Members of the 541st Engineer Company, 549 Engineer Battalion (Heidelber??? Federal Republic of Germany), travelled?
Members of the 541st Engineer Company, 549 Engineer Battalion (Heidelber??? Federal Republic of Germany), travelled to the town of Hameln, West Germany, for 18 day of training with the 64th Amphibious Engineer Squadron, a British unit that earlier this year had trained with the American unit in Heidelberg. For the first part of the training, American soldiers worked with their own mobile assault bridges (MABs) practising entering the water and hookup of the different MAB units to form a float bridge. The unit then ran contests between the platoons on the quickest time for erecting an M4T6 bridge, which is a more permanent type of bridge used mainly for spanning dry spans. The average time for bridge erection is usually five hours.
In the last part of the training, the American unit trained with the British unit on the British version of the MAB called the M2 Model. The troops were first taught the basic safety facts about the MAB, which also pointed out various differences between the two MABs. The Class-60 Medium Girder bridge (MGB), the American version, is still being tested at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and has been forecasted to replace the Army's Class-60 Bailey Bridge. The British version has been in the field for about two year
This Class-60 divisional load bridge may be the most advanced wet/dry span bridge in the world. Compared to its predecessor, the Bailey Bridge, the MGB can be finished and ready for operation in about one-eighth the time. The MGB is designed to span 10 feet at a Class-60 load rating. One of the secrets to the efficiency of the MGB is t??? portability of its building frame. With a trained crew, the frame can be placed down in three to four minutes. From there, the rest of the bridge is built from one end while pushing the completed sections across the frame and span to the other side. Using a trained crew of twenty-four men, a 100-foot span can be ready for use in just one and a half hours.