The Air Force Security Forces Center’s (AFSFC) vehicle program delivered the first of new military working dog patrol vehicles to Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, as part of its initiative to modernize Defender equipment across the Air Force, the Air Force announced. The improvements from previous patrol vehicles keep dog handlers and canines mission-ready.

The vehicle has a “hot dog” system, which automatically kicks in when the interior gets too hot for the canines. An alarm goes off, the windows roll down, and the air conditioner turns on to keep canines cool. The full-size sport utility vehicles also have a more spacious interior that gives the dogs a more comfortable ride.

Not only that, procurement efficiencies have also reduced the price of the vehicles.

“AFSFC’s Vehicle Program seeks efficiencies in vehicle procurement, decreases redundancies and streamlines processes to improve law enforcement readiness,” said Master Sgt. Michael Roth, Security Forces vehicle program manager at AFSFC.

Staff Sgt. Autumn Smith, 78th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and her...

Staff Sgt. Autumn Smith, 78th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and her working dog, Zorro, get ready for their patrol in their new modified K-9 SUV.

Photo: Joseph Mather, U.S. Air Force

Prior to the program, units sourced their own funds to purchase the necessary equipment, which required local vendors to upfit vehicles after they arrived at the installation.

“This program provides security forces units with vehicles that are standardized with pre-installed equipment packages,” Roth said. “We also provide funding for (other) equipment in these vehicles, allowing them to go on patrol immediately. We’re saving the units $17,700 per patrol vehicle and $19,500 per K-9 patrol vehicle, so we’re saving the unit both time and money.”

Additional improvements include a radio prep package, which allows operators to plug and play their current radio systems, an upgraded emergency lighting and public address system, and increased weapons storage in the rear cargo area.

Security Forces units can expect to receive the new vehicles as their current ones reach their end-of-life cycle, Roth added.

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