Navy Sea Lions and Dolphins Trained as Counter Terrorist Agents

dolpinSince California is home to 11 sea ports that handle 60% of the nation’s container shipping traffic, it is important to make sure it is protected from terrorists. The U.S. military has people manning the land and sky, but what about water? What’s protecting our ports from the water?

The Navy is looking to marine life such as sea lions and dolphins to fill this job. These animals are naturally much faster and more efficient in water than humans can ever be, and if trained the right way, they could potentially be a great help to the Navy.

“Security is of vital importance,” Tom LaPuzza, a spokesman for the Navy Marine Mammals program said. “And humans are very slow in the water. Sea lions can see five times as well. And dolphins can use their sonar to spot items that would take humans days or weeks to find.”

Using marine life for defense purposes is something that the Navy has been experimenting with for decades, including using dolphins and sea lions during the Vietnam War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A recent demonstration of the the anti-terrorism training exercises held throughout ports in California showed sea lions locating suspicious devices under water and placing markers on them so that Navy divers could retrieve and defuse the potential bombs. The dolphins are also used for locating terrorists lurking in the water, and then let the sea lions take a turn and actually cuff the terrorist’s ankles with a device carried in their mouth, allowing authorities to reel in the terrorists.

This new initiative in counter terrorism will help the Navy keep us protected whether it’s on land, air, or now, sea.


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