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39 Engineer Regiment are in great demand

By Staff Reporter

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Captain Wearmouth playing with local children during the Civil Military vocational training.
Captain Wearmouth playing with local children during the Civil Military vocational training.

TROOPS based at Kinloss Barracks are on operations all over the world.

As one of the largest Regiments in the British Army, summer is a busy year for the Royal Engineers 39 Regiment, around 300 of whom are currently operating in Africa, providing support to the UN Mission in South Sudan.

Barracks staff communications officer, Carole Chapman, keeps track of the huge variety of assignments her colleagues are part of.

She said: "They are in Sudan to provide essential engineering infrastructure that enables the UN to deliver its mission to protect civilians disrupted by a civil war in one of the world’s poorest and most fragile countries. Tasks such as building a hospital, erecting solar lights, building observation posts to improve security of the civilian camps, laying water supply pipes, and construction of helicopter landing sites are some of the many and varied projects underway. Part of the role is also to provide vocational training for South Sudanese civilians, including bricklaying, concreting and carpentry to help them develop their own, sustainable future."

Additionally, another 150 engineers are returning from a large-scale construction project in the Falkland Islands, where they have been building accommodation. For many, this has meant deployments of 18 months. Troops are also in Kenya supporting the British Army Training Unit, in Estonia supporting a multinational battle group to defend and protect NATO’s Eastern states, and in Cyprus and the Middle East supporting air operations.

"All these tasks are supported by designers, draughtsmen, a variety of artisan trades, technicians and a host of logistic specialists," said Ms Chapman. "This ensures that when a Royal Engineer commits to a task, no matter where in the world, the necessary tools equipment and supplies arrive to ensure the task can be completed on time."

She added: "Every Royal Engineer soldier learns a trade as well as combat engineering skills, and there is always time for adventure even if not on operations. To ensure they have the necessary skills, Royal Engineers can choose from 12 apprenticeships, which will stand them in good stead when our troops finally leave the Army."

For Engineers out in South Sudan, there will be a medals parade and ceremony on July 26 in Forres.

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