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Military challenge

A BRIDGE you encounter while entering enemy territory has suffered moderate structural damage, caused by bombing, to both abutments and piers. It is imperative your squadron - which consists of vehicles up to 70t - reaches the other side.

So do you allow your squadron to cross the bridge? Or do you try to find an alternative route with the additional risk of landmines? You have one hour to decide!

This was the challenge laid down to the audience by Major John Stevens and Major Dick Abott of the Royal Engineers Military Works Force to the Derby and Leicester branch of the East Midlands local association recently.

Abott and Stevens gave a snappy insight into exactly how the MWF assesses such situations, using examples from the Balkans and war-torn Sierra Leone.

Stevens discussed the options available for remedying war damaged bridges, including techniques such as the Mabey and Johnson bridge.

Abott then described the various rapid assessment techniques available, such as engineering judgement, load/ span tables and reduced safety factors.

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