Skip to comments.Army Engineers Bridge the Gap (ESSAYONS!)
Posted on 02/18/2008 3:39:45 PM PST by SandRat
CAMP RAMADI The engineers had the first span of the bridge ready to go out on the river, but when the water levels were checked, the river had risen 24 inches in an hour. It didnt stop the Soldiers from the 814th Engineer Company; it only forced them to adjust their plan and raise the 30-foot section of the bridge a little higher to get it on the pontoon floating in the river.
The weather would prove to be the most difficult challenge in building the 120-meter Mabey Logistics Support Bridge spanning the Euphrates River over the course of eight days.This is the third Maybey bridge built for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division by the Fort Polk, La., based company. The first was built near Camp Ramadi and the second in Hawas, near Lake Thar Thar. The first two were built and launched across the river in one piece. However, the third bridge was too large to send across in one go, so the engineers had to use the gigantic Flexifloat pontoons to get it into position.Considering this is the first time we have done this (with pontoons), it has gone well and the Soldiers did well, said 1st Lt. Jonie Goodrich, platoon leader with the 814th.Sailors from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 15 assisted the bridge builders by welding the steel rails for the water-borne sections of the bridge to sit on. The pontoons are big enough that two are enough to support the one of the four nearly 14-feet wide and 30-feet long section of the bridge on the river. Small boats are used to maneuver the pontoons into position and keep them lined up as the bridge is rolled onto the pontoons. Staff Sgt. Michael Shade, bridge non-commissioned officer in charge, watched and ensured each boat pushed or pulled when needed as the water-borne sections were rolled onto the pontoons.The boats are the easy part, the 37-year-old Colorado Springs, Co., native, said. These things (Flexifloat pontoons) are huge; its like moving a barge. Were used to moving pontoon bridges, and if you push to hard, the Flexifloats start to tilt so we learned to take it slow.Shade said the hardest part was not building the sections, but learning the little tricks that only experience can teach you.You can be taught something in the classroom, but you dont know it until you get your hands wet, he said.The Logistic Support Bridge is essentially a non-assault bridge for the movement of supplies and the re-opening of communications. All types of vehicles including civilian vehicles with low ground clearances are accommodated.A HET carrying an M1 Abrams Tank is the standard to measure against for the size of a bridge, and the Maybey bridge can accommodate that, said Sgt. 1st Class Thomas York, a 39-year-old platoon sergeant from Wolf River, Tenn. The design of the Maybey bridge can be traced back to the Bailey Bridge, which uses World War II materials. The Maybey improves the bridge functionality with a more modern design, improved steel structure and the ability to carry more weight.There are a number of Mabey bridges in Iraq that were built by Naval mobile construction battalions and Army engineers. As Soldiers return to theatre who have built these bridges in the past, they bring their knowledge with them.In every active unit, you have a cadre of people who have knowledge of this system, said Alan Pearson, technical advisor from Maybey Bridge and Shore. Most of the staff sergeants in this unit were here in 2005.Pearson worked hand in hand with service members when they first used this system in Kuwait prior to the U.S. led invasion, and now he is able to step back and give advice when needed as Soldiers build bridges that will last long after they redeploy.
The Soldiers feel a sense of accomplishment when they finish, but sometimes it can feel like forever while working, Goodrich, a 25-year-old Espanole, N.M., native, said. After they finish though, they can come back, see it, and say I helped build that.
HOOOYAH! I was a platoon leader in the 814th Engineer Company, Float Bridge, in 1979-80 in what used to be West Germany. Way to go guys!
Interesting what you find on FR.
What does ESSAYONS! mean?
It’s the Laton Moto on the Army Engineers Uniform buttons. Up above there is an Army Engineer that used to be the Plt Leader in that very unit when it was in Germany. He can giv you the exat meaning.
My error.. “ESSAYONS”Is a French word meaning-”Let Us Try”