Ah that age old question what is the difference between the two. Got to be some right bites come out of this, so to start the ball rolling Iâll just quote the old adage CMD not IED.
The British RE are very good at dems that constitute blowing holes in bridges there use of alternative techniques and large scale mine clearance thatâs your lot I give you no more quarter.
When it comes to large logistic disposal and IEDD there not in the same league as a trained AT/ATO. You canât carry out efficient dems on ammunition if you donât know or can not assess how that ammunition functions. Sure you can plaster it with explosives but it is the knowledge that the AT/ATO has gained or can call upon within his/her own trade that ensures a safer and more successful dem. IEDD was give to the AT/ATO trade because of that knowledge of how explosives works and WHY! Once we get who brings what to the party and leave it there we can play nice together. After all we are the best army at what we do (no Spam bash intended).
So to answer the originally question we are and must remain two separate entities both corps are highly trained and have specific skills to be called upon. Oil and water don't mix.
To put it at its most basic (therefore there are some exceptions)
RE - Battlefield munition clearance (particularly mines & associated ammunition), enemy air dropped weapon disposal and counter-mobility demolitions.
RLC (ATOs/ATs) - Logistic disposal (ie anything up to and including large scale dems), IEDD, plus all the other ammunition technical disciplines of storage, repair, accident investigation, ammunition performance failures etc etc.
ATOs would normally take this on (unless there was some other expediency).
If I understand this correctly, then it is the ATO that would respond to stuck arty/tank gun rounds? hung or misfired air ordnance? I ran into a couple of RAF EOD types at KAF. Does the RAF EOD also respond to ground ordnance/IED? The WO mentioned something about Northern Ireland, I was under the impressin that was an Army only operation.
Be very careful here boys... What's been quoted so far (because basically no one has bothered coming back with anything!) is normal Royal Engineer Battlefield Dems in time of War, of course during a rapid advance you will get kick outs when Sapper Units destroy ammunition pits, it's all quick dems to deny the enemy the said items, the Iraq conflict was a classic example as troops were advancing so fast they were finding enemy pockets in their rear. RE's will destroy abandoned equipment such as artillery pieces, tanks, ammunition piles etc. just the same as the American Engineers and that is part of their job, Royal Engineer EOD is a totally different ball game and you are outrightly accusing Sappers from 33 of carrying out demolitions with kick outs etc. they are a lot more professional than that! (I see you so happily mention mistakes made by Sappers etc. i.e Si and Luke being ambushed etc. but you have failed to mention the only person to be killed working on an item wasn't a Sapper but actually an ATO!) someone here mentions RE EOD clearing M42's with shovels?! I very much doubt that, in fact in one RMP thread it clearly states that due to a lack of EOD personnel certain RMP's started to move M42's from the route with shovels!!! you are totally giving the U.S. EOD Tech the wrong impression and I am very surprised this thread hasn't been inundated with RE EOD!!! you are trying to make them look like cnuts!!! Royal Engineers breach minefields during War/Operations as they did in both Gulf Wars, but they do it using the Giant Vipers then tanks with ploughs etc. to get through the breaches rapidly, although all Sappers are taught manual mine clearance they generally leave it to EOD (who clear any mines found on Operational tours especially during post operative) unless it is mission imperative that I believe elements of 59 Cdo RE had to do this time around. On the subject of large Dems to say it is solely an AT/ATO job is ludicrous and they know it!!! many EOD chaps from the RN, RAF and RE's will argue this point with you til they are blue in the face!!! When an American EOD Tech leaves the forces and works in Civvy street on BAC he is known as a UXO Tech, the lowest being Tech I then Tech II and Tech III is the Team Leader, they have a SUXOS above them as the Field Manager (Senior UXO Supervisor) the Royal Engineers EOD trade has been ruthlessly checked and compared with the American system recently due to Iraq, Afghanistan etc. and several former RE Section Commanders, senior NCO's and Officers (EOD) have been cleared and certified up to Tech III and SUXOS by the U.S. Corps of Engineers, if they looked deep into the AT/ATO Qualifications then yes they would of course be in line with the American EOD Tech but do AT and ATO's have any experience of Battle Area Clearance (not individual items littering the battlefield but full blown systematic clearance of a said area of ground to a said depth?! and this is what the Americans consider the bread and butter of UXO Techs; any AT's or ATO's on this site who have any doubts whatsoever of the EOD capabilities of the Royal Engineer Bomb Disposal Engineer should get in contact with DEODS and find out, I think you will have to take an embarassed step backwards for the stupid comments you have placed on here!
Right no one else has gotten to it yet so I thought I'd correct you on a few points:
I'll focus on the RA since I do not know diddly about your other services:
o All your EOD forces come out of the Ordnance Corps and your tech's then get farmed out to the RE for duty. Not really, there are EOD elements of both the Royal Engineers and Royal Logistic Corps.
o Your EOD companies are organic to RE Battalions and your ATO's are the team leaders. There are EOD squadrons organic to both the RE and RLC, ATO's (I believe) are only 'team leaders' within 11 Regt RLC or JFEOD
o Your ATO's are given advanced training for IEDD (to become a TL ?) and lead teams in area's such as Northern Ireland Yes
o 33 EOD and 11 EOD are the same but just two different regimental designations (i.e US 720th EOD Co and 702nd EOD Co are the same structure just two different unit designations) No they are totally different units from different corps.
I apologize for starting a tussle here, it was not my intent and maybe my lead-in should have been different.
I will add this disclaimer also, I am not comparing US and UK EOD folks, the bulk of our tech's know that our over all program is about 10 years behind yours, and even amongst ourselves we hold UK EOD tech's in very high esteem (some be-grudgingly, some freely but the feeling does prevail) and we do not differentiate between Sapper and ATO because most of us think they are one in the same.
Here is the perception I have of the UK EOD Program and what I was trying to get some input on, and forgive me if I mess this up:
o All your tech's regardless of service, RN, RAF, RA and RMC attend a joint school ( similar to the US school) for the basic course, then go on to specific service units and specialize; for example RAF for Air Ordnance but with the capability of conducting surface UXO or IED operations as needed.
I'll focus on the RA since I do not know diddly about your other services:
o All your EOD forces come out of the Ordnance Corps and your tech's then get farmed out to the RE for duty.
o Your EOD companies are organic to RE Battalions and your ATO's are the team leaders.
o Your ATO's are given advanced training for IEDD (to become a TL ?) and lead teams in area's such as Northern Ireland
o 33 EOD and 11 EOD are the same but just two different regimental designations (i.e US 720th EOD Co and 702nd EOD Co are the same structure just two different unit designations)
We stay within the Ord Corps as full EOD companies and provide area EOD support to any organization that requests it, and each Co supports a part of the land mass of the US and US areas OCONUS, plus depot, ASP, munitions factories, accidents and so on. ANd we operate much the same in wartime, we, what we call "frag out", teams to support conventional units, SOCOM, specific operations, base support, area clearance, FP, and individual calls for EOD support. US EOD does NOT clear minefields, nor breech obstacles, that is the by doctrine mission of our ENG and we very strictly abide by that rule (and for some reason take a lot of crap for it); we will handle individual mines though.
When I put our EOC program together for the US ENG I had many reservations, I could fill volumes but I will just break it down to a couple of key points:
1. Unlike the UK EOD program, our US ENG have no core knowledge or experience conducting UXO operations
2. The attitude of our ENG right now is "The hell with ID, just blow it" and they do not understand the difference between emergency destruct to deny enemy use and deliberate disposal operations.
I hope this clarifies my intent. I think maybe I will refrain from posts like this in the future; sorry to all that I offended
Post Script; I retire next year and will be moving to the UK to my wife's place, she told me if I want to make friends quick to tell people that I like Margeret Thatcher....is this true or is she after my insurance money?
Yep, Maggie was the best mate, Big Balls for a woman! she was always well favoured by the British squaddie as she had the bollocks to use our Military against the aggressor! it is well known but not well publicised that she was actually quite dissapointed the SAS didn't waste all the idiots who held the Iranian Embassy siege. A great Gal...
RedMistUK wrote(I see you so happily mention mistakes made by Sappers etc. i.e Si and Luke being ambushed etc. but you have failed to mention the only person to be killed working on an item wasn't a Sapper but actually an ATO!)
I think you will find that if you go to my first post I can be quoted as saying RE do a very good job.
Not for you though, no quarter given on the job AT/ATOâs do on the battle field you prefer to gob of about an AT that lost his life without I wager knowing any of the fact. What the hell are you playing at you complete Muppet.
I myself have work with RE and any comment passed is first hand experience. I have no intention of making the rest of your corp look like the cnuts even though you so definitely are.
As for your all knowing DEODS when are they going to let AT/ATOâs on that course scared we will make you look bad? There is only one true Tri service school and that is the school of excellence that is the Felix centre. When you boys going to let us show you up at that DEODS caper?
Bring it on WEDGE and remember you started it.
I keep tryng to live the dream but the b*****d won't let me.