Marines receive Advanced Water survival training aboard station
Marines toughed out one week of intense pool training to obtain their Water Survival Advanced certification at the WaterWorks outdoor pool here, May 20-24, 2013.
Obtaining their WSA qualification allows Marines to become safety swimmers and assist a Marine Corps Instructor of Water Survival with larger classes.
“For the past few days, we have been conducting WSA, Water Survival Advanced,” said Cpl. Tiffany L. Baker, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 Marine Corps Instructor of Water
Survival. “It is a weeklong course and at the end, if you pass, you are certified and qualified to become a safety swimmer, which means for every safety swimmer a MCIWS has with the WSA qualification, they can add five more students in the pool at a time.”
Some students attend the course merely to advance their swim qualification. Others have bigger plans for the future.
“I am doing this because I want to go to MCIWS school later this summer and this course is the best preparation for it,” said Cpl. Andrew Purvis, MALS-12 aviation ordnanceman and WSA student. “This is great for helping in the advancement of your career as a Marine, helping other Marines become better swimmers.”
Water survival is an important aspect toward Marine Corps readiness. A standard of readiness with the coined term, ‘Marines are amphibious’ at the very root of the purpose of the Marine Corps.
“For the entire base, there are only two Marines that are MCIWS certified,” said Baker. “By getting more Marines WSA qualified we can train more Marines faster and hopefully get a few of those to the MCIWS course to help with keeping their units readiness level where it needs to be.”
With the completion of the first WSA course conducted aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, hopefuls wonder when the next course will be.
“We want to host more of these classes in the future,” said Baker. “We were able to coordinate with Marine Corps Community Services Aquatics Division and they helped us with using the outdoor pool the week before it opened.”
The WSA course is a long stretch from MCIWS. However, it has proven in the past to be a strong basis for those wishing to attend the MCIWS course with a better grasp on the techniques of proper water survival.