While we still don't know if the dog that accompanied the Navy SEAL team on the raid of Osama bin Laden's compound was a Belgian Malinois or a German shepherd, we do have a pretty good idea of the gear that "Cairo" the canine wore. K9 Storm, of Canada, provides three-to-seven-pound doggie vests with double Kevlar panels to protect the dogs' hearts. The manufacturer's website assesses their various vests' protection against threats ranging from bullets to slashes to stabs to ice picks. The vests come in several colors and patterns, including dark blue, olive drab, search-and-rescue orange, sheriff's brown, woodland or desert camo, and the SEALs' likely choice: tactical black. A stripped-down aerial-insertion model costs $2,800, with options special handles and lights costing up to an additional $224 each. The vests come complete with night-vision cameras, a harness for fast-roping from a chopper or even parachuting and other gear to make the mission less dangerous...at least for the SEALs.
For the inside story on America's military operations around the world, check out Mark Thompson's blog, Battleland: Where military intelligence is not a contradiction in terms.