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SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine — The world is a bad science fiction novel, and we are merely characters.
The Ukranian navy has announced it has restarted a special training program for dolphins and other animals for military duties including swimming around with pistols attached to their heads in case an enemy swimmer appears in Ukranian waters. Because why not?
"We are now planning training exercises for counter-combat swimmer tasks in order to defend ships in port and on raids," a military source told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
Dolphins were trained at Sevastopol for the Soviet Navy as far back as 1973, and were originally used to find military equipment, attack enemy divers, or plant explosives on enemy ships.
When the USSR broke up and the Black Sea Fleet was divided between the Ukrainian and Russian fleets, the Ukrainian navy was given control of the dolphin training section and discontinued its use for military purposes, probably because dolphins aren't particularly known for their killer instincts but maybe just because the dolphins were tired.
The Ukrainian army wanted to keep the unit intact, though, so it began using the dolphins for civilian tasks, such as working with disabled children.
Now, with the program restarted, the dolphins have participated in training exercises including finding underwater weapons, a mission that was "successfully carried out," according to the military source.
"Our dolphins found the items and attached devices to them which were fixed on their heads, after which a buoy on it was sent to the surface to mark it," the source said. It is unclear whether the "items" were tasty fish.
Eventually, the dolphins will move on to larger-scale operations. They will probably always have inferiority complexes, though, because they are not sharks with laser beams attached to their heads.
"The killer-dolphins will be trained to attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads, the source said," according to RIA Novosti.
The Ukrainian navy is not the only military to use dolphins to carry out military tasks — the U.S. Navy employs dolphins for ship and harbor protection under the Marine Mammal Program.