For the first time, a French army dog dead in service was awarded the Dickin Medal in Great Britain, the highest military honor of the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces. The Malaysian Belgian Shepherd nicknamed ‘Lucky Luke’ or ‘Luke La Chance’ was serving in the prestigious Kiefer Command of the French Navy. The dog was awarded posthumously, killed in May 2019 by a jihadist rebel in Mali. “His intervention on several occasions saved his unit’s life” underlined the head of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (Pdsa), Jan McLaughlin. ‘Lucky Luke’ becomes the first French dog to be awarded Dickin.
Born in 2013, Luke entered the K9 division after two years of training and began being used to report the presence of hidden explosives. His intervention was decisive during an operation of the anti-Barkhane anti-jihadist mission in Mali, made up of 5,000 French troops. In April 2019, in dense vegetation, Luke was deployed as one last possible option: he had managed to equip the two rebels with automatic weapons, after running between flames and bullets, at them. Attacked for seven minutes, thus for the soldiers to approach and neutralize them. The following month he was killed by a jihadist in another operation. His remains were covered with the French flag and greeted with an honor guard.
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