• Two Soldiers with B Troop, 6/8 Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div., prepare to be pushed, blindfolded, off diving boards, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability training at Fort Stewart. "Bushmaster" Soldiers were tested on a variety of skills, including removing Kevlars and load-bearing vests while submerged and creating flotation devices using ACU trousers.

    'Bushmasters' plunge into deep end to train

    Two Soldiers with B Troop, 6/8 Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div., prepare to be pushed, blindfolded, off diving boards, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability training at Fort Stewart. "Bushmaster" Soldiers were tested on a variety of skills...

  • A Soldier with B Troop, 6/8 Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div., plunges into the water after being pushed into a pool while blindfolded, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability training at Fort Stewart.

    Bushmasters

    A Soldier with B Troop, 6/8 Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div., plunges into the water after being pushed into a pool while blindfolded, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability training at Fort Stewart.

  • A Soldier with B Troop, 6/8 Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div., attempts to remove a load-bearing vest just under the surface of the water after plunging blindfolded into a pool, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability training at Fort Stewart.

    'Bushmasters' plunge into deep end to train

    A Soldier with B Troop, 6/8 Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div., attempts to remove a load-bearing vest just under the surface of the water after plunging blindfolded into a pool, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability training at Fort Stewart.

  • Captain Craig A. Brewer, a native of Billings, Mont., and commander of B Troop, 6/8 Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div.,  carries a dummy rifle while swimming the length of a pool, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability training at Fort Stewart. "Bushmaster" Soldiers were tested on a variety of skills, including removing Kevlars and load-bearing vests while submerged, and creating flotation devices using ACU trousers.

    'Bushmasters' plunge into deep end to train

    Captain Craig A. Brewer, a native of Billings, Mont., and commander of B Troop, 6/8 Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div., carries a dummy rifle while swimming the length of a pool, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability training at Fort Stewart...

  • Sergeant Bryan M. Beisell, a native of Eagle Grove, Iowa, and a cavalry scout with B Troop, 6/8 Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. ties knots into the legs of a pair of ACU trousers to create a flotation device, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability training held at Fort Stewart.

    'Bushmasters' plunge into deep end to train

    Sergeant Bryan M. Beisell, a native of Eagle Grove, Iowa, and a cavalry scout with B Troop, 6/8 Cav. Regt., 4IBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. ties knots into the legs of a pair of ACU trousers to create a flotation device, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability...

  • Sergeant Bryan M. Beisell, a native of Eagle Grove, Iowa, and a cavalry scout with B Troop, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, uses ACU trousers as a flotation device, Jan. 5, during combat water survivability training held at Fort Stewart. "Bushmaster" Soldiers began the training by being pushed, blindfolded, off diving boards while wearing Kevlars and load-bearing vests, and while carrying dummy rifles. See story and photos on page 3A.

    Water, water, everywhere; but train instead of drink

    Sergeant Bryan M. Beisell, a native of Eagle Grove, Iowa, and a cavalry scout with B Troop, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, uses ACU trousers as a flotation device, Jan. 5, during combat...

FORT STEWART, Ga. - The Soldiers, wearing Kevlars, load-bearing vests and blindfolds over their faces, inched their way to the outer edges of their respective diving board.

Each Soldier held a dummy rifle at the low ready position, while a Soldier pushed the unseeing trainees closer to the oblivion of the deep end of the swimming pool.

"Anyone can shoot, move and communicate on land," said Sgt. Bryan M. Beisell, a native of Eagle Grove, Iowa, and a cavalry scout with B Troop, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division. "You need to be able to survive [in] water because you won't always be fighting a war over land."

Sergeant Beisell, dripping with water after his dip in the pool, was one of many Soldiers in B Troop who conducted combat water survivability training, Jan. 5, at the swimming pool in the Vanguard Fitness Center on Fort Stewart.

The cavalry scout said the training was very effective at introducing Soldiers to an unfamiliar environment.

"[There were] a lot of guys [who] weren't used to it and it messed with them a little bit," Sgt. Beisell said. "It was actually kind of scary getting pushed off blindfolded--the handkerchief…got in my mouth as I was trying to get air, and I ended up swallowing a cup of water."

The combat water survivability training began with a forced plunge into the deep end of the pool. Soldiers had to maintain control of their weapons while removing their blindfolds, Kevlars and load-bearing vests. Once they handed off the equipment to training assistants in the pool, the Soldiers swam, weapons in tow, to the other end.

Once there, the Soldiers moved to the other side of the pool and created flotation devices using ACU trousers. Their final task was to use the flotation aids to assist them with a swim back to the deep end.

"It's one of the…tasks that we have to perform," said Capt. Craig A. Brewer, a native of Billings, Mont., and commander of B Troop, 6/8th Cav. Regt. "It's just another way...for these guys to hone their individual skills."

Captain Brewer, who plunged into the water himself and completed the training, later spent time at the shallow end of the pool teaching his Soldiers how to create their trouser flotation devices.

The commander said he always enjoys watching his Soldiers train.

"They always have a great positive attitude,"Capt. Brewer said. "You never see fear on their [faces]. They just dive in and do what they're told, and they enjoy doing it."

Metaphors aside, the commander said the training accomplished the objective--it helped many of the Soldiers become accustomed to an environment they were unsure of.

"This is just one more way to make these Soldiers…good [all-around] Soldiers, whether it [is] in the water, out on the range or whatever it may be," Capt. Brewer said.

Page last updated Thu January 19th, 2012 at 00:00