Gallery: Airborne troops head to the coast for bridge-building masterclass

Pictured: Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Jason Hones, Commanding Officer of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air A

Pictured: Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Jason Hones, Commanding Officer of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault) watches from the far bank during the construction of a 100ft Medium Girder Bridge - Credit: Cpl Obi Igbo

A team of Airborne engineers from Suffolk joined a cohort of reservists and troops from France for a bridge-building masterclass in Dorset.

The two-week long Exercise Eagle Sapper proved a test for members of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault), based at Woodbridge.

The exercise took place at Wyke Regis Training Area and saw the sappers hone their skills alongside Reservists from 299 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers (Volunteers) and French troops from 17e Regiment du Genie Parachutiste (17e RGP).

Bridging is a key aspect of 23 Engr Regt’s role in the British Army’s rapid reaction force.

They provide close combat engineering support to the Air Assault Task Force.

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The training ranged from setting up a medium girder bridge, capable of carrying a Challenger 2 battle tank, to taking to the streets of Weymouth to assess what military vehicles could use the town’s bridges.

Lieutenant Colonel Jason Hones, Commanding Officer of 23 Engr Regt (Air Asslt), said: “The Weymouth area is a tourist destination but this has been anything but a holiday for my sappers. We have worked extremely hard to practise and refine our techniques, particularly in the key mobility skill of bridging, to prepare for potential deployments as part of the Air Assault Task Force.”

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