From 22 to 26 November, 2021 representatives of the Department for Specialized Training and Canine Services of the State Customs Service of Ukraine and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine with the support of the OSCE took part in a familiarization visit to the structural units of the Spanish Civil Guard.
The main purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with the organization of training of canine teams of Spanish Civil Guard, the procedure for their involvement to control measures at the state border, joint use of canine teams and modern technical means of control, as well as coordination of the procedure for involving experts of the Civil Guard to the training of dog handlers of the State Customs Service of Ukraine and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.
The program of the visit covered the following areas:
visiting the Dog Training Center of the Civil Guard (acquaintance with the organization and training plan of dog handlers, material and technical support, the order of selection and maintenance of sniffer dogs, training methods);
discussion of the content and structure of the training course for dog handlers- instructors of the State Customs Service of Ukraine and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. This course will be conducted in 2022 by experts of the Civil Guard who in particular have been trained in the framework of the European Union agency FRONTEX.
attending interdepartmental competitions of canine teams of the Spanish armed divisions, during which the skills of searching for explosives, obedience (including in extreme conditions - extraneous noise and light effects), detection of people under the rubble of buildings, etc.
acquaintance with the Civil Guard control measures at all types of border checkpoints: aviation, sea and road. Participants also visited border crossings in the city of Melilla, which has additional threats of illegal movement of goods due to its geographical location.
For reference: Melilla is located on the Mediterranean coast of Africa, is the territory of Spain and has the status of an autonomous city. The city's main threat is attempts of illegal migrants smuggling from Africa across the state border, which could be used as a means of moving prohibited goods.
This visit was a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the procedure and results of training of canine teams of the Civil Guard, with the practice of their use during control measures at the border, as well as another step towards the development of international cooperation and the implementation of best practices in the activities of the State Customs Service of Ukraine.