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Three Company D, 701st Main Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division soldiers climb out of the swimming pool after participating in a series of water survival tactics during the unit's training session, July 17.
Three Company D, 701st Main Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division soldiers climb out of the swimming pool after participating in a series of water survival tactics during the unit's training session, July 17. (Courtesy of US Army)
Three Company D, 701st Main Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division soldiers climb out of the swimming pool after participating in a series of water survival tactics during the unit's training session, July 17.
Three Company D, 701st Main Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division soldiers climb out of the swimming pool after participating in a series of water survival tactics during the unit's training session, July 17. (Courtesy of US Army)
Soldiers of Company D, 701st Main Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, enter a swimming pool with full combat gear and rucksack during the unit's water survival training session held on Larson Post in Kitzingen, Germany.
Soldiers of Company D, 701st Main Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, enter a swimming pool with full combat gear and rucksack during the unit's water survival training session held on Larson Post in Kitzingen, Germany. (Courtesy of US Army)
From left, 2nd Lt. Alvaro Gracia, Pvt. Dennis Dobbins, Sgt. Jonathan Willis and Sgt. Francisco Del-Valle, all of Company D, 701st Main Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, jump into a swimming pool during water survival training July 17th.
From left, 2nd Lt. Alvaro Gracia, Pvt. Dennis Dobbins, Sgt. Jonathan Willis and Sgt. Francisco Del-Valle, all of Company D, 701st Main Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, jump into a swimming pool during water survival training July 17th. (Courtesy of US Army)

About 125 soldiers from Company D of the 701st Main Support Battalion in Kitzingen, Germany, took part in a Basic Survival Swimmer course on Thursday at Larson Barracks in Kitzingen.

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Christian organized the class, during which troops learned swimming techniques in full battle dress with rucksack. They completed six exercises:

• Waterproofing the rucksack: Involves putting clothes and sleeping bag in waterproof bags and tying them to the outside, along with flak vest, Kevlar and rifle.

• Travel-stroke sequence: Jumping into the pool in full battle dress and ruck, and getting around in the water.

• Getting out of the water: Climbing out while fully loaded with gear — no easy task when waterlogged.

• Treading water/hanging float: Learning to tread water and to face-float while wearing full gear.

• Travel stroke without rucksack: Jump into the deep end of the pool wearing gear (but without ruck), swimming to the shallow end and climbing out.

• Five-minute buoyancy test: Jump into pool wearing gear and tread water for 2½ minutes. Then, hanging float for 2½ minutes.

Soldiers are required to take water safety training once a year, but typically it isn’t so rigorous. This class is the first of the three-level survival swimmer course given to soldiers who must work around water, particularly engineers, who use boats and build bridges.

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