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In the spring of 2014 Russian Federation occupied the Ukrainian Crimea. Along with the Ukrainian lands, the occupiers also grabbed our military facilities where military diving professionals were trained. Both facilities along with material resources and certain part of officer corps who had violated their oath, remained on the Crimea’s occupied territory. While Ukraine found itself with a limited number of qualified specialists, actually deprived of further possibility to train them properly.
We have 1300 kms of common sea border, an aggressor by side and an immediate threat of a momentary blockade of our maritime trade routes and sea ports. This would mean a near-fatal element of the economic war for our country. That is why we desperately need to have well-trained military divers, undersea saboteurs as well as other skilled submarine specialists in sufficient quantity.
In October 2019, in Odesa, a separate Diving School has been established on the basis of the Navy of Ukraine. The School is designed to prepare military divers and skilled submarine professionals. The divers will be trained for both the Navy and the Army: their specialties will vary from SpecOps officers to sappers, reconnaissance and sabotage groups, and even paratroopers as well as search and rescue professionals and law enforcement officers. In every field where staff divers are needed, these will be trained here.
It was truly kind of our old friends and partners to let us join in the project and support re-emergence of the Diving school at the national level. The School of Military Divers is a volunteer association of enthusiasts, military divers sharing the common idea of restoration of the submarine force of Ukraine. Previously, the participants of the volunteer initiative supported and trained only individual units and specialists, and now the School of Military Divers coaches are among the founders of the Navy Diving School: its mission is to train not only qualified individuals but also those able to share their practical experience and train their colleagues.
We need to consider this matter with due understanding though. As the Naval School has still being in its initial stage of development, not everything works perfectly in practice so far. Sometimes we face the situations when certain force-majeure emerges, be it the lack of necessary equipment, insurmountable odds or the circumstances that require non-standard solutions.
Sometimes it is necessary to buy certain equipment, the other day – to rent out a room or a pool for the recruits’ training. Right, as experience has shown many times, this also happens. Soon, we will need to take care of the boat which contributors provided for the needs of the Forces of Special Operations diving unit. Major part of the equipment necessary for its repair has been funded by volunteers at their own expense, while our task here will be to assist them with the associated current expenditures, for the boat to get deployed in patrolling as soon as possible. By the way, the amount to be accumulated for this purpose, is rather small and could be raised in one day. As our experience shows, we can easily cope with even harder tasks.
To ensure the continuity of our military divers’ training process, not to let minor stuff like this prevent the strengthening of our Navy, to forge our common victory in this war together, and, finally, to secure our very existence as a state, we decided to reopen the School of Military Divers project and go on with fundraising within this initiative.
The project commonly run by People’s Project and the team of experienced instructors of the School of Military Divers, exists since 2016. Then, in the course of the first stage, we started to teach swimming (from the scratch) the servicemen of the Sea Guard of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine on the Sea of Azov; later, we bought and sent them equipment for more than a hundred thousand hryvnias. The results of this work exceeded our boldest expectations!
Last year we continued training, for the servicemen to be able to meet the standards of military diving that are rather high: the guys need to continuously improve their skills and refine their professional knowledge.
Within the second stage, we supported and equipped monitor teams carrying out operational patrols at sea and maintaining the naval infrastructure facilities in a fit and safe condition. Among the other activities, they learned to hold their breath, to work blind, to rescue people on the water and find explosives under the sea.
Apart from the two years of the School of Military Divers’ existence, we provided assistance to many diving units, namely to the 73rd Dozor-M Naval special operations center, the Center for De-mining, and other military units.
• We taught divers; bought new equipment and maintained their present diving gear; helped to organize a swimming competition and an aquathlon tournament.
• The Naval Special Forces fighters today work in the equipment we bought them; the Sea Guard servicemen protecting the waters near Mariupol have been trained and equipped within our Project.
• Last year, during the water obstacle course completion, the gear we sent to our military, helped the divers of the Center for De-mining to save three people and pull out two drowned APCs from underwater.
• One of the Project’s former students, a sea guard, took part in the arrest of the Russian Nord vessel.
• Also, thanks to our consulting assistance, the Ukrainian Naval Forces for the first time over many years have managed to renew teaching of underwater welders which is a unique and highly demanding diving specification.
Within the third stage of the project, we spent a quarter of a million hryvnias for purchasing diving equipment and rent of a special pool in the city of Odesa. The team of instructors provided the cadets with free diving equipment, manuals and handbooks, literature, mine and explosives models and the rest of the materials necessary in the course of the teaching process.
The divers got trained both in the pool and on the open waters. During the course we trained their swimming and underwater wrestling skills; exercised some special techniques developed by the US Navy SEALS, as well as mastered their handling the closed cycle apparatuses and underwater scooters.
Within the fourth stage, we have equipped the Airborne Rescue Group (ARG) of the 10th Naval Aviation Brigade. The Airborne Rescue Group’s key responsibilities include rescuing the crews of the aircraft and helicopters damaged in action; convoying the ships of the Ukrainian Navy during military exercises, providing parachuting services for the Marines and many other things. The group also gets often engaged in nation-wide search and rescue activities on the sea. Under any weather conditions, day or night, immediately after the flight clearance command, the servicemen of the ARG are ready to evacuate an injured sailor from a commercial vessel or rescue fishermen who got in trouble at stormy sea. Despite the fact we raised less funds than it had been previously planned, our colleagues volunteers, individual sponsors and old Navy friends helped us satishy essential needs on the project.
Today, we continue to not only meet current demands but implement our long-term commitments. So, dear friends, come join in: do we need to explain this project’s vital necessity for Ukraine’s survival as a state?
Project budget increased by UAH 4 128. The money saved due to a discount from the seller on dry-type wetsuits.
Project budget increased by UAH 109 864. The fourth stage of the project has commenced. This time, we need your help to raise funds to purchase equipment for the rescue parachute-landing group of 10th naval aviation brigade.
Project budget reduced by UAH 5 249 at the expense of the reduction of the cost of the pool rental for training.
Project budget increased by UAH 34 080. Six wetsuits Cressi sub Fisterra for swimmers of 73rd Marine special operations center added to the budget.
Project budget increased by UAH 26 790. We are launching the third stage of the project that is created to help military divers, to train them and supply with necessary diving equipment.
|Totally (with regard to the amount of the fee*): 390 543.00 UAH (10 680 USD)|
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|17/03/2020||Military rescue swimmer drysuit||2||79 200.00||Purchased and transferred to m/u A1688|
|19/08/2019||Military rescue swimmer drysuits||2||79 200.00||delivered to military unit A1688|
|26/02/2019||Wet suit||3||59 904.00||delivered to military unit A1594|
|25/05/2018||Rental of the swimming pool of Odesa Marine Academy||1||9 000.00||paid|
|25/05/2018||Marseillas elastic belt||12||3 168.00||delivered to military unit A1430|
|25/05/2018||Scubapro Zoom diving mask||12||6 792.00||delivered to military unit A1430|
|04/07/2017||Bandage for fixing the regulator to the neck||6||630.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|04/07/2017||Medium pressure hose Poseidon 16 mm||5||2 025.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|04/07/2017||High pressure adapter||6||2 358.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|03/05/2017||High pressure adapter||6||4 272.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|03/05/2017||Low pressure adapter||6||4 950.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|03/05/2017||Gauge hose holder||6||3 072.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|20/04/2017||Manometer SPG OMS-63 mm||1||1 285.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|20/04/2017||Module for compass FS-2||1||875.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|20/04/2017||Rental of the swimming pool in Kyiv for instrucots, month||2||7 200.00||paid|
|20/04/2017||Rental of the swimming pool in Mariupol, hours||328||16 400.00||paid|
|19/07/2016||Rental of the swimming pool in Mariupol (hours)||308||11 396.00||paid for military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Acrylic whiteboard||1||1 650.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Scubapro Jet Sport full foot flippers||2||1 840.00||delivered to Underwater Sports Federation|
|19/07/2016||Sub Gear XP 10 decompressimeter||1||4 200.00||delivered to Underwater Sports Federation|
|19/07/2016||Steel balloon with 15 l valve, 230 atm||1||5 900.00||delivered to Underwater Sports Federation|
|19/07/2016||1.5 kg lead lap dive belt||50||5 000.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Wetsuit Sub Gear Definition overall II, 7 mm||1||4 300.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Neoprene glue||1||100.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Underwater notebook||2||500.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Bypass hose, 300 atm pressure gauge||1||2 600.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Silicone for gaskets||1||30.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Scubapro Nova Light 720 underwater lantern||2||4 200.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Scubapro Jet Fin flippers XL with spring fasteners||2||5 600.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Sub Gear No Zip wet thermal boots||1||580.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Cressi Giant diving knife||5||7 250.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Sub Gear SEAL hood||1||370.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Best Divers, 5 mm neoprene diving gloves||6||4 800.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Seac Sub||6||2 400.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Wetsuit Sub Gear Definition short||2||3 160.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Vinyl weights HS 12 kg||2||1 116.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|19/07/2016||Vinyl weights HS 4 kg||5||1 140.00||delivered to military unit 1472|
|17/06/2016||Sub Gear Apnea snorkel||10||2 000.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Sub Gear Steel Comp dive mask||10||5 600.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Buoy signal / control OMS||2||2 550.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Cressi Orca diving knife||1||1 450.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Scubapro Jet Fin flippers XXL with spring fasteners||1||2 550.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Scubapro Jet Fin flippers XL with spring fasteners||3||8 250.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Sub Gear No Zip wet thermal boots||4||2 160.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Sub Gear Comfort Zip wet thermal boots||1||480.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Sub Gear SEAL hood||1||340.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Sub Gear Definition||4||6 000.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Wetsuit Sub Gear Base LX, 6,5 mm||4||12 400.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|17/06/2016||Wetsuit Sub Gear Definition overall II, 7 mm||1||4 220.00||paid, waiting for delivery|
|Total: 396 463.00 UAH (10 842 USD)|