To the Editor:
Re “Of Whales and National Security” (editorial, July 2):
Today’s threats to national security are not “exaggerated”; they are increasing. With the price of gasoline topping $4 a gallon, consider what could happen if a rogue state with quiet diesel-electric submarines were to threaten tanker traffic in the Strait of Hormuz.
The United States Fifth Fleet will prevent that from happening. Those sailors and marines will succeed because of the intense training they have undergone—training that included use of active sonar to find enemy submarines.
During training with active sonar, we protect marine mammals by employing rigorous protective measures. Such protective measures were developed in concert with, and were approved by, federal environmental regulators.
I am pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to review the lower courts’ decisions on the Navy’s use of active sonar in waters off the coast of California. The lives of our sailors and marines, and our national security, depend on it.
(Rear Adm.) Larry Rice
Director, Chief of Naval Operations
Environmental Readiness Division
Washington, July 3, 2008