SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The elite unit of Navy SEALs that took out Osama bin Laden enlisted the help of a four-legged fighter.
Military dogs go through rigorous training that is just as demanding as what human troops go through.
We've heard a lot about the Navy SEALs team that flew in and ultimately captured and killed Osama bin Laden. Now we're learning a little bit more about man's best friend that was also along for the mission.
"(Dogs) can sense biological, chemical, or radiological nuclear or explosive elements in the air better than security technology can, like sensors, drones, like UAV's, these types of things," Halo Corporation President Brad Barker said.
The Halo Corporation is an elite team of former special operations and intelligence people who now deploy around the world to take care of the bad guys. He says it's no surprise that a dog was on the mission to get bin Laden.
"This is the number one criminal in the world, so this team is going to bring the best element to bear and they played a pivotal role in this operation," Barker said.
These dogs train much in the same way their two-legged SEAL counterparts do and jump from helicopters right along with them. As for their gear, they're heavily armored and ready to hit the ground running.
"Bullet-resistant vests that can stop a blade, can stop a bullet, they get helmets on them to increase their survivability, night vision goggles, thermal imagery," Barker said.
The dog on the bin Laden mission was there to detect explosives. Their ability to get into confined spaces and send back live video of interiors of buildings is crucial to let teams of SEALs know when it's safe to enter, ensuring the mission's success.
"It takes a special dog with special breeding, a tremendous amount of patience from a handlerm and then still only a select few make it to be SEALs best friend," Barker said.
Military has actually used military working dogs dating back to the Civil War days. Currently the Army has more than 2,800 dogs working to detect IEDs and helping soldiers out on the battlefields.