Combat Engineering is the generic term given to the military engineering techniques and procedures used primarily - but not exclusively - on the battlefield, by the Royal Engineers. This expertise is common to all sappers and provides the foundation skills and knowledge used on all engineering tasks. Combat Engineering forms the cornerstone of Royal Engineers capability, allowing ‘The Sappers’ to deliver highly flexible and effective engineering solutions in the most challenging environments. More generally speaking, the role of the combat engineer involves facilitating movement and support to friendly forces while impeding that of the enemy.
Areas of expertise are summarised as follows:
Basic Field Engineering - Knots & lashings, field machines, basic structures, hand & power tools, construction techniques.
Water Supply - The production and distribution of drinkable water.
Demolitions - The use of explosives.
Force Protection - The construction of protective structures and defensive obstacles.
Watermanship - The safe operation of military assault craft and outboard motors.
Mine Warfare - The location and clearance of explosive devices.
Bridging - The construction of purpose-made and improvised bridges to overcome wet and dry gap obstacles.