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Lance Cpl. Timothy Boyer, right, 20, pulls Sgt. Edan Eng, 23, across the Camp Kinser pool using the double arm pit tow method during a rescue drill. This rescue method is one four students must know before graduating from the Marine Combat Instructor Water Survival course.

Lance Cpl. Timothy Boyer, right, 20, pulls Sgt. Edan Eng, 23, across the Camp Kinser pool using the double arm pit tow method during a rescue drill. This rescue method is one four students must know before graduating from the Marine Combat Instructor Water Survival course. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

Lance Cpl. Timothy Boyer, right, 20, pulls Sgt. Edan Eng, 23, across the Camp Kinser pool using the double arm pit tow method during a rescue drill. This rescue method is one four students must know before graduating from the Marine Combat Instructor Water Survival course.

Lance Cpl. Timothy Boyer, right, 20, pulls Sgt. Edan Eng, 23, across the Camp Kinser pool using the double arm pit tow method during a rescue drill. This rescue method is one four students must know before graduating from the Marine Combat Instructor Water Survival course. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

Lance Cpl. Harrison Majszak, front, 21, and other Marines take a breather from rescue drills.

Lance Cpl. Harrison Majszak, front, 21, and other Marines take a breather from rescue drills. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

Lance Cpl. Timothy Boyer, right, 20, pulls Sgt. Edan Eng, 23, across the Camp Kinser pool during water rescue drills.

Lance Cpl. Timothy Boyer, right, 20, pulls Sgt. Edan Eng, 23, across the Camp Kinser pool during water rescue drills. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

Instructors look on as 22 Marines practice rescue drills as part of the Marine Combat Instructor Water Survival course.

Instructors look on as 22 Marines practice rescue drills as part of the Marine Combat Instructor Water Survival course. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

CAMP KINSER, Okinawa — Thanks to a Camp Kinser water-survival instructor course that will certify 20 new teachers next week, Marines on Okinawa will have plenty of opportunities to undergo the required training.

The Marine Corps requires that troops periodically participate in water-survival training and pass a swim qualification, all of which certified instructors must monitor.

In November, water-survival instructors Capt. Cameron Evans and Sgt. Nicholas Hewitt told Stars and Stripes that there were just eight to 10 instructors based at Okinawa’s southern camps and several were scheduled to transfer to new duty stations. They were concerned there wouldn’t be enough instructors to hold classes for all the Marines who need training.

Since then, however, Hewitt was sent to the States to become qualified to train other instructors.

This has made it possible for him and another water-survival instructor-trainer, Gunnery Sgt. Pablo Mesquite, to establish a mobile training team to teach the three-week Marine Combat Instructor Water Survival Course.

The team recently taught its first course at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, and currently is conducting the training at Kinser.

The Kinser course was condensed to two-and-a-half weeks to fit in to some units’ deployment schedules.

To graduate from the instructor course, Marines must swim 500 meters in 11 minutes or less and 1,500 meters in 33 minutes or less. Students also must swim underwater for 25 meters while wearing combat gear and demonstrate the four rescue techniques.

During the course, students receive about 120 hours of training, Mesquite said, adding that they will spend two-thirds of that time in the water.

“They will wind up swimming about 25 to 30 miles if they added up all the swimming,” he said.

The challenge isn’t all physical, Hewitt said. Students also must pass three tests about the aquatic environment.

Once certified as water-survival instructors, they are water-training experts and “they have to be able to apply the knowledge,” Hewitt said.

Lance Cpl. Harrison Majszak, a student at the Kinser course, said he feels he will definitely be prepared to conduct water-survival training for his unit.

And that’s the goal, said Hewitt.

Hewitt said he plans to offer the course again in September. Marines also can request to attend a stateside course. Anyone interested in becoming a water-survival instructor should contact their G-3 or S-3 office, he said.

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