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Soldiers from 9 Parachute Squadron 23 Engineer Regiment are pictured patrolling in a Jackal vehicle during a construction phase of Route Trident in Helmand, Afghanistan.
This particular phase of the major road building project saw the engineers tackle a challenging piece of terrain known as the “Culvert of Doom” close to the patrol base at Nahidullah. The road was solidly constructed using carpet-like membranes, tough plastic neo cells and high quality aggregates and stone, which should hold together well despite heavy vehicles and harsh weather conditions.
Local people themselves were employed to carry out some of the work which brought welcome cash into the area's economy. The route should enable trade and commerce for many years to come. The engineers were heavily committed to an operation to build across the Loy Mandeh. In the clear phase, the combat engineers provided explosive breaching to enable 2 Scots to break into insurgent strongholds. Holding work included the reinforcing of compounds, and the construction of sangers.
The terrain is harsh and challenging and required plenty of airborne initiative!