Luke Military Base, home to the 56th Security Forces Squadron, is to have a $1.475M overhaul.

Work will include adding artificial turf, green construction techniques, a rain water collector and, possibly, solar panels.

“The artificial turf won’t need to be watered, and unlike the turf on a mini-golf course, this grass is a mesh of fibers that have a realistic look and feel,” said second lieutenant, Christopher Warshaw, the 56th’s energy projects manager.

“The MWDs (military working dogs) and the trainers will feel like they are on real grass.

“On the turf there is also a rain water collector, which will collect rainwater for irrigation use at other base locations.

“The artificial turf allows us to train year-round, the hot Arizona sun always burns the grass, making it sharp and brittle for our dog’s paws.”

The army felt it was ‘necessary’ to make the effort to incorporate as many Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) aspects as possible in the design.

“This is a culture change,” added Lt Warshaw: “We are trying to impart the idea behind LEED certification on all of our future projects.”

The military hope the scheme will be a template for future greening of military dog units.

Luke Walsh

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