Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC). One of the advanced skills schools that John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS) runs is the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) on Fleming Key the Key West Naval Air Station, Key West, Florida.

Diver Badges.  Upon successful completion of the Combat Diver Qualification Course students are authorized to wear a diver badge on their uniform.  See Diver Badges at The Institute of Heraldry for more info.

Scuba Diver Badge
(replaced with Special Operations Diver Badge)
Special Forces Combat Diver Badge
Special Operations Diver Badge
(approved 17 Sep 2004)
Special Operations Combat Diver Badge
Special Operations Diving
Supervisor Badge
(approved 17 Sep 2004)
Special Operations Diving Supervisor Badge

The course has seen many changes in the program of instruction and length of the course since it was established in the late 1960s.  Special Forces detachments started training in Key West, Florida on temporary duty in the early 1960s.  The course length has varied from three to six weeks.  One thing has always remained constant - it is an extremely physically challenging and mentally tough school.

Pre-SCUBA.  Prior to sending personnel to the CDQC most units will weed out weak swimmers and those lacking motivation with a Pre-SCUBA course.  Usually Pre-SCUBA lasts two to three weeks depending on the branch of service and unit.  SWCS does offer a POI to follow which inlcudes a lot of pool work, water confidence drills, and long-distance swimming. In the old days (when it was a hard school) you used to have to do bobbing drills and cross-overs.

Upon graduation from the Combat Diver course the Special Forces student is usually assigned to a Special Forces Combat Dive operational detachment.  Once the newly assigned member becomes experienced in Special Forces maritime operations he may very likely attend advanced combat diver training.  The training takes place in Key West, Florida on a small navy base called Naval Air Station Key West.

Program of Instruction (POI).  Knot tying, water survival, open-circuit twin-80s SCUBA, closed-circuit SCUBA (using the DRAEGER LAR V O3 Rebreather), submarine lock-in and lock-outs, ship bottom searches, underwater navigation (compass swims), long-distance surface swims, underwater search and recovery, and maritime infiltration operations. The course includes boat operations with Zodiacs and Klepper kayaks.

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Tags: special, forces, underwater, operations, team, a04920