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Training and Education

U.S. Navy Underwater Construction Team:

In the Republic of Korea

U.S. Navy Seabees from Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2 spent a couple of weeks in Jinhae, Republic of Korea (ROK), training in underwater construction techniques with their ROK navy counterparts as part of Exercise Foal Eagle 2017.

Sailors from UCT 2's Construction Dive Detachment Charlie (CDDC) are traveling around the Pacific on a six-month deployment, and they were in Jinhae to conduct measurements for a future project and to share some of their knowledge with the ROK sailors.

"ROK UCT is a brand new unit that just stood up," said Utilitiesman 2nd Class Eric Martin. "So we've been working on underwater construction ... like underwater welding, underwater cutting, bathymetric surveys and side scan surveys."
Three photo collage of U.S. and ROK divers participating in Foal Eagle 2017

A lot can go wrong while cutting or welding underwater. To progress at a safe pace, the sailors from the two countries practiced their techniques side-by-side in a pool first.

The clear water of the pool allowed the divers to see what each other was doing. This let them use hand signals and gestures to get around the language barrier and communicate in the water.

"Once they got proficient inside the tank, we brought them out to the ocean where it's limited visibility," said Martin. "These guys are still rocking and rolling doing what they've got to do."

The U.S. and ROK divers conducted most of their dives in the cold, dark waters of a local harbor. With less than a foot of visibility at times, the divers had to trust each other's skills and safety procedures as they worked on several underwater projects together over the course of the exercise.

After two weeks of classroom presentations and diving operations, the CDDC Sailors said good-bye to the ROK UCT divers and moved on to the next stop of their deployment.
Three photo collage of U.S. and ROK divers participating in Foal Eagle 2017

The CDDC Sailors are now on the fourth stop of their deployment, where they are conducting inspections and repairs at various underwater and waterfront facilities in support of the Pacific Fleet.

Underwater Construction Teams provide construction, inspection, repair, and maintenance of waterfront and underwater facilities in support of Naval and Marine Corps operations. Underwater Construction technicians have the unique ability of performing shallow, deep water, and terrestrial construction.