Australian, US Navy start diving exercise in Sydney

Navy divers from Australia and the United States are set to start training activities in Sydney on November 8 to improve their skills and inter-operability.

Exercise Dugong 16 brings together more than 50 specialist divers and support staff for two weeks of training on underwater construction techniques, underwater damage repair, search and salvage, shipping hazard removal, medical and communication techniques.

Commander of the Australian mine warfare 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 US 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 participating in Dugong 16 will be drawn from clearance dive team one based at HMAS Waterhen and clearance dive team four from HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.