Dayton airport’s newest K-9 officer is on the job

Published: Monday, February 01, 2016 @ 7:01 PM
Updated: Monday, February 01, 2016 @ 7:01 PM

Gunner, Dayton International Airport’s newest employee, is in the second week of his new job as a member of the airport’s three-dog unit.

The 2-1/2-year-old Lab (official name: K-9 Gunner X318) replaces Darco K038, an 11-year-old Belgian Malinois better known as Marco, who died in December of complications while recovering from surgery.

“Gunner appears to be eager and ready to serve his task of protecting the airport and the Dayton region,” said Terrence Slaybaugh, Dayton International Airport director.

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“You certainly cannot ever replace a dog like Marco, but we are confident Gunner has great things to share with us and a bright future ahead of him in his new position.”

The airport’s K-9 Unit works with other regional safety agencies through a mutual aid agreement and is on call for response to bomb threats, mass transit threats or any type of threat to large gatherings of people at any venue.

Dayton International Airport established its K-9 Unit in 2006 with three K-9 police dogs. Each dog must undergo a 10-week course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Their handlers also must have a better-than-working knowledge of Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs) and IED components.

Gunner will continue to receive training, with daily coaching and weekly instruction geared toward bombing incident intelligence. His partner/handler is Sgt. Ted Priest.

“The dogs within the K9 Unit take their roles in the community very seriously,” Slaybaugh said.

“And we are grateful that they do, as the tasks they are here to perform are extremely important and valuable to the community. We look forward to seeing Gunner at work at Dayton International.”