Joining a British Army bomb disposal role

Before I begin I understand that their is a feud between the Royal Engineers and Ammunition Technicians and this is the basis of my question. I am currently 16 years old and would like a profession in bomb disposal in the British Army. Explosives seem to be a big part of confict today, whether on the battlefield or on civilian streets, and the results of their detination is in most cases devastating. It seems that every other day now you look at the news and there is another terrorist attack or that a city in the Middle East has been all but wiped out by explosives and it truly saddens me. The thought of being able to help stop just one of these explosions and potentially save soldier or civillian lives excites me greatly and I almost feel morally obligated to try and help to the best of my ability. Apart from that the role just interests me. This may seem like an immature reason but it will help to make sure I stay motivated and isn't that why many people decide to join the British Army anyway?

My problem is that there seem to be two bomb disposal "groups" in the British Army, the Royal Engineers and Ammunition Technicians. I can't decide which one of them to join for I haven't seen any real information on the differences of the two. I have heard before "join the Engineers to dispose proper bombs and join the Ammo Techs to dispose IEDs", but this is much to vague. I have also heard that in the future the engineers are most likely going to take over all future bomb disposal roles. Please can someone confirm whether or not this is true. If it is then I will definately choose to join the Royal Engineers as this is the sole reason that I am interested in joining one of the two groups. This is my main question and if anyone knows the answer or someone who may know the answer please tell me.

I don't care about any secondary roles I may have to complete or the length of training I will have to complete though I would prefer a role where I got to focus on bomb disposal as much as possible. Also I am not to bothered about this but what do the bomb disposal Paratroopers and Commandos actually do.

I apologise for the length of my post. It is my first post so feel free to tell me if I posted it in the wrong area or have made some sort of mistake. Thank you to anyone who answers my questions and please do as the choice I make will determine my future in a serious way.

Cheers, Will :-D
 
Before I begin I understand that their is a feud between the Royal Engineers and Ammunition Technicians

There is no feud, there is a lot of banter between the two cap badges and occasionally there are some that take it too far.

I am currently 16 years old and would like a profession in bomb disposal in the British Army. Explosives seem to be a big part of confict today, whether on the battlefield or on civilian streets, and the results of their detination is in most cases devastating. It seems that every other day now you look at the news and there is another terrorist attack or that a city in the Middle East has been all but wiped out by explosives and it truly saddens me. The thought of being able to help stop just one of these explosions and potentially save soldier or civillian lives excites me greatly and I almost feel morally obligated to try and help to the best of my ability. Apart from that the role just interests me. This may seem like an immature reason but it will help to make sure I stay motivated and isn't that why many people decide to join the British Army anyway?

You do not sound immature, it is a valid reason for joining.
 
My problem is that there seem to be two bomb disposal "groups" in the British Army, the Royal Engineers and Ammunition Technicians. I can't decide which one of them to join for I haven't seen any real information on the differences of the two. I have heard before "join the Engineers to dispose proper bombs and join the Ammo Techs to dispose IEDs", but this is much to vague. I have also heard that in the future the engineers are most likely going to take over all future bomb disposal roles. Please can someone confirm whether or not this is true. If it is then I will definately choose to join the Royal Engineers as this is the sole reason that I am interested in joining one of the two groups. This is my main question and if anyone knows the answer or someone who may know the answer please tell me.

Ammunition Technicians train in all aspects of ammunition and explosive, they are focused on explosive safety in all aspects - storage, transportation, use and disposal. As an AT you will take all manner of tasks involving ammunition, this may include disposal of logistic stocks, stray ammunition or IEDs.

The Royal Engineers take a different pathway.

When it gets to the EOD stage the two capbadges are entwined, ATs deal with air dropped munitions and RE deal with IEDs and vice versa.

The RE will not be taking Over all bomb disposal roles. Qualification as an EOD operator is difficult, a knowledge of explosive safety essential and the AT trade has a lot of experience that will not be thrown away.

If you want a career in ammunition and explosives, become an AT, if you want to try other things then undertake an EOD role join the RE, either way you won’t be sorry.
 
I don't care about any secondary roles I may have to complete or the length of training I will have to complete though I would prefer a role where I got to focus on bomb disposal as much as possible. Also I am not to bothered about this but what do the bomb disposal Paratroopers and Commandos actually do.

You will not do bomb disposal all the time with either capbadge.

Commando Trained ATs work with Commando Logistics supporting the Royal Marines, the only disposal done is of logistic stocks.

ATs do not do P Coy, but can earn their wings, they support special forces and police firearms teams amongst their many duties.
 
Commando and para trained EOD in the R.E don’t (or didn’t do) anything different than non para trained.
Just an FYI... it’s not all stethoscopes/ sweating over a fuse or having a pair of wire cutter in your hand gambling on red or blue. It’s actually nothing like that.

Also - you will have quite a few years service before anyone let’s you get close to the exciting stuff... try and figure out if you want an only EOD (RLC) career - or a more rounded, more masculine, Bomb God career (Engineers).

Good luck and don’t listen to any Blanket stacking biffs, trying to entice you away from the Engineers.
 
As an AT you’ll be promoted quickly, as a LCpl/Cpl you can be a No2 on a team - driving the bomb van on blue lights, operating the remote equipment and preparing other equipment for the operator.

You can reach Sgt after about 5 years, then you can be a number 1 operator. You’ll also learn to deal with Nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological devices.
 
EOD & Search has recently just come back as a trade in RE, open at the moment to those already qualified, and at some point in the next few years will be open to new entrants so will probably be an option for you in the next few years.
As @dingerr mentioned, when it comes to the bombs and IED side of things, RE & RLC are very close, with the same courses available to both. Just as an ammo tech you will deal with the logistical and inspection side of ammo more, whereas RE will be focused on the search side of things more. Search is becoming more open to others arms now days as RLC and Signals can get on the courses too.
As dingerr also alluded too, the IEDD rate from both RE and RLC has a high failure rate.
I'd also second what @Joshua Slocum has said though and look at the navy diver/EOD route. After being taught by navy fleet dive team members, it looks like an excellent job and if I could start from scratch again I'd definitely go down that route. A lot of money for a navy dive trained EOD operator and some great jobs they get.
 
The only problem with being an AT is that once you finish in the Army the only work available using AT skills is as an EXPO with the Met. Anything else is work abroad, there’s plenty of it, it’s well paid and I’m informed, easy, if you don’t mind being away from home.
 

AT55

LE
I did a long time as an AT and hardly handed a shovel to dig deep holes to find something to make safe. In my day if the site was very muddy or lots of digging was required, we called in the sappers who were only too glad to do it. On one tour in NI I came across some sappers who had trucks of palletised filled sandbags waiting to take them to a location should an ATO want them they all wore the RE bomb disposal badge. On another occasion I came across a sapper search team ( a great lot of lads) who were using a bit of kit to defeat radio controlled devices. We, the AT/ATOs, had tested the kit and found that it sometimes caused an RC device to function and rejected it for obvious reasons The sappers using this kit had not been told of this shortcoming but we told them and advised them not to turn it on when the ATO was in the vicinity. It appears to me that at that time the senior officers in the sappers were wiling to do anything to get the EOD/IEDD role off the AT/ATOs. Things have changed since then but as already mentioned in earlier posts if you think quicker promotion and technician pay comes in handy, maybe you should try the AT path.
 

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