Navy to Lay Off Dolphins: The Navy's fleet of dolphins trained to detect and tag sea mines may soon enjoy early retirements.
Officials said the dolphins are being gradually phased out by sea drones (unmanned underwater vehicles, or UUVs).
The Navy has trained dolphins for mine detection since 1960. The mammals were deployed in the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and in the Iraq War.
Mine-detection equipment and systems have become better in recent years, but Navy officials they're not yet ready to totally replace sea mammals with drones.
"Because of the unique capabilities of the marine mammals in the shallow
water environment, there are several critical misions that they perform
that cannot be matched by technology or hardware in the near-term." James Fallin, a spokesman for Space and Warfare Systems Command Pacific
(Spawar) told the North County Times.