LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – Camp Ripley is hosting the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy in under-ice water diving training.
“As our focus shifts to a different environment, Camp Ripley is proud to work together with our Navy and Coast Guard partners. We welcome them to our training center and to utilize the Minnesota winters and landscape to help them be successful in their training,” said Army Brig. Gen. Lowell Kruse, the Minnesota National Guard’s assistant adjutant general and Camp Ripley’s senior commander. “Our focus is to be a premier training site for all branches, and we will continue to meet the needs of the modern military.”
Over 20 days in January and February, Coast Guard high-risk training instructors will teach students in two separate week-long classes how to dive in a cold-weather environment, from inspecting and putting on diving equipment to diving and using their special equipment in frozen lakes.
“We are excited for the launch of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Cold Water Ice Diver course in its new home aboard the Minnesota National Guard Base, Camp Ripley,” said Navy Lt. Nicholas Pavlik of the Training Division at the Special Missions Training Center.
“The support from Camp Ripley over the last year in moving this course from Seattle has been outstanding, and we are really looking forward to the continued partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Minnesota National Guard at Camp Ripley,“ Pavlik said. “This partnership, coupled with the available training resources and facilities onboard Camp Ripley, will be key factors as we grow this course in the years to come.”
The Navy will work with the Coast Guard to host their own annual ice dive training; this course will be run by Dive Rescue International and instructed by qualified Navy divers and experienced civilian instructors.
Camp Ripley will provide arctic conditions for real-world ice and cold weather dive training. This training will begin with setting up tents, cutting proper holes in the ice, dry suit familiarization, and SCUBA cold-water set up training before participants dive under the ice.
Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 is under the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group Two, which provides skilled, capable, and combat-ready deployable forces around the globe.
“Camp Ripley continues to evolve, and we will work tirelessly with all of our partners to ensure that when they leave our installation, they are excited for what they have done here during their training,” Kruse said.