It’s been widely reported that a canine accompanied the American commandos who killed Osama bin Laden, but very little is known about the dog, and the military isn’t talking.
According to The New York Times, Major William Roberts, commander of the Defense Department’s Military Working Dog Center, said the dog on the raid could have checked for explosives, sniffed door handles for booby traps or even been trained to locate bin Laden.
“Dogs are very good at detecting people inside of a building,” Major Roberts told The Times, which added that the dog could also have been used to chase down anyone escaping the compound where bin Laden was found.
About 600 dogs are serving the military in Afghanistan and Iraq, The Times reports, and there are plans for more.
General David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said last year that the military needed more dogs, the newspaper reports. “The capability they bring to the fight cannot be replicated by man or machine,” he said.