Article by Lt Isabelle Provost, UPAR, 35 CER
During the weekend of April 29 to May 1, about 40 engineers of the 35 Combat Engineer Regiment (CER) built a floating bridge in the Anse au Foulon to maintain their bridging capability.
Establishing a medium raft crossing is essential to ensuring the mobility of personnel and equipment during military operations. This type of bridge makes it possible to cross large bodies of water, such as the St. Lawrence River. The length and weight of the raft may vary, depending on requirements. For the purposes of the exercise, the final raft was 42 metres long and weighed 33 tonnes.
Although the Regiment carries out this exercise about every two years, it was one of the first times that the field engineers were assigned to moor the floating bridge on the river bank to allow a heavy vehicle of the Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) type to be transported on the floating bridge. The field engineers were able to tackle this challenge partly through the expertise acquired alongside the Americans in Exercise NOBEL GUERRIER 12.
Training on the St. Lawrence River is also a major challenge for the engineers because they have to deal with the natural elements and adjust their activities to take tides into account. To do that, they must work jointly with Navy personnel who take charge of some of the navigation operations and are skilled in ensuring the safety of operations.
Overall, the bridging exercise was very successful. The CER engineers rose to the challenge assigned to them with enthusiasm and professionalism. They were able to confirm that they have the expertise and demonstrated their capability to support crossing operations.