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AIRMEN RECOVER “TONS OF TRASH” FROM THE DESTIN HARBOR FOR TRAINING

 

Over the years, a popular waterway has filled with trash. An Air Force Base in the Panhandle decided to do their part by sending a group of divers to clean it up. These guys are using their training to clean the Destin harbor. The Destin Harbor is normally hustling and bustling with boaters. For several hours on Wednesday, parts of the Harbor were closed to the public. Not to worry thought, nothing major was happening but, what was happening under the water was a different story. “It first started a couple of years ago when we saw somebody run over some ropes in the harbor and we are like hey! We can help them out,” shared Michael Gray, Unit Diving Officer for the Special Tactics Diving Squadron. So, diving into a new project, the airmen came up with clean-up day. About two dozen Special Tactics Airmen spent the day collecting the trash while testing their training. Gray says clean up day is the perfect opportunity to do two things at once. “Like I said, you’re giving back and you’re also getting some real training for operations in the near future,” explained Gray. Before the divers could get to work, each of them geared up as if it were a mission. Then, they were reviewed and once cleared, they were ready to jump in. What they recovered from the Destin Harbor was unbelievable. From leaf blowers to baby strollers, tons of tires and the oddest of them all, a microwave. The Special Tactics divers weren’t just having fun and diving to discover. This was an extra component to their training.  “There never is a disaster or catastrophic event in good clear water, on a good clear day. They will call us when it’s raining, when it’s storming or when it’s just really a bad situation and so now they get used to this so that when they do it for the first time for real, then it’s not that big of a deal,” said Gray.

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