Clearance Diving Teams

Huon Class MHC vessels HMA Ships Gascoyne and Diamantina
Huon Class MHC vessels HMA Ships Gascoyne and Diamantina

Clearance Divers (CDs) are the Australian Defence Forces’ specialist divers. CD tasks include specialist diving missions to depths of 54 metres, surface and underwater demolitions, and the rendering safe and disposal of conventional explosive ordnance and improvised explosive devices.

During their careers, CDs will be rotated through the following sea and shore positions:


Huon Class Mine Hunter Coastal (MHC) Vessels

Employment for CDs posted to these ships includes upper deck Seaman part-of-ship duties during sea service within Australia and overseas. Specialist diving duties involve the use of self-contained mixed gas equipment for mine-counter measures tasks. Mine-counter measures missions focus on the prosecution and disposal of sea mines. These ships are based at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney.


Clearance Diving Teams (CDTs)

Clearance Divers can be employed in the following operational CDT elements:

Expeditionary Reconnaissance and Clearance (ERC)

ERC delivers overt and clandestine mine counter measures diving in shallow water and littoral environments. This encompasses reconnaissance, rapid environmental assessment and mine/obstruction location, identification and clearance where required. ERC missions include diving on oxygen and mixed gas closed and semi closed re-breathers and the employment of specialist reconnaissance equipment in the littoral environment.

Clearance Diver carrying an M4A1 Carbine.
Clearance Diver carrying an M4A1 Carbine.

Underwater Damage Repair (UDR)

UDR missions include diving on surface-supplied and self-contained air equipment, primarily for rapid deployment to conduct emergency ship repairs. UDR also assists in repair and maintenance of ships' underwater fittings, underwater survey, repair and salvage. These missions can involve the use of underwater electric, explosive-power, hydraulic and pneumatic tools for major repairs and salvage operations, and provide a suite of skills and equipment that can be applied in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief scenarios.

Maritime Explosive Ordnance Disposal (MEOD)

MEOD missions include the rendering safe and disposal of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Military Ordnance and obstructions in the maritime environment, including: on land; wharves; ships internals and hulls; and underwater installations. These missions can involve the use of Remote Positioning Vehicles (RPV), Portable X-Ray devices, bomb suits, high powered disruptors, and various diving sets and underwater tools.


Tactical Assault Group (East) (TAG (E))

CDs are employed in Special Forces roles at the TAG (E). TAG (E) is part of 2 Commando Regiment. TAG (E) maintains a short notice capability to conduct special military operations, using a variety of specialist skill-sets that include the extensive use of small arms.


Instructional and support roles

CDs are also posted to the RAN Diving School, located at HMAS Penguin in Sydney, for instructional duties. RAN Diving School staff instruct all category and non-category diving and demolition courses. Besides the RAN Diving School, there are several administrative support positions for CDs around Australia.


Team Commanding Officer
Australian Clearance Diving Team One (AUSCDT ONE) Lieutenant Commander Daniel Stavers
Australian Clearance Diving Team Four (AUSCDT FOUR) Lieutenant Commander Andrew Thomas