PocketWizard Plus III and The IED Detection Dogs

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Has it already been almost a month since arriving? We lost Valentine’s Day completely to a plane ride – just skipped right over it to a place so cold we had to melt our frozen bottles of water underneath the lights in our tent.

Regrettably, some of my own camera equipment didn’t make the trip. The cable for my new PocketWizard Plus III’s disappeared into thin air, and my remote flash triggers definitely didn’t work upon arrival.

Amazon to the rescue! Thankfully things get here quickly, and I was able to use my new PocketWizards on this shoot that I had sought out.

Part of our job here is what is requested of us, and the rest of that job consists of the extra time and effort you put into finding things to shoot. Networking with people you meet in the chow hall becomes second nature, and I hand out my military business card like it was candy.

Which is exactly where I met my point of contact for the IED Detection Dogs. A simple, “So what do you do?” turned into an excellent opportunity to document some of the training the dog handlers do at 2d Combat Engineer Battalion aboard Camp Leatherneck.

So imagine how difficult it was for me not to just smoosh my face against the cages at the kennel and say, “Who’s a cute little baby puppy?! You are! You are!”

I promise: I’m a professional. Just don’t tell my boss the only reason I did this shoot was so I could hang out with some rockin’ dogs and hardworking handlers.

U.S. Marine Cpl. Clint Price, a dog handler with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), uses a whistle along with hand and arm signals to direct an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD) during a training session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

U.S. Marine Cpl. Clint Price, a dog handler with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), uses a whistle along with hand and arm signals to direct an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD) during a training session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

U.S. Marine Cpl. Clint Price, a dog handler with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), directs Ace II, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD), during a training session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

U.S. Marine Cpl. Clint Price, a dog handler with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), directs Ace II, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD), during a training session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

U.S. Marine Cpl. Ryan Stroad, a dog handler with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), directs Knight, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD), during a session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

U.S. Marine Cpl. Ryan Stroad, a dog handler with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), directs Knight, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD), during a session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

U.S. Marine Cpl. Clint Price, a dog handler with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), directs Ace II, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD), during a training session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

U.S. Marine Cpl. Clint Price, a dog handler with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), directs Ace II, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD), during a training session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

Doc, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD) with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion, retrieves a bumper during a training session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

Doc, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD) with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion, retrieves a bumper during a training session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

A sign hangs on the gate of the improvised explosive device detection Dog (IDD) kennel, 2d Combat Engineer Battlion (CEB) compound, at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

A sign hangs on the gate of the improvised explosive device detection Dog (IDD) kennel, 2d Combat Engineer Battlion (CEB) compound, at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

Reese, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD) with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion, waits in a kennel before a training session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

Reese, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD) with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion, waits in a kennel before a training session at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

Page, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD) with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), handled by U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Michael Triba, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, searches the ground while training at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

Page, an improvised explosive device detection dog (IDD) with 2d Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), handled by U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Michael Triba, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, searches the ground while training at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013. IDD dog handlers, often volunteers from their home units, are matched with a dog and work together to perform route clearance and other duties in a combat environment. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline/Released)

So how did the PocketWizard Plus III hold up on its first job in Afghanistan? Pretty well, and I plan on doing a more extensive review after I’ve been using it more consistently. Our gear takes a beating out here between the dirt, the heat, and the fact that everything just ends up breaking in the hands of a U.S. Marine.

That’s why we can’t have nice things.

It’s pretty “ruff” out here.

Get it?

One thought on “PocketWizard Plus III and The IED Detection Dogs

  1. Pingback: Up Close and Personal with IED Detection Dogs « PocketWizard Blog | Radio Triggers for Photographers

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