Divers demolish at Orchard Hills

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author)

Navy Divers from Australian Clearance Diving Team One spent the week conducting live explosive demolitions on land and below the water, as part of training at the Orchard Hills Range. (photo: Unknown)
Navy Divers from Australian Clearance Diving Team One spent the week conducting live explosive demolitions on land and below the water, as part of training at the Orchard Hills Range.

Divers from Australian Clearance Diving Team One spent last week conducting live explosive demolitions on land and below the water as part of training at the Orchard Hills Range.
 
About 60 divers completed the Explosive Ordnance Disposal training, which was held to refresh their skills in the application of in-service explosive and ordnance disposal tools.
 
Officer in charge of the training, Petty Officer Clearance Diver Travers Smith, said it was important that all divers were competent in this core job requirement.
 
“We primarily use plastic explosives with electric and non-electric detonators, fired either manually or with remote actuated firing devices," he said.
 
"All divers, no matter whether they specialise in mine counter measures, underwater damage repair or explosive ordnance disposal, need these skills,” Petty Officer Smith said.
 
“I was impressed with how everyone performed; every diver hit the target of cutting a fuse within one second accuracy.
 
“During the underwater serials, the guys had to place underwater explosive charges to simulate either neutralising a mine or underwater ordnance disposal in zero visibility - the dam was pitch black – it was basically mud."
 
While to an outsider the training might sound intense, Petty Officer Smith says what was practiced was the baseline for all clearance divers.
 
“We do training in a stepped approach and it becomes more complex," he said.
 
"In March, we’ll head to Pittwater to start five weeks of intensive training, where we’ll work up to full mission profiles.
 
“We crawl, walk, then run.  The first phase will be assessing the guys on bomb suits, Explosive Ordnance Disposal tools, weapons and procedures.  
 
"We then move into small two hour testing before culminating in full mission profiles held over a number of days, responding to tactical scenarios built by command and headquarters.  This ensures everyone is unit ready.”
 
Navy Clearance Divers are based across the country in both permanent and reserve units.