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Story of Axel, the 1st army assault dog to be 'Mentioned in Despatches'

74B7 Army Dog Axel was deployed in Operation Rakshak (Jammu and Kashmir) since December 2021 and participated in numerous counter-terrorism Operations. Axel was killed in action during Operation Wanigam Bala in Baramulla district on July 30.

The story of Axel, the first Army Dog to be 'Mentioned in Despatches'
New Delhi, First Published Aug 17, 2022, 5:25 PM IST

Indian Army dog Axel has become the first canine to be 'Mentioned in Despatches' by Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande on the occasion of the 75th year of independence for exhibiting exemplary training standards and resolute courage during the line of duty over 15 days ago.

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Axel, a Belgian Malinois breed, had rushed towards a target building entrance exposing itself to terrorists' fire during 'Operation Wanigam Bala'. As per the citation, 74B7 Army Dog Axel was deployed in Operation Rakshak in Jammu & Kashmir in December 2021 and participated in a number of Counter-Terrorism Operations.

Employed in June 2020, the Belgian Malinois breed was effectively used as a critical force multiplier for independent room intervention tasks. 

What does Axel's citation read?

Axel meticulously followed verbal commands and provided a live relay of the topography of the target building and immediate surroundings. He sanitised the outside veranda, first room and moved tactically to the second room. 

On seeing the terrorist holding a 7.62 mm AK-47 assault rifle, in a display of absolute strength and aggression, the canine warrior jumped and attacked him. The terrorist shot the valiant soldier on the left shoulder from point blank range. Despite being wounded, the dog again tried to attack but fell down and was killed due to excessive blood loss. 

"This valiant act revealed information about terrorist's weapon, disclosed and pinpointed his location ensuring effective fire by own troops and neutralisation of a dreaded terrorist without any collateral damage."

The exemplary performance, fearless conduct and life-sacrificing acts of Number 74B7 Army dog Axel (Assault) in an active anti-terrorist operation are acknowledged under the orders of the President and mention of his name in a dispatch by the Chief of the Army Staff and is published in the Gazette of India.

Army Dog Axel (Assault) was a critical force multiplier in operation Wanigam Bala, obtaining live information of terrorists by attacking him and getting shot and killed in action preventing casualties to own troops. This act of independent house intervention by Army Dog Axel (Assault) will further boost the confidence in the capabilities of silent force multipliers.

Also Read: Nine stories of bravery that will inspire over a billion Indians

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