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US Army Combat Divers School
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TSgt James J. Thede


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The Special Forces Underwater Operations Combat Diver Course. This is one of the tougher schools the Army has to offer. If you make it through the OL-H, it is not too difficult physically...but you still have to learn dive tables, physiology, tides, waves, and currents, CPR, submarine lock-in/out, etc. Below is a general overview of the course when I went through...(it was harder back then)!

COMBAT DIVER QUALIFICATION COURSE (CDQC) (4 WEEKS, 4 days)

PURPOSE:

TO TRAIN SELECTED SOF PERSONNEL AS OPEN-CIRCUIT COMBAT DIVERS

SCOPE: OPEN CIRCUIT OPERATIONS 

SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE OPERATIONS

DEEP DIVES 

DIVING PHYSICS/INJURIES 

WATER INFILTRATION 

Course objective:

Train personnel as qualified military combat divers trained in waterborne operations to include day and night ocean subsurface navigation swims, deep dives, diving physics, marine hazards, tides and currents, submarine lock-in/lock-out procedures, and closed-circuit and open-circuit swims.

Reporting Instructions:

 1.  Students will report to building KW 100, United States Naval Air Station, Trumbo Point Annex, Key West, Florida, during duty hours and to the charge of quarters (CQ) building KW 700 after duty hours.  Students will report no earlier than two days prior to the reporting date (the dining facility will be closed prior to this time) and no later than 2400 on the reporting date.  APFT will be conducted at 0500 the next day.  Inprocessing will begin at 1000 on the following day in building KW 100.

 2.  Students must be assigned to or on orders for assignment to duty requiring participation in waterborne/underwater operations.

 3.  It is imperative that all administrative actions or problems be settled with the studentís parent unit prior to the studentís departure from his home station.  The training site at Key West has no administrative assets to handle such actions.

 4.  Travel to Key West will be by commercial air or privately owned vehicle.  Students will not use privately owned vehicles while attending the course.

 5.  Students will be billeted in the Company C billets.  Mess facilities will be provided at no cost to the students.

 6.  Students should bring enough money for personal needs for four weeks (access to government check cashing facilities is limited).  Meal cards will be issued at Key West.  Statements of nonavailability will not be issued.

Prerequisites

Male commissioned officer, warrant officer, or enlisted member of the Active Army or Reserve Component or selected DOD personnel assigned or on orders to a special operations forces unit.  Must have passed a Scuba physical examination IAW AR 40-501, Chapter 5, paragraph 5, within two years of course completion date and must report with medical records on day of inprocessing.  Must have successfully completed a pre-Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) program conducted at parent unit.  Must report with certification of pre-CDQC completion signed by the battalion commander.  Must meet the height and weight standards as outlined in AR 600-9.

If a waiver is required, the original Standard Form 88, Standard Form 93, and allied documents will be forwarded directly to the USASOC Surgeon IAW AR 40-501, Chapter 8, paragraph 8-26C.  Must pass an entrance examination at C Company, Key West, Florida, consisting of the following requirements:  APFT with a minimum of 70 points in each event and an overall score of 210 or above (scored on 17- to 21-year-old age group) IAW FM 21-20; swim 500 meters, nonstop (on the surface), using only the breaststroke or sidestroke; tread water for two minutes continuously, with both hands and ears out of the water; swim 25 meters underwater without breaking the surface with any portion of the body; and retrieve a 20-pound weight from a depth of 3 meters.  (Recommend using pre-CDQC training package exported by SWCS in May 1995 to prepare for this entrance examination.)

Packing List:

As a minimum, each student will bring the following items of uniform and equipment:

 1.  Brown/olive drab (OD) T-shirts, eight each.

 2.  Underwater demolition team (UDT) Army swim trunks or unit issue physical training (PT) shorts (with standard OD name tape sewn on the right front leg, centered 1 inch above the bottom), two pairs each.

 3.  Battle dress uniform (BDU)/patrol cap without patches, insignia, or reflective tape, two each.  Berets will not be worn at Key West.

 4.  Utility uniforms (BDU, camouflage, or jungle), two each.

 5.  White socks (no stripes or logos, no knee socks), six pairs each.

 6.  Athletic shoes, lace type, one pair each.

 7.  Military duffel/aviatorís bag, one each.

 8.  Calculator, hand-held, one each.

 9.  Loose-leaf binder/notebook, one each.

 10.  Watch, waterproof, one each.

Note:  Students may wear personal wet suit booties, coral booties, or a similar type footgear for the swims.  However, Company C will not issue these items to the students.
 


Basic Overview

1st week-

Morning formation, PT, boat house boogie (FAST 2 mile run), conditioning in pool, which consists of laps and flutter kicks, instruction in dive equipment and procedures.

2nd week--

"Ditching + Donning": enter pool, swim underwater to deep end at depth of 15 feet, remove face mask, snorkel, fins. Twin tanks left on bottom, placing weight belts on top. Take one breath of compressed air, surface, breathe, go down, put weight belt on and other equipment, begin using compressed air. "Harassment Dive" :Get in water, swim around edge at the bottom, and get "harassed" by instructors, face masks pulled, fins removed, oxygen tanks removed, etc, for an hour. Failing either of these exercises results in discharge from SCUBA school. Classes. 500m navigation dive evaluation.

3d week- Dive, Dive, Dive...day and night, 1500m navigation dive evaluation, classes, etc. etc. etc.

4th Week- More night dives, team swim, 3000m navigation dive evaluation, end of course test, FTX, GRADUATION!



harassment

Course overview - 2hrs
Dangerous Marine Life - 1hr
Specialized Physical Conditioning for Combat diver qual - 1hr
Oxygen Tolerance/Chamber pressure test - 7hrs
500 meter Team selection swim - 2hrs
Physics - 3hrs
Inspection and maintenance of Individual swim equipment - 13hrs
Diving physiology - 1hr
Diving injuries - 2hrs
Anti-swimmer systems - 1hr
Determining duration of air supply - 1hr
Decompression - 4hrs
Regulator repair - 4hrs
Tides, waves, and currents - 2hrs
CPR - 6 hrs
Altitude diving - 2hrs
OPEN-CIRCUIT SCUBA TRAINING:


Dry suit
Use of Fins and mask - 4hrs
Use of open-circuit equipment and buddy breathing - 4hrs
Open-circuit SCUBA tank charging - 2hrs
Ditching and donning single hose open-circuit equipment - 4hrs
Specialized Waterwork and equipment - 4hrs
Open-circuit compass swims - 20hrs
130' open-circuit qualification dive - 4hrs
Operations

Surface swims - 9hrs
Advanced open water practical exercise - 4hrs
Team swims - 2hrs
Introduction to Para-Scuba - 1hr
Buoyant Ascent - 2hrs
Submarine lock-in/out training/practical - 4hrs
Underwater searches - 5hrs
Cast and recovery - 4hrs
Waterproofing and bundle rigging - 2hrs
Ship bottom search - 4hrs
Infiltration techniques - 2hrs

FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE - 22HRS
Compass swim
CLOSED-CIRCUIT SCUBA TRAINING: Note: The closed circuit training portion of combat diver school has been discontinued. In its place, the cadre has developed and implemented a Water Infiltration Course (WIC). This mini WIC consists of zodiac operations and navigation, numerous surface swims, an end of course FTX, Klepper operations, waterproofing of gear, planning, etc. Below is listed the closed circuit training I received in 1984.

Introduction to Closed Circuit - 4hrs
Use of Closed Circuit LAR (Lambert Air Rebreather) V - 3hrs
Closed circuit compass swims - 13hrs
Pre/Post dive procedures for LAR V - 12hrs

Note: The LAR V is a 100% oxygen rebreather system that makes use of a small oxygen bottle and a "scrubber" canister that filters the CO2 from your exhaled air and allows you to re-breathe 100% oxygen.

E-mail me if you have questions.