A FORMER pupil from The Hurst Community College is helping to guard the Falkland Islands – with the help of a canine friend.

Corporal Laura Willetts, an RAF Police dog handler, is patrolling RAF Mount Pleasant with her five-year-old German Shepherd Ordy, and they are pictured right.

The 32-year-old, originally from Tadley, joined the RAF in 2008 after working as a travel agent and part-time gym instructor.

She said she decided to become a dog handler because she had always wanted to work with animals.

She said: “You get very attached to the dogs and it is hard to leave them. Even if you are having a bad day, they will do something to make you laugh.”

The dogs at RAF Mount Pleasant live in a newly-built kennel complex that has underfloor heating, 22 kennels, a grooming area and a food preparation room.

Cpl Willetts, who still has family and friends in the Basingstoke area, is normally based in Cyprus.

The sixth-month tour of the Falklands is her second in her career, and she has also served in Afghanistan.