A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority, Guam

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New Narcotics and Tracking K-9 Units to Enhance Security at Guam Airport

Thursday, February 2, 2023

In an effort to enhance security and outbound drug detection at our air borders, the A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority, Guam (GIAA) is pleased to announce the introduction of a newly established narcotic detection and tracking canine (K-9) unit. The new unit consists of “Max” and “Tara,” Belgian Malinois K-9s, teamed with Airport Police Officer II J.D. Manibusan and Airport Police Officer I J.P. Mallari, respectively. The narcotics and tracking K-9s and their handlers are fully certified and exceed the national standards for K-9 Working Dogs (Law Enforcement).

 “The GIAA continues to assist in the mission of narcotic detection and possible breaches of our secured areas and we are now able to dispatch a new K-9 unit to assist with our patrol, outgoing passenger checks, and outgoing baggage checks and the integrity and security of non-public, secured areas,” stated Airport Executive Manager John M. “JQ” Quinata.

The Narcotic and Tracking K-9s received their training and initial certification at a K-9 School affiliated to meet U.S. K-9 national standards in Belgium. Thereafter, K-9’s chosen by their respective organizations were sent to K-9 Working Dogs International (K9WDI) located in the State of Ohio, for pairing with their handlers and final U.S. certification. The two K-9s have gone through their acclimation phase and continue training on island and at GIAA facilities. In addition, “Max and “Tara” are also trained in the tracking of missing persons and persons of interest.

The Narcotics and Tracking K-9 Unit joins the GIAA’s K-9 bomb detection unit that was established more than 20 years ago. Five K-9 team members and their handlers are active in the detection of explosives, trained and certified at the Transportation Security Administration’s training facility at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. The newest member of the Bomb Detection K-9 Unit is “Blue,” a German Pointer who arrived on island January 19, 2022, and is paired with Airport Police Officer II, Randy Chaco.

“We welcome K-9 “Blue” to the team and congratulate Officer Chaco for this new pairing after the unfortunate passing of his former partner K-9 “Sam” who passed on January 15th, after six years of exemplary work and contribution to his unit and to the handler and his family. Our officers and K-9 teams form very close bonds and are part of our officers’ families throughout their tenure of service,” stated Artemio “Ricky” Hernandez, Ph.D., Airport Deputy Executive Manager.

The Airport Authority will hold a memorial for fallen K-9 Officer “Sam” to commemorate his contributions to the safety and security of the Airport and all who visit and travel through airport facilities in this month.

“We will always remember the great achievements of these K-9 team members. We are very fortunate to have these qualified and well-trained K-9s to protect life and property at the Guam International Airport,” Executive Manager Quinata concluded.