The mission of a Pararescueman is to recover downed and injured aircrew members in austere and non-permissive environments. Pararescuemen provide emergency medical treatment necessary to stabilize and evacuate injured personnel while acting in an enemy evading recovery role. Pararescuemen also act as aircrew gunners and scanners on fixed and rotary wing aircraft while performing flight following duties. In addition, Pararescuemen provide contingency landing sites for NASA missions
The history of Pararescue began in August of 1943, when 21 persons bailed out of a disabled C-46 over an uncharted jungle near the China-Burma border. So remote was the crash site that the only means of getting help to the survivors was by paradrop. Lieutenant Colonel Don Fleckinger and two medical corpsmen volunteered for the assignment. This paradrop of medical corpsmen was the seed from which the concept of Pararescue was born. For a month these men, aided by natives, cared for the injured until the party was brought to safety. News commentator Eric Severeid was one of the men to survive this ordeal. He later wrote of the men who risked their lives to save his: "Gallant is a precious word; they deserve it".
From this event the need for a highly trained rescue force was found; thus, Pararescueman was brought into being. Rescues since then have occurred in virtually every corner of the world. Since that first rescue, many airmen, soldiers, and civilians have had first hand experience that when trouble strikes, Pararescuemen are ready to come to their aid.
Some of the most inspiring stories originate from the conflict in Southeast Asia involved heroic deeds performed by Pararescuemen. They risked their lives flying over hostile territory to find friendly forces needing aid. Daily, Pararescuemen volunteered to ride a rescue hoist cable into the Vietnamese jungle to aid wounded infantrymen and injured pilots, whose aircraft had been shot down. The Air Force awarded nineteen Air Force Crosses to enlisted personnel during the South East Asian conflict; ten of the nineteen were awarded to Pararescuemen.
Pararescuemen provided medical treatment for injured and wounded men picked up from the jungles. These deeds are still performed daily, even in time of peace.
Distinctive recognition came to Pararescuemen in early 1966. General John P. McConnell, then Air Force Chief of Staff, approved the wearing of the maroon beret. The beret symbolizes the blood sacrificed by Pararescuemen and their devotion to duty by aiding others in distress. To Pararescuemen living up to their motto, "That Others May Live", is a daily reality.
The formal training of a Pararescueman is a never ending program. They continually strive to perfect procedures while constantly searching for new techniques. A major development in Pararescue was the combination of parachuting with scuba techniques. When ready to jump, the scuba equipped Pararescueman carries as much as 170 pounds of equipment.
One of the most dramatic events involving Pararescue scuba action was at the termination of the Gemini 8 space flight. When the decision was made to halt the mission due to difficulties encountered by Astronauts David Scott and Neil Armstrong, rescue forces on alert at stations in the far east went into action. A rescue crew from Naha Air Base, Okinawa, flew to the predicted splashdown area and arrived in time to see the spacecraft hit the water. Three Pararescuemen parachuted into the ocean and had flotation equipment attached within 20 minutes. The Pararescuemen stayed with the astronauts until a Navy destroyer arrived three hours later to take them all aboard.
Pararescuemen provided continued support to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Skylab missions. Presently, Pararescuemen are providing rescue support to the space shuttle program. Pararescuemen have constantly trained to remain responsive to NASA's needs.
The primary purpose of Pararescue is to save lives. The work of the Pararescuemen is an important phase of the rescue concept. For example, in a two week period, Pararescuemen were called upon to aid two Russian transport merchant seamen in two different areas. The first mission involved a badly burned sailor on a Russian transport vessel in the Atlantic, 700 miles from the nearest land. Two Pararescuemen, stationed in the Azores were flown to the Russian ship. They parachuted near the ship and treated the sailor until the ship reached port days later saving his life. Two weeks later another distress call from a Russian ship was relayed. This time the ship was a fishing vessel in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon Coast. A team of three Pararescuemen from Portland parachuted into the Pacific. They treated the Russian sailor for serious back and head injuries caused by the fall. When the ship was close enough, a Coast Guard vessel picked up the sailor and took him ashore to a hospital.
In 1989, Pararescuemen were instrumental in recovering and treating injured motorists at a collapsed section of highway following a devastating earthquake in the San Francisco, California area. Pararescuemen were the only rescue people "on-scene" who would volunteer to crawl between the sections of collapsed highway to access conditions and recover casualties. In recognition of the selfless dedication to saving lives President Bush personally recognized the heroic actions of these men.
More recently, Pararescuemen were among the first U.S. combatants to parachute into Panama during operation "Just Cause" (1989). Their combat medical expertise was heavily utilized during this short, intense operation. In fact, using specially modified vehicles dubbed "RATT-V's" they recovered and cared for the majority of the U.S. casualties that occurred on the two Panamanian controlled airfields that were taken by the initial invasion forces.
Recently, Pararescuemen were tasked with rescue missions involving downed aircrew members and injured combatants during United Nations operation "Desert Storm". This action for the liberation of Kuwait again proved the value of the Air Force Pararescueman. Among the missions performed by Pararescue was the rescue of a downed F-14 navigator in a very hostile area; involving the destruction of enemy forces in very close proximity to the survivor. Pararescue also provided extensive support for airlift operations providing humanitarian relief to Kurdish refugees fleeing into northern Iraq.
Most recently, Pararescuemen were involved in the struggle to capture Somalia leader Mohammed Fhara Aidid. Assigned jointly with army Rangers, PJs were tasked to operate in a Search and Rescue (SAR) role on Army helicopters. After the initial assault began, two Army helicopters were shot down, PJs responded to the scene to assist survivors and treat the wounded. The helo crashes were in the middle of the battle zone. The PJs, along with a Combat Controller and additional Army Rangers, were inserted into the firefight, removed injured personnel from further danger and administered life saving emergency medical treatment. As a direct result of their actions, the mission was completed and many lives were saved in the process. These things we do..."That Others May Live."
Taken from Department of the Air Force 342 TRS/CTFI Pamphlet 50-1
The Pararescue Association incorporated in the State of New Mexico, 10 October 1989, but had earlier roots dating back to 1972.
At the 1972 Worldwide Military Jumpfest at Eglin Air Force Base, sponsored by the Hurlburt Field Combat Control Team, groundwork was begun by the pararescuemen participating, to form an association of past and present pararescuemen. The purpose of the association was to perpetuate and promote the good fellowship, camaraderie and benevolence which was formed by Pararescuemen of the United States Air Force under the call-sign PJ. Not-for-profit, and benevolent in nature, it would support humanitarian projects for the benefit of its members and their families.
From 1972 until 1976, the members met each year in conjunction with Florida Jumpfests. It then became inactive until 1981 when, at the Air Rescue Service Association Reunion at Fort Walton Beach, K.O. Kelly and John Beaty initiated a recall of PJs. At that meeting it was agreed that they would meet each three years as the Pararescue Association.
In 1984, 220 persons (PJs and families), attended the Pararescue Association reunion at Fort Walton Beach, FL. They elected officers and agreed to incorporate the Association in the State of Florida. It was also agreed that reunions would be held each two years. Later, at the 1988 reunion, the decision was made to incorporate in New Mexico rather than in Florida.
A periodic newsletter called the Canopy Chatter is now being published to keep the members informed.
For more information about the Pararescue Association, or to become a member please contact:
The Pararescue Association
PO Box 13351
Albuquerque, NM 87192-3351
This training develops efficiency in oxygen transfer through activities that increase the heart rate to a training level and maintain it for at least 20 minutes. Running and swimming are the two training areas you need to work on prior to entering the Air Force.
Running - You will be required to do extensive running during Pararescue training. These runs progress rapidly and after several weeks will vary up to 40 minutes and longer in duration. In preparation, you should run 3-4 times per week for 15 to 25 minutes, at a speed you can maintain without walking or stopping. You should be able to run 3 miles under 21 minutes prior to starting basic training.
Swimming - You will swim everyday during the Indoctrination Course. A trainee may swim 2000 meters or more in a typical session. In preparation, you should swim 500-1000 meters, 3-5 times per week. You should be able to swim 1000 meters in 25-30 minutes using the freestyle stroke, prior to basic training.
Strength and Endurance
The training and mission rigors of Pararescue will make strong demands on your overall strength and endurance capabilities. Strength is your ability to exert a strong force. Endurance is your ability to exert this force for a prolonged period of time. Your preparation must be geared toward developing a balance of strength and endurance throughout your body. This is best achieved with calisthenics (or weight training) that targets all your major muscle groups. If you are already involved in a weight-training program, continue; but revise your workouts to develop strength and endurance (8-12 repetition sets). Also include calisthenics as an addition.
Pull-Ups/Chin-Ups (develop the back and biceps) - This is a two-count exercise. Starting position is hanging from the bar, palms facing away (pull-ups) or towards you (chin-ups), hands spread approximately shoulder width, with no bend in the elbow. Count one; pull the body up until the Adam's Apple is above the bar, with the chin held level. Count two; return to the starting position. Legs are allowed to bend but must not be kicked or manipulated to aid the upward movement. You should be able to do 8-10 repetitions of this exercise prior to basic training.
Sit-Ups (develop the abdominal muscles and hip flexors) - This is a two-count exercise. Starting position is back flat on the ground, fingers interlocked behind the head, head off the mat, and knees bent at approximately 90 degrees. The feet (only) are held by another individual during the exercise. Count one; sit up to where the shoulders and hips form a line perpendicular to the ground (biceps are touching the knees). Count two; return to the starting position. There is no rest position during this exercise. The buttocks must remain in contact with the ground, and the fingers must remain interlocked behind the head. You should be able to perform 40-60 repetitions of this exercise prior to basic training.
Push-Ups (develop the chest, triceps, and shoulders) - This is a two-count exercise. Starting position is hands approximately shoulder width apart with arms straight, the legs are extended, and the back and legs remain straight. Count one; lower the chest until the elbows extend above the shoulder blades. Count two; return to the starting position. The only authorized rest position is the starting position. You should be able to do 40-50 repetitions of this exercise prior to basic training.
Flutter-Kicks (develop the hip-flexors, abdominal muscles, and legs) - This is a four count exercise. Starting position is lying flat on the back with the feet and head approximately 6 inches off the ground. Hands are under the buttocks, fists are clenched to support the lower back. Count one; raise the left leg to a 45-degree angle, keeping the right leg stationary. Count two; raise the right leg off the ground to a 45 degree angle while, at the same time, moving the left leg to the starting position. Counts three and four are repetitions of the same movements. Legs must be locked, with toes pointing away from the body. There is no rest during this exercise period. You should be able to do 50-60 repetitions of this exercise prior to basic training.
This is your ability to move all your joints through a full range of motion. Warm-up and cool-down periods that include stretching exercises should be incorporated into all workouts to improve flexibility and prevent injury. Always warm-up by doing light activities before stretching. Stretches should not involve jerky movements. A stretch should be assumed slowly and held 15 seconds to 2 minutes. The longer you stretch the better the flexibility you will achieve.
Body composition is your ratio of lean body mass (bones and muscle), as compared to unlean (fat) body mass. If you have excess body fat, it will negatively affect your physical capabilities. Even a thin person can have an unhealthy body composition by not having enough muscle mass. An easy way to gauge your condition is to view yourself in a mirror. If you are unhappy with how your body looks, then you probably need to work on your body composition. Exercises, especially cardiorespiratory and sensible eating habits are the best ways to improve your body composition. If you decide to improve your body composition with dieting, you must exercise! If not, you will lose muscle mass along with the fat, which will leave you weak and unhealthy. Successful Pararescue trainees typically have less than 13% body fat.
Underwater swimming is an important skill for gaining confidence in the underwater environment. The water confidence tasks you will do at this school will require you to swim distances underwater. The more efficient you become at underwater swimming, the more confident and capable you will become in completing our evaluated tasks -- and the SCUBA demands of our specialty. Underwater swimming is basically a modification of the breast stroke. The only difference is the arm pull continues farther to the rear to provide thrust.
Equipment - A dive mask will be worn.
Procedure - The exercise begins with the students lined up at one end of the pool. The instructor will initiate the start of the exercise. On the command "Go", the students will swim underwater from one end of the pool to the other (25 meters) without surfacing. Upon touching the opposite wall, they will swim a freestyle sprint back to the starting point. Upon return, they will be allowed to rest the remainder of the specified time period. The exercise is repeated on the command "Go" until the student has completed the required number of underwaters. To satisfactorily complete this exercise the student must leave the wall immediately on the command and remain underwater until reaching the opposite wall. He must also sprint as quickly as possible back to the starting point. A student will be given one warning for unsatisfactory performance and on the next occurrence will be scored unsatisfactory for the exercise.
All evaluated swims at the Indoctrination Course are distance swims using "Rocket" style fins. The swimmer is in the prone glide position with one arm locked out in front of him, to act as a guide arm. The other arm is trailing, or can be used -- in a side stroke fashion -- to provide propulsion (UDT recovery stroke). The legs are locked at the knees with the movement coming from the hips. The legs are used in flutter kick motion to provide propulsion. Breathing is similar to freestyle swimming, but is on one side only. The swimmers body is oriented to the side, but never on the back.
Equipment - A dive mask, "Rocket" fins, and wet-suit boots.
Procedure - The exercise will begin with the students prepared to go and in a swimming lane. On the command "Go", the students will leave the wall and begin to swim, using only their legs, in a flutter kick manner to propel them through the water. Students will swim on their sides or stomach only, with one arm extended, looking down that arm and ahead while swimming. Upon reaching the wall, the student will turn around and continue to swim. This will continue until the required number of laps have been completed, or the instructor calls time. During fin swims no freestyle strokes or dolphin kicks will be used. If sprints are being conducted the instructor will specify a distance and maximum time to meet. Students will complete the sprint distance as quickly as possible and be allowed a rest period before the next sprint. To successfully complete swimming exercises you must complete each swim in the prescribed manner and within the time period prescribed. If you continually utilize improper technique, fail to complete a distance swim in the time allocated, or continuously fail to perform sprints within the maximum time, you will be scored as unsatisfactory for the exercise.
The intent of the following training items is to increase your confidence in the water, increase the amount of time you can spend underwater, and increase your ability to react calmly and rationally in high-stress situations. The following pool training events will be evaluated during your training at the Indoctrination course.
The following water confidence exercise descriptions are included for your information only! Do not attempt to do these exercises unless you have a lifeguard standing by for safety. Doing these events may lead to "shallow water blackout". If this condition occurs a lifeguard must be immediately available to prevent brain damage or death.
Mask & Snorkel Recovery
Equipment - Mask and snorkel.
Procedure - The exercise begins with all students at one end of the pool. The instructor will throw or place the students mask and snorkel a specified distance from the student. This exercise is accomplished one or two students at a time. On the command "Go", the student will leave the surface of the pool and swim underwater to the location of his mask and snorkel. Upon reaching them, he will place the snorkel between his legs and position his mask on his face. Once positioned, he will clear the mask of water, retaining a small amount of air. He will then make a controlled ascent to the surface with the snorkel in his mouth and left arm extended above his head with clenched fist. Once on the surface he will clear the snorkel and give the "OK" hand signal to the evaluating instructor. He will ensure he is facing the instructor and immediately demonstrate that his mask and snorkel are clear by looking up at the instructor and breathing through the snorkel. A small amount of water in the mask is permissible as long as it does not exceed the top of the nose indents. While on the surface, the student will not break the mask or snorkel seal until the exercise has been graded and he is permitted to do so by the instructor. This exercise will be scored unsatisfactory if the student surfaces prior to clearing the mask or fails to satisfactorily perform in any of the above listed areas.
Mask - Clearing the water from a flooded mask involves replacing the water with expelled air. The air, being lighter than water, will force the water out of the lower portion of the mask, if the upper portion is held to the face by light hand pressure to prevent the escape of air. The amount of hand pressure and the position of the hand will vary, depending on the mask, and personal technique.
Snorkel - To clear water from a flooded snorkel while on the surface, exhale or puff through the snorkel. The column of air will displace the water to expel it from the snorkel. You may also tilt your head back when on the surface and gravity will clear the snorkel for you.
Buddy Breathing/Pool Harassment
Equipment - Face masks, one snorkel per two-man buddy team.
Procedure - This exercise is conducted in the deep end of the pool. Students will enter the water when directed by the instructor. On the command "Start", they will place their faces into the water and begin to survival float while buddy breathing from one snorkel. During the exercise period, the students will maintain control of each other with one hand. With the other hand they will maintain control and pass the snorkel between each other. A student should try to consider his buddy's limited air supply and take only one breath before passing the snorkel back. During this exercise the students will breath only through the snorkel. At no time will they remove their heads from the water and breath from the surface. The exercise period ends on the command "Time". To satisfactorily complete this exercise, each student must keep his face in the water during the entire exercise period. He must remain calm, maintain control of himself, his buddy, and the snorkel. The student will be given one warning for unsatisfactory performance and on the next occurrence will be scored unsatisfactory for the exercise. Pool harassment is added as a more intense form of buddy breathing. It involves the instructor entering the water and providing the students with certain stressful situations to see if a student will panic. The same standards apply to this exercise. During pool harassment the instructor may try to:
Take the snorkel (don't let him)
Remove the face mask
Attempt to separate partners (don't let him)
Cut off your air supply for one or two breaths
Push students underwater
Other maneuvers at his discretion
Equipment - Mask, ropes or Velcro hand/leg cuffs
Procedure - Drown proofing is accomplished in four tasks. Students will be divided into pairs with one student acting as a safety swimmer. The exercise begins with the student's hands and feet bound and the student sitting on the deck at the deep end of the pool. Upon the command "Enter the water", the student will enter the water and start to bob.
The first task is bobbing. Bobbing is accomplished by sinking to the bottom of the pool. Upon reaching the bottom, bend your knees and push off the bottom, exhaling until you reach the surface. When your head reaches the surface, inhale and begin the process again.
The second task is floating. Floating is accomplished by inhaling as much air as possible into your lungs. The student will then tuck his chin into his chest, bend forward at the waist and relax, staying within a 4x4 meter square. When air is required, you will bring your head out of the water, breathe then go back to the float position. Students will not touch the bottom or sides of the pool and are required to stay in the square.
The third task is the traveling. The student will dolphin kick 100 meters without touching the bottom or sides of the pool. The dolphin kick is accomplished on your stomach, body bent at the waist and your head moving up and down in the water. Your feet and knees will propel you through the pool.
The fourth task consists of flips and mask recovery. Once the travel is complete the student will begin bobbing again. Within five bobs you will accomplish a front flip underwater. Within another five bobs you will accomplish a backwards flip underwater. Once both flips are complete, a mask is thrown to the bottom of the pool. The student will go to the bottom, pick up the mask with his teeth, and complete five bobs. After all tasks are complete, the instructor will call "Time". The safety will assist the bobber out of the water. To successfully complete this exercise the student must accomplish all of the above tasks in sequence and without panicking. If unable, he will be scored unsatisfactory for the exercise.
Equipment - None.
Procedure - Lifesaving is accomplished with one student acting as a victim and another student performing the rescue. Students will be evaluated on two water entries, two basic lifesaving rescues (approaches) and three releases (when the victim grabs the rescuer, the rescuer must free himself from the victim in order to save the victim) in accordance with the American Red Cross Lifesaving Handbook.
The two water entries you will accomplish are the long shallow dive and the stride jump. The long shallow dive is used when the water is known to be clear of obstructions and a fast entry for rescue where speed in reaching the victim is essential. Your entry should be flat and long, arms and legs are extended straight forward and aft streamlining the body. After the dive you quickly raise your head and approach the victim. The stride jump is used with questionable bottom conditions, unknown depths, and when visual contact with the victim is required. Your entry begins by leaning forward at the waist and jumping into the water. Your arms are held at shoulder height, horizontal to the water and prepared to press down and forward as your body enters the water. Upon entering the water, snap your legs together in a scissor fashion while bringing the arms down and forward. This will stop your forward motion. You must keep your head above the water and your eyes on the victim.
The two approaches you will accomplish are the front surface approach to an inactive victim and an underwater approach to an active victim.
The front surface approach is accomplished by grabbing the victim's right or left hand (whichever is easier). Vigorously pull the victim's hand up and towards you. Once the victim is leveled off, place your other arm over their shoulder and around their chest.
The underwater approach begins with the rescuer diving to a level below that of the victim's knees. You will come in on the victim's knees keeping your eyes at knee level. Turn the victim 180º by placing one hand in front of one knee and the other hand behind the other knee. Turn the victim, maintaining contact while working your way up the victim's back.
A release is required when the rescuer is held by the victim. You will perform three types of releases. The first is the double grip on one wrist release. The second is the front head hold release and the third is the rear head hold release.
To accomplish the double grip release, the victim will grab either hand of the rescuer. The rescuer uses his free hand to reach down and grab the opposite hand of the victim attempting to shake the victim loose (two shakes). This will normally break the victim's grip. The rescuer will then place his foot into the victim shoulder and push them away. You will use the same side foot as the hand that you used to shake free (if your left hand was the one that shook, use your left foot into the victim's right shoulder).
The front head hold release is needed when the victim "bear hugs" the rescuer around the head. When this occurs you will attempt to get a breath of air, then duck your chin underwater (suck, tuck, and duck). Once underwater grab the victim at the hips and push until your arms are straight. At the same time, pull and slide your head down the victim's chest. When your head is free turn the victim at the hips then move your hands up to the victim's armpits and boost him to the surface by kicking vigorously.
The rear head hold release is needed when the victim "bear hugs" the rescuer from the rear. When this occurs you will attempt to get a breath of air, then duck your chin away into the victim's lower hand. You will run your hands up your side until they contact the victim's lower hand and elbow. Turn the victim's lower hand so that his palm faces out. At this time, push the victim's lower hand out and pry up on the lower elbow. Immediately begin to duck under the victim's arm, maintaining control of the victim's lower arm as you sink down. Attempt to move to the victim's backside, bringing his lower arm with you. You will now have the victim in an arm-lock and you have control.
Equipment - Fins, wet-suit boots, T-shirt, Mask, tanks, and weight belt.
Procedure - This exercise begins with the students in the shallow end of the pool. The first step is to don the required equipment. Before entering the water, each student will visually check the water and then call out "Entering the water". The student will then, while in the sitting position, lean out over the water and by pivoting on one hand roll into the water. This procedure will prevent banging the tanks on the edge of the pool or other students. It also prevents possible damage to both tanks and the pool. Upon entering the water, the students will check their equipment. The students will then form a line facing the deep end of the pool and ensure they have enough separation between each other to prevent interference. The instructor will start the exercise with the command "Bob on Down". At that time, the students will turn around and begin to bob backwards from the shallow end, toward the deep end of the pool. Bobbing is accomplished by relaxing when on the bottom, getting into a squatting position, arms outstretched above your head, with hands clasped together in a streamlined configuration, and face looking toward the surface. When you feel the need for air push off vigorously from the bottom. When you feel your ascent slowing down, forcefully bring your arms down and propel yourself to the surface. It is very important that during this ascent you expel all of the air in your lungs. The weight of the equipment will not allow you to get more than one breath on the surface. Attempting to get additional breaths will only cause fatigue and panic. When the students have reached the deepest part of the pool, they will turn around so they are facing the instructor standing on the surface at the deep end of the pool. Once all students are in the deepest part of the pool the instructor will command "Switch". The student will then remove the fins from his feet and place them on his hands. This is done by placing your arms through the fin straps and grasping the tips of the fins. After all students have switched, the exercise time begins. During the exercise the period the student must remain in the deepest part of the pool. After the required time is completed, the instructor will call "Time". At this command, the students will bob backwards to the starting point, and other students will assist them in getting out of their gear. To successfully complete this exercise the student must accomplish all of the above tasks in the prescribed manner and without panicking. If unable, he will be scored unsatisfactory for the exercise.
These knots will be taught prior to the exercise: bowline, square knot, and girth hitch.
Equipment - 2 sling ropes per student
Procedure - The pool will be prepared for this exercise on instructor command. A long pool rope and the associated weights will be used in rigging the pool for training (the class leader will ensure these are at the pool). The rope will be strung across the deepest end of the pool, with the 25lb weights on the sides, holding the rope to the bottom. The exercise begins with the students spread out over the length of the rope treading water. Each student will have two ropes (one in hand and one stowed in the swimming trunks). The instructor will then announce the know or knots to be tied on the dive. On command, each student will descend to the rope and tie the required knot(s) prior to surfacing. All knots will be dressed and the tails will not be less than 4 inches, nor greater than 8 inches. After the knot(s) have been tied an instructor will check them to ensure they are tied correctly. If tied incorrectly the exercise will be repeated until the student is able to complete the required knot(s). If he is unable to satisfactorily tie the knot(s) he will be scored as unsatisfactory for the exercise.
Equipment - Mask, fins, wet-suit boots, and weight belt.
Procedure - The exercise begins with all equipment on and the students in the shallow end of the pool, lined facing the deep end of the pool. On the command "Move to the deep end", the students will begin treading water and moving to the deep end of the pool. Once at the deep end, the students will tread water for a specified time period. On the command "Ditch your equipment", the students will make a clear water surface dive to the deepest part of the pool. They will then ditch their gear in the following sequence: fins together and pointed to the head of the pool, mask on top of the fins, weight belt neatly placed over the mask and fins. After ditching, each student will make a controlled ascent to the pool surface with left arm over his head with clenched fist, and give the "OK" sign to an instructor. On the command "Recover your equipment", students will make a clear water surface dive to their equipment, and don it in the following sequence: weight belt first, fins second, mask third. Each student will then clear their mask and make a controlled ascent to the surface with clenched fist above the head. On the surface, they will give the "OK" signal to an instructor and move to the head of the pool with their head out of the water and mask clear. Students will not touch any equipment on the way to the head of the pool. At the pool head, the students will exit the water and sit on the pool edge with their hands on top of their heads. Their equipment will then be checked for proper configuration by an instructor. To satisfactorily complete the exercise the student must ditch his equipment correctly on one dive and make a controlled ascent. He must then don his equipment correctly on one dive and make a controlled ascent. The students mask must be completely clear of water. When checked, the weight belt must have a right hand release, and no twists in any straps. The fins must be full on the feet with no twists in the straps.
Equipment - None.
Procedure - The exercise begins with the student moving from waist deep water into deep water. On the command "Hands up", the student will raise their hands out of the water and tread water by using their legs only. Correct form is the key to the exercise. The student's motion with the legs should be in an egg-beater fashion, with the legs coming together simultaneously or alternatively. The motion of the legs must also be both rhythmical and forceful to maintain positive buoyancy of the student. The student must ensure their hands above the wrist and their head do not break the water line for the minimum evaluated time.
Weight Belt Swim
Equipment - Mask, fins, wet-suit boots, and 16lb weight belt.
Procedure - The exercise begins when the student moves from waist deep water into the deep end of the pool. The student must swim on his side, either left or right, with the leading arm out in front, continuously for the designated period of time. While swimming, the student cannot switch from his left to right side or vice versa (the side you start on is it), swim on his back, or touch any portion of the pool (sides or bottom). The student can use his other arm to assist in a "recovery stroke" to help lift his head out of the water to breath.
taken from 342 TRS/CTFI PAMPHLET 50-1