by Capt Eric Boucher, Const Tp Comd, 5 CER
As part of 5 CER ex Sapeur Givré, under 5 CMBG ex Rafale Blanche, the construction troop of 5 Combat Engineer Regiment (5 CER) was deployed to build a camp to accommodate 275 people. Located in the municipality of Ste-Aurélie, the regimental camp was set up on the site of a sawmill belonging to François Giguère, who enthusiastically lent us his land. The construction troop, which formed part of 55 Sp Sqn, took advantage of this exercise to put its various construction trades to work, such as electricians, electrical generating system technicians, carpenters and plumbers.
Prior to deployment, many preparations had to be made to ensure success in building the camp. First, we did site reconnaissances. Then, we computer-designed the camp using satellite images of the chosen site. Based on the site’s characteristics and measurements, electricians and electrical generating system techs prepared electrical equipment (electrical panels, wiring, connectors, and so on), so that the camp’s power supply could be quickly installed upon deployment. The use of showers and toilets (MECCs for ablutions) required thorough preparation by plumbers. Fairly complex plumbing is involved in installing four MECCs for ablutions. There is no time to waste in installing them, especially in cold weather.
Once on site, the tp deployed very quickly. Electrical generating system techs installed and turned on two 150kW generators to power the camp. Meanwhile, electricians installed electrical panels and all the wiring needed for the camp’s power supply. With the help of carpenters, plumbers installed all of the pipes needed to provide the MECCs used for ablutions with drinking water straight from the site’s hydrant. Wastewater was released directly into the municipal sewer system. Carpenters built a box to be warmed by means of heaters, to keep pipes from freezing. Heated tents were also used to store drinking water.
Cold temperatures posed an added challenge for the const tp, which had to adapt despite various technical problems related to the cold. The building of the camp was crowned with success. When Canadian Military Engineer Branch Advisor, Col Dickson, visited the camp, he highlighted the exceptional job done by the const tp.