Monday, June 20, 2011

U.S. Army Engineer Divers Conduct Annual Deep Water Diving Exercise

Also known as Deep Blue.

A group of 85 Army engineer divers assigned to the 74th, 86th, 511th, 544th and 569th Engineer Dive Detachments, Special Troops Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade made the trek to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., to conduct Deep Blue, an annual deep water diving exercise that kicked off mid-May.

This year's event took place at a man-made pond located at Aberdeen Proving Ground's, or APG's, Underwater Explosions and Testing site.

“The training is critical due to the risk factors associated with deep water diving,” said 1st Lt. John Maxwell, 569th Engineer Dive Detachment. “Diving platforms are set up on either side of the pond providing two training iterations for the group. Each diver logged 20-hours of time in the water by the end of the exercise.”

Divers spent three weeks training in self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, or scuba, and surface supply deep water dive scenarios with depths reaching 150 feet. Imagine jumping from a 15-story tall building and that will give you an idea of the depth involved in many of the diver’s missions.

Both diving modes are employed by the Army at a maximum depth of 190 feet.

The primary use for surface supplied diving include; underwater cutting and welding, waterfront facilities maintenance and port construction and rehabilitation. The use for scuba includes; inspections, search and recovery, river crossing operations and reconnaissance.

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