Sea lions take a swim for Homeland Security training (photos)

The United States Navy Marine Mammal Program includes sea lions and dolphins trained to perform underwater surveillance for object detection, location, marking, and recovery.

During exercises focused on practicing elements of local and regional port security plans Tuesday, the United States Navy Marine Mammal Program took part in a joint training program with the San Francisco Police Department dive team designed to identify underwater threats including mines, improvised explosive devices, and enemy divers.

Using highly trained dolphins and sea lions selected for their quickness, intelligence, detection capability, and mobility, officials demonstrated the unique ability of these animals to identify and neutralize threats in cooperation with human teammates. See the full gallery here.

A California Sea Lion catches fish prior to Tuesday's Golden Guardian mine detection exercise in the San Francisco Bay.
A California Sea Lion catches fish prior to Tuesday's Golden Guardian mine detection exercise in the San Francisco Bay. James Martin/CNET

During Golden Guardian, an exercise in regional emergency preparedness for terrorist attacks on California ports, city state and federal agencies cooperated in communication and response techniques.
During Golden Guardian, an exercise in regional emergency preparedness for terrorist attacks on California ports, city, state, and federal agencies cooperated in communication and response techniques. James Martin/CNET

Following the identification of an enemy diver by a Navy dolphin, the sea lion responds with a clasp to capture the target.
Following the identification of an enemy diver by a Navy dolphin, the sea lion responds with a clasp to capture the target. James Martin/CNET

The United States Navy Marine Mammal Program includes sea lions and dolphins trained to perform underwater surveillance for object detection, location, marking and recovery.
The United States Navy Marine Mammal Program includes sea lions and dolphins trained to perform underwater surveillance for object detection, location, marking, and recovery. James Martin/CNET

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