b. c. 2004 ? d. 24/07/2008 Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
DATE OF DM ACTION: 24/07/2008 Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Sasha was originally assigned as a bomb detection search dog to Marianne Hay, who gave Sasha up as she felt that they couldn’t work in the field together as they had become too close. Sasha was assigned to Lance Corporal Kenneth Rowe in May 2008, while Hay was given the English Springer Spaniel Leanna. Prior to deployment in Afghanistan, Sasha and Rowe were well known to the other members of the 104 Working Dog Unit, based at North Luffenham, Rutland. Sasha was particularly friendly with Treo, whose handler described Sasha as “Treo’s bit of skirt” and said himself that “if there is one dog in the 104 that can rival Treo’s abilities, it’s her”.
Sasha served with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, attached to the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute regiment in the Kandahar region, working out of the Inkerman base. The weapons Sasha found included mortars, mines, and other weapons, with one particularly large find in Garmsir. During her time in Afghanistan, she made 15 confirmed finds of either ammunition caches or hidden explosives. Sasha was well liked by the troops in the Parachute regiment, and raised morale whenever she was on patrol. She also liked to chase the feral cats that inhabited the base.
Sasha and her handler were killed during an ambush on their patrol on 24 July 2008. A sniper had shot Sasha, and although injured, the dog returned to her handler. The Taliban forces used this to locate Rowe’s position and killed both dog and handler with a volley of five rocket-propelled grenades. They had been scheduled to return to the UK on the day before their deaths, but Rowe had asked to remain behind as there was no incoming dog team to take over and he was concerned about the safety issues for his regiment.
For outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty while assigned to 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, in Afghanistan 2008.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.