It is with regret the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) have had to pull out of the Tri-Service Competition. However we are pleased to announce The Royal Engineers, also known as the Sappers, have stepped up to the mark and will sub for them.
The Army’s Corps of Royal Engineers are also known as the Sappers. The term originates from the trenches or ‘saps’ which engineers were employed to build towards enemy positions in order to allow the placing and detonating of explosive charges.
Sappers have a role across the whole battlefield supporting the rest of the Army; bridging rivers, clearing routes through minefields or using explosives to destroy bridges. Behind the front line, Royal Engineers are just as busy, improving transport routes, constructing camps, building runways and carrying out the vital task of bomb disposal. Furthermore, the Sappers are ready and capable to begin post-conflict reconstruction, providing humanitarian support in the form of water production, electrical supply and infrastructure, also providing support to medical facilities, providing much needed healthcare to the local population.
Royal Engineers can also be Commando and Parachute trained, able to wear the coveted green and maroon berets respectively. Additionally, Sappers are the diving experts of the Army. ‘Ubique’, the Corps motto, means, ‘Everywhere’; this was granted by King William IV in 1832, signifying the Corps had seen action in all major conflicts of the British Army.
In its 900-year history the Royal Engineers has introduced new technology to the British Army including diving, aircraft, telegraphy and the tank. Many new Corps’ and Organizations have been formed from the origins of the Royal Engineers including the Royal Flying Corps, (later the RAF) and the Royal Corps of Signals. Today’s UK Ordnance Survey was also developed from the early Royal Engineers survey activities. In the 1830s Royal Engineers trained as deep water divers; shallow water capabilities were developed in the 1950s. Following this, the Sappers’ diving skills were taught to the first Royal Navy divers.
2018 is the fourth year the Royal Engineers have entered the Field Gun competition. Over this short period the crew have been a formidable force, able to complete with the very best crews on the field. Over 100 Sappers have taken part in the competition with both the Royal Engineers and other teams, most notably Gibraltar and MOD Abbey Wood.
The Field Gun Officer for the Royal Engineers is Major Keith Hebard, having previously run as ‘Speedy bullet’ for MOD Abbey Wood and the No1 trainer for the Sappers in 2016. He is eternally grateful for the support given to him and his crew by Pearson Engineering and Pegasus Welfare.
For more information on the Field Gun Competitions, please visit the Field Gun webpage.