Travis C-17 Flies Navy Dolphins Across the Country

A C-17 and airmen from the 301st Airlift Squadron at Travis AFB, Calif., recently flew four unusual passengers across the country—four highly trained bottlenose dolphins. On April 29, the C-17 took off from NAS Key West, Fla., to the US Naval Marine Mammal Program in San Diego to continue their training, to help sailors locate mines and enemy swimmers, according to an Air Mobility Command release. “The dolphins need to be challenge and get experience in different waters,” NMMP biological technician Brit Swenberg said in the release. “It also gets them used to traveling and working out of deployable vehicles.” The C-17 pilots were challenged in the flight, because they had to perform shallow takeoffs and landings, and ensure the proper pressure level and temperatures for the flight. “The sensitivity of the cargo posed a unique challenge for us,” 301st pilot and mission aircraft commander Lt. Col. Alex Salogub said in the release.