CAMP DWYER, Helmand province, Afghanistan - Sgt. Steven Basham, a native of Hawesville, Ky., gathers with approximately 20 dog-handlers and improvised explosive device detection dogs throughout the RCT-1 battalions to conduct training at Camp Dwyer, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April. 13. Basham is the kennel supervisor with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. The dogs and their handlers received training in verbal and non-verbal commands, emergency and routine medical training, and the latest tactics for finding IEDS, said Maj. Michael Hays, the counter IED officer for RCT-1. "The [dogs and their handlers] play a valuable roll within the counter IED fight," said Hays, who is based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., along with the majority of the RCT-1 staff. The RCT serves as the ground combat element in southern Helmand province. The mission of the RCT is to partner with Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations that secure the Afghan people, defeat insurgent forces, and enable the government to assume security responsibilities in the region. The partnered forces support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.