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Emblem of the Cadiz Diving Unit
Emblem of the Cadiz Diving Unit
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Emblem of the Cadiz Diving Unit

This brief review will explain the main tasks, missions, capabilities, structure and history of this diving unit.

The Cadiz Diving Unit is an operational and multi-purpose group mainly devoted to activities related to the underwater maintenance and repairing of Spanish Navy warships in the Cadiz Area, SAR diving activities and the disposal of underwater explosives (EOD).

The first Cadiz diving unit was stationed in La Carraca Arsenal, mainly tasked with ship repairs and underwater defense.

In 1982 the Chief of Staff of the Spanish Navy created different Diving Units due to the need for the Maritime Zones to have their own organization and means to prevent and combat the threats posed by sabotage or insidious actions that may be carried out in the ports and maritime areas of their responsibility. They were also entrusted with job of conducting underwater repairs of naval facilities and ships.

This diving group belongs to a series of operational units that make up the Maritime Action Force. It is homeported in Puntales Naval Station.

Its main missions include:

  • Protection and defense of warships, docks and port facilities against possible sabotage, terrorist or dangerous actions conducted under the waters of the Cadiz area.

  • The same situation in the case of national or foreign merchant ships if the naval authorities order it.

  • Pinpoint, reconnoiter, neutralize and dispose of underwater explosive devices or explosive devices found in beaches and coasts.

  • Cooperate with Mine Countermeasures (MCM) units.

  • To have in readiness deep water divers (helium-oxygen) to support the missions entrusted to the submarine rescue ship ‘Neptuno’.

  • Repairing works in ships’ breakdowns or rescue operations.

  • Collaborate in SAR tasks.

  • Conduct protection tasks in underwater archaeological heritage sites, locating and registering all historical wreckages.

In addition to these tasks, the Unit collaborates with Maritime Action ships distributing and maintaining diving equipment as well as training other divers.

In order to fulfill all the different missions and activities, the Cadiz Unit has a workforce of 25 highly qualified servicemen. There are specialists in diving, scuba diving, combat divers, MCM divers, EOD specialists, SAR divers and an expert nurse in case of diving accidents.

The materiel include different types of equipment like individual scuba systems, surface diving support equipment, 4 semi-rigid and 2 rigid craft as well as several vehicles and a portable hyperbaric chamber.

An important aspect of our daily activities is the physical exercise. Diving is a very demanding endeavor that requires constant training and a good physical condition.

Also important is the perfect condition of all the equipment including underwater tools, diving suits, compressors, hyperbaric chambers, craft and boats. Training with other divers from other military areas is also conducted on a regular basis, normally twice a week.

The unit personnel are also in charge of the day-to-day administrative and logistic tasks, essential to be in perfect readiness. On an almost daily basis, the Operational Diving Team (EOB in its Spanish initials) regularly carries out training or different tasks assigned outside Puntales Naval Station.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) components are deployed approximately twice a month to participate in EOD training. From the operational point of view, they help neutralize explosive devices that appear in areas where the Spanish Navy has exclusive competence on the matter.

On some occasions personnel from these operational teams are deployed with other units to provide support in areas like SAR divers or EOD. In addition, national exercises are carried out with other diving units and divers from the Mine countermeasures (MCM) teams (EODEX and CLAEX). There are also bilateral exercises with US Navy and Army EOD specialist like the EODMU-8 Detachment Europe, stationed in Rota Naval Base.

As of 2007, Cadiz EOD personnel have participated in many international operations; namely, ALTHEA in Bosnia-Herzegovina, UNIFIL in the Lebanon and UNIFIED PROTECTOR (Libya). Also in operations carried out in Spanish deployments like the Gulf of Guinea, FRONTEX-INDALO, Operation SEA GUARDIAN, etc.

National exercises include MARFIBEX, GRUFLEX and MARSEC, and bilateral exercises: MAGRE, SPOOLEX and DIVEX.


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