Sappers, tradies and plant operators from 11th Engineer Regiment (11ER) honed their skills for possible call-outs during the high-risk weather season by undertaking work in the Enoggera Closed Training Area.

The repair work was conducted from October 17 to 25.

The 11ER team worked with range control to identify priority jobs that would allow access in a bushfire, and repaired roads degraded because of the extra weight of the new Land 121 MAN trucks in a bid to prevent damage to the vehicles.

Tasks included realignment of road and drainage works to prevent a compound flooding, replacement of a culvert, road repair to enable access and reopening of the Land 121 driver training circuit, and felling of damaged and dangerous trees.

Officer Commanding 104 Construction Squadron Major Ben Gyetvay said the size of the MAN trucks degraded the surface of a culvert near 7th Combat Service Support Battalion (7CSSB)  and damaged drainage channels, leading to silting up of catch drains and flood debris overflowing into 7CSSB’s compound.

“An old culvert on the main ring road in the Enoggera training area had corroded and was in danger of collapsing,” he said. 

“A new culvert was installed with the required load rating to take the Land 121 fleet. This was also extended to be greater than 9m to ensure it met specifications for the incoming fleet. 

“Plant operators and combat engineers worked to install the culvert and reopen the road in less than 36 hours.”

Part of the road on the Land 121 driver training circuit had been rendered impassable because of usage by MAN trucks and was starting to damage vehicles. 

“This road section was repaired and a number of innovative techniques employed to ensure its longevity,” Major Gyetvay said.

With tree felling the most common task during road clearance on Op Bushfire Assist, felling trees around the training area enhanced pre-existing skill sets.

Major Gyetvay said because of the height of the new Land 121 fleet, a number of trees were being struck, damaging vehicles. 

“A number of other trees have also come down in storms and were in dangerous positions, causing a hazard to soldiers using the area,” he said.

Sappers also conducted road repair, applied road erosion control measures and procurement, with the operation working with civilian suppliers to obtain materiel and landscaping supplies.

Operations staff also rehearsed high-risk weather season tasks from call-out to planning phase.