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Camp Lejeune Marines sharpen water survival skills

By Lance Cpl. Ashley Gomez | Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune | July 18, 2018


Marines with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations East, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, participated in water survival qualification courses at Area 5 Training Tank on MCB Camp Lejeune, July 2.

The Marine Corps Water Survival Training Program has three ability levels; basic, intermediate and advanced. However, all Marines are required to complete the basic swim qualification training to obtain the necessary knowledge to survive in water.

“As Marines, we do a lot of training in and near water,” said Sgt. Eduardo Villegas, Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival, H&S Bn, MCIEAST. “Marines need to know how to be confident and relaxed in the water to survive in it.”

Marines are an amphibious force and are expected to operate in aquatic environments. The mission of MCWSTP is to teach water survival skills that are designed to reduce fear, raise self-confidence and develop Marines with the ability to survive in water.

“The instructors have taught me skills as simple as floating but it’s something that I really wasn’t good at before,” said Cpl. Brittney Porter, administrative specialist, H&S Bn, MCIEAST. “Getting to practice the techniques they teach through the basic water survival qualification course is really helpful.”

Marines conduct the basic water survival qualification course while wearing their full combat utility uniforms. Some parts of the training even include packs, flak vests, Kevlar helmets and replica training rifles.

“I think swimming is definitely a mental thing with most people,” said Villegas. “This training is meant to build confidence in Marines and their skills in the water and I hope if they’re ever in a situation where it’s needed, they’re ready.”

Marines wishing to take part in the program should talk to their unit training NCO for available opportunities.