army dive school prep

In order to fully understand the dangers involved with diving, the types of injuries that could occur and how to prevent them, students must understand basic anatomy and physiology.The academic portion of the course, essentially, "explains what can kill these guys," Smith said solemnly. The stronger your treading is, the easier time you'll have. "Sitting in on a class is like Valium for the ears," he joked. Instructors say Week One weeds out those who aren't meant to be combat divers.Weeks Two and Three are devoted to closed-circuit training, navigational diving, buddy breathing and tactical swims in full gear and equipment.Week Four includes boat and watercraft training. Chuck replied, “No,” but because he had pool water in his lungs, he didn’t catch the second part of that question. "It's that determination, that drive that they're always looking to be better, better than everybody else. Taking in too much air will make them too buoyant, causing them to descend slower to the bottom of the pool, meaning they'll run out of air.Furthermore, if they push off the bottom of the pool too strongly, they run the risk of breaking their restraints, which cadre says is a salient form of panic.Next, swimmers must float on the surface for two minutes, followed by a 100-yard swim around the pool. The AIRR guys went down to Florida for their schools, and the ND and EOD guys stayed in Great Lakes for dive prep. The biggest thing I found about finning was to use big kicks and to do a really good back kick using my hamstrings. "We're very tight on the students. Staff Sergeant Chuck Gates was an active-duty Green Beret from 19th SFG in Utah. Airborne Instructors in 1977. "I've got my feelers out there, seeing what's going on back at group, so I can get back on a team, get back to training and the daily grind. Maybe it was hypoxia, but for volunteering to go back in that pool so recently after his incapacitation, with water still in his lungs waiting to kill him, I say without hesitation that Chuck Gates is the bravest man I ever met. Alternatively, he'll descend ever so slightly with each exhalation. And if the cadre thought you were sliding down, they would direct you over to the wall. (3) Bicycles. Matthew D. Smith, chief instructor in charge of the curriculum, said that a lot of what takes place at the school involves academics.Having a medical background might help a student in this course, but most who attend do not have that luxury. For a lot of guys, that's what they want to be.He said occasionally some will jump into it without knowing what they're getting into exactly, but the majority of students know precisely what to expect. The perils of this drill included running head-on into an opposite swimmer, causing both of you to lose all momentum, or having the guy next to you take your mask off with his push-off arm stroke. My least favorite exercise was bobbing, where you jumped up from the bottom of the deep end with your fins on your hands, got your head above the surface, took a breath, and went back down. The problem is we've got a lot of 10-pound craniums walking around here who understand it in-depth. If he wants you to roll, you're rolling. 1st Class Thomas N. Talmadge, is an example of the kind of determination it takes to be a combat diver, and a CDQC instructor.Talmadge was injured during his last deployment to Afghanistan, where he and his team came under heavy fire in the middle of the night. Also you are getting splashed in the face by instructors, that's about it. Instructors said their location offers challenging navigational tests, as there are many shallow passages around the Florida Keys.Finally, Week Six puts everything the students have learned into practical application by conducting a 48-hour field training exercise. Those who dare navigate under the waves, not just on top of them, to do what the Army needs them to do are among the Special Forces' elite: combat divers.The grueling seven-week Combat Diver Qualification Course, or CDQC, at the Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West, Fla., is neither for the weak of heart, or the idle of mind. "Granted, this is a basic course, but, truly, it is an advanced course when it comes to diving and military combat operations. If I am revived and offered a chance to quit, I am going to take it. She then attended Navy Dive School and spent two years as a Coast Guard Diver at Maritime Safety and Security Team 91109. He blew through the PT test and had no fear of anything through pool week. It’s how we can continue producing high quality coverage of warfare and global issues for you to enjoy. Those bubbles are easily detected," Minnick explained.Granted, a portion of the course is dedicated to familiarizing students with open-circuit equipment. Problem was, he didn’t control the whistle. I overheard the cadre mentioning that Chuck was a recycle. I havent spoken to anyone about it yet as I dont know if I'm physically ready for it yet. To be elite, one must endure the hardships that tough training requires. In the military, those among the elite have paid certain dues and performed to such a level that they can now be considered the top 1 percent.The main reason combat diver qualification is so tough, Tabberer explained, "is when you take a human being, a common air-breather, put him under the water and take away his source of air - it can make the biggest, meanest, baddest human being become very weak, panic-stricken. However, the ultimate objective during that part of the training is to prepare them for closed-circuit diving.The closed-circuit diving equipment "consists of a compact, lightweight rebreather that scrubs exhaled gases from a diver's exhalations and recycles the unused oxygen back to the diver with additional pure oxygen as needed. Q4 SOFREP Sweepstakes - Over $4,000 in prizes - Click here for more information →, Sweepstakes: Enter to win $4,000 in prizes →, Neglected & Misunderstood: Senior Green Beret speaks out about the SF Combat Diver capability. Join our community. Literally, the grenade hit his leg, and the unexploded round had to be yanked out of his tissue by a teammate during the firefight.Talmadge said the chaos of the firefight made finding cover a difficult task, but once he was in a better position, the medic applied several tourniquets and called for a medevac. I took the two years to go through the Q-course and then went to an active group. My question is really geared towards divers. "I'm almost back to the same level I was at before the injury," he said proudly, ready to get back in the fight. It's no longer a gateway. Not that MCD is a piece of cake mind you. I saw a couple videos of the navy guys who were in my class. He had recycled because of crossovers. Students will not be allowed to leave the compound before 1200 on the graduation date. ""You know, you were at the top of your game, top of the hill, and now, you can't do anything. It is as intense mentally as it is physically, with an attrition rate that truly begins before each class cycle does.In order to be accepted to the course, candidates are required to pass as intense physical fitness and swim test at their home units, which must be documented by their command. "We go over it with a fine-tooth comb," Smith said. Army engineer divers are members of national armies who are trained to undertake reconnaissance, demolition, and salvage tasks underwater. To comment on this article please login or create an account. The second count was one guy short, but the class was back underwater before he could stop them. Instructors say that the desire to be part of that one percent serves as motivation in and of itself.While all the instructors happily convey they've enjoyed their time at this assignment and teaching at the school, they don't deny that they'd rather be out with their groups conducting missions. He said he wanted to be part of that elite force.WHAT KIND OF SOLDIER DOES IT TAKE'Most of the instructors at CDQC have multiple deployments as well, and some of them have given more than just time to the Global War on Terrorism. He could drive you as far into oxygen debt as he wanted. "What truly sets apart the Special Forces combat diver from the already elite Special Forces Soldier is determination and drive to be better than everyone else," explained Sgt. Once the initial tests are completed, the course moves on at full speed.Sgt. Sometimes, repair, construction and patrolling take place beneath the surface. So, getting there is only half the battle. They must have the desire to be part of the elite one percent of Special Forces combat divers. This week brings together all the previous training throughout the course. SCOPE. is a Green Beret who served in Afghanistan and a number of other live fire locations. The purpose of this drill was explained several times, but the story was never the same twice and never made any sense. He explained that it was SF autonomy that pushed him through the qualification course, and the prestige that attracted him to dive school. One side went low and the other went high. One must excel. In 1943, an Army officer, along with other representatives from the Army, the Army Air Corps, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, helped develop a recirculating oxygen rebreather, the Lambertson Amphibious Respiratory Unit, or LARU, which gave divers the ability to travel underwater farther and for longer periods of time.Developments such as the LARU set the stage for underwater and airborne tactical maneuvering. Once the face mask has been secured, swimmers must perform five more bobs while holding the mask in their teeth. They learned about the history of combat diving and what the school has to offer. His recovery progress was slowed when one of the numerous skin grafts developed into a painful infection. Hyperventilation prior to diving depletes carbon dioxide in the system, leaving a diver susceptible to shallow-water blackout. That and lots of hip flexor involvement. The training is physically and mentally exhausting, so preparation above and beyond the basic requirements of the school is mandatory. "Cadre members agree that potential candidates for the course must be mature, disciplined, intelligent. Most of the time, I had a pretty good outlook on things," he confessed. ", 'Santa Todd' goes virtual to provide holiday joy to children, AFC remains future-focused while supporting present challenges, ‘Game-changing’ program enables COVID-19 patients to safely recover at home, Amid pandemic, Army initiative safely moves Soldiers home in time for Christmas, People first: New task force seeks Army-wide changes, Army medical facilities in Europe to receive COVID vaccine, Army preps Strykers for laser combat shoot-off, Soldier builds unbreakable bond with military working dog, Top Soldier stories of 2020 show resilience in trying year, Army to widen scope of legal counsel program for victims of sexual assault, Operation Warp Speed goes on offense against COVID-19, New retirement extensions allow the Army to retain critical talent. The cadre were very familiar with shallow-water blackout and watched for it constantly. Master Sgt. When you get "hit" it looks like it sucks lol, those instructors have fun with you guys. With boring efficiency, they raised Chuck from the dead and got him breathing again. While they may not be called on for dive missions in the Middle East, these combat divers are fighting professionals.In fact, most candidates who enter CDQC usually have four to seven deployments under their belts. As an Army diver you will specialize in one of two different types of diving. There was another drill called crossovers. U.S Army Special Forces Combat Diver School? Share on Twitter ""For example, we're not going to waste time by using a bunch of Latin terms that the students aren't going to understand. "For many students, the toughest part of the course takes place in the classroom. The experience of teaching at one of the most difficult courses throughout the military, helping train and create new combat divers is an opportunity that even less than one percent of the Special Forces combat divers will ever have. "I had heard about people coming here and being put underwater to the point of passing out to simulate drowning, and frankly, I didn't want any part of it," he chided. If you are trying to prepare for the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course then you must do PT with your local Dive Team. "A lot of times, we have to really break it down in laymen's terms. If you’d like an ad-free experience, consider becoming a SOFREP member and enjoy a whole host of other benefits besides the ad-free part. "The school has really come a long way. Maj. Roberto Oquendo, company sergeant major and the senior enlisted advisor to the commander. Until then, it’s up to me to study as much of the material as I can get my hands on, and get back in shape after two months of boot camp. Black Hats. Chuck remembers the story again from this point onward. Not everyone who is Special Forces is [high altitude/low opening]-qualified. The water was hazy, and they could not see the bottom of the pool. There is a dive supervisor course, which focuses on running a dive and making sure the divers stay safe. So, we spend a lot of time talking with each other about the best teaching methods. We're looking for people who can overcome those pitfalls and remain confident. The Sapper Leader Course is a demanding 28 day leadership development course for combat engineers that reinforces critical skills and teaches advanced techniques needed across the Army. And the Combat Diver Qualification Course is the hardest thing I have ever done, even though I did not nearly die like Chuck. This course helps prepare students for the rigors of training and the demands of these lifestyles. Support authentic military journalism and a 100% veteran editorial staff. (formerly known as SOPC I – Special Operations Prep Course. Students should plan accordingly when scheduling departure flights. The total program is broken up into two phases of training, open circuit and closed circuit. Every man in my class who failed to graduate quit in pool week. KMA students take four years of classes sponsored by the United States Army known as Leadership Education and Training classes. We need that, which is why we have these specialty teams, like dive teams and HALO teams. So I've decided I want to go to dive school and earn the DV warfare pin. The Army Diving Supervisor (ADS) course is an 8-week course designed to test experienced Corporals and Officers in the skills required to be an ADS. There is a dive supervisor course, which focuses on running a dive and making sure the divers stay safe. Both dive courses are extremely advanced and competitive for operational forces, so cadets who gain these rare opportunities prepare diligently over a long period. If you have a better story, I want to read it. Read Next: Neglected & Misunderstood: Senior Green Beret speaks out about the SF Combat Diver capability. Upon successful completion of the FTX, the students take part in a 9-mile run the following morning, and the final three days of the course are dedicated to cleaning and maintenance.As one can imagine, the elation of completing such a grueling school renders the new combat divers overjoyed. © 2020 The SOFREP Media Group. There are plenty of other classes in which students die. But, it's more than special operations training and capabilities that make these men professionals. The biggest stressor with dive school is that you can be dropped at any point for failing anything. He was not breathing, had no pulse, and had water in his lungs. One must train beyond the limits of what is considered the norm. He saved my life," he said, adding that he's had approximately 40 surgeries to repair damage and reconstruct his leg. Good news is that very few people fail out of dive school after making it there. While the training mission is essential, they often look toward the future back under the water. "Overall course standards require an 85 percent or higher before students can qualify as divers. So, everybody's trying to help you, take care of you. "It was life changing, especially in the beginning. hey brother, i'm army EOD, but just in case you don't get any of my naval brothers responding to you, i can tell you that the dive school is pretty tough. But after working with combat divers in his group, he changed his mind. Brought back from the dead, the first words he heard were, “Do you want to quit?”. Students will perform helocasts from helicopters and navigate their way by Zodiac inflatable boats to their points. Travel from the airport should be by taxi to "the Army dive school on Trumbo Point." Here are 10 things Airborne students will encounter when going through Jump School: 1. The Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) or, informally, the Q Course is the initial formal training program for entry into the United States Army Special Forces.Phase I of the Q Course is Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS). He's a poet-warrior in the classic sense, a casual hero and a student of science. It's the heart. You have to tread with empty scuba tanks on and say some lines while checking out your buddy to make sure his stuff is on correctly, while he does the same for you. You hear it in Special Forces and around Rangers. Chuck sank peacefully to the bottom of the pool, his airway completely obstructed by a swimming pool full of water. "As Talmadge began regaining strength and mobility, he did laps around the nurses' station. About 10 years ago, it went from a four-week course to a six-week course, incorporating pre-scuba training into the first two weeks.Within the last year, the school underwent a review, and instructors decided to revamp the course so they could implement more valuable material that would make graduates more of an asset to their teams back home.The most recent change now makes the course seven weeks long, which includes a "Zero Week" that puts candidates through a series of training and testing events that are conducted in the controlled environment of the pool.One of the tests includes swimming underwater for 50 yards on just a single breath. The Prep course is formally listed as 8 weeks long but is actually 9 weeks with the inclusion of an inprocessing “Zero Week” . Scuba Diver- This type of Army diving involves working just below the surface of the water, for short periods of time. When they bob up to the surface and take in a breath of air, it must be a controlled breath. As such, the aim of the ADS Course is to qualify AD1 divers as military diving supervisors by means of assessing them in the following three supervisory roles: It brings you down. Most of the students decide it's just not for them," Army Special Forces Underwater Operations School makes its mark on Key West. If you have any trace of claustrophobia or fear of drowning, the clever instructors will find it. Tabberer said. CDQC is open to Special Forces and Ranger noncommissioned officers. This means that they only select the best of the best cadets. I went through CDQC before it was a seven-week marathon — my hat is off to those guys who took the course after I did. I asked him about it. Samuel Winter, an instructor for the Army Diver Phase 1 Course. The course aims to prepare Marines for Combatant Divers Course, an eight-week school designed to teach students how to thrive in the water while in a combat zone, taught in Panama City, Florida. After spending a few days on a medical plane, by way through Germany, Talmadge ended up at Womack Army Hospital, Fort Bragg, N.C."That medic did everything. There is no warning sensation, and victims typically drown quietly. There is no try. Getting "Selected" at SFAS will enable a candidate to continue to the next of the four phases. He should have plenty of free time still, we were done at around 1630 and off on weekends. This infiltration method grew to become another platform for Special Forces to get to work.Known for using cutting-edge technology, the school served as field tester in the 1970s for a rebreather unit that used mixed gas in a closed-circuit system. "Talmadge advises anyone who might be interested in attending or becoming an instructor at CDQC to get the ball rolling. Q4 SOFREP Sweepstakes - Over $4,000 in prizes - Click here for more information → We put it into the simplest terms to get the highest level of understanding," Smith said. Prep is designed to build upon the candidates motivation and physical conditioning to prepare them for the rigors of A&S. Working under the water can be even more unforgiving. Dive prep is designed to weed out people and it's tough for a reason. The U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, known as USMAPS, the Prep School, or West Point Prep, was formally established in 1946, but the history of "prepping" Soldiers for West Point has been done since Congress enacted legislation in 1916 authorizing Soldier appointments to West Point. I felt like a little bottom-sucker. Swimmers cannot touch the bottom of the pool or break the surface of the water.Perhaps the most challenging test is drown-proofing, which instructors say is a test of confidence and control. The senior combat divers who teach at the school emphasize that the graduates are now, truly, the best of the best. Graduates go back to their groups with skill sets and knowledge that run deeper than those who graduated years ago," Minnick said.ELITE STANDARDSElite status can't be purchased or secured through a handout. We try to identify those people who need to be here and those who don't. The Coast Guard Lieutenant handed me a pair of khaki shorts. b. Of course," Oquendo pointed out, "not everyone enjoys jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet in the air at night with equipment, and that's okay. Other training includes obstacle courses, rucksack marches, diving physics, dive tables, metric manipulations, medical terminology, dive terminology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, weapons qualifications, history of PJs, and leadership reaction course. Leave a comment. For example, combat divers often use diver propulsion devices, DPDs, small, open submarines capable of carrying two divers. Not to mention ... family comes to see you in the hospital, and you can't do anything for yourself. Talmadge's left leg was severely injured by a direct hit from a rocket-propelled grenade. Students will learn basic diving and advanced rescue diving principles during … Enlisted; Active Duty; Army Reserve; Not all Army operations take place on land. They finally stopped the drill and pulled the lifeless body of Chuck Gates from the bottom. Now, here is my simple question to you: Would you rather go without a meal for a day or without a breath for two minutes? "I could just see myself walking through a field, stepping in a hole and busting my leg open, and I'd lose all the progress I'd made so far in rehab. Watch: Marine Saves Child from Burning Car. "ELITE SOLDIERSWhile virtually every instructor or staff member at the CDQC will humbly say that what they do is just another way to get to work, indeed there is something that sets apart the Special Forces combat diver from the standard Green Beret. after becoming a ranger i wanted to complete SF combat diver school for the reason that i just want to have that particular skill under my belt. Repeat until told to stop. While we got plenty of experience donning and wearing these primitive behemoths, we did not turn on the air and use regulators until week two. After you read this story, I think you will agree that the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) at the Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West, Florida, takes the prize. The first week, they issued full open circuit gear, complete with twin 80-cubic-foot tanks. "A common personality characteristic found among Special Forces is the desire to be the best at everything, Oquendo elaborated further. 1st Class Benjamin Tabberer, an instructor at CDQC who was nominated as instructor of the year, explained that the course goes from zero to 60 very quickly. General Information: a. Candace Le, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment January 14, 2013. This phase is 4 weeks long. At that point, there were about 25 guys still in the class. We don't have to choose anything. Because it is so efficient in recycling and rationing oxygen, the rebreather allows combat divers to remain underwater for four hours straight. It has about a 40% passing rate. 1 2 » Military Academies in all States - Military Prep Schools. "I thanked God that I was alive, but there were times that I got pretty down. He was resuscitated and saw a bright light approaching. PURPOSE. Half the class would line up on each side of the long axis of the Olympic-sized pool. This gives the students the opportunity to work as a detachment," as they would with their groups.With Week Five comes insertion training. We understand ads might not be why you’re here, but our ad revenue is one of the ways we keep the lights on and our veteran writing staff paid. I have been through a lot of training over the years. Dive prep is mainly just going over what are called In Water Procedures (IWPs). But, Talmadge said that he has intentionally, and sometimes forcefully, taken an active part within his own recovery process, which has helped him maintain a positive outlook. Prep for Basic Training > MOS Information > Diver (21D) Diver (21D) Intelligence and Combat Support Army MOS Information. If one of these guys falls below 75 percent in their academics, they are placed on restriction. The guy was blowing the whistle pretty fast — I am sure they had procedures and limits, but I never figured out what they were. up to be a diver,” said Staff Sgt. The drills have since changed, but the objective remains the same. Students learn surface and sub-surface waterborne infiltration methods.The SF Underwater Operations School administers two other courses between its combat diver sessions: the Combat Diving Supervisor Course and the Diving Medical Technician Course.IN THE BEGINNING ...In true Special Forces tradition, the school was birthed in an autonomous fashion, and today is a self-sufficient organization with an administrative and training facility, barracks, dining facility, classrooms, parachute-drying tower, hyperbaric chamber, boat maintenance shop, docks, the largest pool in Key West, and a dive tower equipped with a nuclear submarine lockout trunk.Three Soldiers were sent to Florida from the JFK Special Warfare Center Scuba Detachment, Fort Bragg, N.C., in the summer of 1964 with the objective to locate a site for a new underwater operations school. Train select US Army Special Forces, other US SOF, DOD, foreign military, and US Government personnel as combat diving medical technicians. They advise that the key to passing it is not to panic but to remain calm, which for some students is easier said than done.Drown-proofing requires swimmers' hands and feet to be bound with Velcro straps. And the Combat Diver Qualification Course is the hardest thing I have ever done, even though I did not nearly die like Chuck. He was quiet and in great shape. Was An Improvised Propane Bomb Used In The Nashville Bombing? Depending on where you do it, pre-dive can be worse than dive school. They tried the course and decided it wasn't for them. Special Forces Combat Diving Medical Technician Course (CDMTC) ATRRS School Code: 331 . They're operating as an entire element, a 10- to 12-man element, depending on class size. In a completely unemotional rendition, Chuck told me that in the previous class, they were in the officer’s pool at Fleming Key (this was before the school had its own pool). SO prep does their own thing. "I know some awesome operators I would go to combat with any day, and they're not combat divers. Sweepstakes: Enter to win $4,000 in prizes →. The cadre with the whistle controlled the pace. 1. Whereas in Ranger School, there were hours and miles between meals where you thought about how powerfully hunger sucked. But this is the only instance I know of, where the cadre nearly killed a student through inaction, brought that student back to life to cover their mistakes, and then ask him if he wanted to quit. “I asked my recruiter for the hardest job I could sign up for, and he sent me here,” said Pvt. 1st Class William C. Plaag Jr., who is senior instructor at SFUWO. All Rights Reserved. "By Weeks Four, Five and Six, these guys are pretty much divers," explained Sgt. Usually the water does the choosing for us. The divers will be trained for both the Navy and the Army: their specialties will vary from SpecOps officers to sappers, reconnaissance and sabotage groups, and even paratroopers as well as search and rescue professionals and law enforcement officers. It's the drive. If they break the straps or touch the sides of the pool, they fail.Swimmers must maintain a rhythm while doing this portion of the test. All of these activities are in succession, and hands and feet remain bound.Once the swim is complete, students must perform a front flip and back flip underwater in the deep end of the pool, without touching the bottom or sides for assistance. The Prep training staff includes olympic-trial athletes, prior operators, a sports psychologist, nutritionist, stre… By Sgt. Sgt. Cool under pressure, they move with no doubt that they can fix any medical problem from arterial bleeding to syphilis. If you have never worked with an SF medic, they are a wonder to watch. The most highly selective program available to cadets, the Combat Diver Qualification Course (CDQC) has less than fifteen cadet slots each year. upon completion do i have to be assigned to a diving team to permanently be a combat diver or would i be able to just have this skill on kind of a stand by incase i ever need it? However, should they fail a second time, they are recycled to the next iteration of the course. Percent of Special Forces Assessment and Selection ( SFAS ) after a beers... Debt as he wanted know if I am revived and offered a to... Insertion training researched and asked around before taking the plunge and applying for the course and decided it was autonomy! Fire locations and take in a breath of air, it 's tough for a reason axis the! T control the whistle this week brings together all the previous training throughout the course place... Next of the long axis of the numerous skin grafts developed into a painful infection Reserve not! Surgeries to repair damage and reconstruct his leg > MOS Information chance to quit, I had a pretty outlook! Asked around before taking the plunge and applying for the course done at around and. Who can overcome those pitfalls and remain confident be allowed to leave compound. You in the classroom can fix any Medical problem from arterial bleeding to.... Is senior instructor at cdqc to get onto base Diver susceptible to shallow-water....: Think like a Green Beret who served in Afghanistan and a %... Criteria may attend specialized Schools and leadership training alternatively, he did n't merely catch from... My class who failed to graduate quit in pool week guys train all day then! And off on weekends it constantly guys train all day and then go sit in the hospital, they! Gates from the blast for Soldiers who want to quit, I had a pretty good outlook on things ''! 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Is only half the battle secured, swimmers must perform five more bobs while holding the mask in their.! Back kick using my hamstrings for short periods of time talking with each exhalation must be a controlled breath was! Had a pretty good outlook on things, '' as they would direct over... Of this drill was explained several times, we have to really break it down laymen.

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