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WFEL Medium Girder Bridge in Norway

WFEL’s rapidly-installed bridges deployed during Exercise ‘Trident Juncture’

 

US Marines and US Navy Seabees recently jointly deployed a WFEL Medium Girder Bridge (MGB) in Norway, during the large NATO Exercise ‘Trident Juncture 18.’

The troops demonstrated their bridge-building skills in a constricted workspace in an extremely harsh weather environment and tested their ability to ensure mobility of forces during the scenario of an existing bridge over a gap becoming structurally unsound due to battle damage and unsafe for military vehicles to cross. The need for the new bridge was, therefore, critical.

Almost 100 US Marine Light Armoured Vehicles and Norwegian Bandvagns (all-terrain tracked carrier vehicles) crossed the bridge immediately after its completion.

Gap crossing is a critical skill that engineers need to accomplish; the military acknowledge that being able to rapidly assess and breach a gap takes a great deal of planning and co-ordination – and is always a challenge.

In recent years, most US Forces operations have been carried out in warm or desert environments, e.g. ‘Iraqi Freedom’ and ‘Enduring Freedom.’ Recently, however, the focus has moved, such there has now become a priority for training between NATO allies in areas where temperatures often drop well below freezing.

The austere environment of Norway caused some severe challenges; the road leading up to the bridge was narrow with steep drop-offs on each side, complicating the movement of transportation and the icy conditions created a safety hazard for those working around the bridge. However, the troops quickly adapted to the situation and accomplished their mission. The bridge was kept in pristine condition and was ready for the operation sooner than expected.

Around 50,000 participants from some 30 NATO and partner countries took part in exercise Trident Juncture 2018, the largest in a series of long-planned exercises to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate seamlessly together and ready to respond to any threat, from any direction.

 

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Publish date

11/21/2018

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