World Tribune.com
Great Deals from Dell 120x90

Trained sea lions help U.S. Fifth Fleet detect Iraqi mines

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Thursday, January 30, 2003

ABU DHABI The U.S. Fifth Fleet has deployed sea lions to help detect and defuse Iraqi mines meant for U.S. naval vessels operating around the Gulf.

U.S. Central Command said the sea lions were trained to recover unarmed practice mines after naval exercises and were brought to Manama. The command's naval forces said the California sea lions will apprehend insurgents who try to place mines on or near U.S. warships whether on land or in sea.

"They can run on land as fast as a human and can swim at 40 kilometers an hour for short bursts, making them ideal for quickly attaching restraint devices to divers underwater and then swimming away at high speed as security forces move in to apprehend the restrained diver almost immediately," Central Command said in a statement.


Recent studies by leading medical universities prove soy enhances your body's ability to fight obesity and the risk of heart disease. Click here to learn more.   <% ' Value for the url being requested url=trim(request.querystring("url")) ' if no url is detected then show then ' show a page with links if url="" then %> <% ' if there is a url value detected add it to the db ' and redirect the browser to the url else %><% ' Varible for the PC IP address ip=request.servervariables("remote_addr") ' name of the db that will track the clicks accessdb="/fpdb/clicks.mdb" ' Build a connection to the db cn="DRIVER={Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb)};" cn=cn & "DBQ=" & server.mappath(accessdb) ' Create a server record set object set rs = server.createobject("ADODB.Recordset") ' SQL statement that will insert the url and the ip address sql = "insert into clicks (url,ip) values('"& url &"','"& ip &"')" ' insert the values into the db rs.open sql, cn ' kill the recordset set rs=nothing ' redirect to the url response.redirect url %><% end if ' end check for a url value %>

U.S. military forces in the Gulf have been on alert for Iraqi or Al Qaida attacks amid the current allied buildup in the region, Middle East Newsline reported. Most of the anti-U.S. attacks have so far been reported in Kuwait.

Central Command said the sea lions can quickly detect and locate sound underwater as well as spot divers underwater. So far, the navy has used them in training exercises with divers and dolphins but Central Command will place the sea lions with its harbor patrol unit.

"It is estimated the sea lions save the navy and taxpayers more than a million dollars annually by locating and attaching recovery lines to practice mines that would otherwise be lost and thus require replacement," the statement said. "Like military working dogs, California sea lions are easy to work with and provide a number of capabilities valuable to the navy."

Central Command said the introduction of sea lions is part of what it termed anti-terrorism measures allocated for demonstration in Bahrain. The command said the sea lions will operate around U.S. naval ships anchored in Manama's harbor as part of the Shallow-Water Intruder Detection System.

In Washington, the U.S. Coast Guard announced the deployment of eight cutters, comprised of 600 personnel, to the Gulf. The Coast Guard would help protect naval vessels from sabotage and insurgency attack.

"Clearly, there's a real threat there," Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.

Print this Article Print this Article Email this article Email this article Subscribe to this Feature Free Headline Alerts
Google
Search Worldwide Web Search WorldTribune.com Search WorldTrib Archives

See current edition of Geostrategy-Direct.com

Return to World Tribune.com Front Cover

New