MWD Kiara wags her way to retirement

By Airman 1st Class Haley Stevens 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

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Three assignments, nine years and 10 handlers later, 799th Security Forces Squadron military working dog, Kiara, has retired from her time in the U.S. Air Force.

Her retirement ceremony was held Nov. 15, 2018, at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, where fellow Airmen paid due respect by honoring her legacy.

Kiara was born May 10, 2008 and entered the MWD program in September 2009.

After basic obedience training at Lackland AFB, Texas, in 2009, Kiara became a certified Department of Defense patrol and detection dog for the Air Force.

The role of a MWD includes working with their handler to detect threats and defend against any and all adversaries, which proves vital in the defense of local and global operations. Kiara began to better understand this role at her first duty station, Moody AFB, Georgia.

Kiara travelled to Nellis AFB, Nevada, in October 2011 and was part of the unit that stood up the 799th SFS at Creech. She then became a permanent member of the Creech MWD teams.

Over the course of her career, Kiara participated in various temporary duties across the country, was awarded the Best Dog in the Kennels for Creech in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and provided detection capabilities for two presidents of the U.S.

“For me, the year that I worked with her was the best experience of my five years in the military and without a doubt I would do everything again,” said Kiara’s final handler, Senior Airman Kannyd.

During her retirement ceremony, Kiara received a bone from Tech. Sgt. Christine, 799th SFS kennel master and one of Kiara’s previous handlers, on behalf of Kiara’s MWD unit. During their active service, the dogs do not receive treats such as this due to the strict MWD diet.

Kiara also performed her last bite in a final official function with Lt. Col. Kenneth, 432nd Aircraft Communications Maintenance Squadron commander.

Considered the lady of the kennels, Kiara does not like to get dirty and seems to be a strong-willed princess at heart.

Though Kiara is retiring due to medical reasons, MWDs can retire from age, injury or loss of interest.

“I’ve worked with Kiara for a little over four years,” Christine said. “She’s a great dog, a real sweetheart and deserves a good retirement. She’s transitioning into retirement well and she loves playing with the kids.”

Christine has been approved to adopt Kiara upon her retirement where she will live out her life with Christine and her family.

While military members retire from service almost every day, it’s a rare opportunity to attend the retirement of a MWD.

Kiara’s retirement was a chance for Team Creech to honor her for her devotion to the safety and security of countless Airmen, and for the years she sacrificed in service of the U.S. Air Force.