There have been lots of interesting combat swimmer news bits in the past week.
For starters, check out this photo dump from Saventa, Aruba (June 19, 2022) showing Marines with 2d Reconnaissance Battalion conducting a dive during Exercise Caribbean Coastal Warrior in conjunction with Dutch Korps Mariners marines. “This bilateral training exercise allows 2d Recon to expand its knowledge and proficiency when operating in littoral and coastal regions.”
Of course, you see rubber duck M4s, because why waste a good weapon in saltwater immersion training. But this post isn’t about rubber rifles with droopy barrels. Check out that last image and you will see a STIDD Diving Propulsion Device or DPD.
STIDD also makes a cargo pod for the DPD, which is now in its third generation.
The DPD is rare, but the Marine Recon community has been using them in small numbers for a decade. Check out this image from 2014:
“The (DPD) gives the combat divers an amazing benefit over the normal combat diving operational limitations they have,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Donald R. Miner, a medical deep-sea diver and instructor for the course with Headquarters Company, 3rd Recon. Bn., 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “It can defeat high currents and high tides using its battery. It also gives the divers more relaxation time as they’re not swimming for extended periods. They can go without expending all their energy trying to get to shore.”
Meanwhile, 10th Group’s base paper recently profiled a three-week ODA combat dive requalification at Key West’s very tough SFUWO school. To be validated, a dive team must perform six closed-circuit dives using a rebreather, one open-circuit search dive, and an Over the Horizon inflatable boat move of at least 15 nautical miles.
The group used Jet Boots for part of the requal. Simple twin scooter fans that strap to your legs, they can push you at up to 4 knots underwater.
Said the team leader:
“We’re incorporating (the Jetboots Diver Propulsion System) on our dives to extend our range. With dive operations, we’re limited to about 2 kilometers of diving. With the Jetboots capability SFUWO provides, we can do (infiltrations) of up to 7 or 8 kilometers.”
B-roll of the 10th Group guys sunning in the Keys:
The Marines have also used Jet Boots, which they simply term a “diver propulsion vehicle” or DPV.
Finally, just to remind folks they have the best toys, the SEALs (or at least SDV/DDS support guys) dropped this image just in time for July 4th reposts, albeit with open-circuit gear.