Charlie Squadron

There are divers.
Then there’s the Charlie Squadron.
These experts dispose of bombs and marine mines, repair submarines, and undertake underwater rescues.

Based in Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, Charlie Squadron is made up of 40 Royal Navy Clearance Divers and support staff. The group specialise in the key areas of In-Water Maintenance and Repair (IWMAR) and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).

Providing IWMAR specifically to Royal Navy Submarines both in the UK and overseas, the team are at 24-hours’ notice to deploy anywhere in the world - whether that's in home waters, European seas, or oceanic destinations from North America to the Asia-Pacific.

With the only divers throughout Defence with the specialist capability of enclosed space diving, a niche requirement for IWMAR on submarines, Charlie Squadron continues to succeed in its essential role however challenging the environment and theatre.

Fulfilling service and duty on the global stage, Charlie Squadron operates as the leading diving group for the NATO Submarine Rescue System. Delivering personnel to operate this extremely complex rescue chamber system - a globally deployable network of recompression chambers and mini submersibles, the group is capable of rescuing stricken submariners on demand. 

Facts & figures

Facts & figures

Round the clock support
8 crew

On duty watch

38 personnel

Group strength

Our skills

Our skills

Operational maintenance in-water and repair to submarines – Charlie Squadron has an on-call 24/7/365 'flyaway' team, who are ready to support Vanguard-class, Astute-class and Trafalgar-class boats globally.

Diving and Explosive Ordnance Disposal expertise – safely disposing of sea-mines and explosive ordnance.

Day-to-day dockyard assistance in HMNB Clyde – underwater security for submarines as they come in and out of the base.

NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS) – Charlie Squadron provides a team at 48hrs notice to support the submarine rescue system.

Our base

Our base


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Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Commander Mark Shaw

Standing commitment

Charlie Squadron are at 10 minutes notice to OP TAPESTRY - the UK Armed Forces’ standing commitment of Military Aid to Civil Authorities for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).

The group's maritime area of responsibility starts at the high-water mark in Liverpool, runs clockwise to the Shetland Islands and finishes in Hull. This is the largest operational area of any Diving Group.

Shared with our Army colleagues, Charlie Squadron also provide land EOD support to civil authorities.

Unit history

Royal Navy careers

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