Pat on back for top dogs
The best Air Force military working dogs and handlers have been recognised, with the 2020 Lady Hannah and Bill Perrett perpetual shields awarded to personnel from No. 2 Security Forces Squadron (2SECFOR).
The Lady Hannah Shield was awarded to 2SECFOR’s military working dog (MWD) section at RAAF Base Townsville.
Introduced in 1972, the award is named after Lady Patricia Hannah, wife of former Chief of Air Staff Sir Colin Hannah, and recognises the best-performing MWD section in Air Force.
To select a winner, personnel from MWD sections were put through their paces by a technical evaluation team.
Kennel managers were required to address and demonstrate competence in running a MWD section, including administrative, operational and welfare functions.
The section with the highest combined average score is awarded the Lady Hannah Shield.
The 2SECFOR section in Townsville scored an outstanding 91.3 per cent.
The runner-up was 3SECFOR’s section from Edinburgh with 89.9 per cent, followed by 1SECFOR’s section from Williamtown with 86.6 per cent.
The evaluation team also conducted assessments of the MWD teams.
The highest-performing team – made up of handler and dog – is awarded the Bill Perrett Shield, named after the squadron leader whose pioneering work in the 1950s earned him the affectionate title of ‘father of the mustering’.
The Bill Perrett Shield for 2020 was jointly awarded to Leading Aircraftwoman Christina Smith and MWD Chainsaw from 2SECFOR at Tindal, and Leading Aircraftman Bradley Crombie and MWD Sigma from 2SECFOR at Amberley.
Both teams received a remarkable score of 98 per cent.
Reflecting on her win, Leading Aircraftwoman Smith spoke about the camaraderie and persistent work of the MWD mustering.
“MWD Chainsaw and I have worked extremely hard over the last 18 months to achieve the best possible results, and receiving the Bill Perrett Shield has been a massive achievement for us, 2SECFOR and RAAF Base Tindal,” she said.
“I look forward to the opportunities and challenges of next year, aiming for our best performance and having a crack at winning the award again.”
For Officer Commanding 95 Wing Group Captain Mark Larter this year’s MWD awards were particularly significant.
“The awards have not been presented for a few years so it’s important to reinvigorate these perpetual shields as a point of personal and professional pride for the MWD workforce,” he said.
“Awards such as these are important because they feed into Air Force’s strategic intent of fostering a culture of tactical and technical excellence across its entire workforce.
“I’m extremely pleased with the increase in collective performance and enthusiasm during this year’s evaluations, and congratulate all MWD handlers and their dogs for their performance and dedication to the MWD capability.”