- The Washington Times - Friday, July 17, 2015

The Royal Air Force is mourning the death of one of its bomb-sniffing dogs. “Buster” is credited with saving thousands of troops over the course of five tours of duty.

Buster deployed to Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq before retiring in 2012. His death was announced Friday by the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense.

Flight Sgt. Will Barrow said he would have gladly given his life for the 13-year-old Springer Spaniel, who died at the sergeant’s home.

“If you’re very, very lucky, there will be the one dog you would lay down your life for, and for me that dog is Buster,” Sgt. Barrow said, ABC News reported Friday.

“The arms explosive search dogs are a high-profile, effective deterrent used as a pro-active response to the threat from terrorist activity,” the Ministry of Defense wrote on its website, ABC reported.

The dogs inspect bases, search vehicles and checkpoints, and go out on patrol with military personnel to find ammunition, explosives, and weapons.

“It was the saving of countless lives by searching out IEDs that saw the honor of official lifetime mascot of the RAF Police bestowed upon Buster,” the Ministry of Defense said in its statement.

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