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Dolphins March Into Battle

By Anthony G.
California, Age 6

April 8,2003-We might not have Aquaman, the DC comic character who controls animals in the sea, but we do have dolphin trainers preparing dolphins to help the Navy. According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, right now, dolphins are being trained at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center here in San Diego. The Center’s Edward Budzyna says, “all the dolphins ask from us is raw fish and in return they help us detect mines and capture enemy scuba divers. The dolphins can swim up to a frogmen in an instant, snap a cuff on them and swim away.”

He continues, “we’ve deployed the dolphins at Iraq’s only deep-sea port, The Khor Abdullah waterway that leads to Umm Qasr. The ages in dolphins we have trained are through 1 and 40 years old. The dolphins have two main missions. One of the missions involves finding mines. ”They are also being used as soldiers but instead of marching into battle they swim in the water.''

Not everyone agrees that using dolphins is necessary. According to an article on the MSNBC website, “animal-rights advocates have long questioned whether marine mammals could, or should, be trained to take on military duty — particularly when it comes to confronting humans. In the late 1980s, the Progressive Animal Welfare Society successfully sued to block the Navy from using dolphins as armed sentries at a submarine base in Washington state. Some experts have seen signs of stress in military dolphins, particularly when they are moved from warm to cold waters.” But Edward Budzyna debates that, “No dolphins have died in a mission so far.”

Is using dolphins for war necessary? There are arguments for both sides