Working Under Pressure: U.S. Navy Divers


They dive the world over, equipped with specific tools to accomplish each unique underwater task, serving the U.S. Navy beneath the surface. Whether it is an inspection of a submarine, a salvage and recovery mission or conducting a research project, Navy Divers are highly trained and ready to go.

“It’s never dull,” said Navy Chief Warrant Officer Coy Everage, “You could be placing explosives on a sunken object in a semi-permissive war-time environment during combat harbor clearance operations, or you could be scuba diving out of a small boat somewhere tropical, performing an environmental-impact study with other government agencies.”

An elite group, only about 75 trainees annually join the ranks of the 1,175 current U.S. Navy Divers. In addition to rigorous dive training and the maintaining of peak physical fitness, Navy Divers are expected to excel in academia, particularly in advanced underwater physics and medicine, a challenging component of the Navy Diver program. Divers are also trained in hyperbaric medicine and treatment tables, as well as in scuba and related skills, such as demolition and diving with mixed gas.

Once through training, divers are assigned to a variety of projects that may vary throughout their career.

A Navy Diver waits as his tank’s manifold is checked by members
of the Mobile Diving Salvage Unit before a search and recovery dive during
a Joint POW/MIA Personnel Accounting Command (JPAC) recovery
mission in Quynh Phuong, Vietnam.

Navy Divers may be assigned to boat and submarine security inspections and maintenance or called to repair a damaged ship.

Divers may be assigned to salvage and recovery missions, which could require performing underwater cutting and placing lift bags to float an object to the surface. Research projects conducted in conjunction with government initiatives are another field in which Navy Divers may be assigned. The U.S. Navy Experimental Diving Unit in Panama City, Fla., researches and investigates dive equipment, techniques, medical treatments and the physical and biological effects of diving. Demolition projects are not out of the question; some even include the scuttling of vessels for the creation of artificial reefs and the enjoyment of recreational divers.

Diving with a mission to defend, repair, salvage and explore, the pool is always open for U.S. Navy Divers.







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