SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Navy SEALs have to be ready for anything, and the same goes for their elite dogs. We're getting a closer look at the body armor and high-tech equipment they bring into dangerous situations, like the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.
Like their human Navy SEAL counterparts, members of this elite canine corps remain shrouded in secrecy. While we may never know the name or breed of the courageous canine of SEAL team six that helped kill Osama bin Laden, we do know this warrior dog's training and tools put it in a class all its own...
These elite Navy SEAL canines, like the one who helped bring down the world's most wanted terrorist, are also intensively trained with high-tech tools, according to "The Daily", to make them even more of a threat to the enemy, from special "doggles" for eye protection to specialized oxygen masks for making high-altitude dives to remote infrared cameras allowing the war dogs' handlers to see what they're seeing in real time, accessing areas off-limits to*human SEALs.
"These guys can crawl into small spaces that a human can't," Halo Corporation President Brad Barker said.
Along with that head-mounted infrared camera, these fearless fidos are equipped with special ear buds that allow their handler to radio remote orders, adjustable waterproof body armor impervious to bullets and knife attacks, and when they lose or chip teeth, the military often replaces them --for medical reasons -- with titanium fangs. These terrifying super-strength teeth can run up to $2,000 a piece, and according to "The Daily", the bite is like "being stabbed four times at once with a bone crusher."
"They're even specially trained to get on and off of aircraft," Barker said.
From rappelling with teammates from the chopper into the battle zone below to parachuting with its partner, to even jumping short distances into water on their own.
"When they get a bit old, they usually, because they have such a bond with their handler, they usually become their personal pet," Barker said.
These highly trained war dogs are also often put up for adoption once they reach retirement, with canine experts saying despite their sometimes violent training, they are well socialized and make an ideal family pet.
According to the Department of Defense, 2,700 trained military dogs are currently on duty. The most common breeds are the German shepherd and the Belgian malinois.