KUWAIT NAVAL BASE, KUWAIT -- U.S. Army divers and Kuwait Coast Guard personnel practiced their underwater welding skills on November 29, 2017 at Kuwait Naval Base, Kuwait. These soldiers and the Kuwait coast guard were taking part in a class to help them become salvage divers.
The class starts by getting divers acquainted with the surface supply diving helmet. This is a primary part of salvage diving equipment. These helmets allow divers to get air from the surface, which in turn allows them to work longer under the water. Students also get hands on skills in using hydraulic tools for underwater work. During their work in the depths, divers also learn the value of working together.
"This is about learning to work with people who sometimes don't even speak the same language; using even hand motions just to complete the mission," said Spc. Daniel Dawley, 569th Engineer Dive Detachment diver.
The welding portion starts on dry land refining their skills before going underneath the water.
"One American and one Kuwaiti diver enter the water together to complete the project," said Staff Sgt. Zachary Holder, 569th Engineer Dive Detachment Diving Supervisor. "Today's project is just a basic T weld or butt weld to give them confidence in running a bead underwater and welding something tangible."
The class not only gives the troops the edge during underwater salvage missions but it also lets the divers from both countries learn to work together.
"We have a good relationship with the Kuwait Coast Guard divers.", said 1Lt. Kyle Underwood Executive Officer 569th Engineer Dive Detachment. "Building that combined interoperability with the Kuwaitis and our host nation I think is important for any future salvage missions."
"No matter who you are divers are divers," said Holder. "We can reach out and count on each other and that is what we are building here."
"I hope this results in future joint missions; training and exercises," said Dawley.