Inside an army of “armed” dolphins used by the US Navy to protect naval bases and detect weapons – Reuters

DOLPHINS have been used by the US Navy for decades.

The authorities deployed sentient beings to detect threats such as underwater mines, warn enemy swimmers and protect naval bases.

Dolphins have been trained by the US Navy for decades.1 credit
Creatures assisted in military missions around the worldCredit: Reuters

Dolphins have been trained in the Navy since the 1960s.

In the United States, at least 70 bottlenose dolphins are kept at the naval base in San Diego, California.

Five dolphins were sent by the Navy to protect against enemy swimmers in Canh Ranh Bay in Vietnam in the 1970s.

Dolphins were used for underwater surveillance during the Iran-Iraq war in 1987.

And they were deployed at the start of the Iraq War in 2003, as shown by Task and Purpose.

The Navy’s use of dolphins was initially classified before the program was declassified in the 1990s.

The declassification of the program led to allegations that the creatures were being used as offensive weapons – claims that have been vehemently denied by the US Navy’s Marine Mammal Program.

Dolphins are an extremely valuable asset due to their superior hearing abilities.

They are known for their echolocation abilities.

This skill helps them locate mines that have been planted deep underwater as they travel across the oceans, according to the Naval Information Center.

Dolphins can find mines and drop transponders to help crews retrieve explosives.

Bob Olds of the Marine Mammal Program told WLRN: “They are really good at finding stuff.

“Their most impressive ability is probably their ability to find objects completely buried under the sea floor.”

Lieutenant Josh Frey, who was part of US 5.and A fleet from Bahrain between 2002 and 2005 told MSNBC in 2003: “The ability that mammals bring to mine clearance efforts is that they have a very sophisticated form of biological sonar … to help them avoid predators and find food.


“These natural adaptations make mammals valuable to naval personnel.”

Frey reported that the dolphins were being removed from the ocean before the explosion occurred.

Dolphins can dive hundreds of feet below the surface without fear of the animals getting sick with the bends.

Bends are a form of decompression sickness that can affect divers when nitrogen gas is released from the bloodstream.

This happens when divers come to the surface too quickly.

Dolphins don’t just detect missiles; they can also protect warships from threats.


The creatures are capable of blocking potentially threatening swimmers who intend to harm Navy ships or those on board.

Marine animals also protect the waters surrounding the Kitsap Naval Base Submarine Base.

There are more than 2,000 nuclear warheads stored at the base in Bangor, Washington.

Dolphins have been in use there since 2010, Navy spokesman Chris Haley told Insider in 2015.

The US Navy is not the only military agency using dolphins in its operations.

Russia has deployed two modules at its naval base in Sevastopol after Ukraine sank its flagship Moskva earlier this month.

According to satellite imagery analyzed by the US Naval Institute (USNI), two pods of dolphins were moved to a base in the Black Sea in February at the start of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.


The dolphins could be deployed to counter diving operations and prevent Ukrainian forces from entering the port.

Sevastopol is the most important naval base of the Russian Navy, where a large number of ships are anchored.

Ships at the base are vulnerable to underwater attacks.

In the past, Russia has trained dolphins for military purposes, using them to attack foreign ships with mines.

The Navy of the Soviet Union ran a number of marine mammal programs, including the training of dolphins at Kazachya Bay near Sevastopol.

Mammals could plant bombs on ships and attack divers with guns strapped to their heads.

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And naval mercenaries were bought by Iran in the 2000s to destroy American ships with mines.

Some have even been trained to swim up to enemy ships with mines attached to them, punching holes in the ships – and in themselves.

Military officials rave about the dolphins' role, praising their detection abilities.
Military officials rave about the dolphins’ role, praising their detection abilities.Credit: US Navy
Dolphins were taught to find mines and detect torpedoes
Dolphins were taught to find mines and detect torpedoesCredit: Hulton – Getty Archives

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