Combat engineer regiment helps secure G8 Summit
Saturday, July 17, 2010, Army News
Huntsville, Ontario — As part of the security measures for the Group of 8 (G8) Summit in June, combat engineers constructed a medium raft (MR) and moved it to the Deerhurst Resort. The engineers were primarily from 24 Field Squadron, 2 Combat Engineer
With the Deerhurst Resort as a backdrop, Cpl Jon McDougall takes the plunge as Cpl Derek Lynch controls his air supply hose during Op CADENCE in Huntsville, Ontario. Regiment (2 CER). Combat divers then used it as a dive platform to conduct underwater searches of the area and clear the quay.
It takes considerable labour and teamwork to build an MR.
“It’s complex, but the troops are trained in it,” said Sergeant Robert Kettlewell, the bridge commander for the build portion of the operation. “It’s basically like Lego pieces. You take the pieces, you put them together.”
MR dive platform
The two centre bays and two ramps comprising the MR were launched from a dock and towed out into the water using bridge erector boats (BEBs). Using the MR as a dive platform was a first for 2 CER, and possibly for the Canadian Forces.
Cpl Derek Lynch (L) conducts a leak check with Cpl Jon McDougall during Op CADENCE in June 2010. Upon successful construction, two BEBs were secured to the sides using ferry gussets and the entire raft was guided through the local waterways to its final destination, the Deerhurst Resort. Once the MR was in place, the dive team members quickly loaded their gear in preparation for phase two of the operation, clearing the water and docks.
“We’re going to be systematically sweeping from left to right, conducting searches for any suspicious items,” said dive supervisor Master Warrant Officer Al Doucet.
The divers worked in pairs while connected to the raft with a set of umbilicals, thus allowing for maximum time underwater.
“The way that the system works,” explained MWO Doucet, “is that it’s surface supplied, so we call it the lightweight surface supply diving system, and we have tanks on the surface here which we can swap out and replace without taking the divers out of the water.
Soldiers from 24 Field Squadron, 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, deploy a ramp section of an MR. “We can also hook up a set of communications here so we can talk to the diver and let him know which way to go and what to look for. If he finds anything, he can relay that back up to the surface without coming up.”
After his dive, Cpl Jon McDougall summed up the conditions below the surface. “It’s a little muddy. If you can keep off the bottom, you’re all right.”
Article by Sgt Marco Comisso, Army News, Project Number: 10-0467