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‚ÄčThe Corps of Poish Engineers

Background

The first sapper regiments and engineer battalions were established between WWI and WWII, during the interwar period. Nowadays, engineer troops represent about 8 percent of the entire army. It's not just combat engineers, but also general support engineers designated to build and maintenance roads construct logistic and pontoon bridges, support to logistic in energy distribution and water drilling and purification, as well as are able to mitigate natural disaster effects in crisis situation carrying assistance civilian society. Their principal task during the warfare is to support all types of military operations.

Structure

Engineer and sapper units are spread throughout the country. The most important engineer units are the three combat sapper regiments in Brzeg, Szczecin and Kazun Nowy, and one general support regiment located in Inowroclaw in the direct chain of command the General Commander of the Polish Armed Forces. The 2nd General Support Regiment supports the battle elements with his subordinate units: 1st Road-Bridge Battalion in Deblin, 3rd Engineer Battalion in Nisk and 4th Engineer Battalion stationed in Glogow.

 

Main effort

Engineers are engaged in tasks at home station as well as foreign missions in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chad or Mali. The main task of engineers when deployed is to conduct mine clearing operations, EOD disposal and camps constructions. This is why, among others branches, the engineer units are equipped with the most modern military equipment. Sappers have for example, a new generation of explosive detectors, anti-mine vehicles or remote-controlled devices for demining and neutralization of explosives and dangerous objects, IEDs', etc. Engineer troops also received modern armored wheeled carrier in three versions: engineer reconnaissance, engineer support and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD KTI).  The biggest challenge for bridge units is to find and implement new pontoon bridge system in order to replace the old one enabling to construct bridges for MLC 70/110 in short time and low manpower engagement. Development of the replacing system is already underway.

Ticking threat

Despite the 70 years since the end of World War II, Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) are still being found in the forests, rivers, urban areas during earth works and farming. In 2016, the Ministry of Defense received nearly 8,000 reports from people finding ERW. There are 41 Mine Clearance Patrols (EOD) from all the Services responsible for responding to the reports and clearing the ERW. The patrols have already detected and neutralized nearly 750,000 units of bombs, artillery shells, mines, grenades and other ammunition.

Awareness campaign

EOD experts are also invited to schools to give classes for children how to deal with hazardous items when approach. Last year, sappers gave 252 mine awareness classes learned about the dangers of unexploded ordnance and duds.

Non combat tasks

In addition to military activities, engineers help civilians during humanitarian crisis action, e.g. floods, fires and hurricanes. The Army is better able to respond to the needs of the population. In 2013, the Army created special engineer units responsible for reconstruction after a severe weather disasters. They built 10 bridges and numerous roads across the country during that year. They plan to complete twice as many projects during the upcoming years.

MILENG Training Centre

Engineers are trained mostly in the Military Engineering and CBRN Training Center in Wroclaw, additionally enhance level of skills and knowledge by attending in different specialized courses in many NATO countries.

Engineers' Day

Since 1946, the Day of Military Engineering is celebrated on 16 April to commemorate the crossing of the Oder and Neisse River in 1945 during World War II. The campaign encompassed 25 engineer battalions, the largest battle grouping of military engineering in the history of the Polish Army. Several thousand engineers died during the rivers crossing. The action itself has become a symbol of their courage and sacrifice

Sapper colors are black and red.

The black color reflect an explosive dust. The red is a symbol of the blood shed by generations of engineers during the wars, foreign missions and the peaceful struggle of the "rusty death".