MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
As the early morning sun rises over Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), the water begins to sparkle as U.S. Marines with 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, and Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, hop into the pool for some life saving training.
The Marines conducted Submerged Vehicle Egress Training (SVET) at the base pool aboard MCBH on July 21, 2017, to better prepare for the event if a vehicle gets submerged under water and Marines have to make an escape.
According to Corwin Catlett, an Underwater Egress Training (UET) instructor with the base pool, 90 percent of the Marines and Sailors that go through this training will survive in a real life situation.
“Everyone has a certain level of anxiety," Catlett said. “Even the instructors are nervous, but we’re trying to make sure they feel comfortable enough that they don’t reach that panic level.”
Similarly, Lance Cpl. Justin Collins, a grenadier with 3rd Marines, said that he was there for survival purposes.
“If you’re in a vehicle and trapped under water, it’s important to know what to do and stay calm," Collins said. “If you’re underwater in the dark and don’t know where you are, your instincts bring you back to this training and you remember what to do.”
Collins also added that he was nervous coming to the training but became confident at the end of it.
“It’s always nerve wrecking being put in a metal box getting dunked under water,” Collins said. “You never get past those fears but with more experience you get more relaxed.”
Collins followed this up with a phrase that every Marine should know “every Marine is amphibious."
“If something were to happen, I can help the Marines around me can get out and still perform the mission that needs to get done,” Collins said. “Being able to take a hit like this but continue on with the mission is very important.”
Additionally, Cpl. Edward Moore, a supply specialist with 3rd Marine Regiment, added that the training is beneficial to surviving a real life situation.
On deployment, anything can happen, said Moore. “I feel like I know what I’m doing better now than when I came in.”
Moore said that he also expects to receive more knowledge from the training.
“When that situation comes and I’m trying to escape, I won’t panic,” Moore said. “I’ll [remember] that I had the training before and know how to save [me and] my buddies lives.”