Despite reports from Russian news outlet Izvestia, which state that the US Navy will soon deploy combat dolphins and sea lions to practice war training exercises in the Black Sea, a spokesperson with the navy has confirmed that those claims are false.
Lieutenant Commander Katie Cerezo, in speaking with the Guardian US, says that the Navy has no plans to send marine animals to drill for war in NATO-Ukraine joint training.
"There is no truth to this report," says Cerezo.
The US Navy's Marine Mammal Program, based in San Diego, does train dolphins and sea lions to detect submerged objects, like mines and swimmers, but the animals are rarely used in potential combat zones. As the Guardian's national security editor, Spencer Ackerman notes, the use of dolphins or sea lions in the Black Sea would be ineffective:
"Last week, Russian fighter jets passed over the warship in a move the Pentagon considered a provocation, but it is unclear what the dolphins would have done to confront Russian airpower," Ackerman writes.