NAS MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Baba is a military working dog and is the newest member of the security forces at NAS Meridian.
“He’s five years old and he’s been around three years in the military working dog program,” says Master-at-Arms 1st Class Anthony Guglielmo, a Navy kennel master. “And with that he’s a trained protection dog and he’s also a patrol dog, which is what the demonstration was focusing on – patrol, how we apprehend suspects and how we use the dog to enforce the law and keep the base safe.”
Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Jonathan White is Baba’s handler. He says he had to develop rapport with Baba in order to successfully work together.
“The bond between handler and dog is something that’s rather sacred in the handler community, it’s extremely important,” White says. “You need to be able to trust that dog to find what you need to find which could, or maybe not, kill you. And vice versa, you need to be able to lead that dog and have him trust you to take him to productive areas, let him know that what he’s searching is productive.”
Having Baba adds another safety measure in protecting the base and its members.
“Future plans are more dogs and more training and getting us to the level where we are really good at detection patrol, having a great set of handlers, and hopefully a few deployments will be in there,” Guglielmo says.
Baba could also one day assist other law enforcement agencies in Lauderdale County in case of emergency.
“The sky’s the limit when it comes to Baba,” White says. “He’s an extremely smart dog, and I think we could have one of the best dogs in the Navy here.”
Baba is the first Military Working Dog at NAS Meridian since 2007. Master-at-Arms 3rd Class White usually spends 6-10 hours a day with Baba. Along with White, there are 3 other dog handlers at NAS Meridian that have yet to be paired with a dog.