US special operations forces killed Osama Bin Laden this past Sunday with what appears to be stealth helicopters, advanced weaponry and skills. 

But there is at least one other special weapon they had: elite dog teams.

Dogs have been fighting alongside U.S. soldiers for more than 100 years, seeing combat in the Civil War and World War I.

Today, they're a central part of U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan -- as of early 2010 the U.S. Army had 2,800 active-duty dogs deployed. And these numbers will continue to grow as these dogs become an ever-more-vital military asset.