In depth – spotlight on clearance divers

Phillipe Daigle: 

Sailor First Class Philippe Daigle grew up in the small town of Bécancour, Québec, and joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 2012 immediately after high school. He joined as a Reservist Naval Combat Information Operator, spending his summers on both coasts when not at school. He then had the chance to deploy with the RCN. He also worked for the Canadian Coast Guard stationed at different Search and Rescue bases and the Rescue Coordination Centre in Québec City. There, he combined his skills to help people in distress. Always looking for new ways to challenge himself, he decided to apply and go on the selection process to become a Clearance Diver.

Philippe thinks working in a specialized unit such as the Fleet Diving Unit is a privilege because of the concentration of highly motivated and proficient individuals. He loves the job as it allows him to overcome uncomfortable and challenging situations. After being selected for the course, Philippe was eager for the first step of his new career within the CAF. He is now looking forward to all the opportunities to come, visiting places worldwide and possibly learning more from other countries’ military about diving and Explosives Ordnance Disposal.


Jeffrey Hines:

Jeffrey Hines was born in Oakville, Ont., in Nov. 1985 and grew up in Cole Harbour, N.S. In April 2013, he joined the CAF as a Marine Engineer. After completing his trades training, he was posted to HMCS Charlottetown, based out of Halifax, N.S. While with the Charlottetown, he could visit many ports along the Eastern Seaboard.

In April 2016, he completed the Ships Diver course at FDU(A). His time as a Ships Diver on Charlottetown was short-lived because in Sept. 2016, he was posted to Naval Fleet School (Atlantic) to attend the Marine Engineer QL 5 course. On completion in the spring of 2018, Jeffrey was posted to HMCS Halifax.

In Sept. 2018, he returned to FDU(A) for the Ships Diver Requalification Course. While posted to the Halifax, he was part of European Forward Presence 2018 and Operation Roto 11 in 2019. While deployed on Op Reassurance, he received his Cert 2 – Marine Engineering Watch Keeper Certificate.

After returning home in January 2020, Jeffrey was posted to FDU(A) as a Marine Engineer. He applied to the challenge Clearance Diver Assessment Center, held in Feb. 2021. 

Working with the Clearance Divers, seeing all the different equipment they use, and the camaraderie between them piqued his interest in the trade. His aspirations in the trade are to dive around the world and participate in exercises and Operations.


Jordan Khayat:

Born Oct 17th, 1995, Jordan Khayat was raised in Mississauga, Ont. and Cold Lake, Alta. He attended the Police Foundations Program at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont. and his hobbies include powerlifting, fishing, cooking and snowboarding.

Jordan joined the military in 2016 as a Combat Systems Engineer. Upon completing Basic Training, he moved to Halifax, N.S., to complete his initial training, where he met some Clearance Divers on their tech course. It was at this point that he knew he was going to become a Clearance Diver one day. After his initial training, he moved to Victoria, B.C. where he joined HMCS Regina in the West Coast fleet. He spent many days at sea on exercises and two deployments, gaining sailing experience and completing all training packages to apply for the CD selection.

Shortly after passing the final board exam to become a CSE tech, the application for CD selection was approved, and he was loaded on 2021 serial and was selected later that year. He started work at the unit a few months before starting the course and quickly learned that he was precisely where he wanted to be in his career. Jordan began his course in Sept. 2021 and has gained knowledge in many facets. His team has learned how to operate and become inside attendants for all of the unit recompression chambers, using Ultralight Weight and SL-17 surface-supplied diving, mine recognition, shark marine operations for locating mines, and salvage recovery. They have also learned basic demolition and how to become an IED disposal assistant. They are now finishing the welding/electrical phase and prepping for the last few months.


Tajoniel Forbes:

Tajoniel Forbes was born in September 1997 in St. Andrew, Jamaica, where he grew up until he was 11, when he moved to Brampton, Ont. While attending school, Tajoniel learned how to play multiple instruments within the concert band but stuck with the tuba for most of it. He also played on various teams such as football (his favourite), basketball, baseball and occasionally, tennis.

In the second semester of Grade 12, Tajoniel joined the Lorne Scots Regiment as an Infanteer through the school Co-op program. While in the Reserves, he attended Seneca College for the Fire Protection Engineering Technician program but was unsuccessful. During this period, he was still serving in the reserves, where he attended numerous exercises and tasking, the most inspiring being the Invictus Games in 2017 held at York University. Tajoniel met many important people such as the CDS, the CFCWO, Prince Harry, Barrack and Michelle Obama, and most importantly, the athletes from different countries. Hearing the stories, struggles, and triumphs they persevered through helped him decide to transfer to the Regular Force in April 2018.

He moved as a Marine Technician in Victoria, B.C. and has been serving in the Navy ever since. After completing his trade course, he was posted to Patrol Craft Training Unit, where he achieved his Roundsman qualification and felt the need for a challenge. That challenge was the Ships Team Dive Course which he completed in Oct. 2019. With the mentorship of staff and seeing the professionalism, work life, and dedication they had to their job, he knew that becoming a Clearance Diver was the career he wanted. Tajoniel challenged the CDAC in Feb. 2021, where he was successful and was invited to attend the current course.

His aspirations in this new career are to gain as much knowledge as possible to be an efficient and dedicated community member while participating in as many exercises as possible.

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