Best and brightest marine mammals protect Navy's fleet

10:32 PM, Oct 31, 2012   |    comments
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KINGS BAY, Ga. -- When you have some of the most lethal weapons on the planet protecting the United States, you better have an elite force making sure the weapons themselves are protected.

The submarines at Kings Bay in Georgia are guarded by the U.S. Navy's best -- both humans as well as members of the animal kingdom.

The Navy's elite force it's using to protect it's fleet is pretty top secret.

Internet searches and YouTube videos show some of the story.

Yes, the Navy SEALS are probably the best of the best. But when it comes to protecting the Kings Bay submarine base, they resort to the Navy sea lions.

We called Kings Bay to ask about their sea mammal security force. They said it was top secret ... basically, they can't show us their animals.

But last year, CNN did a series on the Navy's Marine Mammal Program.

The Navy uses bottle nose dolphins and even sea lions to protect against intruders swimming into the Bay.

The sea lions and dolphins are specially trained to shackle a diver trying to intrude so the Navy can literally reel them in like fish.

And while the Navy couldn't show us anything, Sea World let us come and see what their Sea Lions are capable of.

"It's not exactly a nuclear sub," said Todd Coffman, who has been working with sea lions for 27 years.

"They're pretty sharp, they can memorize numerous different behaviors," he said.

He said these animals are more than capable of handling a security detail.

And are perfectly outfitted for the waters of the southeast.

"Very long whiskers, even in water with zero viability they can actually feel what they're seeing," Coffman said.

Making them better equipped to chase down a would-be intruder.

And like a perfect guard animal, it has a bite that can match it's bark.

The Navy has been using these animals since 2005. They say it takes about 18 months to train them to do the job.

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