3rd ID shows off ‘wet gap crossing’ ability

This technique is something no other base on the east coast has done before
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:20 PM EDT
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FORT STEWART, Ga. (WTOC) - Fort Stewart once again redefining what’s possible today getting some heavy armored vehicles to float, sort of.

Members of the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart getting their day started Thursday with a splash.

“The main focus out here, we’re out here to be more proficient, test our capabilities,” explained Sgt. 1st Class Skylar Davis.

The task at hand.

So, today the engineers are going to put together a raft and the purpose of that is to float armor across,” 1st Lt. Zak Smarjesse said.

Heavy armor, “the Bradley is 44 tons; the Abrahms is 72 tons. So, it’s heavy pieces of equipment we’re moving out here,” said 1st Lt. Smarjesse.

They do it using a technique called wet gap crossing.

Basically, building a floating, mobile, bridge,

Something they’re getting pretty good at.

“Our fastest build was 14 minutes. So, we actually built this bridge in 14 minutes,” Sgt. 1st Class Davis says.

And even that is a number they’d like to bring down, so they can be able to respond as fast as possible in a time of crisis.

“You know, the engineers may be called upon to build this bridge to either gain access to isolated places that may need resupply if it was a natural disaster, or in war time if we need to cross armored assets across a body of armor, this is how we’re going to do it,” explained 1st Lt. Smarjesse.

While it’s clearly a skill worth practicing, on this day it was even a bit more special.

As they had the chance to show the public, including some students, there’s no obstacle, whether at war, or in life that can’t be overcome, when you work together.

“I love any opportunity to teach, so, to get these young American’s out here to show them the capabilities that we have and how cool it is and the men and women that make it happen, it makes me proud to be a solider,” said 1st Lt. Smarjesse.