- By David FrancisDavid Francis is a staff writer for Foreign Policy, where he oversees FP's breaking news blog, The Cable. An award-winning journalist, David has reported from all over Europe, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, and Afghanistan on terrorism, national security, the geopolitics of energy, global economics, and the European financial crisis. His work has been published in outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times Deutschland, Slate, and SportsIllustrated.com.
Much of the equipment the United States has given to the Iraqi army has ended up in the hands of the Islamic State. But now, with Iraqi troops fighting to take back Ramadi from the terror group, there’s finally a feel-good story about American-provided military supplies, and it involves a floating bridge.
On Tuesday, Army Col. Steve Warren, a U.S. Defense Department spokesman in Baghdad, said the Iraqi army used a floating bridge given to them by the United States to cross a branch of the Euphrates River, allowing them to make their push into the Ramadi city center. The Islamic State had destroyed three other bridges into the city
U.S. forces had also used trained the Iraqis on how to make use of what the Pentagon describes as an “improved ribbon bridge.” Each one reportedly cost $13 million.
The video below shows how these kind of bridges are made. Basically, small portions of the bridge are deployed into the water, then assembled into a working bridge.
From the video, the tech appears relatively simple, almost like building blocks on the water. But with Iraqi forces on the verge of taking back Ramadi, it’s allowing them to score their biggest victory since the Islamic State captured large portions of their country in June 2014.
Photo Credit: Jung Yeon-Je/Getty Images