Royal Navy has rebranded to form new small elite mission teams 01032022 Credit LPhot Lee Blease © Crown copyright 2022
The Royal Navy's new Diving & Threat Exploitation Group (DTXG) replaces the long-standing Fleet Diving Squadron (Picture: LPhot Lee Blease/Royal Navy Crown Copyright).
Navy

Changes ahead for Navy diving teams in biggest shake-up in 25 years

Once-in-a-generation transformation will make Navy divers the most "agile, lethal and technically advanced" they have ever been.

Royal Navy has rebranded to form new small elite mission teams 01032022 Credit LPhot Lee Blease © Crown copyright 2022
The Royal Navy's new Diving & Threat Exploitation Group (DTXG) replaces the long-standing Fleet Diving Squadron (Picture: LPhot Lee Blease/Royal Navy Crown Copyright).

The Royal Navy is changing the way its diving teams operate in the biggest shake-up in more than 25 years.

The new Diving & Threat Exploitation Group (DTXG) replaces the long-standing Fleet Diving Squadron.

It will see divers forming new smaller teams to be more "agile, lethal and technically advanced".

The group will be called on to carry out a range of tasks – including dealing with historic explosives and improvised explosive devices around the UK, as well as clearing sea mines around the world and deterring terrorists.

The divers are also capable of carrying out emergency underwater maintenance on warships, including the Queen Elizabeth-Class carriers, and delivering discreet special operations.

It is hoped the changes will allow the Royal Navy's divers to deal with more missions while continuing training with NATO and other allies on global exercises.

Royal Navy divers have undergone a rebrand to form small, elite mission teams able to deal with latest threats 03032022  (2) CREDIT LPhot Lee Blease © Crown copyright 2022
The group will be called on to deal with historic explosives and improvised explosive devices around the UK (Picture: LPhot Lee Blease/Royal Navy Crown Copyright).

Personnel based in Portsmouth, Plymouth and Faslane and will be using new technology and opportunities to beat new threats to the Royal Navy.

Commanding officer Commander Sean Heaton said: "This once-in-a-generation transformation has enabled the Royal Navy's Clearance Divers to be the most agile, lethal and technically advanced they have ever been.

"Capable of locating, exploiting, and disposing of threats to the Royal Navy and the UK's interests, all while remaining ready to conduct emergency underwater maintenance to our ships and submarines."

Lieutenant Commander Tom Forbes, of Echo Squadron (DTXG's explosive exploitation experts), said: "For my unit, this transformation means we can focus our attention on becoming experts in the field of maritime exploitation of conventional and improvised explosive devises and munitions – a capability that doesn't exist anywhere else across UK defence.

"It will give us great flexibility to explore new exercises in countries we haven't worked in before.

Royal Navy divers have undergone a rebrand to form small, elite mission teams able to deal with latest threats 03032022 Credit LPhot Lee Blease © Crown copyright 2022
The shake-up will see divers forming new smaller teams to be more "agile, lethal and technically advanced" (Photo: LPhot Lee Blease/Royal Navy Crown Copyright).

"It's a really exciting time for us to develop new skills and evolve the way we contribute to future operations," he added.

Chief Petty Officer Carl Thomas, of Alpha Squadron (DTXG's special operations squadron), added: "This is the biggest and most exciting transformation period for the diving squadron in a generation.

"The Diving & Threat Exploitation Group continues to evolve and move with the times.

"We recognise and embrace modern, innovative technology such as autonomous underwater vehicles and remotely operated vehicles (known as AUVs and ROVs) to deliver operations and enhance training."

The divers will be deploying to the US, France, Norway and Iceland over the next few months, as well as continuing to operate in the Middle East with partner nations and deployed ships, such as HMS Montrose, minehunters HMS Middleton, HMS Bangor, HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Penzance and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) support ship Lyme Bay.