NEWS | July 26, 2022

New bridge improves MTC impact area access

By Mike Vrabel | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

South Carolina Army National Guard Soldiers, in coordination with Maneuver Training Center Fort Pickett’s Range Operations and Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site staff, recently completed a project to help improve mobility within the installation’s dedicated impact area July 17, 2022, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. 

Soldiers assigned to the the 174th Mobility Augmentation Company, 178th Engineer Battalion, while conducting annual training at Fort Pickett, were able to deploy a scissor bridge over a creek bisecting Pelham Road using a M60 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge. 

The 60-foot scissor bridge will now enable vehicle traffic over Birchin Creek, vital to installation operations, according to Lt. Col. James Shaver, the MTC Fort Pickett garrison commander. 

“Annual training operations are in full swing at Fort Pickett and the South Carolina Army National Guard has recently assisted the installation with a critically important troop labor project to provide access within the dedicated impact area,” said Shaver. “The bridge at Birchin Creek on Pelham Road has long been impassible to vehicular traffic due to structural deterioration.”

Using a D7 dozer and explosives, the Soldiers cleared trees impeding the launch of the bridge to ensure safety and the success of the deployment. 

“M456 detonation cord wraps around various trees at the launch site and manual breaching techniques were used to enable Spc. Jameson Ledlow to maneuver his AVLB in a safe position to span Birchin Creek and emplace the scissor bridge successfully,” said 1st Lt. P. Dayton Barton, with the 174th MAC. 

The scissor bridge, an old, unused piece of equipment being stored at the MATES facility, will now help provide safe crossing of the creek, giving the Soldiers of the 174th practical training, and helping MTC staff with range maintenance and operations. 

“An old piece of equipment was repurposed to provide a usable crossing,” said Shaver. “This permits range operations and range maintenance staff in the Directorate of Plans, Training and Security, as well as roads and grounds maintenance staff in the Department of Public Works, to move about the area once again and perform their duties.”

Shaver said the new crossing will help improve safety operations as well. 

“This will provide increased capacity to manage wildland fires and unexploded ordnance clearance,” Saver added. “When combined, these activities will enhance training value and improve overall safety, security, and efficiency of operations at Fort Pickett.”  

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