Building and Tearing Down Obstacles in Winter

Sappers prepare logs to build barricades. Credit: Lt Kevin Madore
The LAV positions itself at the first barricade and lears a path by removing debris in its way. Credit: Lt Kevin Madore
Sappers apply explosive charges to the first barricade. Credit: Lt Kevin Madore
Publication Date 
15 Mar 2012

by Lt Kevin Madore, Tp 4 Cmd, 5 CER

On the chilly morning of February 7, 2012, the members of Troop 4 were assigned to build obstacles under winter conditions. Ingenuity was needed to design and build obstacles using the material available.

Two barricades were erected, dug into the ground and anchored to nearby trees. Snow was melted and applied to the base of the obstacle to freeze the ground. As a finishing touch, a light armoured vehicle (engineering) compacted snow around the barricade. The next day, explosives were used to deliberately and kinetically breach these obstacles.

Two barricades were erected, dug into the ground and anchored to nearby trees. Snow was melted and applied to the base of the obstacle to freeze the ground. As a finishing touch, a LAV compacted snow around the barricade. The next day, explosives were used to deliberately and kinetically breach these obstacles.

The challenge in carrying out these winter operations was obviously that hands and fingers lacked dexterity in building obstacles and handling explosives. The sappers showed great adaptability to the environment throughout the exercise, skilfully performing all tasks required of them.