75 years of RCEME Corps: Celebrating ingenuity

A mechanized winch gave the dedicated 5 CMBG team’s crossbow impressive launching power. Photos: Édouard Dufour, Adsum newspaper ***Un treuil mécanisé octroyait une impressionnante puissance de lancement à l’arbalète de l’équipe de passionnés du 5 GBMC. Photos : Édouard Dufour, journal Adsum

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Édouard Dufour

In recent months, a great deal of determination, patience and hard work went into preparing a team from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group to participate in the Scrap Metal Challenge, a competition highlighting the 75th anniversary of the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME).

On 15 May, almost 200 RCEME members gathered on the parade ground at Valcartier to watch the performance of the 5 CMBG Scrap Metal Challenge team.

The team’s main task was to build a steel vehicle that could be powered by the strength of its members’ legs and to pedal around the track as many times as possible in 15 minutes. Within that time limit, they completed a dozen circuits while navigating around wooden obstacles.

The competition also included a second component which involved propelling a projectile weighing several pounds into the air with precision. To meet that requirement, the 5 CMBG team mounted a made-to-measure steel crossbow, more than 2 metres in length, on its vehicle.

Following their performance, the members of the team declared unanimously that the project had been “extremely labour-intensive” and required “a lot of work,” but that all the effort “was worth it.” Every team member spent dozens of hours working on the design of the “steel carriage.”

“We improved the vehicle’s steering and the traction of the wheels. We had to change the tires and reinforce the wheels so that they would support the weight of the entire team,” said Lieutenant Jean-François Vernier, a member of 5 Canadian Service Battalion. The team members had to carry out many calculations of force, speed and energy in order to maximize the precision of the vehicle’s crossbow. “We adjusted our calculations based on the reality on the ground, which enabled us to achieve highly precise results,” one team member noted.

A tradition of excellence

The RCEME Corps includes members from a number of units. Building upon its proud heritage, soldiers in the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers provide leadership, innovation and technical skills to maintain land equipment across the full spectrum of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations.

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