OAKWOOD HILLS, Ill. (NNS) -- Members of the Naval Reserve (NR) Naval Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU), Great Lakes, held their Annual Ice Dive Jan. 21 in Oakwood Hills, Ill.
The dives were planned and supervised by Chief Navy Diver Troy W. Laws, NR NEDU operations chief and the command's senior diving supervisor. His civilian job is as a Great Lakes Naval Station firefighter/EMT. He is also a member of the Great Lakes Fire Department's Dive Rescue Team.
Laws picked Silver Lake for the ice dive because of the close proximity to his residence and the base. He coordinated with the Oakwood Hills Police Department to use the site for the ice dive.
"This is an annual training that we perform," said Laws. "As a reserve diving unit we adhere to all active duty diving standards and protocols. All the equipment necessary for a military ice dive is extensive."
All gear was hand carried to and from the dive site. They are required to have a minimum of twin 80 cubic foot scuba bottles and a lifeline attached to all divers along with full face masks with wireless communications and dry suits. They dove with two divers in the water and one stand-by diver on the surface.
"The purpose of the dive was for training, not only for the divers, but also for the diving supervisors," noted Laws.
"I just reported in October and I am already very impressed with this team of highly professional Sailors, " said acting commanding officer (CO) Senior Chief Navy Diver Kerry Bridges. "As the senior and CO, I am ultimately responsible for personal safety and mission success. These guys are seasoned, professional operators, and they really make my job easier."
The entire operation from the cutting of two ice holes, setting up the dive station, performing the dives, and end of training breakdown took over 65 man hours. All divers were able to dive and assist in the operation.
The team of Navy divers is based out of Naval Station Great Lakes. Their primary mission is to support testing of military diving equipment and perform experimental dive projects conducted at NEDU. The group also provides military diving services to the Great Lakes region, including pier-based security dives and underwater hull inspections for DoD vessels.
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