The Corps of Engineers
The Corps of Engineers was established on the 1st October 1924 to provide engineer support to the Irish Defence Forces both in Ireland and on overseas operations.
The mission of the Corps of Engineers is;
- to provide combat engineer support as part of the Infantry Brigade to defend against armed aggression
- to provide Engineer support in Aid to the Civil Power with emphasis on specialist search
- to provide Engineer support in Aid to the Civil Authorities on the occasion of natural or other disasters
- to provide Engineer support in European Union and United Nations missions
- to maintain and upgrade Army, Air Corps and Naval Service assets, such as buildings, lands and ranges.
The Role of the Corps of Engineers
The Corps of Engineers has two main functional areas stemming from its defined mission;
- The provision of engineer support to the Infantry Brigades
- The maintenance and upgrade of Defence Forces barracks and installations including the management of the Capital Engineer Works Programme.
The range of support provided to the Infantry Brigades is very broad and includes;
Improving your own force's ability to move around the battlefield. Combat engineers typically support this role through reduction of enemy obstacles which include demining, clearing terrain obstacles, constructing roads and bridges and breaching in urban terrain.
Building obstacles to prevent the enemy from moving around the battlefield. Combat engineers typically support this role by destroying roads and bridges, blocking roads, digging trenches and ditches and laying Anti-Tank (AT) minefields.
Building fortifications which enable one's own soldiers to survive on the battlefield. Examples include trenches, bunkers, shelters, and armoured vehicle fighting positions.
Real life support to military forces in the theatre through camp construction, maintenance and the provision of life support services, including water supply, sewage treatment and electrical supply etc. General engineering support provided by the Corps of Engineers also includes the provision of fire fighting, RTA services, Specialist Search and conventional munitions disposal.
Corps of Engineer personnel have been deployed overseas to Congo, Cyprus, Lebanon, Angola, Somalia, Rwanda, Honduras, Bosnia, Ethiopia⁄Eritrea, Kosovo, Liberia, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan and Chad. The Corps has been increasingly used in expeditionary roles, pre deploying to Kosovo, Liberia and Chad to construct Camps in advance for contingents of more than 400 troops.
The Irish Defence Forces School of Military Engineering, located in the Defence Forces Training Centre, Curragh Camp is responsible for the conduct of 40 different courses that span all ranks and occupations within the field and civil engineering organisations. The Irish Defence Forces School of Military Engineering is a Centre of Excellence in Engineer Training and CBRN.
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