WOW! did you know dolphins and sea lions are in the navy! yep! theyre helping fight terror all over the world and watching the coasts and helping do lots of other neat stuff. they been at it from way back in the 1960s in the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program.
how do they get trained
it takes 4 years to get dolphins and sea lions trained and 5 weeks to get a navy handler trained. mostly the training gets done in san diego california. first they learn how to “breach” and thats jump back in the boat or on the dock on a signal. they get started in the shallow water and when they know what theyre sposed to do they keep going deeper and deeper. after that they get trained on lots of other stuff. they get rewarded with food and lots of attention and a good home. they wear harnesses with cameras and pingers but not tethers and could swim away any time they want but they know a good thing when they got it and not one ever swam away. theyre real smart, got great underwater senses and learn real easy. theyre good divers and could go down more times in a row than a navy diver and could go faster and more deep than a navy diver and find and mark or bring back stuff lots faster.
what do they learn how to do
mostly theyre trained for finding and marking or bringing back stuff like mines and equipment. theyre part of the navys ORT and that’s Object Recovery Team. other stuff they do is carry parts and tools back and forth for building stuff and find lost divers and lead them back to safety. they get used as sentries for harbors and ships to find enemy swimmers and when theyre on patrol they carry locators in their mouth. when they spot a enemy diver a dolphin bumps his tank with his mouth and that puts a thing on his air tank thats got a float that floats up to the surface. a sea lion zaps a handcuff on the divers arm or leg and its got a float that goes up to the surface. cause sea lions could see lots better than dolphins in cloudy water they get used lots for patrolling round piers and pilings looking for bombs or enemy swimmers or stuff thats not sposed to be there.
how do they get transported
the navys got special designed carriers that could go on ships, boats on the road, in airplanes and in helicopters. theyre made so the dolphins and sea lions stay safe and wet for just as far as they gotta travel. they could get to any place that needs them in just only 72 hours. they been used for mine clearing in the vietnam war and in the persian gulf in the iraq war.
who takes care of them
the u.s. army vets take really good care of the dolphins and sea lions and they got some of the most best equipment and high tech medical stuff. they go along with the navy on all the training and the for real missions so they could be there if a dolphin or sea lion needs some vet stuff. they make sure they get good food and the best care.
if you wanna see a really neat video about dolphins and sea lions being in the navy and see them getting trained and working go here.
how do you like knowing you got dolphins and sea lions helping protect you? for me i say WOW! how cool is that!
hooray for dolphins! hooray for sea lions!
…hugs from lenny