By Heidi Hunt – 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
From: Air Force News
Photo: The Exercise Tiger Foundation honored Staff Sgt. Alex Holloway and Filo, a 6-year-old military working dog, during the 13th Annual National Adopt A Servicemen & Women Awards Banquet and ceremony. The pair was also inducted into 2011 National Exercise Tiger Foundation. Holloway is a 509th Security Forces Squadron canine handler. (U.S. Air Force photo)
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. (AFNS) – The Exercise Tiger Foundation honored a 509th Security Forces Squadron canine handler and his dog during the 13th Annual National Adopt A Servicemen & Women Awards Banquet and ceremony in Columbia, Mo., recently.
Staff Sgt. Alex Holloway, and Filo, a 6-year-old military working dog, were presented the award that is recognized by the Defense Department, secretaries of the Navy and Army, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Congress and the president.
“When I was informed about the award, I was pretty excited,” Holloway said. “MWDs rarely get recognized for what they deserve, so it was good thing.”
“The idea to honor a canine was inspired by the death last month of Bart, a Navy SEAL dog who died when a helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan, said Susan Haines, the Exercise Tiger Foundation national director.” We found that up until the last possible moment he tried to protect his handler. He was man’s best friend.”
“Prior to this award, there was nothing out there for the MWDs,” said Tech. Sgt. Robert Van Hulle, the NCO in charge of the 509th SFS kennel master. “It gives not only our handlers, but security forces (Airmen) the recognition they deserve. It’s a team effort and it takes a team in order to do the mission.”
As a team, Holloway and Filo conducted sweeps for the U.S. Secret Service and provided security for the president of the United States. Filo has also performed more than 423 hours of foot patrols with Holloway.
“Filo is passionate about what he does, so when we want him to work or when he needs to go to work he does it to his fullest ability,” Van Hulle said.
Holloway accepted the award on Filo’s behalf including recognition from the Columbia Police Department, Gov. Jay Nixon and Sen. Claire McCaskill.
They were also a part of the pre-game ceremony for military appreciation day at the University of Missouri.
Read more: Air Force News