Royal Engineers Phase 2 Visit

Royal Engineers Phase 2 Visit

4 April 2024

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

All our cadets are proud to wear the cap badge of a British Army Corps or Regiment, with many Detachment Commanders encouraging their cadets to take an interest in the history of their affiliated unit. Huntingdon, St Ives and Swavesey are proud to be badged to the Corps of Royal Engineers (RE), with whom Cambs ACF has historic connections due to their presence at Waterbeach Barracks, adjacent to our Cadet Training Centre.

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The cadets at the Cenotaph at Brompton Barracks.

On 20th February, 42 cadets from 2 Coy Detachments badged to the RE, St Neots, Huntingdon and Swavesey, visited 1RSME (Royal School of Military Engineering) Phase 2 training camp, at Brompton Barracks, Chatham, Kent. Phase 2 training is undertaken by soldiers who have first completed their Phase 1 training, which teaches the basic skills needed by all soldiers. They then go on to Phase 2, which gives them the specialist training needed to prepare them for their particular roles within the Army. The trip was an opportunity for the cadets to meet soldiers of the RE (known as Sappers), and to learn about the history of the Corps, as well as their present engagements and what they expect to be doing going forward.

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Sgt Nugent showing the air con units.

The group arrived at Brompton Barracks at 10 am, where they were met by Sapper Ethan Doyle, who was to act as their helper and guide, and then made their way to the RE Museum. Here they learned a great deal about the history of the Corps, and were brought up to date with modern warfare, armour and weapons. After lunch, they made their way over to the workshops, where they were met by Sgt Nugent and Cpl Cole, who took them through the different job roles that could be undertaken in Phase 2 training.

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In the wood-working shop

The cadets were then taken to the RE fabricator room where they were shown the different types of welding, from stick to TIG, from building and repairing bridges to repairing vehicles. This was followed by an explanation of how to diagnose and repair problems with diesel engines, repairing air conditioning units, and how the RE rewires units/houses, using domestic power supplies, sockets and RCD's (safety devices to prevent you receiving a fatal shock) so they can set up power for accommodation blocks on camps. After this, they were shown how generators are used in various outside applications, woodworking and brick laying, and how computers are used in the design process.

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Sgt Nugent showing the air con units.

Capt. James Martin RE, who come along and had a chat with them, kindly promoted Cdt LCpl Dixon from Huntingdon, on behalf of the Detachment Commander SSI Phipps.

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Cdt LCpl Dixon is promoted.

This visit was packed with learning, combining the extraordinary history of the Corps and the many conflicts they have had been involved in throughout history, including both World Wars and more recently, Afghanistan, with practical information about the Corps current commitments and the day to day work they perform. The highlight from the trip was, however, the way everyone connected with the Corps, including with memories of their own families who had served with the RE, or by engaging with the Sappers by asking them questions about their work.

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Cpl Cole showing accommodation construction.

Detachment Commander at Melbourn , SSI Porl Lamonte said: "I highly recommend reconnecting with our affiliated Army Units, it was nice to see everyone pulling together and learning new things. I would like to thank the following: Lt Barrett, SSI Phipps, SI Craigy and PI Dutton for assisting me on this trip, From the RE, I would like to also thank Capt James Martin,Sgt Nugent and Cpl Cole for taking time out from their working day to look after us, and Sapper Ethan Doyle for assisting me in making this trip happen.”

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The adult instructors on the trip.

Text by SSI Paul Lamonte and SI Doug Stuart