Thanks for your continued interest in this project. The marathon is almost over and we have entered the home stretch with the book now at the printers and in production. We have been assured by Best Publishing, publisher of the US Navy Diving Manual (www.bestpub.com), that we will take delivery of the book by the end of August (next month).
A large format hard-covered book with over 335 pages, 600 color and B&W images, and detailed text, U.S. NAVY DIVER is a tribute to the divers, diving commands and recent operations of the US Navy and Marine Corps diving community.
For those of you who can make the DEMA show in Las Vegas, 4-7 October 2005, Captain Mark Helmkamp, supervisor of Diving, and yours truly will be signing books at the Best Publishing booth and lecturing on “Navy Diving Today.” The lecture is scheduled for 09:45 AM on Thursday the 6th October at the convention center.
Mark V. Lonsdale
To the Navy Diving community:
Thanks for all your interest and emails with regards to the NAVY DIVER book project. After visiting with so many impressive diving commands and dedicated navy divers, I feel honored to be working on this project.
Just to give you all some background on this project, with the support of CHINFO, the research and photography for NAVY DIVER was up to full speed by January 2001 and maintained good momentum through the first half of the year. I had the opportunity to visit with numerous commands beginning at the NDSTC and NEDU in Panama City and then progressing out to the fleet. I racked up significant frequent flier miles bouncing from west to east coasts visiting with Consolidated Divers and UCT-2 in California to MDSU-2 out on the Monitor Project and UCT-1 at Little Creek. While at Little Creek I also made time for NSWG-2 and the navy divers at SDV Team Two. Visiting with MDSU-1 took me to Pearl Harbor to shoot the spin-ups for the now successful Ehime Maru project; and while in Hawaii I visited with the divers of SDV Team One and the ASDS project. Back in California I spent time with the Seals in Coronado then up to Camp Pendleton to work with the Marine Force Recon combatant swimmers.
In conjunction with my work with Marine Force Recon, September 9 & 10 found me tracking 5th Platoon at the USMC mountain warfare training center (MWTC) in Bridgeport, California. The platoon had just completed a night insert for a 5-day reconnaissance exercise when those cowardly bastards hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, forcing my focus to shift from the book project to my primary occupation as a military advisor.
Side note: Back in January 2000, while writing ALPINE OPERATIONS, I had predicted that Afghanistan would be our next area of operation and Usama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda would be the targets (Alpine Operations page 281). I just didn’t expect that so many Americans would have to die to galvanize our politicians into action. Finally the gloves would be coming off, the rules of engagement would change, and we would be able to go after terrorists the way every military man knew we should by hunting them on their home turf relentlessly.
So the last half of September was spent doing research and compiling ground intelligence on Afghanistan and Pakistan; then through October and November I was giving briefs to Recon Marines, Army Intelligence, Air Force helicopter pilots and Pararescue personnel prior to their deployments. By December I was on a flight to Pakistan and the Afghan Region (but that’s another story).
By early March 2002 I was in France lecturing at one of their anti-terrorism centers on the Afghan situation; then down in the Alps briefing their mountain troops prior to deployment to Kabul as part of ISAF.
Throughout 2002 I had been debriefing US military personnel returning from Afghanistan and collecting the all-important lessons learned, to then turn around and brief the next units preparing to deploy. By early 2003 I was back in Afghanistan, this time working in the north, involved in military and security advisory. Since then I have been dividing my time between training US military personnel prior to deployment and working with our coalition partners in the Middle East. And now as I sit writing this I am on 7-day stand-by to fly to Baghdad.
Hopefully you will now appreciate why the NAVY DIVER book has been somewhat delayed. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am still working on the Navy Diver books as my schedule allows and even found time to slip down to Naval Special Warfare to visit with the EOD units involved in the marine mammal program.
Things usually quiet down around Christmas, so baring any major terrorist actions, I should be able to finish the text and get this book to the publishers by January; so it is now looking like early 2004 for the completion of the book, but keeping checking this web site for up-dates.
Mark V. Lonsdale