Defense & National Security

Marines return to amphibious roots

Marines return to amphibious roots

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Swimming has been part of the Marine Corps since its birth  in 1775. Marines stormed their first beach during the Revolutionary War. They  turned the tide in Korea when they landed at Inchon in 1950, and their skill in  water remains key today.

The Marines stood on top of the dive tower,  looking down into the deep blue pool, hearts beating through their chests as the  countdown began.

The Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd  Marine Logistics Group jumped into their annual swim qualification here, from  Jan. 7 to 9.

Swimming has been part of the Marine Corps since its birth  in 1775. Marines stormed their first beach during the Revolutionary War. They  turned the tide in Korea when they landed at Inchon in 1950, and their skill in  water remains key today.

“Everything we do revolves around water,” said  Lance Cpl. Jacob H. Schiros, a Dothan, Ala., native and one of the regiment’s  swim qualification coordinators. “Whether it’s being on base, ship, or taking  the beach somewhere, Marines must know how to swim.”

The Marines embraced  their 237-year legacy and dove into the Corps’ recently updated swim  qualification program.

The new training is an awakening for Marines who  haven’t qualified since recruit training. It replaced the six previous levels of  qualification with three new categories: basic, intermediate and advanced, with  the option of becoming an instructor.

To receive their basic  qualification, the Marines first completed a 25-meter assessment swim to see if  they are comfortable in the water. They also practiced removing their gear in  the shallow end.
Servicemembers completed another 25-meter swim with their  boots, blouses, trousers, helmets, flak jackets and rifles, and they jumped off  the high tower simulating abandoning a ship.

Anything more than five  meters is enough to test someone with a fear of heights, said Sgt. Matthew A.  Webb, a Marine Corps Instructor of Water Survival who conducted the training for  the regiment.

Stronger swimmers progressed to the intermediate level and  conducted gear removal in deeper water. They had 20 seconds to complete the task  before performing a 250-meter swim and treading water for 10 minutes.

Troops that overcame these obstacles can then go to a special school to receive  an advanced qualification.

“The Marines who have done this before really  show their confidence,” said Webb, who monitored the Marines’ performance. “If  these Marines are not confident in the water, my job is to pull them aside,  train them, assess what they are doing, and help them improve.”

Webb  coached the Marines as they shed gear underwater and practiced creating  flotation devices from personal clothing.

“This prepares them if they  are in a combat situation,” said Webb, a Modesto, Calif., native. “If they are  on a ship or out on the water and have to abandon ship with equipment on, they  need to be confident that they can get out of their gear and onto the surface.”

The new requirements are getting the Marine Corps back to its amphibious  roots. The regiment plans to conduct swim qualifications every month to keep all  Marines up to date, said Schiros.

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/100247/marines-return-amphibious-roots#ixzz2Hy5xMDdi

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