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U.S. Coast Guard Diving Program

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The first few weeks provide thorough classroom instruction on Diving Physics, Diving Medicine and SCUBA Fundamentals. After that the training moves into the pool where standard procedures are taught and reinforced. For SCUBA students the final week before graduation is spent training in open-water. After graduation, SCUBA students will spend a couple of days (depending on number of Coast Guard students in the class) on Coast Guard specific training with drysuits, full-face masks, lightweight surface-supplied diving equipment and lift bags.

For Basic Diving Officer and Deep-Sea Diving Medical Technicians, the course proceeds after SCUBA into Surface-Supplied Air Diving Procedures, Advanced Diving Medicine, Advanced Physics, Hyperbaric Chamber Operations and basic Underwater Ship's Husbandry.

Coast Guard Diving Units

Polar Icebreakers

Polar Icebreakers operate in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions, providing logistics and dedicated science support to scientific research missions. In the Arctic, the Icebreakers serve as a research platform, taking teams of scientists as far as the North Pole, through ice conditions that would make those places unreachable by standard research vessels. In the Antarctic, the Icebreakers create a channel through the ice into McMurdo Sound in order to allow cargo ships to resupply the science station with fuel, food and materials.

    Diving Duties
    Science Support. Divers provide embarked science parties on Polar Icebreakers with the ability to take still and video images and collect samples of various organisms and objects beneath polar ice.

    Underwater Ships Husbandry. All diving units possess the capability to perform basic underwater tasks including running gear and hull inspections, propeller cleanings and propeller pitch calibrations.

    Underwater Search and Recovery. All diving units are trained in basic search techniques and may be used to locate objects underwater. Most units are equipped with some salvage equipment and may be able to raise large objects.

Fourteenth District Buoy Tenders

Buoy tenders are a multi-mission asset that maintain aids to navigation (ATON), conduct search and rescue and law enforcement. The highly mobile nature of the diving team allows for rapid response to ATON discrepancies throughout the Central and Western Pacific Ocean. With the aid of a small boat, the diving team can inspect and (if necessary) lift or reposition an aid of any size. Divers are also able to work on aids in restricted or shallow water where it is unsafe to take the cutter.

    Diving Duties
    AtoN Operations- Divers provide buoy tenders in the Fourteenth District the ability to conduct extensive, independent ATON operations requiring minimal support. Divers can inspect moorings, change out buoys, salvage sunken buoys and lift buoy sinkers. Most ATON diving is conducted from small boats, allowing the dive team to work ATON in shallow water where the cutter would be at risk.

    Underwater Ships Husbandry. All diving units possess the capability to perform basic underwater tasks including running gear and hull inspections, propeller cleanings and propeller pitch calibrations.

    Underwater Search and Recovery. All diving units are trained in basic search techniques and may be used to locate objects underwater. Most units are equipped with some salvage equipment and may be able to raise large objects.

Maritime Safety and Security Teams

Provide waterborne and shoreside anti-terrorism/force protection for strategic shipping, high-interest vessels and critical infrastructure. MSSTs are a quick response force capable of rapid, nationwide deployment via air, ground or sea transportation. Diving teams provide an underwater inspection capability for ships and port facilities.

    Diving Duties
    Port, Waterway and Coastal Security (PWCS). Divers provide Maritime Safety and Security Teams with the ability to detect, identify and mark underwater threats including mines and improvised explosive devices (IED) attached to piers and vessel hulls.

    Underwater Ships Husbandry. All diving units possess the capability to perform basic underwater tasks including running gear and hull inspections, propeller cleanings and propeller pitch calibrations.

    Underwater Search and Recovery. All diving units are trained in basic search techniques and may be used to locate objects underwater. Most units are equipped with some salvage equipment and may be able to raise large objects.

For more information, read the Coast Guard Diving Program FAQ.

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