the ran has used divers on a regular basis since the 1920s, but it was not until world war ii that clearance diving operations came to the fore, with ran divers working alongside royal navy divers to remove naval mines from british waters, and from the waters of captured ports on the european mainland such as hugh syme, john mould, george gosse and leon goldsworthy all highly decorated.  the skills learned in the european theatre were brought back to australia, and used in the war against japan.  the utility of clearance and commando divers demonstrated during and after world war ii prompted the australian commonwealth naval board to establish a clearance diving branch within the ran in 1951.  in late 1966, clearance diving team 3 (cdt 3) was established specifically for deployment to the vietnam war to assist the overworked united states navy explosive ordnance disposal units, and to give ran personnel in clearance diving work in an operational environment.
 cdt 3 was disbanded at the end of the vietnam war, but the designation is reactivated for overseas wartime deployments, including in 1991 for the gulf war, and again in 2003 for the iraq war.  for overseas operational deployments, the designation of clearance diving team three (auscdt3) is used for a specifically formed team.  clearance divers need to successfully pass the army special forces screen test and then successfully complete specific elements of commando reinforcement training before serving in either the water platoon as an assaulter or in the water sniper team in the sniper platoon. the basic clearance diver course spans 37 weeks whilst the advanced clearance diver course and the clearance diving component of the mine warfare and clearance diving officers course spans 41 weeks.  the mct-eod role requires clearance divers to be familiar with tag specialist insertion techniques including diving, fast roping and parachuting to be able to integrate into the unit to provide ied expertise.
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