Richa was born in April 2002 in Europe before being selected for the USAF United States Air Force Specialised Search Dog program. Due to being too aggressive on odour, Richa was assessed as being unsuitable and subsequently gifted to the RAAF in 2005 for security patrol work. However, the aggression continued with the RAAF and he was sent to SASR in 2006.
‘I first met Richa in 2007 in his kennel three weeks before we deployed to Afghanistan where he was trying to eat his way through the bars of the cage to get out. My first thought was ‘What am I supposed to do with that?’ wondered Richa’s handler.
During these formative years the capability of working dogs morphed continuously as SASR worked to find the best fit for K9 capability. Richa provided the cornerstone to these evolutions, including the inception of the dual purpose role. Richa’s stable nature and strength of character enabled him to adapt to the many and often rapid changes in training, environments, handler errors, roadblocks and broad spectrum of duties expected of him.
Richa individually saved many lives and was responsible for the detection of large quantities of ordnance; an example of what K9’s are capable of and a giant upon whose shoulders those that follow stand upon.
Richa retired from operational service after his 2011 deployment to Afghanistan but could still be seen swanning around the unit. He even attended some dining in nights, much to the chagrin of the cooks and to the detriment of the odd presenter.
In retirement he was given the green light by Legacy WA to attend the annual Children’s Camp and was a hit with the kids. He also had a cameo in the Red Dog True Blue (2016)
After a full and rich life serving with distinction, Richa passed in 2017.
Richa served on operations with both 2CDO and SASR;
Afghanistan- 2007 (2 X SOTG), 2008, 2009, 2011.
East Timor- 2008
2 x Domestic Counter Terrorist rotations