The best of the RAN’s signature resilience was on display at HMAS Penguin, as a small group of senior officers observed Clearance Diver Aptitude Assessment candidates at the ADF Diving School in Balmoral, Sydney.
The one-week Clearance Diver (CD) Aptitude Assessment forms the gateway to the 50 weeks of training associated with the CD role, which in turn integrates with the Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Group (MCDGRP).
Carried out at HMAS Penguin in Balmoral, Sydney, the test looks to identify candidates who are most likely to successfully pass the basic CD and CD Officer courses.
Overseen by Senior Officers and Diving School staff, candidates were split into two groups, with one group conducting physical training instructor-led activities on the wharf.
The other group entered the water with fins on, finned to a Zodiac boat, which they climbed into and out the other side, then finned to another Zodiac and crossed underneath it, before making their way to the wharf landing to swap roles with their partner.
Damien Scully-O’Shea, Captain Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving, said that committing to the aptitude assessment itself is the first step, symbolising an initial commitment on behalf of the Clearance Diver candidates.
“The Clearance Diving Aptitude Assessment is exactly what its name says. It is not a ‘barrier or selection test’, it seeks to draw out defined Clearance Diver attributes, and most importantly, it assesses trainability and likelihood of success in future training,” he said.
“The Clearance Diver Aptitude Test and Clearance Diver training brings out an individual’s best.
Officer in Charge of the dive school, Commander Paul Doble, briefed the audience prior to the event stating that the serial to be observed was a high intensity activity involving both water and land-based exercises.
“The Clearance Diver Aptitude Assessment is primarily implemented to assess candidates for their suitability, trainability, and potential for effective employment as a CD,” he said.
“There have been multiple iterations to get us to this point, and it is improved each time.”