WHAT: SERVICE FOR SAPPER JACOB MOERLAND
WHEN: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6
Sapper Matthew Muir
SAPPER Muir lives in Brisbane not far from the barracks with Explosive Detection Dog (EDD) Raven, his black kelpie who retired four weeks ago. “Raven is a little bit too smart for her own good and got a bit bored of it,” Sapper Muir said. “You can’t rely on her to find everything, or she will find it and not let on – she still wants to play.” The bond Sapper Muir shares with Raven is clear. “She’s a little bit of a princess, I can tell you! “She’ll get a bit of a bindy in her foot and hop over to me to get it out.” Sapper Muir’s other EDD, Jim or ‘Jimbo’, is a two-year-old pure bred border collie that lives at the barracks.
Raven, 7, is a working dog and proud of it. Working dogs and hunting dogs are trained to become Explosive Detection Dogs, to detect the scent of explosives and ammunition. “Their working life is normally eight to nine years, but the working life depends on the dog,” Sapper Muir said. “One went to 12 years, and also loves it; they still take her in now and then.”
Warrant Officer I Graeme Nagle
PROUD to be a member of the Second Combat Engineer Regiment, WOI Graeme Nagle has served in the army for 26 years. With experience serving in Solomon Islands, East Timor and Iraq, he plans to “stay with the army long enough to have a rewarding career”. “I’ve taught five training teams in Iraq about exploded and unexploded devices,” WOI Nagle said. “In Afghanistan, for example, the Explosive Detection Dogs will be used in front of the Bushmaster (troop carrier) with the handler to look for improvised explosive devices.”
Sapper Brian Canning
SAPPER Canning, new to 2CER, recently trained as a dog handler. “I’ve spent 12 months learning the role at school and have been with 2CER since the beginning of the year,” he said. “Prior to being a dog handler, I was in Afghanistan on Mentoring Task Force 2 as a hand searcher or basic engineer searcher.”
SERVICE in Afghanistan is an experience that EDD Sonic shares with handler Sapper Canning and Warrant Officer I Nagle. WOI Nagle said dogs get stressed in combat situations too as they have “human reactions”.
Sapper Canning added the working dog character traits always come through.
“You can read the dog’s personality when scared or frightened, but it’s a game for them – like looking for a tennis ball. They fixate; it’s what they’re out there for.”
SPECIAL DAY: RSL Hervey Bay president John Kelsey (left) and John Smee celebrating Gayndah RSL's new units and the dedication of Jacob Moerland Close.
The unknown soldier stands guard at the opening of Gayndah RSL's six new living units.
Second Combat Engineer Sapper Daniel Daleris served with Sapper Jacob Moerland, who he described as "a bit of a larrikin" with "a pretty big personality".