Noah and MRAP

Noah and the Young MWD Chuck–Explosion?

This is Part IV of Chuck and Noah. If you haven’t read Part III first you may wish to start there or skip back to Part I.

Sergeant Noah Carpenter leaned up against a dirt-splattered tan Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and sighed. He wouldn’t be in the relative protection of the MRAP today. No, today it would be he and his military working dog Chuck leading a foot patrol.

He had arrived at the remote camp a couple days before from the sprawling Bagram Airbase via Konduz Airfield. The small camp’s concertina-wired and dirt-berm perimeter was protected by battle hardened Unites States Army Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division.

Noah didn’t worry about the Taliban attacking the perimeter. They would have to get through the paratroopers. What concerned him the most was the 30 Afghan policemen that lived in and worked from the camp. The Afghan security force was constantly being infiltrated. While he was at Bagram two U.S. Soldiers were killed by an Afghan border patrol officer in the area.Army Sergeant Noah Carpenter and Military Working Dog Chuck

Fortunately for Noah the Afghans stayed away from him. More accurately they stayed away from his 65-pound dog full of muscle, fur, and teeth: military working dog Chuck—the Natural.

At least Noah hoped he was the Natural. He was still working with Chuck on clear signal training. Chuck was doing well. But what Noah couldn’t shake from Chuck was the puppy in him.

Just the day before he had been working with Chuck on obedience. In the middle of their training session a rabbit dashed through the training area. Chuck didn’t hesitate. Noah tried to stop his dog, but it was to no avail. Chuck tore after that rabbit and chased it through half the camp before the rabbit dashed through the concertina wire and escaped.

This didn’t go unnoticed by the Special Forces team he was there to support. When he reported that night for the mission brief he was asked, “Are you sure your dog is ready, Sergeant?”

It was embarrassing, but that was yesterday. Today was a new day. He knelt down next to the resting Chuck.

Chuck looked up at him attentively and licked his lips as his long tan tail flopped slowly from side to side.

“I need you today, boy. You are my man, right?” asked Noah.

Chuck was panting lightly and his tongue hung low. There was already drool and saliva forming around his lips. Chuck stared back intently at Noah, not saying a word.

Noah hoped Chuck’s response was, “Of course, Dad. How could you ever question me? I am a natural at finding explosives.”

He hoped his response wasn’t, “I’ll consider listening to you if I can fit it in between chasing rabbits or the occasional chicken.”

Noah knew it was time to find out as he watched several of the Special Forces team members and a couple of the Afghan police men begin to muster.

50 minutes later Chuck led the foot patrol into a small village. Barefooted children dashed into the mud huts followed by fully robed women.

The head of their patrol and the lead Afghan policeman met with the long white-bearded village elder who greeted them like long lost brothers. Noah knew they had a mutual interest—both sides wanted something.

The elder wanted a new well dug for water and the patrol wanted Taliban information.Army Sergeant Noah Carpenter and Military Working Dog Chuck

During the meeting Noah noticed there was nothing that resembled any modern conveniences: no running water, no electricity, no automobiles, and certainly no way to make a living. He wondered how people survived like this. Afghanistan really was in the Stone Age.

“Carpenter, we just received information that there might be an improvised explosive device (IED) on the road leading to the next village,” said the Special Forces team leader.

Noah knew they received tips like this all the time. Sometimes it was accurate and sometimes it wasn’t. There was only one way to confirm or deny the information though. He and Chuck were thrust to the lead of the formation again.

Noah watched carefully as Chuck worked deliberately and methodically clearing the ground in front of them. He had to keep Chuck on his 25-foot retractable leash. He couldn’t have Chuck dashing after a sheep.

Noah saw Chuck’s change in behavior immediately. The dog paused and his nostrils began to flair in and out quickly. He moved his head from side to side searching for the source of the scent.

Noah noticed that some of the dirt was darker than the surrounding area and knew it had been recently disturbed. At the same time Chuck zeroed in on the spot and sat.

“F me,” thought Noah.

He wasn’t sure what was in the ground, but he knew if it went off he would be dead. He was only 15 feet from the spot where Chuck alerted.

Noah began to back up and hoped for two things. The first was that the device wouldn’t detonate and blow them to pieces. The second was that Chuck would listen when he recalled him.

Noah would worry about everything else after he got them both to a safe distance from the potential explosive device.

Army Sergeant Noah Carpenter and Military Working Dog ChuckDid Chuck have a find on his first mission?

Does Chuck aggress on a potentially live explosive device?

Is Chuck truly a natural?

Is this the only explosive in the area?

Stay tuned next time for the rest of the story! 



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17 thoughts on “Noah and the Young MWD Chuck–Explosion?

  1. Ginger

    Wow, Kevin, you left us with a real cliff-hanger! Hurry up with the next chapter! You’re giving us a great education not only about the dogs but also about Afghanistan. Love the pictures.

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      I know Ginger…sorry…. I actually didn’t intend to do that….it just sorta happened. It seemed like a good place to stop! LOL.

  2. Julia Hugo Rachel

    Thanks Kevin. Now, I am NOT sleeping. Waiting to hear more of this story!

    I trust Noah and Chuck will be continued SOON? These 2 are melding! Keeping my fingers crossed and prayers for these two. A Rabbitt? I can see that.


    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Sure will Julia….first I gotta send you an update on Honza Bear. I recieved some scary news from John last week. (Don’t fret…..he and Honza Bear are all right) but it shook me a bit. I will share on Thursday’ post. :-)

  3. Debbie (Shiloh13)

    Great job, Kevin!
    Now you have me hanging on the edge of my seat for Honza Bear and now Chuck….lol I’m truly enjoying your stories. I could totally see Chuck go after the rabbit :)

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Thank you Debbie. You know ….these dogs are highly trained but when it comes down to it….they are dogs. Sometimes they act like it! :-)

      1. Katie

        Nope, I was the veterinarian that helped out with a lot of the SOTF teams while I was in Afghanistan. They got to go home about halfway into our tour. Glad to hear they are still at home!

        1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

          Ahhh excellent Katie. The unheralded dog healer! I see all this press about dog teams which is obviously well deserved. Yet I see nothing on you great folks.

          The heroine in my novel is a vet tech. I am constantly researching procedures on dogs for the novel. (This week it was treating a broken nail! :-)

          I was Noah’s Company Commander in Germany back in the day. Great meeting you! Where are you stationed? I am at Fort Eustis.

  4. Katie

    I just moved to Baumholder, Germany. I was in Heidelberg before the deployment, but they consolidated our unit. I’m here another year before I head back to the States to start a training program in surgery.

    There are a few good stories on the work our collegues in the South did during the last 18 months or so. The Marines down there often have embeds and they were covering a lot of what the surgeon stationed in Kandahar was doing.

    I’m very happy to see that our MWD teams are getting some press time. They really are invaluable and I’m pretty sure I have the best job in the Army getting to take care of these heros :)

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Always nice to spend a little time at “The Rock” before you leave Germany! One of my MP platoons was located there when I was stationed in Germany!

      I actually wrote all those request for forces for the vet dets down south. I agree….I wish I had your job!

  5. Stacy Mantle

    Okay – I can’t believe you left us hanging with a beautiful pup like that sitting on a possible IED! You have definitely earned a new reader, though and I’m super excited to check out your novel. If it’s anything like this, I know I will enjoy it.

    Would love to chat more about what you’re doing for an interview on PetsWeekly. If that’s something you’re up for, please send me an email.

    1. Kevin Hanrahan Post author

      Hi Stacey. Sorry….I have a habit of doing that! Chuck is actually reminiscent of a character in my book….a dog named Brady…..yes for you folks following I did name my baby boy Brady as well. He is a lot like Chuck…… a pooch not to be reckoned with!

      It is great to have you join us Stacey…. I am honored.

      I will send you an email this weekend. :-)

  6. Pingback: Hair of the Dog - People Do Things With Their Lives

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