Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland
The plaque commemorates Xena, an explosives detection dog, who served with the Australian Defence Forces in Afghanistan.

Following an inauspicious start to life in the military, Xena proved her true worth serving in Afghanistan. A Malinois (Belgian Shepherd), Xena was the runt of the litter in an RAAF breeding program. Deemed too timid to have a future as an attack dog, her future was uncertain. She was allocated to a trainer, however her high energy levels caused havoc and her next transfer was to the pound. There she was selected for basic training as an EDD (explosive detection dog) at the School of Military Engineering RAE (SME) and attached to the Special Operations Engineering Regiment (SOER). In 2012 Xena undertook a tour of Afghanistan. Her intelligence and high energy levels were ideal assets. Her focus, skills and canine instincts contributed to the detection of many Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and caches of explosives, weapons and ammunition. 

 Xena returned safely from Afghanistan in 2012, and continued to serve with a new handler. She retired from active duty in 2014.


Address:Cecilia Street, Memorial Park, St Helens, 7216
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -41.322448
Long: 148.249477
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2011
Front Inscription

           In memory of
            EDD 399
Explosive Detection Dog (Retired)
        Lest We Forget

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au