Wednesday 11th August 2021

Two RAF Military Working Dogs have received the ‘Animals OBE’, the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) Order of Merit, for their lifesaving work.

PDSA, the leading vet charity has awarded English Spaniel, Alfie, and Labrador, AJ the prestigious accolade for a career of exemplary service to society with 4 RAF Police & Security Squadron, 2011-2017.

Now-retired the pair were joined by Provost Marshal (RAF), Group Captain Wilkinson, to formally receive their prestigious medals.

“Alfie and AJ were truly outstanding members of the team, performing impeccably during their careers.  They regularly worked in challenging and dangerous situations but never faltering in their duty. They are a credit to the RAF.  It’s a huge honour for Alfie and AJ to be awarded the PDSA Order of Merit. To have their actions recognised in this way is truly fantastic and I am immensely proud of everything they both achieved.”

Group Captain Wilkinson
Provost Marshal (RAF)

Alfie and AJ awarded Animal OBE
Alfie and AJ with Provost Marshal (RAF) and Group Captain Wilkinson.

This role of Number 4 RAF Police and Security Squadron is to provide a full-time operational capability, often in arduous conditions, within the Squadron’s Area of Operations.

English Spaniel, Alfie, qualified as an Arms and Explosives Search Military Working Dog in April 2011 and worked with the Squadron until 1st July 2017.  He retired from the service after completing over 600 hours of operational searching, resulting in four, live high profile finds of either arms, ammunition, explosives, or bomb making equipment – all of which could have caused significant risk to life if they had not been found.

“It is with great pride that we award AJ and Alfie the PDSA Order of Merit today. They have both had exemplary careers, playing a pivotal role in the vital work of the RAF Squadron and providing outstanding service to society.”

Jan McLoughlin
PDSA Director General

AJ spent six years with the Squadron and conducted over 1,000 search hours, resulting in eight live high-profile operational finds of arms, ammunition, explosives and bomb-making equipment.

Additionally, AJ located four Improvised Explosive Devices and buried bomb-making equipment.  All of which posed a lethal threat to Armed Forces personnel, Police and public safety.

Alfie and AJ’s records were the best in their Area of Operations in terms of number of search hours, searches and operational finds, they were highly regarded by their peers in the Ordnance Disposal teams and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Search Squadrons.  

“Through the PDSA Animal Awards programme we seek to raise the status of animals in society and honour the incredible contribution they make to our lives. AJ and Alfie’s extraordinary work warrants the highest recognition, making them worthy recipients of the PDSA Order of Merit.”

Jan McLoughlin
PDSA Director General

Image credits: Crown Copyright

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