Combat Engineers’ storied history

The unit is responsible for the formation and training of a Field Sqn, a Counter-IED Sqn, an Engineer Support Unit Troop and a Construction Management Organization Troop.

COURTESY 1 CER, Western Sentinel, 9 June 2011

1 Combat Engineer regiment is a unit of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, a formation within Land Force Western Area. The regiment is presently includes a Regimental Headquarters, 11 Field Squadron (Sqn), 13 Armoured Sqn and 18 Administration Sqn.

Fall deployment

Currently there is an armoured troop in Afghanistan and the Regiment is preparing for Operation Athena with a deployment this fall. The unit is responsible for the formation and training of a Field Sqn, a Counter- IED Sqn, an Engineer Support Unit Troop and a Construction Management Organization Troop.

In the early 90s, 1 CER deployed twice as a formed unit.

In 1991, the unit deployed to Kuwait for ordinance clearance and construction of Observation Posts and Sector Headquarters within the Demilitarized Zone between Kuwait and Iraq, receiving a Chief of Defence Staff Unit commendation. In 1992, the unit was deployed on a United Nations mission into Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Regiment also sent elements to support UN and NATO operations in the Balkans.

1 CER remained based in Chilliwack until the summer of 1996 when it was moved to the Edmonton Garrison as part of the consolidation of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Alberta. The Regiment grew and a second Field Sqn was formed.

Post 9/11, 1 CER provided squadron-size elements to support Task Forces within Afghanistan. 1 CER has continued to support Operation Apollo in 2001 in Kandahar and through the shift to Kabul and back to Kandahar in 2005.

In addition to their major commitment to deployments overseas, 1 CER has deployed on domestic operations in Canada: the 1997 Manitoba Floods; the Ice Storm in Ontario and Quebec in 1998; and the G8 Summit in Kananaskis in 2002.

Victims support

1 CER provided Combat Dive support to the Swiss Air crash at St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia in 1998 and offered immediate engineer support to the victims of the Pine Lake Tornado in Alberta in 2000.

The Regiment has responded to wildfires in Salmon Arm, B.C. in 1998, Redwater in 2002 and Kelowna in 2003. 1 CER was recently involved in Operation Podium, the security mission during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Most recently, they have assisted with the 2011 floods of the Assiniboine River in Manitoba.

For the unit’s efforts in delivering an Armoured Troop on extremely short notice to Task Force Afghanistan and the continued force generation for subsequent rotations, 1 CER received its second Chief of Defence Staff Unit commendation in Sept 2008. With the introduction of the Armoured Engineer Vehicles in 2006 the unit is responsible to force generate the Armoured Troop for every rotation overseas, passing on their specific brand of excellence around the world.

1 CER has continued to grow with the Army’s expansion. Currently there are over 500 officers, soldiers, Sappers and support trades personnel within the unit.

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