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A Marine prepares for a 600 meter conditioning swim during Water Survival-Advanced training at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 4, 2017. WSA is a week-long course that tests Marines on rescues, strokes and distance swimming. The Marine is a student in the course, which is run by 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Holly Pernell

Camp Lejeune Marines stay amphibious

12 Apr 2017 | Sgt. Ryan Young II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines with 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion conducted a Water Survival-Advanced training course for Marines from various units at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 4-7, 2017. 

The week-long course pushed the Marines past their comfort zones by teaching them the fundamentals of aquatic physical conditioning and training them to become rescue swimmers. The Marines who accepted the challenge of WSA also participated in aquatic confidence drills and team-building exercises. They completed qualification the final day after being tested on rescues, survival strokes and distance swimming. 

“The [class] is working together very well to complete this training,” said Cpl. Jacob Lebo, a Marine Corps Instructor of Water Survival with the battalion. “The unit cohesion is emphasized during this training, as an all for one, one for all kind of deal.” 

Upon graduating the course, Marines are qualified in conducting water rescues and assisting MCIWS on performing and evaluating other Marines on water survival skills. The training enhances the Marines’ ability to perform life saving techniques in stressful environments.

“My thoughts on today’s training was it helps us improve on our swimming stokes and our confidence in the water as a whole,” said Cpl. Thomas Abadie, a team leader with the battalion. 

Abadie said the course increased his skills in open water and helped him better understand the importance of team work in an uncomfortable situation. Abadie hopes in the future he will be able to go through the MCIWS Course and assist in preparing his unit with water survival to increase the battalion’s readiness.

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