Field Engineers complete rope bridge building exercise

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Article / January 17, 2017

By Breanne Brezinski, 3 Cdn Div Public Affairs

During the week of Nov. 21-25, 12 Squadron from 1 Combat Engineer Regiment took to Gault Memorial Park to complete a rope bridge building exercise. The exercise required the members to build a lifting device that would transport a generator from one side to the other.

 “We were given supplies, we had a bunch of logs here and rope and we had to get from one side to the other,” explained Sapper (Spr) Tristin Vandermeulen.  “They didn’t say any specifics that had to be done. They just said that it needed to get across.” 

Using wooden spars that were approximately 10-15 feet long and cordage, 4 Troop built a gyn and gyn structure to move the generator across. Lieutenant (Lt) Adrian McNeely explained that the troop built this type of structure as opposed to a gyn and sheer because the predecessor would be sturdier in the current environment. They also used Light Armoured Vehicles to anchor the structure since they were not able to dig into the ground in the field.

4 Troop started the exercise early on Thursday Nov. 24 and successfully completed it by the afternoon.

 “It only took a couple hours to figure out the problem, design this, build it, and make it work,” said Lt McNeely.

While the purpose of the exercise was to move the generator, the troop was also able to work on their communication and problem solving skills.

Lt McNeely explained the focus of the exercise as taking “the materials at hand and [using] engineering problem solving skills to figure out a solution to the problem.”

Good communication and teamwork was key when it came to giving orders on the kind of knots that were needed and what needed to be cut, explained Spr Vandermeulen.

Overall, the exercise was very successful.   “I am very impressed with the problem solving skills that I saw,” said Lt McNeely.   “In a lot of cases it’s not necessarily myself or a more senior leadership who are the best at solving a particular problem. Often it is people of all ranks having good ideas.” 

 The other troops from 12 Squadron completed the same exercise during that week.

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