Editor’s note: SOFREP received this letter from a Special Forces Combat Diver who is currently serving in a senior position in a dive locker. In it, he describes the alarming issues and conditions that plague the Combat Diver capability and jeopardize the operational readiness of dive teams. The text was slightly redacted to ensure Operational Security.  

In the past, SOFREP has received and published several letters that aim to bring attention to important topics within the Special Operations community.

I’m writing this in response to the comments made by Lino Miani, the President of the Combat Diver Foundation, in his recent rebuttal of the SOFREP article written by Stavros Atlamazoglou.

My qualifications, listed below, are what allows me to comment on Special Forces Underwater Operations and the current issues within the Special Forces Combat Diver community.

Following graduation from the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), I was assigned to a combat diver detachment. I completed the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) as well as the Combat Diving Supervisor Course (CDSC). I was an instructor at the Special Forces Underwater Operations (SFUWO) school in Key West, FL. My instructor duties allowed me to participate in all courses taught at the SFUWO including CDQC, CDSC, Diving Medical Technician Course (CDMT), and abbreviated versions of the Waterborne Infiltration Course (WIC). I served on another combat diver detachment and was furthermore assigned to a dive locker. I was also assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Center (NSWC), BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training), second phase (Dive) where I instructed SEAL students in combat swimmer (synonymous with combat diver) operations.

After retiring from active duty, I began working at a Maritime Operations Detachment (MOD), also known as a diver locker or Divers Life Support Maintenance Facility. My responsibilities are maintaining the MK25 Dräger oxygen rebreather, oxygen booster pumps, and ancillary equipment.

First I’d like to say it’s obvious Mr. Miani’s intentions are genuine in preserving the Army Special Forces Combat Diver history. Mr. Miani takes great effort in staying involved in the SF combat diver community to include visiting various Groups on occasion. However, I don’t agree with his assessment of current conditions within the SF combat diver community, which were accurately described in the original SOFREP article.

“Combat Divers are well represented among the leadership of the Joint Special Operations Force.”