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Op Santa - Scrap Heap Challenge

As part of the Christmas festive programme WO1 (RSM) Cross asked the LAD REME Artificer Sergeant Major (ASM) WO1 Edwards to put together some form of Scrap Heap Challenge for the Regiment to take part in. It was to consist of an inter-squadron competition which would keep morale high over the Christmas period.  The ASM then tasked Sgt "Daz" Edkins to come up with a plan and run the competition.

 

Scrap Heap Challenge
73's (left) & 4 AES's
(right) machines at
the start line

Scrap Heap Challenge
The judges check out
65 Fd Sp Sqn's effort

Scrap Heap Challenge
7 HQ Sqn's vehicle

Scrap Heap Challenge
1 AES's chariot with
harpoon mounted

OC & ASM LAD REME assess the vehicles for design, festive theme and engineering skills

Once the plans were put in place an admin instruction was produced and the competition was ready to begin. The plan was that each squadron designed and manufactured a vehicle that was man powered and could navigate around a pre-determined course, ending at a shooting range where they would be expected to fire small water bottles filled with sand at targets to their front. Various constraints were placed on the teams, the main one being that no engines could be used; this was to stop Land Rovers appearing for REME inspection missing engines and other vital components. Once an initial meeting had ironed out all the team questions and problems, it was time for the squadrons to get busy designing and building. The LAD was placed out of bounds for any technical advice or manufacturing. It was left to each individual Squadron to procure scrap from around SLB.

Scrap Heap Challenge
Sprs Ben Watterson &
Lee 'The Body' Eason
discuss which gear to
pull away in

Scrap Heap Challenge
Competitors lined up at
the start line

Scrap Heap Challenge
73's (left) & 4 AES's
(right) machines at
the start line

Scrap Heap Challenge
'Ready'
65 Fd Sp Sqn

 Scrap Heap Challenge
'Get Set'
1 AES under the
command of LCpl Chew

Scrap Heap Challenge
'GO!'
LCpl Phil Collins keeps
the crew in check
with his crossbow

 
Competitors at the start line outside Gundolph Lines

Race day finally came and it was left to SSgt “Chris” Marsh and Sgt “Daz” Edkins to carryout a safety inspection. The main reason being, to ensure there were no accidents before the event even started. It was then left to the OC LAD Capt Miller to start with the competition scoring. This was achieved with the use of a technical “clapometer” where the crowd obviously played their part. First impressions were good and the designs looked great.  The question now remained that could the machines get around the course?  Only time would tell!!

 

Scrap Heap Challenge
1 AES powered by LCpls Chew & Stubbs

Scrap Heap Challenge
4 AES still smiling

Scrap Heap Challenge
65 Fd Sp Sqn try to
blind the opposition
with tinsel

Scrap Heap Challenge
Ben & Lee feel the burn
for 7 HQ Sqn

Scrap Heap Challenge
Ian Gilvear helps 73 AES
around the circuit as Spr
John Rutter changes CD

Scrap Heap Challenge
The safety vehicle brings
 up the rear behind
7 HQ Sqn

Scrap Heap Challenge
4 AES and the Fred
Flintstone chariot of
fire

Competitors racing around the circuit

Once the race finally got started it wasn’t long before the first team came over the finish line after having collecting all their ammunition on the way. It became clear at a later date   that it was only with the help of crowd participation that all the teams managed to get around the 1.5 Km course.

Scrap Heap Challenge
Range set up by LAD

Scrap Heap Challenge
Spr 'Skippy' Larder
cocks the weapon for
7 HQ Sqn

Scrap Heap Challenge
Using the catapult
design proved to
give the distance,
but not the accuracy

Scrap Heap Challenge
Spr Ben Watterson
making crucial repairs
 as his team mates
look on

Scrap Heap Challenge
The judges keep a close
eye on 65 Fd Sp Sqn

Scrap Heap Challenge
1 AES opt for the
crossbow method

Scrap Heap Challenge
Rudolph takes incoming

Scrap Heap Challenge
73 AES try to find a man
big enough to control
the monstrous harpoon

Scrap Heap Challenge
Cpl Lamond rams home
the ammunition for 4 AES

Scrap Heap Challenge
Spr 'Nackers' Nacamuvoto
unleashes a torrent of
plastic bottles


Competitors on the range

Once the last team had crossed the line they were all given 5 minutes to get their weapon of choice ready for the range phase. Each team then received an initial safety brief. Once that was completed they were given 5 minutes on the firing point to knock down, or hit as many of the targets as they could with their limited ammunition. Once all the teams had exhausted their ammunition and had scored as high as they could it was left in the capable hands of the LAD to consolidate the results. It was a tense time for all the teams involved as the magnificent ‘nutty trophy’ was up for grabs, thanks to Cfn "Rob" Heath. The Commanding Officer 21 Engineer Regiment finally handed the trophy to the triumphant winners - not too surprisingly 65 Squadron.

Scrap Heap Challenge
The winning team being presented with their prize by OC 21 Engr Regt, Lt Col N J Cavanagh
(Left to Right:  LCpl McCann, Spr Glazebrook, Cpl Warren)

Although just a small part of a festive programme aimed at keeping morale high over the Christmas period. This proved an excellent opportunity for all the squadrons to show off their engineering skills. A great time was had by all including the LAD who fortunately for everyone participating were not allowed to enter a team.

Story by Sgt Edkins, 21 Engr Regt LAD

Scrap Heap Challenge
The final scores for Scrap Heap Challenge