This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you consent to our use of cookies. more info | ok
british special forces
UKSF SAS SBS SRR 14 Int SFSG E Sqn 18 (UKSF) Sigs Royal Marines Paras Pathfinders Aviation RAF Regt Gurkhas Artillery BRF EOD Intel Police
▼ share this page

Fleet Diving Units

The mine clearance divers (MCD) and mine clearance diving officers (MCDO) of the Fleet Diving Group (RN FDG), Fleet Diving Squadron (FDS), are an elite cadre of frogmen who provide Explosive Ordnance Demolition (EOD) support to the Special Forces and Royal Marines. They detect and neutralise mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the water and on land.

The Fleet Diving Group deploys divers around the world, as needed. It is based at Fleet Diving Squadron Headquarters, Horsea Island, Portsmouth. The group consists of 3 Fleet Diving Units (FDU), each led by a Royal Navy Lieutenant.

Fleet Diving Unit 1

Fleet Diving Unit 1 (FDU1) provides support to United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF). FDU1 divers neutralise any explosive threats during SBS / SAS Maritime Counter Terrorism (MCT) operations. The unit maintains a very high state of readiness.

The role includes Assault Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (AIEDD). The focus of AIEDD is to maintain the momentum of a CT operation by rapidly marking / clearing any IEDs out of the path of the assault force. Assault IED Operators may need to disarm explosives denying access to structures and routes or devices attached to hostages.

FDU1 divers train for MCT operations on oil rigs, ships (both underway and in port), as well as on land. They are trained in various insertion techniques such as insertion by small boat, via submarine and by parachute (including HALO, HAHO and tandem).

Specialists from FDU1 also support the SBS by providing training and operational support for submarine-related activities. This support includes the provision of casing divers to assist in the use of the Special Forces Payload Bay, a dry deck shelter that attaches to Astute class subs and is used to launch and recover SBS frogmen and swimmer delivery vehicles (SDV).

Fleet Diving Unit 2

Fleet Diving Unit 2 (FDU2) specialises in very shallow water (VSW) mine clearance operations in support of UK and NATO deployments.

Their role includes carrying out beach reconnaissance ahead of 3 Commando Brigade amphibious landings. Following a covert over-the-horizon transit via small boat, FDU2 divers slip into the water and infiltrate into the target area, operating into the shallow waters, up to the surf zone. Such beace recces are likely to be carried out in conjunction with 539 Assault Squadron Reconnaissance Team (SRT).

FDU2 divers use unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) to check the boat lanes leading to the proposed landing site for mines. If required, FDU2 divers may leave the surf and sweep the beach itself for mines. Any detected mines may be wired for demolition to be detonated just ahead of the incoming landing force.

EOD UKSF Support
Royal Navy divers from Fleet Diving Unit 2 perform shallow water and beach clearance operations.
image: Ministry Of Defence Crown Copyright 2002

Fleet Diving Group 3

Fleet Diving Group 3 (FDU3) operate mainly in the mine investigation exploration (MIE) and underwater force protection (UWFO) role. They are trained to check for mines in ports, including under ship's hulls and in deep waters. Their role is not limited to the maritime environment. Clearance divers from FDU3 have seen action in land-locked Afghanistan, embedding with Royal Engineer Field Squadrons to clear out IEDs and mines in support of Operation Herrick.

FDU3 also carries out battle damage assessment and repair (BDA/BDR) operations across the fleet. This role may include supporting post MCT assault operations.

Fleet Diving Unit 3
A Mine Clearance Diver with Fleet Diving Unit 3 (FDU3) attaches detonation cord to a moored mine during the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX), 2014
U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel Rolston/ Released

Diving Gear

Fleet Diving Unit divers are equipped with the Stealth CDLSE (Clearance Divers Life Support Equipment) diving sets manufactured by Divex. These are closed circuit, electronically-controlled mixed-gas rebreathers which can use oxygen for dives down to 200 feet and a heliox/trimix mix for dives down to 390 feet. The CDLSE set is made from non-magnetic materials - an important feature for mine clearance divers. The CDLSE goes over a Northern-Diver-made dry suit made from neoprene with non-magnetic zips and inflation valves.

CDLSE diver
A diver with Fleet Diving Unit 3 (FDU3) wearing a CDLSE diving set.
U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel Rolston/ Released

« eod index

advertisements
 RECOMMENDED READING
The SAS Training Manual
Chris McNab

How to Get Fit Enough to Pass a Special Forces Selection Course.

more info: The SAS Training Manual
(amazon.co.uk)
 CONNECT
facebook facebook youtube
 NEW PHOTOS
SRT
539 ASRM SRT
Squadron Reconnaissance Team (SRT)
view: 539 ASRM SRT
Sniper
R IRISH Sniper
British Army sniper armed with L115A3
view: Sniper
42 Commando Vikings
42 Commando
42 Commando Royal Marines and Viking APCs
view: 42 Commando
 UKSF HEADLINES


advertisements


Share this page:


not endorsed by or affiliated with the ministry of defence | all information is non-classified & sourced from public domain |

all images are for educational purposes and sourced from the public domain where possible - image policy | privacy policy