British Army - Royal Engineers Summary - a8a1 -Armed Forces 




The engineer support for the Army is provided by the Corps of Royal Engineers (RE). Known as Sappers, the Royal Engineers are one of the Army’s three Combat Support Arms, and are trained as fighting soldiers combat engineers and artisan tradesmen as well as holding specialist qualifications within EOD, Search and Diving. The Corps of Royal Engineers performs highly specialised combat and non-combat tasks, and is active all over the world in conflict and during peace. The Corps has no battle honours, its motto 'ubique' (everywhere), signifies that it has taken part in every battle fought by the British Army in all parts of the world. 


As of 2011, the RE had a regular Army establishment of some 9,528 personnel and a strength of 9,640 personnel. These figures are for UK trained regular army (including Full Time Reserve Service Personnel) and exclude Gurkhas, and mobilised reservists.

This large corps comprises 17 regular regiments and 5 TA regiments - presently organised as follows:

Royal Engineers: Regular Army units and locations during 2011
Unit Location Country Notes
1 Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment Chatham UK  
3 Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment Minley UK  
21 Engineer Regiment Ripon UK 3 (UK) Division
22 Engineer Regiment Perham Down UK 3 (UK) Division
23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault) Woodbridge UK 16 Air Assault Brigade
24 Commando Engineer Regiment Barnstaple UK 3 Commando Brigade
25 Engineer Regiment Waterbeach UK Air Support
26 Engineer Regiment Perham Down UK 3 (UK) Division
28 Engineer Regiment Hameln Germany 1 (UK) Armoured Division
32 Engineer Regiment Hohne Germany 1 (UK) Armoured Division
33 Engineer Regiment Wimbish UK EOD
35 Engineer Regiment Paderborn Germany 1 (UK) Armoured Division
36 Engineer Regiment (Search) Maidstone UK 3 (UK) Division
38 Engineer Regiment Aldergrove UK 3 (UK) Division
39 Engineer Regiment Waterbeach UK Air Support
42 Engineer Regiment Hermitage UK Geographic survey
101 Engineer Regiment (EOD) Wimbish UK  

Queen's Gurkha Engineers (QGE) are held within 36 Engineer Regiment (Search), within 69 Gurkha Field Squadron (Search) and 70 Gurkha Field Squadron (Search). 

The listing of Regiments by role is as follows:

  Germany UK
Close Support Regiment 2 4
Air Assault Regiment - 1
Commando Regiment - 1
Air Support Regiment - 2
Force Support Regiment 1 -
EOD and Search Regiment - 3
Geographic Regiment - 1
Training Regiments - 2
TA Engineer Regiments - 5

There are also a number of independent engineer squadrons in the UK, as shown in the next table:

Royal Engineers: Specialist units and locations during early 2011
Unit Location Country  Notes
12 (Air Support) Engineer Group Waterbeach UK  
29 EOD and Search Group Aldershot UK  
170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group Nottingham UK  
Works Group RE (Airfields) Waterbeach UK Airfields
Royal School of Military Engineering Chatham UK Also in Minley, Surrey
Joint Aeronautical and Geospatial Organisation Hermitage UK Geographic survey
Regimental Headquarters Royal Engineers Chatham UK Including Corps Band

Territorial Army Royal Engineer regiments and independent units are shown below:

Royal Engineers: Territorial Army units and locations in 2011
Unit Location
71 Engineer Regiment (V) Leuchars
72 Engineer Regiment (V) Newcastle
73 Engineer Regiment (V) Nottingham
75 Engineer Regiment (V) Warrington
Royal Monmouthshire RE (Militia) Monmouth
131 Independent Commando Sqn (V) London
135 Independent Geographic Sqn (V) Ewell
591 Independent Field Squadron (Volunteers) Bangor (N Ireland)
65 Works Group (V) Chilwell

Contingents of Royal Engineers (including Volunteer Reservists) are likely to be deployed in all combat zones, including most recently Afghanistan, Iraq, Balkans, Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, Liberia and Sierra Leone.