Security has gone to the dogs

Published on LCDR Helen Ward (author), ABIS James McDougall (photographer)

(l-r) Leading Aircraftman Sam Kelly, Military Working Dog Irwin, Aircraftwoman Kerry Aubrey, Lieutenant Adrian Wedd, Leading Aircraftwoman Emma Hallagan, and Military Working Dog Anue at the Australian International Airshow, Avalon, Victoria. (photo: ABIS James McDougall)
(l-r) Leading Aircraftman Sam Kelly, Military Working Dog Irwin, Aircraftwoman Kerry Aubrey, Lieutenant Adrian Wedd, Leading Aircraftwoman Emma Hallagan, and Military Working Dog Anue at the Australian International Airshow, Avalon, Victoria.

When Lieutenant Adrian Wedd joined the Navy as an Aviation Warfare Officer he had no idea he would become target practice for the Air Force Military Working Dogs.

Lieutenant Wedd is a member of 725 Squadron which have the Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopters and he is currently down at Avalon, Victoria, for the Australian International Airshow helping to showcase the Navy’s newest maritime combat asset.

“I asked the Air Force team about how they provided security and next I was getting a hands-on account of how effective the dogs are – believe me you don’t want to find out,” he said.

Lieutenant Wedd volunteered to wear a protective suit and take part in the Air Force Working Dog demonstration at the Air Show.

Lieutenant Adrian Wedd, assists in the Military Working Dog Section demonstration, at the   Australian International Airshow, Avalon, Victoria.

Lieutenant Adrian Wedd, assists in the Military Working Dog Section demonstration, at the Australian International Airshow, Avalon, Victoria.

Four Air Force dog handlers and their dogs went through well rehearsed orders to publicly demonstrate how effective the working dogs are in neutralising threats to security.  

The Military Working Dogs displays are occurring at 9.30am and 4.00pm daily at the Airshow and are drawing large crowds.

Lieutenant Wedd is not backwards in coming forward as a volunteer and it has lead to some interesting postings in his career so far.

"I always thought I was pretty handy at computer games so I volunteered to train as a Remotely Piloted Aircraft operator for the Heron aircraft and ended up in Afghanistan operating one for six months in 2012,” he said.

The Heron Remotely Piloted Aircraft is also on display at the Airshow, right next to the Romeo helicopter, so Lieutenant Wedd will be on hand to answer any questions.

Lieutenant Wedd is originally from Mullumbimby, on the north coast of New South Wales, where his parents Marie and Harry still live.

Navy has a contingent of 40 personnel at Avalon this year and will be displaying the Romeo, the MRH-90 Taipan maritime support helicopter and the AS350BA Squirrel helicopter from squadrons based at the Fleet Air Arm in Nowra.