821 Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Squadron, 33 Engineer Regiment
821 Squadron is a multi-traded, Royal Logistic Corps led Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search (EOD&S) Squadron based in Wimbish, Essex. It is part of the UK’s Rapid Reaction Force and regularly deploys around the world as part of both the Air Assault Task Force (AATF) and the Lead Commando Group (LCG). It is the sole RLC Squadron that comes under the command of a Royal Engineer Regiment.
821 EOD & Search Squadron is part of 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD&S) and consists of:
- The Echelon – the Squadron Quartermasters department which looks after materiel demands, logistics and equipment support.
- Airborne Troop – consists of four EOD & Search teams aligned to the Air Assault Task Force.
- Commando Troop – consists of four EOD & Search teams aligned to the Lead Commando Group.
821 EOD & Search Squadron is unique within the Royal Logistic Corps as it contains and supports both Airborne and Commando Forces, all while under the command of a Royal Engineer Regiment. We provide first line EOD & Search support to Rapid Reaction Forces in both the light (deploying on foot) light+ (deploying on foot and Quad Bikes) and Medium (deploying in Pinzgauers) roles.
Our primary purpose is to provide a world-class capability to ground combat troops, consisting of finding, identifying, rendering safe, and exploiting a wide range of Explosive Ordnance, from conventional munitions to multiple complex improvised explosive devices.
The Squadron is a mixed unit, where generally the search trained personnel are primarily Royal Engineers and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Operators are predominantly from the Royal Logistic Corps. All new members of the Squadron destined to one of the Troops are encouraged to pass the All Arms Commando Course or the All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection Course and are given every opportunity and help to do so.
The Squadron's primary mode of transport is through light all-terrain vehicles that can be transported with relative ease around the world on operations. Our posture changes from Light, Light+ or Medium scale depending on the terrain, threat level and the pace of operations, which will also decide which equipment and EOD Remote Controlled Vehicle (RCV) is used.
The Squadron operates an array of vehicles and technical equipment including:
- 6 Tonne MAN Support Vehicles
- Pinzgauer Astor 4x4 (Medium Role)
- Pinzgauer Helvin 6x6 (Medium Role)
- Quad Bike (Light+ Role)
- STARTER EOD RCV (Medium Role, Wheelbarrow replacement)
- FORMAL EOD RCV
The Squadron employs a diverse range of tradesmen and women from four separate Army Corps – the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), the Corps of Royal Engineers (RE), the Royal Corps of Signals (RSigs) and the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC). Our RLC trades include:
Trades from other cap badges include:
- RE EOD & Search Trade
- RAVC Dog handlers
- RSigs Electric Counter Measure Operators
The Squadron training schedule is busy, with soldiers and officers having to pass many complex and demanding courses to qualify as Searchers and EOD Operators.
Sergeant Cox – Ammunition Technician
On arrival to 821 EOD & Search Squadron, I attended the Defence EOD Operator Course at the Felix Training Centre, Kineton. On completion of this course, I returned to the Squadron to undertake Role Specific Training (RST), which would allow me to operate in contingency environments. The following year, I deployed on an exercise as part of the Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime). The aim was to provide EOD support and mentoring to 3 Commando Brigade, while also working closely with Latvian and Danish Coalition Forces.
When not on exercise or deployed on operations, we carry out regular EOD and Search training to keep up to date with current threats seen and presented throughout the world. At present, I am taking part in intensive EOD training to allow me to attempt the demanding Advanced EOD Operator Course in the near future.
Lance Corporal Adams-Stock – Ammunition Technician
I joined 33 Engineer Regiment, 821 EOD & Search Squadron in July 2017, after qualifying as a Class 2 Ammunition Technician. During my time here, I have had many exciting opportunities, including being able to complete the Advanced No.2 EOD Operator Course which qualifies me to operate in high threat theatres, large scale overseas exercises and carry out Adventurous Training such as Accelerated Free Fall sky diving. I have been travelled all over the world, with highlights including: Germany, Kenya, The Falkland Islands, Belgium, Austria and the United States. More recently, I deployed as a No.2 on an operational tour within a High Threat EOD & Search team on Operation SHADER. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at 821 EOD & Search Squadron and am grateful for the endless opportunities and many great people who have helped me improve and grow as a soldier, an EOD specialist and as an Ammunition Technician.