The US Navy does employ sea lions. It is not a hoax like the gigantic humanoid Bigfoot. It is not also part of a war strategy videogame like those made and distributed by EA. As proof of this fact, in 2003, the US Navy sent out navy-trained sea lions to the Persian Gulf. These sea lions were trained as seawater sentinels with the intention of protecting US Navy ships from terrorists and other enemy swimmers. As part of the navy’s complete security plan, the sea lions were sent to the Persian Gulf in response to security reports that terrorists were about to attach explosives to the navy’s ships. This has been the nearest that these marine mammals, which have been long used in the military training of the United States, to come close in real-time combat.
The use of sea lions in the US Navy all started with the Marine Mammal Program of the 1960’s. Back then, the navy made use of dolphins to study its hydrodynamics, particularly how it moves effectively and efficiently underwater. They also hoped to design a torpedo adapted from the hydrodynamic secrets of the dolphins. However, the torpedo design did not pan out. So the civilian scientists working for the US Navy ended up training the dolphins to perform underwater tasks that are not fit for human divers. As the Marine Mammal Program evolved, sea lions were included in the roster of marine mammals at the disposal of the US Navy.
In the early years of their training, the sea lions were trained to deliver tools and utensils to US Navy divers and civilian scientists. They were also taught how to track down and repossess equipment underwater. In addition, they were also trained to detect and mark underwater mines. And of course, they were trained to conduct underwater surveillance and guard Navy ships and submarines. Since sea lions have extraordinary underwater directional hearing and have really good visibility in near-darkness, these features make them capable to hone in on the pinging devices found in mines. Hence, they were also trained to detect mines and prevent them from exploding. The sea lions were also trained to attach recovery lines to objects under the water so they can be hauled back to land by a crane.
Today, sea lions are able to guard the navy’s ships and submarines by somewhat arresting an enemy diver or swimmer. Normally, they just patrol the seas near harbors and piers. But with the war against terror, these sea lions are now used in deep-water operations. According to the US Navy, these sea lions are so good at what they do that enemy swimmer and divers who will be caught by the sea lions will not even know what hit them.
As of the present, there are twenty sea lions trained by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego. These twenty sea lions are in active service. However, the US Navy have not yet disclosed how many sea lions in total are at their disposal or how many of these sea mammals have been used since the 1960’s. But what is certain is that there are sea lions which are members of the US Navy.
This Article is written by James Kara Murat