Diving Device Would Expand Recon Marines’ Range

Ed Maziarski (left) and Jake Feeney of Reconnaissance and Amphibious Raids at Marine Corps Systems Command prepare a Diver Propulsion Device for testing July 18 at Lake Anna in Spotsylvania, Va. The team worked with Marine combatant divers to conduct tests of potential upgrades to the DPD to improve its speed and controllability. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Monique Randolph)Ed Maziarski (left) and Jake Feeney of Reconnaissance and Amphibious Raids at Marine Corps Systems Command prepare a Diver Propulsion Device for testing July 18 at Lake Anna in Spotsylvania, Va. The team worked with Marine combatant divers to conduct tests of potential upgrades to the DPD to improve its speed and controllability. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Monique Randolph)

The Marine Corps is testing out upgrades to a propulsion device that helps Marine recon divers travel farther and faster.

The diver propulsion device, or DPD, is getting a new brushless motor and adjusted configuration to make it more stable and easier to control, officials said in a release. Officials tested out the improved DPD this month at Virginia’s Lake Anna.

“Although [the DPD] has been out in the fleet for 10-plus years, a lot of Marines don’t use it because it doesn’t perform the way they want it to,” lead engineer for boat and dive equipment in Reconnaissance and Amphibious Raids Jake Feeney said in a statement. “By putting the upgrades out there and saying, ‘This isn’t the DPD you’re used to; this is something better,’ we’ll hopefully get them back to using it and training on it.”

Reconnaissance Marines stationed in and around Washington, D.C. tested out the improved device, swimming in a box-shaped course at depths of 10 and 20 feet, officials said. When it works right, the DPD is supposed to propel divers nearly four miles at speeds of two knots.

“This was the capstone test in our test and evaluation plan; it was a final confirmation that the upgraded systems we’ve been looking at do exactly what we hoped they would,” Master Sgt. Brad Colbert, project officer for small craft and special projects in RAR at SYSCOM, said in the release. “What’s next for us is to upgrade a number of the systems so the operating forces have a more efficient system.”

About the Author

Hope Hodge Seck
Hope Hodge Seck is a reporter at Military.com. She can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.