Visit to Naval Diving Unit
The Naval Diving Unit(NDU) is not a known entity to me, unlike the other formations in the Singapore Armed Forces. While the values and military doctrines are generally the same as other formations, the ethos and pride in work is slightly different. This is not to say that the people serving in the other formations are not as motivated, but those in the NDU, wants to be there. There is a difference in that.
I was informed, during a recent visit to the NDU, about the selection process, be it for National Service Force(NSF) or the regular serviceman The NDU, target those who have yet to join the ranks of other enlistees, during their post-secondary period, be it the polytechnics or the junior colleges. Once they have been identified, upon graduation, they will be informed and invited to join the nine months of grueling training. Those invited also have the option of pulling out if they do not want to be in the NDU. The training that the NDU conduct, sieves out those who are invited and those who want to be part of the unit, and then making sure that they are the perfect material for the NDU.
The nine weeks of training lead up to a 5 day exercise called Team Building Week, more commonly known as Hell Week. The common roster of the 5 day exercise include sleep deprivation, mental and non-stop physical exertions. By the end of all these, more than 50% will not make it as a naval diver. The trainees are then sent to either Underwater Demolition Group or Clearance Diving Group.
The equipment that the divers have to carry for the water expeditions or insertions can weigh more than 10kg. This is not inclusive of other equipment, be it weaponry or rescue tools. This depend on their mission. Divers are sometimes called upon for rescue missions.
There was something that I had to ask during the visit. I noticed that the divers not only have to be masters of their physique, conquer their fears and be natural in the water, they also have to go through sky-jumps. I was informed that the divers have to be familiar with all forms of insertion methods, be it water, land or air. Ultimately, these are the means to an end, and the end is their ultimate objective.