Editor’s Note: The full names and identifications of those serving in the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) are withheld due to the safety and security of soldiers and their families.
By the sergeant. Ashley sanders
10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
ASTORIA, Oregon – Being invisible, unheard and undetected during maritime operations is an unparalleled art of combat divers of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Recently, the 10th SFG (A) ‘s most skilled dive team took on the cold waters and depths of the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean to conduct three weeks of intense maritime training and dive re-qualification.
“Diving is used as a form of infiltration,” said the diver
detachment commander, who is also a combat diver. “It’s a clandestine method of (insert Green Berets) to then accomplish their basic mission, whether it’s a direct action raid or a special reconnaissance of an objective.”
To remain proficient in their performance capabilities, dive teams need to train regularly, covering a multitude of skills while training in local and remote, unfamiliar places.
“It is important that combat divers are able to operate in a variety of environments,” said the commander.
For this reason, the detachment, commonly referred to as “America’s Dive Team”, trained across the country in various water and surf conditions. These locations include areas such as Coronado, California; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Key West, Florida; and, more recently, over the Arctic Circle in Alaska, he said.
The requalification training, administered every six months, is not limited to scuba diving. Level one diving qualification training includes a minimum of six closed circuit dives, one underwater research dive, one deep dive of 70 feet or more,
a 3000 meter surface swim, a boat trip over the horizon of 15 nautical miles and two full mission profile dives.
Using a compass held by a designated navigator, divers must navigate as a team in an environment that may feature fast currents, strong waves and murky waters with little to no visibility, while being submerged at 15- 20 feet. These variables, separate or combined, can make precise navigation more difficult and dive missions much more difficult, he added.
“To prepare for training, the detachment regularly organizes physical training sessions in the swimming pool to strengthen the muscles necessary for long underwater movements,” said the commander. “The detachment also regularly incorporates maritime training into its training progression locally at Fort Carson. “
While the Submarine Facet is a unified effort among dive team members, parts of the dive requalification training require joint operations exercises between combat divers from 10th SFG (A) and D ‘other military elements and organizations. For Astoria, the U.S. dive team used the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) to conduct the dive team’s operations.
“The detachment has been able to join together and support several organizations,” said the commander. “This included the 4th Battalion, 160th SOAR, (which) supported helicasting, water winches, water exfiltration, small boat water inserts and fast rope insertion operations. “
In addition, the detachment supported the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Coast Guard during their deep dive operation, which was conducted to help confirm or deny the existence of a possible historic submarine enclosure. “, did he declare.
“The biggest takeaway from training is that learning never stops,” said the commander. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s the most qualified dive supervisor in the detachment or the youngest graduate of the Combat Diver Qualification course, every member of the detachment has acquired new knowledge or skills with every operation. “