Flood relief is something the University of Defence engineers have gained experience. They erected 53 bridges in the disaster affected areas of the Czech republic in 2002 and another two four years later. Their assistance helped construct three bridges in Jesenik county this year, one in Kunin near Novy Jicin and the settlements request another seven bridges to build in the counties of Novy Jicin and Decin.
The design team of the University of Defence Engineer Technologies Department lead by colonel Veroslav Kaplan made use of the regularly practised actions in collaboration with Dobruska Military Geographic and Hydro-Meteorological Office as well as their previous experience.
The six-member team repeatedly proved that the employment of university Reach-Back laboratory in "life operation" brings good results making the collaboration with the geodesists coming from Dobruska and 15th engineer brigade personnel smooth and easier.
The experts deployed in the disaster relief operations in the flooded areas flexibly and fast. The Engineer Technologies Department head, colonel Veroslav Kaplan, attended the first coordination meeting of Jesenik crisis staff on 27 June which was Saturday. The very next day, on Sunday, all the above-mentioned personnel were deployed in field.
"The first thing we did in Jesenik county was area survey. The geodesists also located the construction sites. Right after that we produced the interim bridge design. Then the engineers came on. We were to construct three bridges in that area," says lieutenant colonel Pavel Manas. The first bridge was erected on 2 July, the second one day later on 3 July. At that time, the Czech Army Chief of General Staff lieutenant general Vlastimil Picek arrived to support the team composed of geodesists, designers and engineers in their effort. The third bridge was finished on 5 July.
Our expert team then moved from Jesenik to Novy Jicin county to survey eight areas on 5 and 6 July. Six sites were chosen for location while other solutions had to be found for the other two. Novy Jicin county settlements mayors' meeting resulted in the decision of constructing not more than five bridges. "For example, we proposed to use a diversion in Hodslavice and strengthen the bridge on that route. In Kunin, we suggested to carry out an additional inspection and set its load capacity because the damage was less serious," explains lieutenant colonel Manas, adding: "I have found out that it was very practical to carry a Tablet PC so that I could flexibly and graphically show the mayors what are the solution we propose for alternate bridges."
The bridge construction design team included, beside the Engineer Technologies Department head colonel Veroslav Kaplan and lieutenant Pavel Manas also lieutenant colonel Vojtech Hanudel, major Jiri Stoller, captain Jan Sobotka and 1st lieutenant Martin Benda. There is a very close cooperation among the design team, Military Geographic and Hydro-Meteorological Office and construction detachments from 151st, 152nd and 153rd engineer battalions lead by alumni from the Engineer Technology Department.
However, the designers' job were not over that time continuing in the work by designing three alternate bridges in Decin vicinity. The bridges were to be completed within several days.
Text: Mgr. Zdenka Dubova, Photo: Col. Veroslav Kaplan, LtCol. Pavel Manas