CAMP LEJEUNE, NC — A team of Marines, donned in diving gear, sits on the edge of the pier. Feet dangling, they stare out into the murky water, safety checks done and masks strapped on, the Marines give the “OK” signal. With a forward roll and a splash the dive begins.
This was the scene as Marines with Company C, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, took part in the two days of team dive training held aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 15 – 16.
The first day of training consisted of pool training to familiarize with the full face mask communication system and combat diver’s vest, both of which have never been used by many of the 26 Marines who underwent the training.
“You never want to use equipment without being confident and educated on how to use it first,” said Capt. Tommy Wallin, executive officer of Company C, 2nd Recon Bn. “Which is why we conducted the pool training before using the equipment in an uncontrolled environment.”
The Marines began the second day of training by pre-diving their diving rigs, setting up the dive site and getting the boats in the water as well as doing their safety checks before moving to conduct the team dive. During this the teams conducted two day dives and a night dive.
Each of the three diving teams consisted of a five to six-man group. During each dive, the teams conducted a dog leg, which was essentially an underwater navigation exercise. The dog leg training required the Marines to travel underwater to four designated markers before returning to their beginning location.
“Knowing the equipment is incredibly important,” said Wallin, a native of Mountain Lake New Jersey. “When you’re down there your visibility is only about a foot, so you need to know where everything on your rig is at.”
The team dive training was conducted in preparation of the upcoming amphibious training exercise “BOLD ALLIGATOR 2012”.
“They’re doing really great so far,” said Gunnery Sgt. Cory Paskvan, platoon sergeant with Force Reconnaissance Company, Recon Bn. “For some of them, this is their first time diving as a team, but they’re doing well and this is great training. It’s important for the Reconnaissance Marines to get back to their amphibious roots.”