Canine training area at MIA to be dedicated to fallen Miami Marine


Miami International Airport next Friday will unveil a new canine training area for the Miami-Dade Police’s Airport District canine unit.

The training area is dedicated in honor of U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Colton W. Rusk, of Miami, killed by an enemy sniper in Afghanistan on Dec. 6, 2010 while he and his canine partner, Eli, were in the process of clearing an IED or improvised explosive device.

Rusk’s family will attend the May 31 ceremony along with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, several commissioners and dignitaries.

The dedication will be at 1:30 p.m. at MIA, near the mid-field Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue station

In Rusk’s honor, the Department of Defense has also named a canine after him currently assigned to MIA.

The dog, CColton, will be certified during the dedication ceremonies as a TSA National Explosives Detection canine.

The dog is part of the DOD’s Military Working Dog Breeding Program.

The program, headquartered in Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, trained the dog on explosive odor and the canine received further training after being transferred to the TSA.

All dogs coming out of the breeding program are named after fallen U.S. soldiers and carry double first letters in their name.

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