Royal Engineers  

Soldiers in the Royal Engineers (known as “Sappers”) are high calibre, enthusiastic and effective. Trained first as soldiers, they are also trained as Royal Engineers (military engineers) and as tradesmen and it is from this link that the Corps’ affiliation with the Worshipful Company of Masons – established nearly 25 years ago in 1989 – springs.  The Royal School of Military Engineering in Chatham delivers technically trained soldiers to the Field Army.  The current systems approach to training, delivered in a ground breaking partnership with Holdfast Training Services is internationally acclaimed, providing lifelong learning that is innovative and relevant. 

The Royal Engineers are very busy. On top of operations in Afghanistan (which has priority over all other activities) the Corps continues to be engaged in Operations around the world; most recently Cyprus, the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan and the Falklands. When not engaged directly in operations troops are training for the next deployment where ever that might be.  Outside routine training in the UK, Royal Engineers regularly deploy overseas under the Joint Force Enabling Exercises conducting construction tasks in Kenya, Cyprus, Falklands and Canada.

Afghanistan remains Defence main effort and current activity is focussing upon Base Remediation and Closure/Transition (BRAC/T) and the recovery of assets back to the UK. Considerable effort is being made to develop and enhance the Afghan National capability and much resource is focussed on achieving this aim; which includes the Afghan National Army Officer Academy which we envisage the Corps will play a key role.  

Concurrent to Operations in Afghanistan, Defence is building its Contingency Capability – its ability to react quickly and effectively to a threat anywhere - in the form of the 16 Air Assault Brigade and 3 Commando Brigade.  The Corps contributes two specialist Engineer Regiments, along with key enablers such as EOD and Search, Military Working Dogs and Infrastructure experts, to each of these very high readiness Brigades for deployment around the world at a moments notice.

The Corps remains agile to respond to threats as they emerge but also contributes to National efforts to prevent future hostilities by providing training teams to fragile states, as well as embedded liaison officers to organisations such as DfID, the FCO and Stabilisation Unit as and when required.

Modern training requires not only realistic training areas but also large amounts of space; in order to best achieve this cost-effectively the Corps trains extensively in Canada, Kenya and Jordan as well as significant time spent in the UK. 

Few careers can match the diversity, training and breadth of experience we offer to young men and women with the right combination of intelligence, courage and determination as both a Soldier and an Officer.  

For a brief history of the Royal engineers click here.