MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines with 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion conducted a dive supervisor course at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Jan. 19, 2016.
The course is held up to twice a year and is open to sergeants and above who have graduated from the Marine Combatant Dive School in Panama City Beach, Florida. Upon completing the two-week course, Marines earn the title "Dive Supervisor" and are then responsible for the equipment, the conduct of the dive, and the post dive by ensuring the equipment is ready for the next training exercise or real-life operation.
“Diving is a big part of reconnaissance, especially for that clandestine insertion and extraction from missions,” said Staff Sgt. Frank Simmons, a student in the dive supervisor course. “With the Marine Corps getting back to its amphibious roots and [recon Marines] having a much larger footprint and presence on the Marine Expeditionary Units, we need this diving capability to be well honed.
Not only will these students be responsible for supervising an MK25 dive, which is designed for clandestine insertions and extractions, but they will also be expected to handle any real-life medical emergencies that may occur from the dive evolution, said Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Dipasqua, an MK25 team leader with the Marine Combatant Dive Detachment in Panama City Beach, Florida.
“The key and most important portion of the course is the medical training,” Simmons said. “There are a lot of dive injuries that people can fall under when they are subsurface, and those are things that we are trained extensively on, for notifying and taking care of as quickly as possible.”
“The most serious situation that could develop would be an unconscious diver, therefore the student is expected to recognize that the diver is unconscious and provide the life saving techniques and echelon of care that he needs,” said Dipasqua.
The dive supervisors are an incredible asset to the Marine Expeditionary Force because without them units wouldn’t be able to conduct a dive due to protocol, said Simmons.
“This capability will allow the 2d Marine Division or MEUs to clandestinely insert men into any foreign country when we are forward deployed,” said Simmons. “We will be able to effectively do that in a safe manner.”