After completion of Recruit Training or acceptance in the Navy Diver program from the Fleet, individuals will go to Naval Training Command, Great Lakes, for Diver Preparation Course (32 training days, including 20 days of Basic Electrical and Engineering courses). Upon completion of the training, candidates will go to Navy Dive and Salvage Training Command (NDSTC) , Panama City, Fla., for Second Class Dive School, which is 70 training days long.
The center has 22 different courses of instruction and a throughput of approximately 1300 students per year, with an average of 300 students in training at any given time. The Training Center conducts approximately ten thousand dives each year.
The NDSTC is divided into Fleet and specialized sections. Regardless of their section, all candidates are taught:
- Basic gas laws as they relate to diving.
- Diving medicine
- Recompression chamber operations
- Dive planning Diving physics
- Salvage operations
- Surface-supplied diving systems
- Use of all Diving apparatus: Open- and Closed-Circuit rigs
- Underwater mechanics and tools, and underwater cutting and welding
After completing Second Class Dive School, the member will be assigned to one of the Navy Diver Units to hone the undersea diving and salvage skills required by the United States Navy. A Navy Diver can perform underwater ship repair, salvage, and construction, using either SCUBA equipment or a surface-supplied-air diving system. Training for Diving Medical Officers and Diving Medical Technicians is also part of Fleet training.
Many experienced divers return to NDSTC for further course work so they can qualify as First Class Divers and Master Divers.
A Navy Diver gets specialized training in demolition and mixed-gas diving.