MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- “Lay! Ho! Heave!” shouted Sgt. Tyler Denney, an advanced bridge master with Bridge Company, 8th Engineering Support Battalion, as several Marines removed a section of a 16-bay, double-story bridge. Marines then carried the section of bridge to a pallet for later use.
Marine engineers with Bridge Co. completed a bridge build and removal exercise during a bridge masters course aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, May 15.
“The training is to give junior Marines and noncommissioned officers a step-up in bridging,” said Denney. “The Marines just out of their [military occupational specialty] school are essentially learning the tricks of the trade.”
The capability to deploy bridges is a tactical advantage for the Marine Corps. The unit employs bridges capable of holding M1A1 Abrams tanks, and provides a key element in supporting operations in different terrain. Encountering a gap or ravine that would be otherwise impassable could result in several hours of lost time before finding an alternate route, which could be devastating to a mission.
This type of bridge can be built as fast as 2.75 hours according to the training manual. However, the class took its time building the bridge to ensure the students fully understood each step
“We essentially took the most difficult bridge we had and built it,” said Lance Cpl. Connor Ammerman, an advanced bridge master with the unit. “This allowed us to concentrate on instructing and strengthening our Marines to give them the confidence it takes to build one of these bridges.”
Some of the Marines who conducted this training had never built a bridge or never built a bridge of this size. With many different specializations in the engineering field, Bridge Co. took the time to instruct these Marines on how to correctly, and safely, construct the bridges the Marine Corps uses.
“The training went very well,” said Denney. “I learned a lot and I became an advanced bridge master and will be able to pass knowledge down to junior Marines."