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Marines with Bridge Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, drive a Combat Rubber Raiding Craft onto the back of an Improved Ribbon Bridge during a training exercise on the Colorado River in Laughlin, Nev., March 17-21, 2014. More than 60 Marines trained in moving heavy equipment, to include 7-tons and Humvees, across a flowing body of water using BEBs and an Improved Ribbon Bridge. The IRB is a multi-piece floating bridge that can function as a raft. The BEBs were used to push the raft against the current. Despite being accustomed to training in a bay with little to no current, these Marines managed to transport two 7-tons up the river at the same time.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Keenan Zelazoski

Marines conduct land and water bridging exercise at Lake Elsinore

19 Mar 2015 | Courtesy Story 1st Marine Logistics Group

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - Marines with Bridge Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group will assemble a continuous span improved ribbon bridge, and a medium-girder bridge in Lake Elsinore, Calif., March 24-25.

At 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, approximately 100 Marines will construct the two bridges across a narrow channel on the lake, a feat that hasn't been done in more than a decade.

"This event is important because we will be conducting tasks that cannot be accomplished within one training area aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton due to terrain restrictions," said 2nd Lt. Adriel Fernandez, a bridge platoon commander with 7th ESB. "Lake Elsinore provides terrain where we can construct improved ribbon bridges and medium-girder bridges."

Once the IRB is completed, the Marines will drive across the 400-foot channel and begin the construction of a medium-girder bridge adjacent to the shoreline. Lake Elsinore is the only location within 250 miles that is able to facilitate both bridge building exercises at the same site, added Fernandez.

An IRB provides wet gap crossing capabilities either as a floating bridge or a multi-bay raft for combat vehicles and trucks. An MGB is a lightweight, easily transportable, constructed steel bridge used to traverse land gaps.

"We are one of only three units who have MGB and IRB capabilities," said Fernandez. "This event serves as a good baseline to see how our company would be able to operate overseas if we were called to construct bridges over water and land in one mission."

Marines with 7th ESB are conducting the build in order to fulfill a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation requirement. The MCCRE is a set standard by which a unit is evaluated in the performance of all tasks pertaining to combat readiness.

"This unique opportunity will allow the Marines to gain valuable experience at the company level where there are various moving parts," explained Fernandez.

 Media interested in attending, please RSVP to 1st Lt. Thomas Gray at thomas.gray1@usmc.mil, (760) 725-0522 by 12:00pm Monday, March 23.


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