Training units introduce Physical Performance Specialist

Two divers show each other the ok sign while preparing to dive.

Two divers show each other the ok sign while preparing to dive.


The selection process for Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Clearance Divers and Naval Tactical Operators has recently taken a new approach.

To better support applicants to these physically demanding trades, Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Human Performance (HP) and PSP Esquimalt worked closely with both units to create Candidate Physical Preparation Aides for the selection process and bridge the start of the qualification courses.

The aides provide awareness of the courses’ physical demands and physical fitness programming. Applicants can also access the programming through a mobile Athlete Management System, which further supports them by monitoring their readiness status (e.g. sleep, soreness, fatigue, motivation).

To ensure a high standard of support in the delivery of the selection process, the units jointly funded a new position – a PSP Physical Performance Specialist. The Specialist will also reinforce a culture of readiness by providing physical development programs for qualified, experienced operators with these units.

“The culture within the Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) is built on a foundation of being ready to fight tonight,” said Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Wil Lund, Commanding Officer NTOG. “For all operators, this demands an extreme state of physical and mental preparedness, both of which rely on modern, evolving fitness programs.”

LCdr Lund said these programs protect sailors from injury and keep them mentally and operationally sharp.

“Over the years, we have enjoyed the mentorship and coaching of the excellent PSP staff that has made this possible. Clearly, this new initiative will build on this momentum to ensure all operators and staff, regardless of their age, gender, or experience, are always mission ready,” he said.

The Physical Performance Specialist will play a key role in guiding these operators to find the right balance of sleep, nutrition, physical activity, and injury prevention to achieve their highest operational readiness, as highlighted in the recent Canadian Armed Forces’ Balance Strategy. The Physical Performance Specialist will also aim to identify patterns of injuries and best practices for injury prevention and recovery strategies throughout the various stages of training and operations.

“Clearance Divers at Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific) are looking forward to working closely with PSP to establish the correct balance of both physical and mental management,” said LCdr Justin Wong, Commanding Officer of Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific).

“This will not only achieve success on completing the demanding year-long RCN Clearance Diver and Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal courses, but to also develop positive strategies to maintain training and continue delivering operations to support RCN and Canadian Armed Forces requirements, both domestically and abroad,” he said.

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