Training Day at Stanford University

Story Number: NNS120315-25Release Date: 3/15/2012 9:25:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Grant Probst, Navy Recruiting District San Francisco Public Affairs

PALO ALTO, Calif., (NNS) -- Recruiters assigned to Navy Recruiting District (NRD) San Francisco participated in the district's quarterly Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations (NSW/NSO) Training Day March 4 at Stanford University's Avery Aquatic Center.

The day focused on conditioning NSW/NSO candidates for the rigors of their possible future professions.

In the summer of 2011, the NSW/NSO team at NRD San Francisco initiated a relationship with Stanford's athletic department to utilize the Avery Aquatic Center to train special warfare and special operations candidates.

NSW/NSO team leaders Shane Ludwig and Navy Diver 1st Class Greg Sutherland sought to create a conditioning program that not only targets aerobic and anaerobic development, but also conditions candidates to some of the unique challenges relevant to the special warfare and special operations communities such as proper fin technique and mask familiarity.

"Our desire was simply to better prepare these candidates for the challenges ahead. We felt that we had an opportunity to affect not only the candidates' basic conditioning, but also their comfort level with fin and mask training. Something as simple as ankle fatigue or not being familiar with breathing techniques while wearing a mask can negatively impact the candidates' performance later down the road," said Ludwig. "Having the Stanford pool at our disposal to run these fin and mask conditioning exercises was truly priceless."

The NSW/NSO Team at NRD San Francisco has been able to facilitate this conditioning program through donations by recruiters and program candidates. Through extensive coordination and by canvassing the NRD to find recruiters willing to donate their personal gear for the duration of the training day, the NSW/NSO Team accumulated enough fins and masks for each candidate to train.

"The hardest part is getting the gear for these guys to train with. They love the training; they know it's to their benefit to feel comfortable with a mask on and have well-conditioned ankles," said Sutherland. "The quarterly training at Stanford typically lasts around four hours and by the end of it they are exhausted and hungry for more."

The Avery Aquatic Center has four separate pools: the Maas Diving Center, the Belardi Pool, Baker Pool, and the Avery Competition Pool. The Avery Competition Pool is 37 meters long, 20 meters wide, can seat over 2,500 fans, has played host to the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team and has managed countless national and international competitions.

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