Provides propulsion, maneuvering thrust, and anchoring to the Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB) bays to support tactical float bridge and rafting operations of the Multi-Role Bridge Company (MRBC) worldwide. Secondary mission is to provide short-term anchorage, diving support missions, troop transport, and personnel and equipment recovery.
The BEB replaces the current Legacy BEB, in service since 1984. It has a crew of two Soldiers (operator and crewman) and is launched and retrieved from the Common Bridge Transporter. The BEB launches in less than five minutes and provides temporary bridge anchoring for the IRB. The BEB is a flat- bottom, aluminum-hulled boat with two diesel engines. It runs on ultra low sulfur diesel, JP-8, or F-24 fuel and uses two water jets for propulsion. The BEB features a crew protection kit and also provides improved maintainability and reliability. The boat will support rafting operations in fast water and operates in high particulate matter environments, such as sand in the air, as well as silt in fresh, brackish, and seawater. BEBs are designed for a 20-year life.
The BEB assembles rafts and bridges by maneuvering one to four bay combinations of ramp and interior bays forward, reverse, and sideways in water current speeds up to six feet per second. The latest BEB will be fielded to Active Army, Reserve, and National Guard MRBCs, while the United States Marine Corps will retain the older MKIII version of the BEB.
BEBs are used to deploy the IRB in wet-gap crossings. The systems are interoperable with MRBC equipment, launched and retrieved by the Common Bridge Transport truck, and transported on the Bridge Adapter Pallet. The BEBs assemble the IRB sections, which are constructed to provide a bridge, raft, or ferry capability. BEBs also provide the IRB propulsion and anchorage. The BEB and IRB Bays are transported, employed, recovered, and stored on the Common Bridge Transporter, a modified Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck.