Diving About Diving Training and Gear

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Operator of the Intervention Team of The First Diving Unit of the Serbian Gendarmerie equipped with HK MP5 SD3 in 9x19 mm ParabellumPhoto: TROE Production

Training in night conditions for divers of The First Diving Unit of the Serbian Gendarmerie Photo: A. Kerekesh

Diver of the Serbian SAU equipped with assault rifle SIG Sauer 552 Commando in 5.56x45 mm NATOPhoto: TROE Production

Diver of the Special Police Unit of the Republic of Slovenia equipped with HK-UMP in 9x19 mm ParabellumPhoto: M. Tomazin

Most of modern police and military units for special purposes within operative part have specially trained and equipped diving groups or teams. Reasons to this practice are varied, but geographic position and territory configuration where certain unit has jurisdiction based on laws of a national state or political entity[1] could be consider as primary.

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Dry diving suit Leg platform with magazine holsters Autonomus diving apparatus with closed circuit of breathing Submachine Gun HK MP5 A5 in 9x19 mm Parabellum as primary weapon Diving knife holstered

If on state or political entity territory there are water surfaces, rivers and lakes, or if a state or entity has seashore, there is a need to organize structures within security systems that can maintain safety of people and property in these conditions. These are usually river polices, flotillas or navies, but also smaller, highly professional, specialist diving groups or teams at elite units. Taking care of the security has a double aspect: the external or international and internal or domestic. The first one relates to the obligation of national state or entity, which is established through international law, to guarantee the safe pass of people and goods that come from abroad and move through parts of water surfaces that are on territory where national state or entity has jurisdiction. Also, this aspect involves organizing and maintaining continuous control of people and property flow, which can be carried out independently, or, preferably, in cooperation with neighbour states. The internal aspect is facing domestic citizens and goods, who are moving within state borders, or leaving country.

As for specialists diving groups or teams of the units for special purposes, their organization, training and gear primarily depends on the type and purpose of the unit (for example, special unit within navy will certainly pay more attention to the diving training of operators, that a SWAT team). As for diving training, it can be generally divided into basic and specialist training and involves many segments that are almost generally accepted in the world, and therefore, mutual to many units. However, diving training within specific unit is precisely determined by unit`s command and group or team leaders in accordance with security needs of a country, which is, again, affected greatly, by already mentioned geographical factor, as well as the available funds. Diving equipment and training, especially specialist courses, require vast financial resources, which can be a limiting factor for many units nowadays.

Generally, specialist diving groups or teams are trained and equipped to:

-suppress crime, especially acts defined as serious (hence dangerous) crimes-including organized crime and terrorism
-guard objects on water or in immediate vicinity, as well as VIPs while staying on water or in land area near water
-provide professional assistance in the case of natural disasters


Photo: VCG (left) | S13, Izr (right)

Crime prevention is achieved through preventive activities and repressive, special operations if crises emerge, like raids on hijacked vessels, EOD search and disposal, search for drowned or killed persons thrown into water or immediate vicinity on land, search for items associated with attempted or committed crimes which are thrown into water or near.

Specialized divers can be organize into effective groups or teams for close protection of VIPs, or to guard objects and buildings of special significance. Their special training allows them to define effective operational plan of defence for objects and buildings, escort and evacuation of VIPs etc.


Photo: Dragan Bozovic (left) | SIPA, BiH (right)

Also, expert divers, when necessary, can be relatively easily and quickly transformed into rescue groups or teams that might be of great help in stopping or preventing negative consequences for citizens and their property in cases of natural disasters.

In the end, though it is not by rule defined through special purpose of these groups or teams, the expertise of these divers allows them to organize and carry out training for other officers and units, as well as civilians, which certainly contributes to strengthening of general security in the aquatic environment.

[1] For example, the European Union as a special political community with clear characteristics of statehood.

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