BARSTOW, Calif -- Marines with 7th Engineer Support Battalion from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, test Improved Ribbon Bridge components with representatives from Marine Corps Systems Command, and Marine Corps Engineer School, at Production Plant Barstow's test pond aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow’s Yermo Annex, California, Jan. 25, 2016
Function checks are performed on the IRB before it is sent to the operating forces to ensure that they receive properly working equipment, said Gunnery Sgt. Quinton Shearer, Bridging Project Officer with MARCORSYSCOM, Maine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
“We can build rafts or continuous span bridges to cross rivers or lakes,” said Shearer. “They support up to an M1 Abrams tank with 100 foot spacing under normal conditions.”
If used as a raft, for instance if the distance to span is too great for the components on hand, or environmental conditions deem necessary, then MK III Bridge Erection Boats are used to propel the raft in the water, explained Joshua Junge, training instructor at the Marine Corps Engineer School located at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
One of the other benefits of engaging in hands-on testing of equipment is that it gives Marines with 7th ESB an opportunity to practice their skills. It also allows them to meet the individuals who help take care of the war fighters.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to get to know Systems Command and develop more personal relationships with the individuals who help support the operating forces” said 1st Lt. Thomas Benge, officer-in-charge with 7th ESB.