Corps welcomes new dive class

New members of the ERDC’s Open Water Scientific Dive Team performed dives in both confined (pool) and open water at Alabama Dive. (Corps of Engineers photo)

New members of the ERDC’s Open Water Scientific Dive Team performed dives in both confined (pool) and open water at Alabama Dive. (Corps of Engineers photo)

 

The Corps of Engineers welcomed 13 new divers to its ranks after they completed a grueling training program that included 10 days of in-water training.

During the two-week training, the class completed 40 hours of academic studies and 40 hours of in–water training to further develop their diving skills in both confined (in the pool) and open water environments. They graduated July 24, with endorsements of Open Water SCUBA Diver from the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) and USACE Scientific Diver, Scientific Snorkeler and Tender. To top it off, everyone received a NWP Dive Office Challenge Coin.Rick Benoit, chief of Portland District’s Office of Dive/ROV Operations and Safety, was the lead instructor, launching the students’ inaugural dive July 15 at the Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Training was also held in Pelham, Alabama. Toddy Manny, with Portland District’s Office of Dive Safety, and John Bull from ERDC’s Coastal and Hydraulic Laboratory, served as training assistants throughout the program.

“With exceptional assistance from Todd and John, these divers are now part of ERDC’s Open Water Scientific Dive Team and the Corps’ Diving Community of Practice,” said Benoit. “The students were extremely gracious; eager learners who personified and well represented the outstanding reputation that is ERDC. I look forward to working with them during the next few years and watching their skills and confidence grow – they’ll do great things for the Corps, I’m sure!”

 

From left to Right, standing: Thomas Kirklin, training assistant Todd Manny of Portland District, David May, Jeff Gough, Anthony Priestas, Brandon Boyd, training assistant John Bull of ERDC, and Matt Taylor. From left to right, sitting/kneeling; Coraggio Maglio, class intern Storey Kirklin, lead instructor Rick Benoit of Portland District, Jonathan Marshall, Michael Winkler, Bryan Herring, and William Butler. (Class members missing from picture include Thad Pratt, Darryl Bishop and Mike Kirklin.) (Corps of Engineers photo)

From left to Right, standing: Thomas Kirklin, training assistant Todd Manny of Portland District, David May, Jeff Gough, Anthony Priestas, Brandon Boyd, training assistant John Bull of ERDC, and Matt Taylor. From left to right, sitting/kneeling; Coraggio Maglio, class intern Storey Kirklin, lead instructor Rick Benoit of Portland District, Jonathan Marshall, Michael Winkler, Bryan Herring, and William Butler. (Class members missing from picture include Thad Pratt, Darryl Bishop and Mike Kirklin.) (Corps of Engineers photo)