Soldiers disassemble a medium girder bridge near Cultus Lake.

Soldiers disassemble a medium girder bridge near Cultus Lake.

Bridge building in Chilliwack prepares military for natural disasters

Nearly 200 soldiers took a four-day training session in Chilliwack

About 200 Canadian Army Reserve Combat Engineers and support personnel from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario were at Cultus Lake and the surrounding Chilliwack area for four days of training during Exercise Paladin Response 2012 from Dec. 27-30.

The exercises included building and disassembling two different types of land bridges — medium girder bridges and Acrow bridges which are used to span gaps — plus medium rafts (aka medium floating bridges). After the bridges and rafts are constructed, the soldiers drive and transport military trucks across the structures.

The main focus for the exercises is to be able to use these bridges and rafts for natural disasters here in Canada, although they can and have been used overseas.

There were a number of local British Columbian soldiers from 39 Combat Engineer Regiment’s three units: 54 Engineer Squadron in Chilliwack, 6 Engineer Squadron in North Vancouver, and 44 Engineer Squadron in Trail.

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