Two RAF police dogs have been awarded the animal equivalent of the OBE for the “exemplary careers” sniffing out ammunition and explosives.
Alfie, an English spaniel, and AJ, a Labrador, spent six years helping to locate arms, ammunition and explosives in dangerous environments before retiring.
The military dogs served in Number 4 RAF Police (Typhoon) Squadron for six years, and have now received the PDSA Order of Merit for their contributions to society.
“Alfie and AJ were truly outstanding members of the team, performing impeccably during their careers,” said Provost Marshal (RAF), Group Captain David Wilkinson.
“They regularly worked in challenging and dangerous situations but never faltering in their duty. They are a credit to the Royal Air Force.
“To have their actions recognised in this way is truly fantastic and I am immensely proud of everything they both achieved.”
The PDSA Order of Merit was introduced in 2014 and has seen 32 animals, including horses, recognised for their devotion to their owner or wider society.
Alfie and AJ were described as being the best in their field for the number of search hours, searches and operational finds.
“It is with great pride that we award Alfie and AJ the PDSA Order of Merit today,” said Jan McLoughlin, director general of PDSA, the UK veterinary charity.
“They have both had exemplary careers, playing a pivotal role in the vital work of the RAF Squadron and providing outstanding service to society.
“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.
“Alfie and AJ’s extraordinary work warrants the highest recognition, making them worthy recipients of the PDSA Order of Merit.”