Day after day at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, King, a 10-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, walked with his handler, sniffing for signs of explosives among travelers standing in line to get through security.
On Monday, the explosive detection canine completed his final search after six years on the job.
The Transportation Security Administration bid farewell to King, one of its longest tenured working canines in Honolulu, with a special retirement celebration that included a cake and tennis ball drop.
Besides working regular shifts at the Honolulu airport, King and his handler, Lance Wang Nobriga, traveled to the U.S. mainland to support high profile events including a presidential inauguration, Super Bowl 50, and the 2018 NCAA Final Four.
In Honolulu, King also worked at multiple NFL Pro Bowls, Honolulu Marathons and the 75th anniversary commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He has trained regularly with the Honolulu Police Department as well as the U.S. Department of Defense’s explosive detection canines teams in special joint venues.
“King has earned his retirement,” said TSA Federal Security Director in Hawaii Jenel Cline in a news release. “His unique role as Passenger Screening Canine, trained to detect explosives, has provided an additional layer of security for the people of Hawaii and countless number of tourists who have departed the airport over the years,”
In retirement, King will continue to live at home with Nobriga and will have more time to do what he enjoys — swimming at the beach, sleeping on the couch, and eating.
King, who performed in the top tier for air scent detection of explosives and explosive components, was trained at Auburn University in Alabama.
A full canine detection team, which includes a Vizsla named Kajla — recently voted TSA’s cutest canine – remains on the job at the Honolulu airport. Nobriga will also return to work, paired with a Belgian Malinois named Zara.