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Feature Stories

NEWS | Jan. 4, 2018

Veterinary Soldiers in Kuwait visit Local Falconer

By 1st Lt. Vanessa Rios U.S. Army Central

The Area Support Group- Kuwait Veterinarian Branch Chief and medical Soldiers visited Kuwait falconers to learn about the culture of Kuwait’s falcon tradition, Jan. 04, 2018.

Captain Jennifer Lefors, Veterinarian Branch Chief, said, “One of the things I am really interested in is animal behavior and training.”

“I like to be around animals and I also like to learn about the culture and build relationships with the people in the community,” Lefors continued.
Ahmad Ashkanani, falconer, initiated the training by using a remote-controlled airplane with a small parachute with bait to lure the falcon.

“The airplane is not a common way to train falcons,” says Ashkanani. Now we don’t have to drive everywhere.”

Once the falcon reaches the prey, he lands and waits for his trainer to reach his position.

“Actually seeing them grab the pray up close in person is not something that you get to see very often,” said Lefors, originally from Moscow, Idaho. “They have to wait until the handler gets there and the handler feeds them out of their hand.”

Soldiers were also able to receive a hands-on experience as they released a falcon to chase their prey and fed them after completion.

The cultural event allowed the Americans to learn more about Kuwait.

“Falconry to me is a sport and sports connect everyone to each other,” said Ashkanani.

“Every time that you set up relationships like this you are leaving it better for the person coming in after you,” said Lefors, “They get to have the same experience and keep the relationships going.”

The experience the Soldiers gained from falconry not only gave them the knowledge on falcon training but assisted them in building an ongoing relationship with the local populace.