Special Forces Underwater Operations School
The John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School's Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West, Florida, provides Special Operations training centering around maritime operations and infiltration techniques used to infiltrate enemy areas to avoid detection. The school offers 3 specific courses related to underwater operations: the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification, the Special Forces Diving Medical Technician and the Special Forces Combat Diving Supervisor. All 3 courses are taught by Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne). As of 2005, Army, Navy and Air Force instructors with Company C train about 400 students yearly. By 2007, only Army and Navy instructors particpated, training about 340 students yearly.
The Combat Diver Qualification Course is a 6 weeks in length. As of 2005, the course had only been 4 weeks, 4 days in length. Students are taught the basics in open-circuit scuba and closed-circuit Draeger LAR V rebreather operations. Open-circuit training includes underwater search and recovery, submarine lock-in and lock-out procedures, ship bottom search, and over the water infiltration techniques. During both phases of training students learn underwater navigation techniques for day and night operations.
The Diving Medical Technician Course is 3 weeks in length. As of 2005, the course had only been 16 days in length. Qualified Special Operations medics learn a broad range of subjects related to the assessment and treatment of diving injures and illnesses. Students become proficient in Scuba Lifesaving and Accident Management which involves the rescue of victims at sea via helicopter, en route treatment of a patient, and administering hyperbaric treatment to a patient with dive injuries.
The Combat Diving Supervisors Course is 3 weeks in length. As of 2005, the course had only been 12 days in length. This course is designed to take the experienced combat diver to a higher level of expertise. During the course, students learn the necessary skills to plan and conduct diving operations for both open-circuit and closed-circuit dives.
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