502nd MRBC engineers endure heavy rains to train on ramp, urban assault operations

By Eric PilgrimJanuary 31, 2024

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502nd MRBC engineers endure heavy rains to train on ramp and urban assault operations
Engineers from 502nd Multi-Role Bridge Company, 19th Engineer Battalion, battled it out in the Burcham Urban Assault Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Jan. 25, 2024. (Photo Credit: Charles Leffler, Fort Knox Visual Information) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Several Soldiers from 502nd Multi-Role Bridge Company, 19th Engineer Battalion battled a week of cold Central Kentucky rain and fog while conducting field training operations throughout the week of Jan. 22-26.

Part of their efforts included rafting operations that were expected to span the Ohio River at Pilchers Landing. They constructed the seven-float raft, loaded it with concrete that emulates the Army’s newest fully loaded tanks, and then ferried it over, using bridge erection boats. USACE-Louisville District officers communicated with lock managers up and downstream to ensure vessel captains were aware of the training.

Dressed in black, some of the Soldiers played opposing forces to give the engineers a sense of reality during the exercise. The OpFor, as it is often referred, would pop out from around corners or exit a door that wasn’t checked by the engineers to take them out of play.
Dressed in black, some of the Soldiers played opposing forces to give the engineers a sense of reality during the exercise. The OpFor, as it is often referred, would pop out from around corners or exit a door that wasn’t checked by the engineers to take them out of play. (Photo Credit: Charles Leffler, Fort Knox Visual Information) VIEW ORIGINAL

Heavy rains during the week caused river levels to rise significantly, which made the river swifter with added debris, raising safety concerns. By the last day of training, leaders called off operations as a result. Leaders were able to meet their intended objectives despite the weather.

Meanwhile at Burcham Urban Assault Course, other engineers divided into five-Soldier teams and practiced room clearance training, something they don’t train for very often, said leaders.

502nd MRBC engineers endure heavy rains to train on ramp and urban assault operations
Throughout the week of Jan. 22, 2024, engineers from 502nd Multi-Role Bridge Company, 19th Engineer Battalion, performed ramp operations tests at Pilchers Landing, along the Ohio River. The tests were designed to simulate ferrying the Army’s newest tanks fully loaded. The last day of training was called off due to a significant rise in the river from heavy rains and floating debris. (Photo Credit: Renee Rhodes, Fort Knox Visual Information) VIEW ORIGINAL

While urban assault training is unique, bridging operations are a regular requirement for the 502nd engineers.