Canadian Combat Divers Ensuring Op Readiness

RackMaster

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I think this is a great article that explains the CF's use of divers and some of their capabilities. I like this quote particularly.

“Besides combat divers, there are four categories of divers in the Canadian Forces: clearance divers, ship’s-team divers, port inspection divers and divers assigned to search and rescue operations,” said Warrant Officer David Proulx, a senior diver with 5 CER.


Exercise ensures divers always ready to deploy



Divers from 5 CER trained with pilots and flight engineers from 430 Tac Hel Sqn at Lake Saint Joseph September 19–23 during Ex PLONGEUR HABILE.
Friday, October 21, 2011

CFB/ASU Valcartier, Quebec — Divers from 5 Combat Engineer Regiment trained with pilots and flight engineers from 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (430 Tac Hel Sqn) September 19–23 in Lake Saint Joseph as part of Exercise PLONGEUR HABILE.


Click to enlarge

Divers from 5 CER get ready to jump from a Griffon CH-146 helicopter during Ex PLONGEUR HABILE.
Lake Saint Joseph is located near the city of Fossambault-sur-le-lac, in the metropolitan area of the city of Québec.

Always ready
“This training is necessary and we have to be ready at all times. I had the opportunity to be deployed last spring during the flooding in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu,” said Captain Josh Kilburn, 5 CER diving officer.


“We made use of our know-how by conducting exploratory dives in order to assess the work needed to seal off the damaged dikes in the fields. We also lent our support to local police officers and firefighters during search and rescue operations. We cleared obstacles that were in the way and helped protect houses using sandbags.”

Ex PLONGEUR HABILE involved searches, salvage operations, navigation, night diving, bank reconnaissance, deep water diving and heli-diving. Young divers and more seasoned divers trained together to maintain their skills and be ready for deployment.




Click to enlarge

Diving officer Capt Josh Kilburn, 5 CER, at Lake Saint Joseph during Ex PLONGEUR HABILE.
Diver categories


“Besides combat divers, there are four categories of divers in the Canadian Forces: clearance divers, ship’s-team divers, port inspection divers and divers assigned to search and rescue operations,” said Warrant Officer David Proulx, a senior diver with 5 CER.

“Combat divers are combat engineers and diving is just one of their secondary tasks. They are able to play the role of combat engineers, but underwater.”

Combat divers often operate in inland water, on the surface of the water or underwater using scuba diving gear. They usually remain close to the shore where troops conduct their operations.

Ex PLONGEUR HABILE was an opportunity for participating divers to share their know-how with colleagues.

“There was a cohesive spirit, and it was a good experience for the young divers,” said WO Denis Langlois, 5 CER. “I obtained my diving qualification 20 years ago, and every time, it’s a new challenge for me.”

Article: SLt Éliane Trahan, Army News, Valcartier
Photos: Cpl François Charest, Image Technician, 430 Tac Hel Sqn, and SLt Éliane Trahan




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Coyote

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Good article, nice to see they're focusing largely on civil emergencies/related missions. Since we're on the topic of CF divers, thought I'd add two recent pictures of them during an exercise.

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