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Around The Fleet

Land Stitchers

The Navy-Marine Corps team bridging gaps at Camp Pendleton

From the earliest days of each branch's inception, to the island-hopping of World War II, the jungles of Vietnam, and still today, the Navy and Marine Corps have worked side-by-side bridging gaps between each service's unique culture and mission.

Last month, in Southern California, what usually is only a cliche personified itself as Marines and Seabees built bridges together as part of a training exercise.

Marines with Bridge Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion (7th ESB), 1st Marine Logistics Group, teamed up with Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One to build a medium girder bridge on Gold Beach at Camp Pendleton, California, Jan. 28, 2017.

The bridge spanned a 119-foot gap hovering nearly 100 feet above the ground. Once fully operational, the bridge will support the weight of a 7-ton tank.

"It's amazing," said Sgt. Maurice Edmonds of Bridge Company. "What we did today was span this gap with a 12-bay, double-story, medium-girder bridge. It's one of the main assets within our unit."

The cross-branch training gave the Marines and Seabees an opportunity to compare and contrast the ways they get the mission done, and better prepares them to work together in a deployed environment in the future.

"Working with the Seabees was definitely interesting," said Edmonds. "Anyone who's worked with another service can account, there are different ways of doing things. It's interesting to see the differences but also the similarities. They're a huge asset. Seeing them work, their skills are phenomenal."

Edmonds added that each branch presented different solutions and ways of thinking about problems that made both units better at the end of the project.