Explosive Detection Canine, Jackpot, and his Handler, Andrew Urbaez, are two of MSA’s rising stars. The pair joined the MSA team in 2015, working in the field throughout the New York City area. As of March, 2016, they were promoted to Emergency Response Team! Based out of our Headquarters at 9 Murray Street in Manhattan, they respond to client requests for emergency screening within 15 minutes. The team also travels nationwide and internationally to mitigate threats for clients and their personnel.
Andrew grew up in Pennsylvania. After high school graduation, he joined the National Guard as an infantryman. In 2012, Andrew was deployed overseas to Camp Buehring, Kuwait, as a member of the mobile reaction force. During his nine month deployment, he had a number of responsibilities including guard tower security, access control, and escorting local nationals.
Andrew atop a Bradley Fighting Vehicle during Gunnery Skills Testing
Andrew was also deployed for active duty domestically on several occasions in response to natural disasters such as blizzards and floods. Two unique deployments, however, include the 2015 Papal visit and the 2016 Democratic National Convention, both in Philadelphia. Preparation for the DNC consisted of extensive training on non-lethal weapons, riot control and battalion-wide riot control formations. Eight years after enlisting, Andrew remains an active member of the National Guard, serving as a Sergeant and attending training one weekend a month and two weeks in the year. Andrew was recently awarded the Non Commission Officer of the Year at the company level, and is currently nominated at the battalion level.
Andrew and Jackpot on the job
Andrew’s experience at the National Guard provided him with plenty of preparation for his job at MSA, specifically with regard to leadership and critical thinking skills. He completed the National Guard’s Warriors Leaders Course, finishing in the top 5% of his class and achieving the commandants list.
EDC Jackpot poses for his glamor shot
Jackpot is Andrew’s first Explosive Detection Canine. The two forged an immediate bond as friends and coworkers. Since EDC teams function as a unit, the stronger the bond between a handler and his canine, the better they are at their job. Jackpot is a 3 ½ year old “glab” – that’s a Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever mix. He’s food reward, which means he gets fed when he has a “find” during his daily training sessions (and for those wondering, Jackpot maintains his lean figure feasting on Iams Chunky).
Andrew and Jackpot at the 2016 ASIS International Trade Show
In their spare time, Andrew and Jackpot enjoy spending time with Andrew’s family – his wife and three boys. Andrew and Jackpot stay in shape by going on runs together. When not working or working out, Jackpot’s favorite activity is chasing squirrels. He gets the occasional carrot or apple slice as a treat on days off. The pair are thrilled to be such an integral part of the MSA team, and are happy to be working to keep our clients and our country safe.
EDC Jackpot enjoying some well deserved R & R