In honor of Veteran’s Day, we must not forget to thank the dolphins (and more recently sea lions) that have been active members of the US Military. The US military used dolphins trained to find and disarm underwater mines in the Iraq War. Eight dolphins served as the first marine mammals in active combat as part of the “Special Clearance Team One.” The dolphins worked alongside drones equipped with sonar, Navy SEALS, reconnaissance swimmers from the Marine Corps, and divers trained to disarm explosives. When the drones detected something suspicious, the dolphins were able to discern whether the object was natural or man-made using echolocation.
Dolphins have been “employed” by the military since the 1960s as described in this classic video:
It should be noted, however, that the US Navy is planning to replace the use of these talented animals with robots.
To read more visit Smithsonian Magazine.