Dive, Airman, Dive:

USAF has graduated the first airmen from its new Air Force Combat Dive Course, conducted at the Panama City, Fla., Naval Support Activity. The 17 special operations airmen completed more than six weeks of high-risk training, including a final test in which the airmen wore a 25-pound breathing device strapped to their chests and 50-pound rucksack and weapon on their backs. In teams of two, they swam underwater in murky conditions more than 2,000 yards, and with the aid of a compass, reached a precise objective without being spotted. Since 9/11, Air Force officials say the service has an increased need for divers, hence the new course, which they say could support up to 40 students in six classes per year. The CDC is just one of various specialized schools special operations airmen must attend.