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US Army Ranger dog killed in action in Afghanistan while saving soldiers’ lives

Maiko, Army Ranger dog. (U.S. Army WTF Moments/Facebook)
December 07, 2018
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Last week, a military working dog assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment’s 2nd Battalion was killed in a raid on Al Qaeda militants – but his death heroically saved a number of U.S. soldiers from the same fate.

Sgt. Leandro Jasso, from the same unit, also lost his life during the raid in southwestern Afghanistan, according to Military.com.

An unofficial biography said, “Maiko was killed in action while leading Rangers into a breach of a targeted compound. Maiko’s presence and actions inside the building directly caused the enemy to engage him, giving away his position and resulting in the assault force eliminating the threat without injury or loss of life. The actions of Maiko directly saved the life of his handler [Staff Sgt.] Jobe and other Rangers.”

Spokeswoman Tracy Bailey for the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning in Georgia confirmed the details Tuesday after a biography of the dog began circulating in social media, Military Times reported.

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Bailey confirmed the biography is correct, but said it was not approved for release.

“It is our policy not to release information on the [multi-purpose canine] program as the tactics, techniques and procedures associated with the program are closely held. We are still trying to determine who released this information,” Bailey added.

Maiko was brought to the U.S. when he was just 15 months old, after being born in Holland in 2011, according to Task and Purpose.

At the age of seven, Maiko had already been deployed to Afghanistan six separate times.

Maiko partook in more than “50 Ranger-led raids involving IED detection, building clearance, and combatant apprehension,” Stars and Stripes reported.

“Rest assured Maiko never backed down from a fight. … he embodied what it means to be a Ranger,” the biography said. “The loss of Maiko is devastating to all that knew and worked with him.”

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The Regimental Dog Program bought Maiko in 2012 and he completed the Regimental Basic/Advanced Handler’s Course before he was assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment’s 2nd Battalion.

At the time of his death, Maiko had more training and combat experience than any dog with the battalion.

Maiko had five Ranger handlers over his career and was remembered for his “rock solid consistency” and forgiving nature.

Maiko’s biography said, “There was not a day that passed where he was not 100 percent committed to giving everything he had, regardless of how hot it was, how long the (operation) was, or how many buildings needed to be cleared.”

The military said there are around 1,600 military working dogs serving in the field or assisting veterans.

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