Army divers assist in de-mining Cambodia

| December 21, 2013 | 0 Comments
SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia — Spc. Sam Schreier (left), a second-class diver with the 7th Engineer Dive Detachment, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, remains dauntless when conducting core exercises with Cambodian Mine Actiona Center divers as a local ox joins the physical training formation during a training exercise, here, Nov. 29-Dec.12. (Photo courtesy 7th Engineer Dive Detachment, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia — Spc. Sam Schreier (left), a second-class diver with the 7th Engineer Dive Detachment, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, remains dauntless when conducting core exercises with Cambodian Mine Actiona Center divers as a local ox joins the physical training formation during a training exercise, here, Nov. 29-Dec.12. (Photo courtesy 7th Engineer Dive Detachment, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia — The Pacific theater’s waterways are still filled with explosive remnants of war, sunken munitions that are dangerous if mishandled.

Clearing out these munitions and making these rivers safe for everyone who relies on them for subsistence is the goal of a joint effort between Army divers and their Pacific neighbors.

As part of Pacific Command’s Humanitarian Mine Action initiative, the 7th Engineer Dive Detachment (EDD), 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, equipped, trained and certified Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) divers on military diving protocol and salvage diving operations, Nov. 29-Dec.12.

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia — Sgt. 1st Class Jeb Dunham (in khaki), the noncommissioned officer in charge of the mission for the 7th Engineer Dive Detachment, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, provides a general overview of military diving procedures, as well as supervisor responsibilities, during the first day of diving during a training exercise, here, Nov. 29-Dec.12. (Photo courtesy 7th Engineer Dive Detachment, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia — Sgt. 1st Class Jeb Dunham (in khaki), the noncommissioned officer in charge of the mission for the 7th Engineer Dive Detachment, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, provides a general overview of military diving procedures, as well as supervisor responsibilities, during the first day of diving during a training exercise, here, Nov. 29-Dec.12. (Photo courtesy 7th Engineer Dive Detachment, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

“This training is important not only to build regional partnerships throughout the U.S. PACOM area of responsibility, but also to specifically enable the CMAC dive team to clean up Cambodia’s waterways,” said Capt. Robert Meyer, commander, 7th EDD. “The CMAC divers have a very critical mission, and it’s an honor for my team to be involved in building their capability during this phase of training and the following phases to come.”

By traveling to Cambodia, the Soldier divers of the 7th EDD were forced to focus on aspects of their mission that they may ordinarily overlook or take for granted.

“This training is forcing us to really know our equipment, diving procedures and techniques,” said Spc. Tony Garcia, second class diver. “To instruct, you really have to understand and know the material you’re teaching, and given how bright these CMAC divers are, we really have to be on our game. They ask great questions and are very eager to learn, so we are constantly being tested on everything we need to know as divers.”

Both countries benefited from the training. The 7th EDD was able to revisit training techniques and interact with a culture foreign to them, while the CMAC divers learned proper maintenance procedures, salvage techniques and military diving protocol, ultimately building a program to replicate U.S. military diving standards.

“Having the opportunity to interact with foreign divers and teach them has increased my confidence,” said Garcia. “Also, knowing we are helping these CMAC divers to do their mission is very rewarding, and I’m proud to say I was part of this exercise to help make them successful.”

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Category: Exercises, News, Training

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