A young serviceman from Seaford is helping protect an air base in the Falkland Islands – with the help of his dog.
Royal Air Force Police Corporal Oliver Griggs, 22, is serving in the Falklands with the Joint Service Police and Security Unit Dog Section.
Oliver is a RAF police dog handler working with Toki, a German Shepherd dog, who is three years old next month.
Their role is to help provide security to the base at Mount Pleasant.
Oliver said, ”I have always had a great passion for dogs and couldn’t think of a better way than to include them within my job.”
The Command Dog Inspector, who allocates the dogs, will always try to match the dog to the handler’s personality, in order to compliment each other.
Oliver said, “Toki and I are both alike in that, we are both young, energetic and we understand each other.
“It is important to build a great bond so the dogs listen and follow your commands.”
Oliver joined the RAF in 2013 and was posted to the Dog Section at RAF Brize Norton before deploying to the Falklands Islands for his first tour.
He attended Seaford Head Community College before progressing to Sussex Downs College, Lewes to study Uniformed Public Services.
On completion of college he joined East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service working as a fire-fighter within Seaford before joining the RAF.
Oliver said, “I’ve enjoyed my time down here and learnt many new skills, whilst meeting some great people but I can’t wait to come home and see my friends and family, along with returning to my home base at RAF Brize Norton.”
The dogs live in a newly built, state of the art, environmentally friendly kennel facility.
The facility is temperature controlled and has under floor heating to help cope with the demands of the bitter conditions associated with Falklands.
To improve the dogs’ welfare the newly built section has been economically designed and incorporates 22 kennels, two isolation kennels, a grooming area, dog wet room, laundry, treatment room, isolation area, storage areas and food preparation room.