Clearance divers in Sweden for EOD training exercise


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Nine Clearance Divers from the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) have travelled to Sweden to participate in an 11-nation training exercise focused on Explosive Ordnance Disposal.

The navy’s bomb disposal specialists are taking part in North Coast (NOCO), an operational-readiness training exercise in Ronneby, Sweden, Sept. 9 to 22.

Five members of the RCN’s team are from Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific), one member is from the Experimental Diving and Undersea Group in Toronto, and two are from the Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic).

Petty Officer First Class Scott Ensor, Maritime Ordnance Disposal Chief from FDU(P), is second in command of the RCN contingent and says NOCO will provide Clearance Divers an opportunity to train in a maritime setting. The day-to-day work of Clearance Divers is not only diving, but also safely disposing of ordnance above the water.

“NOCO will bring our operators up to a higher level of training in a marine environment. Often times clearance divers find ourselves on land doing our bomb-disposal work, so it is refreshing for all of us to get back to a more bread-and-butter style task of the RCN in a traditional maritime environment.”

Before leaving for Sweden, PO1 Ensor said more specific details of their training would be provided once they arrived and are tasked by the Swedish Royal Navy’s command team, but added possible scenarios could involve sweeping a pier, jetty or vessel for Improvised Explosive Devices and neutralizing them.

RCN Clearance Divers are designated first responders to any military ordnance found in Canada such as grenades and artillery shells. FDU(P) Ordnance Disposal team responds to approximately 150 such calls each year, assessing and defusing items in support of local emergency services.

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