Navy divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two (MDSU 2) are in Colombia working with divers from the Armada de la Rebublica de Colombia as part of Southern Partnership Station 2014.
This week the MDSU divers brought out an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and demonstrated its capabilities to divers and dive students from the Departamento de Buceo y Salvamento.
“They have vehicles of their own, but they’re interested to see what we operate,” said Navy Diver 3rd Class Zoe Young, a MDSU 2 diver. “We started in the class room with an overview of the system … then we took them to the swimming pool and had them practice.”
The divers set up an underwater obstacle course in the pool, and groups of Colombian dive students rotated through taking turns maneuvering the ROV.
“They did very well,” said Young. “A lot of them picked it up very quickly, and they helped me teach their friends.”
After a day of driving the ROV in the pool, the divers took the robot to a local pier to practice searching the hull of a ship. They attached the ROV’s “crawler” accessory. The crawler is a small set of wheels that allow the ROV to drive on the bottom of a ship’s hull.
“We were practicing attaching the crawler to the hull of a ship and maneuvering on the ship,” said Young. “The most difficult part of what we were doing today is attaching the robot to the hull of the ship. There’s a complicated sequence with the controller that you have to do.”
Colombia is the third country the MDSU 2 divers have visited as part of Southern Partnership Station 2014. In a couple of weeks, the group will move on to Honduras.
“Deployment [has] been great so far,” said Young. “We got to work with a lot of different groups, and I’m excited to see what we have as our trip continues.”
Southern Partnership Station 2014 is a U.S. Navy deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces in Central and South America and the Caribbean. U.S. military teams work with partner nation forces during naval-focused training exercises, military-to-military engagements and community relations projects in an effort to enhance partnerships with regional maritime activities and improve the operational readiness of participants.