Onsite

REs take on ‘Falklands factor’ to deliver accommodation

16 April 2018

Project Anemoi is a huge Royal Engineers task to replace former RAF accommodation at the top of three mountains on the Falkland Islands. They have had to endure temperatures persistently below zero – even the winter snow only made way for spring’s moderate four degrees.

The project is now in its penultimate phase with complex and concurrent works at three independent remote locations separated by huge distances that require construction materials and tools to be shipped by land, sea and air.

The project has had to account for the Falkland Islands factor: everything from movements of sheep on ferries slowing logistics, to helicopters being cancelled by weather.

Bar aggregate, all construction equipment and tools must be shipped out from the UK, which can take nine weeks, so it is no good finding that material is missing from the design or stores list. 

Also, solutions that work in the UK may not be satisfactory in the austere mountain top locations in the Falklands, with moisture able to penetrate the smallest of gaps, incessant high winds and highly variable temperatures.

The wear and tear on the equipment is relentless with rough, uneven roads. With more than 160 vehicles, six troops worth of issue tools and three troops worth of specialist tools, effective and proactive G4 (logistics and quartering) is vital – as well as having to account for them, and reconfigure for onwards movement around the islands.

Effective and proactive G4 (logistics and quartering) is vital

Much of the ductwork is in place, full height walls built and ceiling installed over the future bedrooms

The ME resources specialists are a crucial element of the project, dealing with up to 400 shipping containers and thousands of items.

In addition to the usual project construction challenges, coordinating and supporting the additional (but highly appreciated) workforces from 32 Engineer Regiment and 21 Engineer Regiment tested SHQ for many months. There is also the persistent challenge of losing competent personnel due to assignments and promotion. 

This is particularly important due to additional civilian accreditation being required for fire certification, ductwork installation and plumbing works.

The deployment of additional Clerk of Works from across the Corps who have conducted design assurance to iron out conflicts and design problems, has been vital.

With the arrival of fairer weather the sites made progress with external works such as landscaping and door remediation. 

Byron Heights is now the lead site with much of the ductwork in place, full height walls built and ceiling installed over the future bedrooms.

The future looks bright at Mount Kent with the concreting gang working with a local concrete contractor to lay a fibre reinforced over-slab in place of the previous screed floor. Mount Alice is close behind with works progressing well.

Completion is expected by October 2018 when it will be handed over to 36 Engineer Regiment who will be deconstructing the existing accommodation.

Comments

I was part of 24 Field Sqn in 1983 (my second tour no less) who built the Radar Station on Alice. We started off with tents, got blown away and finished up with an Iso container camp. We worked 6 1/2 days a week and when we left we had actually completed the work our replacements were meant to do.

But glad to see that what we build has stood up for over 36 years.

Farouk, 16 April 2018

Apologies my first tour was with 24 Fd Sqn, my second was with 73 Fd Sqn based out of Osnabruck., Appears I've lost a few brain cells. Oh and just for the info, all our Kit was loaded onto the MV Lycaon which was anchored in the inlet just below the mountain and flown in underslung by Chinook

Farouk, 16 April 2018

I was part of 3Fld Sqn who built the original accommodation at the top of mount Kent in 1989. Great to see it being improved.

Alan Welburn , 19 April 2018

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