Bridge company engages at Northern Strike

Staff Sgt. Nathan Cushman, raft commander with the 1437th Multi-Role Bridge Company, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, directs the pilots of two Mk IV Bridge Erection Boats to guide an Improvised Ribbon Bridge around Howe’s Lake, Michigan during training at Northern Strike 16, Aug. 13, 2016. Northern Strike 16 is a National Guard Bureau-sponsored exercise uniting approximately 5,000 Army, Air Force, Marine, and Special Forces service members from 20 states and three coalition countries during the first three weeks of August 2016 at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, both located in northern Michigan. The exercise strives to provide accessible, readiness-building opportunities for military units from all service branches to achieve and sustain proficiency in conducting mission command, air, sea, and ground maneuver integration, and the synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action environment. (Michigan National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Oposnow/Released)

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Story written by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Oposnow, JFHQ Public Affairs.

CAMP GRAYLING JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Mich. — Staff Sgt. Nathan Cushman, raft commander with the 1437th Multi-Role Bridge Company, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, directs the pilots of two Mk IV Bridge Erection Boats to guide an Improvised Ribbon Bridge around Howe’s Lake, Michigan during training at Northern Strike 2016.

The two boats push and pull in tandem to move the IRB where it needs to go.

The temporary bridge allows military vehicles and personnel to cross the water.

“It’s like a well-oiled machine,” said Sgt. Sable Potter, a bridge crew member in the 1437th MRBC, “and we practice real hard to keep it that way.”

To accomplish its mission, the company maintains one of the largest inventories of rolling stock in the Michigan National Guard. The unit’s inventory includes Common Bridge Transporter trucks, Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical trucks and various types of cranes, bulldozers and other construction equipment — in addition to the company’s Bridge Erection Boats.

Northern Strike 16 is a National Guard Bureau-sponsored exercise uniting approximately 5,000 Army, Air Force, Marine, and Special Forces service members from 20 states and three coalition countries during the first three weeks of August 2016 at the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, both located in northern Michigan.

The exercise strives to provide accessible, readiness-building opportunities for military units from all service branches to achieve and sustain proficiency in conducting mission command, air, sea, and ground maneuver integration, and the synchronization of fires in a joint, multinational, decisive action environment.

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