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Royal Marines Assault Engineers training

16 November 2016
Royal Marine Commando Assault Engineers (AEs) provide intimate close combat engineering support to all Royal Marine Commando Units. AE training is held at the Commando Training Centre (CTCRM), Devon.

The AE3 course is 8 weeks long and includes field hygiene, construction of field defences, obstacles, demolitions, bridge construction and mine warfare.  

A AE3 will gain City & Guilds qualifications in general construction and can continue onto an 11 week carpenters course achieving a City & Guilds in basic carpentry and joinery.

Currently training at CTCRM are 7 Royal Marine Lance Corporals who are on the 9 week AE2 course which develops the skills required to be an AE Section Commander.  

The AE2 course includes engineer battlefield reconnaissance, explosive method of entry and the knowledge and confidence to become a Company level engineer advisor.

I was in the building trade before joining the Corps, but my 20 years as an AE has provided great variety

Colour Sergeant Darren Cardwell Roayl Marines, Assault Engineers Chief Instructor at CTCRM

One of the students on the course LCpl Ironmonger whom has been an AE3 at 42 Cdo RM for 2 years said, “When I passed out I spent 2 years as a general duties marine but felt I had more to give.”

“I was impressed by the knowledge and adaptability of the AEs in my Company and was interested in the kit and equipment they used. Especially the explosives!”

Further qualifications gained as an AE include Royal Yachting Association Powerboat level 2 and City & Guilds qualifications in chainsaw maintenance, crosscutting and tree felling.

Additionally all AEs are trained in disaster relief operations by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

As AEs are promoted they conduct a AEs course commensurate with their rank. A SNCO who is an AE1 gains qualifications required to be a Demolition Safety Officer (DSO), a Commando Unit Engineer advisor and they receive a City & Guilds certification in advanced construction.

The AE Chief Instructor at CTCRM CSgt Darren Cardwell said, “I was in the building trade before joining the Corps, but my 20 years as an AE has provided great variety.  

"Two years ago I was tasked with the huge responsibility of building up intricate physical defences in order to protect my colleagues in a patrol base in Somaliland.”

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