FBINAA Sept/Oct Magazine.2018



The pool at the FBI Academy inQuan- tico, Virginia, has undergone a major overhaul. Now, instructors have an efficient, state-of-the-art facility to use while instructing special agents and police officers in lifesaving, water survival, underwater evidence recovery, and water rescues. T his effort comprises part of the continued expansion, reno- vation, and modernization of the prestigious academy, origi- nally constructed in the early 1970s. IMPROVED FACILITY Pool designs and aquatic technology have advanced con- siderably since the original construction over 45 years ago. The upgraded 20,000-square-foot facility has advanced components that are safer and easier to use. 1 Digital communications now occur between efficient water/chemical balance controllers and high-tech filtration equipment that is approximately 90 percent more effective. 2 Renovations also include concealed epoxy floor- ing and improved drainage on the decking. Interior graphics and a new foyer greet swimmers and create a sense of pride. Underwater treadmills allow for low-impact cardiovascular workouts that reduce stress on joints. 3 Lap lanes in the 25-meter pool assist students preparing for the fitness demands of rescue swimmers, and heavy ropes in the human-performance-training area help individuals increase strength, power, and endurance. With more options available, use of the aquatics facility likely will increase dramatically.

PHYSICAL FITNESS TRAINING Each year, approximately 1,000 police leaders representing countries all over the globe attend the esteemed FBI National Academy (NA)—a 10-week executive development program for law enforcement personnel. As part of the curriculum, all stu- dents must participate in the challenging Fitness in Law Enforce- ment course, administered by the Physical Training Unit (PTU). Twenty staff members oversee scheduling, regulate pool activi- ties, and serve as certified lifeguards during classes. After a long hiatus due to the pool reconstruction, aquatics classes now have been reintroduced into the course curriculum. These exercise courses focus on the four pillars of human move- ment: push/pull, level changes, rotation, and balance. 4 To educate, motivate, and support law enforcement leaders and to increase their level of effectiveness, instructors have NA students participate in various physical activities in the gym and throughout the grounds. PTU has geared all exercise classes, to include the aquatics training, toward boosting students’ cardio- respiratory endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, power, and speed. The Fitness in Law Enforcement program exists to pro- mote a lifelong commitment to health and fitness. 5 BASIC AND SPECIALTY INSTRUCTION The upgraded pool helps facilitate both specialized training for elite FBI units, such as the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), Evi- dence Response Teams (ERT), and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units, and basic instruction for FBI new agent trainees and NA students. During regular business hours, the pool serves as the hub for law enforcement instruction designed to help save lives. HRT operators receive over 450 hours of aquatics instruction, leading to certifications in open- and closed-circuit advanced SCU- BA diving, nighttime diving, rescue diving, and rescue swimming. Both FBI and DEA trainees attend classes that focus on ba- sic water survival skills, physical conditioning, and teamwork. Instructors design all of the physical training to ensure that stu- dents have the strength and endurance to safely perform their es- sential job tasks.

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