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Army Work Divers (AWD) carry out diving with surface supplied breathing apparatus and use hand, pneumatic, hydraulic, explosive powered tools, thermal arc cutting, welding equipment, underwater concreting, construction techniques to undertake work in support of the army operations.

Additionally an AWD is trained in search techniques and recovery.  AWD must remain current diving status by diving for a minimum of 180 minutes during the every six months period, 60 minutes of which is to be at night or with zero visibility.

Tasks Performed on the Job

The role of the diver is to extend Army operations into the water. The functions provided by the diver can be grouped as follows:

Mobility. Divers have the ability to:

  • reconnoiter wet gap crossings and bridges
  • clear underwater obstacles and mines
  • support wet gap crossing operations
  • remove underwater battlefield hazards.

Counter mobility. Divers have the ability to:

  • prepare and emplace underwater obstacles, including mines
  • prepare and execute underwater demolitions
  • enhance natural obstacles.

Sustainability. Divers have the ability to:

  • conduct underwater damage assessment
  • search for and recover equipment and other items from underwater
  • maintain lines of communications
  • support other engineering tasks

Survivability. Divers have the ability to:

  • support emergency respondents in fighting fires in structures over water
  • support emergency respondents in the conduct of personnel rescue from underwater, including flooded confined spaces
  • support emergency respondents in the conduct of urban search and rescue tasks in and around water
  • support emergency respondents in sealing underwater hazardous materials leaks.

Highlights and Rewards

The ability to not only provide assistance to the battle group but also to assist the local community at home and around the world is certainly a highlight of the work. Activities can be very varied, for example, army divers have assisted the Brisbane community by removing car bodies from the Karawatha Dam, and during a time of need after the Tsunami hit Banda Ache, a Dive team assisted the local fisherman by recovering their sunken  boats from the shipping channel to land.

Responsibilities and Challenges

The Army Work Diver is essentially a Combat Engineer, therefore he would be on the salary dictated for his position, however when he conducts his Specialty of Diving he is paid a Diving allowance.

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