Dive exercise builds skills in Sydney

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, New South Wales

Topic(s): Australian Clearance Diving Team FOUR, Australian Clearance Diving Team ONE

Australian Navy Clearance Divers and the United States Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit prepare to dive as part of Exercise DUGONG 2016 held in Pittwater, Sydney. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Australian Navy Clearance Divers and the United States Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit prepare to dive as part of Exercise DUGONG 2016 held in Pittwater, Sydney.

Navy Divers from Australia and the United States are undertaking military training activities in Sydney to improve their skills and inter-operability as part of Exercise DUGONG 16.
 
The exercise brings together more than 50 specialist divers and support staff to practice state-of-the-art underwater construction techniques, underwater damage repair, search and salvage, shipping hazard removal, medical and communication techniques.  
 
Commander of the Australian Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Task Group, Commander Etienne Mulder, said the annual exercise provided Australian and US Navy divers with a chance to share knowledge and develop their skills.
 
“Maintaining freedom of navigation and movement through sea lanes is vital to Australia as 98 per cent of our trade by volume travels by sea,” Commander Mulder said. 
 
“It’s vital therefore Navy divers have the broadest possible range of skills so they can respond to any challenge or threat.”
 
Eighteen divers from the USA will be conducting continuation training and demonstrations in underwater welding, thermal cutting, underwater chainsaw and grinding, search techniques utilising underwater sonar, construction and simulated deep diving and recompression chamber drills.
 
Australian Navy divers are drawn from Clearance Diving Team One based at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney, and Clearance Diving Team Four from HMAS Stirling in Western Australia. 
 
“Conducting inter-nation training improves our ability to work together and fosters long-term relationships that improve inter-operability,” Commander Mulder said. 
 
“It is a great chance to share skills and knowledge that enhances both nations’ underwater salvage and repair capabilities.”