Recently, at the 42nd Street Swimming Pool, senior noncommissioned officers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command utilized Sergeant’s Time Training to certify their soldiers in Class Three Basic Water Survival Training, which is part of a multi-level training course.
The training is designed to help soldiers feel safe and confident around water by showing them different ways to use their rucksacks and other military equipment as floatation devices, said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Lopez-Bonaglia, the company’s senior medic.
“The main purpose of the training is to give soldiers confidence when they are in the water, especially with their uniforms and their equipment, make sure they understand that the rucksack is a flotation device, and that they can survive if they come up to that type of situation where they fall into water,” he said.
The day started early with a ruck march to the swimming pool, classes on equipment water-proofing and demonstrations by company medics on how to correctly enter the pool.
The Renegade soldiers were split into groups of 10 and, after a quick safety brief, took the plunge.
“We have the lifeguards here just in case anything happens,” said Spc. Ashley Jones, a battalion medic. “You just have to relax and feel comfortable.”
Each team was assigned a medic to show them the proper techniques for the various activities, which included the stride entry, step-off entry, maneuver techniques and treading water with and without their ruck sacks.
“The training went really well today,” Jones said. “So far everyone has passed and they seem to be having a good time doing it.”
The water survival training at the pool was not just for the swimmers. In addition to the teams going through the various stations, about 25 soldiers were non-swimmers and took part in pool physical training.
“They have been motivated today. The soldiers that are non-swimmers were participating, which is a really good thing to see, and the soldiers that were doing the training looked really great,” Lopez-Bonaglia said.
The next step will be concurring the Class Two Basic Water Survival Class, before moving on to the Class One Course and achieving the ultimate water survival.