TA Sapper Field/Combat Engineering Training Format?

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by OpsSuper, Jun 9, 2010.

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  1. Afternoon folks,

    Possibly a bone post so I'll apologise in advance.

    Despite asking a bunch of different folks at my TA unit, a couple of searches on ARRSE, ArmyNET etc, I am struggling to get info.

    Post completion of basic training, I am supposed to be completing basic field engineering courses (digging holes?) then combat engineering course (bridging/demolition?).

    However, it's vague in the extreme as to what kind of format these are based on (in unit/weekends away?) and how much of it you get. Other than that I have to complete these before I start any trade training (which based on a conversation I had with a corporal last night, might not be the case either)....

    Confused, a little. Maybe a bit suprised too that this isn't mapped out anywhere obvious for me to try and plan my training year around...Being a new boy, maybe a bit optimistic?

    Based on Wedge's excellent primer, I've got a rough idea what it would look like for the regs, but TA must be significantly different?

    Would be grateful for any info which would at least point me in right direction.
  2. Ahh welcome to the mind f*** that is Sapper training.

    There are three classes of Combat Engineer, 3, 2 and 1.

    Training for 0 to 3 as it is called is held at Regimental Level, generally sponsored by a Sqn.

    BFE, which is the Health and Safety, power tools, knots and lashings etc and Dems form this to make you a class 3. This is now normally a 10 day ish course, I suppose that a unit could run it over weekends if they wished to / were let.

    Class 2 and class 1 training are centralised at national level course camps, Summer and Spring ride. Tops courses, normally 2 weeks at Weymouth, the sheer horror of it, never heard anyone complain about it. Hope this helps.

    PS 299 para Sqn are running a 0 to 3 course shortly so you may wish to ask someone at your place contact them also there is the Assault Pioneer school run by 15 Bde in Ripon, they do dems courses and BFE too.

  3. Hogstable,

    Thanks for the info, pretty much exactly what I was after! In this context, some of what I had already been told is making more sense now too.

    Much appreciated.
  4. For what it's worth (I'm not sure how recent hog means by 'now') my BFE two years ago was a set of three or four weekend courses. 'How to use a hammer' stuff mostly, fairly relaxed.

    I'm fairly sure the dems stuff was run separately... but then I'm possibly out of date.

    Weymouth was great, like an activity camp: building bridges and water towers, blowing stuff up and messing about in boats. And a nice long walk in the country...
  5. Cheers for that SP. I think I am likely to be doing BFE in weekends rather than a single course but either way would probably work out.

    Weymouth sounds like the kind of stuff I joined up for.......
  6. Advice above is pretty much spot on. We run BFE 1&2 at unit level over 2 weekends at my Sqn TAC, its pretty basic and pretty relaxed "this is a drill, this is the pointy end dont touch it when its moving" type stuff intended to give people who may never have picked up a screwdriver in their civvy lives a basic level of knowledge.

    Class 3-1 courses run at Weymouth on spring and summer ride, as mentioned. Its always a good couple of weeks. Well organised, good fun, (normally) decent weather and the opportunity to get out for a beer most nights if you wish.
  7. Thanks for that Sundance, interesting that your TAC runs BFE locally whereas it appears we don't.....

    Another dumb question springs to mind; if I want to mobilise for ops, what level would I likely need to be trained to? Class 1 Combat engineer plus trade trained? Trade options where I am are quite limited but a few miles up the road could sort that.

    Thanks again
  8. I highly highly recommend getting trained up on a useful skillset (eg JCB, and/or demolitions, etc) before mobilising, or you might end up filling sandbags with a spade for 6 months.
  9. I suspect that is extremely sound advice!

    I don't think I'll be going anywhere hot and dusty for a couple of years at least so should be enough of an opportunity to get good at something .....
  10. Isn't 15 Bde training team based out of Strensall :?
  11. RTC is Strensall for recruit training etc. They also do some other stuff for assault pioneers and more skills based training (range quals etc). However, I have been given the impression that Field Engineering training is getting done at Ripon. Don't know if this is completely true though....
  12. I was under the impression, Ripon had been closed down to become new homes.
  13. Chap, you could well be right.....I guess it goes to reinforce my original comment......My original info could be so out of date that they have built olympic accomodation there by now.

  14. Do you live in the North East of England? If you do then why not try out for 299 Para Sqn RE. You may find a run-of-the-mill TA Sqn a bit slow after a while - 299 do all the good RE stuff too but in a more warlike and faster manner....

    Check out the Sqn pages on the Army website for contact details. And no, 36 isn't too old.

  15. G,

    I have considered 299 but realistically not sure how I would cope with maintaining the fitness standard for para. I had a look on 72 web bit and it's quite a way from where I am at the moment.

    I'm chuffed to f*ck with how far I've come fitness wise since applying to join the TA in the first place but have to be pragmatic in how much more I can improve and what level I can sustain.

    That said, in every other aspect, it certainly has what I'm looking for. I'll see how the training goes over the next couple of months and maybe revisit that decision.....