British Army engineers have built the longest amphibious bridge ever made – at 350 metres – as part of the largest joint exercise in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War.
75 Engineer Regiment are in Chelmno in North West Poland to take part in Ex ANAKONDA. The Polish-led Exercise Anakonda features 31,000 troops, thousands of vehicles, 12 ships and over a hundred aircraft from 24 countries including the UK, Poland, the US and Germany.
The UK participation includes 800 troops and Army vehicles from the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment in Dale Barracks, Chester as well as engineers from 410 and 412 Amphibious Engineer Troops from Warrington and Paderborn, Germany.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“We are unwavering in our commitment to defend the sovereignty of the democratic nations of Eastern Europe. Exercises such as this send a clear message that Nato is ready to respond to any threat.”
The troops have also been working with their counterparts from 130 Pioneer Battalion of the Bundeswher (the unified armed forces of Germany) to build the impressive structure.
Using the M3 amphibious vehicle, the two nations were able to interlock these vehicles together to create a stable bridging platform. This will then be used by American, German and Polish troops to move armoured vehicles to support Paratroopers who jumped into country yesterday.
Ex ANAKONDA is being used to train multiple nations together to ensure they are able to travel anywhere in the world and work with each other to fulfil common security interests.
This exercise is another step to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to the Wales NATO summit and in time for the Warsaw summit in July 16.
The UK has committed to contribute a Battlegroup to the current Spanish and Polish led rotations of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), and is due to take the lead in 2017, where it will contribute 3000 personnel.
Photographer – Cpl Jamie Dudding