XXavier: One hard hitting dog

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nathan L. Maysonet
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
XXavier is a military working dog with the 47th Security Forces Squadron who, for the past four years, has worked and played here garnering a reputation as the hardest hitting dog in the Department of Defense.

XXavier will be leaving Laughlin for the 341st Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to breed the next generation of military working dogs.

"His legacy goes beyond Laughlin," said Tech. Sgt. Derrick Bowen, 47th SFS kennel master. "Lackland knows how awesome of a dog he is and requested him by name."

XXavier was born May 2005 as part of the DOD's Puppy Program. As part of that program, XXavier was adopted and raised by a family in San Antonio until old enough to begin training as a patrol and explosive detection working dog, said Bowen.

At a little more than a year old, XXavier began training at the 341st TRS at Lackland AFB. There he completed training in less than four months before coming to Laughlin.

Since arriving at Laughlin, XXavier has continued to make a name for himself as an incredibly driven and skilled dog excelling in all his tasks, both on patrol and in the field, said Bowen.

It was that drive and skill that earned him the title of hardest hitting dog at the 2008 Rocky Mountain K-9 trials, in which he demonstrated both his strength and his ability to work as a team, said Bowen.

"Everyone around the installation and beyond knows he can bite and has a drive for it," Bowen said. "He is incredible if just a little high strung."

This fact is proven time and again by XXavier's domination of every training session against brave souls willing to step into the ring with XXavier to see if they can stand against his might, said Bowen.

Capt. Raymond Fortner, 47th SFS operations officer was one such person willing to try.

"XXavier was by far the hardest, most violent hit I've experienced with a dog," said Fortner. "Normally you see the dog coming, it hits you and you know without protection it would be bad. But when XXavier hits you, he picks you up and tosses you."

But more than just his bite, XXavier is known for being a great partner and friend, a fact his handler of two years, Staff Sgt. Britney Simpson, 47th SFS military working dog handler, can attest to.

"I was deployed with him, I trust him," said Simpson. "He doesn't lead me the wrong way."

From August 2010 to April 2011, Simpson and XXavier where attached to the Army's 101st Airborne Division conducting dismounted patrols in search of explosives in Afghanistan where XXavier proved his skill.

"He did his job, found what needed to be found and saved a lot of people," Simpson said.

XXavier's nose sniffed out more than 60 pounds of explosives potentially saving about 400 lives, she said.

Having served as one of Laughlin's highlighted working dogs, XXavier is now being sent to where he came from as a breeding dog for the puppy program.

"I've been at this job for 10 years and he is one of the best and hardest headed dogs I know," said Bowen.

XXavier will be missed but his co-workers agree that he will love his new life and that if his offspring end up half as good as him, they will be superstars.

"I'm not happy about it, it is sad since we have been together for a long time," said Simpson, "but he will make a bunch of little dogs like him and save lives. He is an awesome dog and I'll miss him."