Soldier from March to spend six months in Afghanistan with his trusty dog

A SOLDIER from March will spend six months in Afghanistan searching for explosives with help from his loyal dog Travis.

Corporal Philip Jeeves and the black Labrador Cross have only been working together since April but will head out with 41 other dog handlers in September to play a vital role in our forces’ operations.

The 36-year-old has formed a good working relationship with his canine companion and says the pairs’ teamwork is key to their job.

He said: “I’m pleased I’m deploying with him, we’ve been working together since April and over that time we’ve built a good relationship.

“I will rely on him to do his job as much as he relies on me. When he is working he is completely focused and like us when he has some down time he will be able to relax and have a play.

“Travis just can’t stand still. He has a high drive to work and has an awful lot of energy. He can be headstrong at times, but he is good at what he does and is very obedient.

“He knows when he’s working and has got great stamina, he never seems to tire.”

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Cpl Jeeves is based at St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham and has plenty of experience to cope with the tough challenges that lay ahead.

He has spent periods abroad with the forces but wanted to try something new and transferred to the 104 Military Working Dog Unit as a result.

“I completed three tours of Bosnia, two tours of Iraq and two tours of Northern Ireland with the Royal Artillery,” said Cpl Jeeves.

“But I was getting a bit bored so I decided to try something different.

“This tour will certainly be different to the others I have done and I’m looking forward to it.”

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