Sonar Technician (Surface) 1st Class Mark Osborne supervises Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class Randy Loewen, left, and Sonar Technician (Surface) 3rd Class Roland Stout, right, as they monitor contacts on an AN/SQQ-89V15 Surface Anti Submarine Combat System, aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Momsen (DDG 92). Ships and aircraft assigned to Carrier Strike Group
(CSG) 9 are underway off the coast of Southern California participating in a Joint Task Force Exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans)
The Environmental Director for the Chief of Naval Operations has spearheaded the creation of a new Web site to better educate and inform the public and Sailors on what the U.S. Navy is doing to protect the seas and its inhabitants during crucial training exercises.
Rear Adm. Larry Rice, director of the Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Readiness Division (N45), recently discussed why training with sonar is important and vital to national security.
"We cannot send our American Sailors and Marines into potential trouble spots around the world without adequate training to defend them," said Rice. "This is a national security issue, and we must use all methods available to ensure that arbitrary and excessive restrictions do not hamper our ability to train."
Rice added that the U.S. Navy has trained in Southern California for the past 40 years and they have had zero incidents with marine mammals--no strandings, no deaths, and no documented injuries.
"We want to keep that up," added Rice. "In order to accomplish this, we have 29 protective measures that we already employ. The additional training restrictions that the court levied on us frankly don't help us take care of the environment--and it restricts our training."
Rice added that it is important for Sailors and citizens to know how small an impact Navy sonar has on the marine environment.
As part of learning what type of impact the Navy is having, Rice encourages everyone to log onto the Navy's newest sonar Web site, which features information on whales, video clips, environmental stories, the Currents magazine and more.
The web site is located at www.navy.mil/oceans.
(By Lt. Jennifer Cragg, Navy News Service; and Tracey Moriarty, Chief of Naval Operation Environmental Readiness Division