Soldiers on a Royal Engineer Troop Commander Course conducted a mock demolition on Rochester Bridge in Kent as part of their young officer’s training.

Exercise Bridge Dem involved the preparation of the old bridge for demolition using non-explosive training charges.

The exercise tested the troop commanders in the planning and execution of a bridge demolition.

Rochester Bridge engineers

This is the first time in several years that an exercise like this has been conducted on a working civilian bridge – normally they are conducted on training areas away from the public eye. 

Real life bridges such as Rochester Bridge add the sort of unexpected complexities that cannot be replicated on a training ground. 

Rochester Bridge engineers

Until 1994, Rochester Old Bridge was used routinely for this training and course leaders hope it will become the norm again.

The team worked into the early hours of the morning on this vital part of the Royal Engineer Troop Commander Course. 

But just to reassure you, no bridges were harmed in the execution of this exercise.

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