Partners Furrever: Misawa’s Military Working Dog Drake Adopted by Handler
By Airman 1st Class Leon Redfern, 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 07, 2021
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --
The 35th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog (MWD) section hosted MWD Drake’s retirement ceremony at Misawa Air Base, June 24, 2021.
Drake has served over eight years since beginning his career at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland on March 4, 2013 and arrived at Misawa Air Base on Nov. 21, 2013. During his time at Misawa, Drake has been on Temporary Duty Travel to Guam in attendance of Regional Training Center deployment training.
Drake was essential to a United States Secret Service mission, in direct protection of the President of the United States. He also executed over 4,000 random anti-terrorism measures, over 3,000 foot patrols and conducted over 6,130 hours of explosive detection.
“Drake deserves every bit of recognition and all the accolades he’s achieved,” said Staff Sgt. Dylan White, 39th Security Forces Squadron MWD handler at Incirlik Air Base. “He is a go-getter, an extremely reliable and trustworthy friend.”
Drake received the Air Force Commendation Medal during the retirement ceremony, which is presented to Airmen who have distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement and service. Upon retirement Drake was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, which was established as the counterpart of the Bronze Star Medal for the recognition of meritorious noncombatant service.
Drake was adopted by his previous handler White, who is currently stationed at Incirlik Air Base. Although Drake cannot be reunited with his previous handler right now, he’ll be enjoying his initial retirement on the beaches of Hawaii waiting alongside White’s family.
“He’s the definition of a perfect loyal dog, I swear he can understand everything I tell him,” White said. “He’s a good friend and I would love to be the one to take care of him for the rest of his days.”
Once Drake begins the MWD retirement process, he’ll undergo training at Misawa Air Base one last time. The handlers here will send a disposition video to JBSA Lackland for evaluation, proving he can transition smoothly into a non-military work life.
“MWD’s are not given the decision to enlist and they still give their lives for us,” said Tech. Sgt. James Chiriboga-Flor, 35th Security Forces Squadron MWD handler. “That's what makes it so important we do everything that we can to give them the retired life they deserve.”