 
     129 Stat. 793) amended section 2583(c) of title 10, United 
     States Code, to modify the list of persons authorized to 
     adopt a military animal and prioritize the list with 
     preference, respectively, to former handlers, other persons 
     capable of humanely caring for the animal, and law 
     enforcement agencies;
       Whereas since 2000, Congress has passed legislation that 
     protects military working dogs, promotes their welfare, and 
     recognizes the needs of their veteran handlers;
       Whereas Congress continues to provide oversight of military 
     working dogs to prevent a reoccurrence of the disposition 
     issues that affected tactical explosive detection dogs;
       Whereas former soldier handlers should be reunited with 
     their tactical explosive detection dogs;
       Whereas congressional recognition of the military service 
     of tactical explosive detection dogs and their former soldier 
     handlers is a small measure of gratitude this legislative 
     body can convey; and
       Whereas over 4 years have passed since the termination of 
     the tactical explosive detection dog program: Now, therefore, 
     be it
       Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives 
     concurring), That Congress--
       (1) recognizes the service of military working dogs and 
     soldier handlers from the tactical explosive detection dog 
     program;
       (2) acknowledges that not all tactical explosive detection 
     dogs were adopted by their former soldier handlers;
       (3) encourages the Army and other government agencies, 
     including law enforcement agencies, with former tactical 
     explosive detection dogs to prioritize adoption to former 
     tactical explosive detection dog handlers; and
       (4) honors the sacrifices made by tactical explosive 
     detection dogs and their soldier handlers in combat.

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