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Soldiers learn to scuba dive - in Afghanistan
TIDWORTH-based frontline soldiers have been learning how to scuba dive – in the middle of the Afghan desert.
The project was the brainchild of Captain Mick Stewart, second in command of a squadron of Royal Engineers and a keen British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) and military scuba diver and instructor.
A 70,000 litre water storage tank has been built in the heart of Camp Bastion and is being used as a training pool for ten members of 26 Engineer Regiment. Their aim is to gain their BSAC Ocean Diver qualification while escaping the pressures of a war zone.
Capt Stewart, 42, who lives in Tidworth, joined the army in 1986 and has been scuba diving for 15 years.
“I thought that it would be a good idea to use my skills as a diving instructor to teach some of the lads in their spare time. Considering we tend to work an average of 14 hour days, seven days a week, this was certainly a challenge in time management,” he said.
“It gives soldiers a break from the norm and a chance to learn new skills. The sport teaches teamwork, navigation, planning and briefing skills, all of which are key to good soldiering.”