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    Soldiers learn to survive in the water

    Soldiers learn to survive in the water

    Courtesy Photo | Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Infantry Division...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade

    CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – In the humidity of an early Kuwait morning Aug. 12, a large group of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade Soldiers were waiting outside of the Camp Arifjan pool to begin their water survival training. Ensuring they signed in and rinsed off in the pool showers, the Soldiers were prepared for their training.

    Once everyone signed in, instructor Sgt. 1st Class Wilfred Aho directed, “Everyone gather on this side of the pool, we are going to get started.”

    The large group of Soldiers, clad in the multicam uniform with the Army physical fitness uniform trunks underneath, gathered in front of the instructors. Immediately groups were formed, based on swimming capability, to start the training.

    “Alright, the first thing we are going to do is swim the width of the pool, down and back, using a technique that will prevent splashing,” said Aho, a native of Crookston, Minn., assigned to HHC, 1st Inf. Div. Sust. Brig., as the brigade’s senior project noncommissioned officer.

    Aho relayed the importance of disturbing the water as little as possible, for instance, if an individual fell overboard into the ocean, preying animals in the ocean would be attracted to the movement.

    Leading from the front, Lt. Col. Russell Klauman, the Special Troops Battalion, 1st Inf. Div. Sust. Brig. commander was among the first to jump into the pool to execute the swim. With a few laughs as individuals followed and executed the task, the group proved ready to execute more difficult tasks.

    “This was a very fun and enlightening experience; it helped me gain better confidence in marine environments by developing and strengthening my water survival skills,” said Spc. Vashawn Mitchell.

    The Soldiers went through exercises on how to float, utilize their uniforms as flotation devices and how to properly enter the water from the height of a ship. The instructors provided step-by-step instructions on how to inflate both uniform tops and bottoms for flotation. Each individual was then tested by floating for two minutes with their top inflated and then progressing from an inflated top to inflating the bottom. Once both of these skills were mastered and tested, it was time to move on to entering the water.

    As the first demonstrator of water entry, Sgt. First Class David Lane, a native of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin assigned to HHC, 1st Inf. Div. Sust. Bde. as the Area Security/Force Protection noncommissioned officer in charge directed, “Look down, to the left, to the right, pull the bottom of your top out, tuck your chin into the neck of your top, step off and cross your legs or keep them straight and close together so you don’t break them upon entry.”

    One-by-one the Soldiers executed proper water entry, completing their water survival training. With the completion of their training, they are now armed with the proper survival techniques in case of an emergency while aboard a ship.



    Date Taken: 08.12.2015
    Date Posted: 09.10.2015 10:14
    Story ID: 175584
    Location: CAMP ARIFJAN, KW 
    Hometown: CROOKSTON, MN, US
    Hometown: FOND DU LAC, WI, US

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