The Navy’s highly-trained dolphins and sea lions carry out missions all over the world. With their natural acoustic, sight, and diving abilities, marine mammals are exceptionally skilled at finding objects underwater. Navy animals detect mines and intruders in a fraction of the time it takes human divers and human-made technology. This exhibit explores the missions Navy dolphins and sea lions perform and the science behind their remarkable abilities.
The Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) has safeguarded Navy divers and expanded their diving capabilities since 1927. Its official mission is to research, develop, test, and evaluate diving equipment and procedures, but more simply, its job is problem-solving: NEDU personnel use their expertise and experience to find solutions for the many challenges of working underwater. Learn how NEDU’s many accomplishments have extended the depth, duration, and safety of Navy diving.
The loss of USS Thresher (SSN 593) — America’s most advanced submarine — with all hands on April 10, 1963, shocked the Navy and the submarine community. Ultimately, the disaster drove the Navy to create new programs that improved submarine safety (the SUBSAFE Program) and expanded the Navy’s deep sea capabilities (the Deep Submergence Systems Project). The Thresher Legacy examines how such a tragic loss could produce such profound and positive changes within the Navy.
Navy divers possess unrivaled diving expertise and abilities — excellence necessary to safely handle the dangerous, challenging nature of military diving. The Navy has relied on military divers since 1882, when the first Navy diving school was established. Today, despite the advent of unmanned technology like ROVs, the ingenuity of human divers remains essential to Navy operations.