By Sgt. Dustin Gautney, 2HBCT Public AffairsNovember 10, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, took a break from their normal field training duties to participate in Drown Proofing training at Fort Stewart's Newman Gym, Nov. 4.
The training focused on teaching Soldiers survival techniques if stranded in open waters.
To become certified in Drown Proofing; Soldiers were required to swim 25 meters, tread water for five minutes, and make a make-shift flotation device, said Jay Morrison, instructor and lifeguard for the course.
"It is important that Soldiers know how to survive in open water," said Morrison. "We know most Soldiers are on the ground or in vehicles, but if there is any chance a vehicle should roll into open water, Soldiers will have the tools to survive."
Sergeant Mathew Beason, HHC, 2nd HBCT, agreed the training was a great opportunity.
"This kind of training was really different from what we normally get to do," said Sgt. Beason. "Normally we are either in the field or the range for training, but the chance to do something really different in the water was just awesome."
While the training focuses on teaching Soldiers to survive in open water, the training helps them become more acquainted with swimming and training in the water in general.
"Not every Soldier is comfortable in the water… some might not even know how to swim, so we really try to get them comfortable with the idea that even if they are not able to swim, that they can survive in the water," said Morrison.
"During the course Soldiers learn that even the uniform on their backs can be turned into a floatation device to survive." Morrison said.
For the final test for the training, Soldiers were required to remove their uniform trousers while treading water and trap air into the trousers to create a make-shift floatation device.
"Soldiers are sometimes surprised that even something like your uniform is designed to come through for you in the direst of situations," said Morrison.