By Michael Flood McNulty
We've heard just how hard it is to become an elite member of the U.S. Navy Seals. Now there's news of a super dog who managed to make the cut: He came along on the now infamous mission into Pakistan and helped take down the world's most wanted man, according to the Sun newspaper in Britain.
The dog, who was strapped to one of the human assault-team members, was brought along for its explosive-sniffing capability and ability to relay images to troops. It had armor to protect against knives and an infrared night-vision camera. [opposingviews.com]
According to the Sun newspaper:
A FEARLESS four-legged recruit joined US Special Forces as they stormed Osama Bin Laden's secret lair.
The explosive-sniffing dog was strapped to an assault team member as they took on one of their greatest challenges to date.
He was part of the operation in which the elite US Navy Seals lowered themselves down ropes from three Black Hawk helicopters into the terrorist supremo's hideout in the town of Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Sunday.
The world's most wanted man, 54, was shot dead by a Special Forces marksman during the raid.
Heavily armoured hounds — equipped with infrared night-sight cameras — have been used in the past by the top-secret unit.
The war dogs wear ballistic body armour that is said to withstand damage from single and double-edged knives, as well as protective gear which shields them from shrapnel and gunfire.
German Shepherds have been leading the way in SAS raids in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wearing oxygen masks, the pooches have been trained to jump from aircraft at 25,000ft, before seeking out insurgents in hostile environments.
The animals will attack anyone carrying a weapon and have become a pivotal part of special operations as they crawl unnoticed into tunnels or rooms to hunt for enemy combatants.
The cameras on their heads beam live TV pictures back to the troops, providing them with critical information and warning of ambushes.
Dogs were also used in the capture of Saddam Hussein and in the killing of the Iraqi dictator's two sons. [thesun.co.uk]