Buster, an explosive snifferdog specially trained to find hidden arms, was in the spearhead of a raid launched by 200 troops from the Duke of Wellington Regiment, the RAF Regiment and the Queen’s Dragoon Guards earlier this week.

When 16 fanatics were arrested in the southern Iraq village of Safwan, Buster was unleashed for further investigation of the area by his handler Sergeant Danny Morgan of the Royal Veterinary Corps. Within minutes he uncovered arms and drugs well hidden in a wall cavity, covered with a sheet of tin, behind a wardrobe.

Buster, who is believed to be the only explosives sniffer dog working with the coalition, has been given his own sealed pen in case of chemical attack.

Off duty at home in Aldershot, Hants, Buster, who was recruited from a rescue centre, doubles up as the much loved family pet of the family’s five-year-old daughter Emma.”Dogs like Buster are recruited at the age of between one and three from pet rescue centres such as Battersea Dogs Home,” said Sergeant Morgan. ” I trained him by teaching him to fetch weapons instead of sticks and balls. He loves his job because he thinks it’s all part of a game. “