The Australian Combat Engineer

What do you blokes do? … ‘Blow up shit’….. I suspect it’s much more than that…
body armour, Steyr, mine detector or dog, they are out the front, seldom at the back.

Young men from all walks, train and bond together, in the role of the Combat Engineer…
an essential job, often downplayed, one that would make the toughest bloke fear.

Out on patrol, at the leading edge, they search for the dreaded device…
sometimes simple, sometimes complex, explosive stuff, definitely not very nice.

They take on the task of disarming these things, often at great personal peril…
bloody good training, steady hands, cool composure, stops their minds going feral.

What man in his right mind would go out front, disarm bombs and patrol without fear?
The highly trained soldier, an exceptional bloke, the Australian Combat Engineer

Out on patrol when ‘contact’ is yelled and the shit hits the fan…
they take up the fight, go hard at the task, professional soldiers to a man.

In the midst of the battle their training kicks in, the enemy is in for a fight…
Engineers keep at it, until all is secure, through the long days and into the nights.

On Afghan hills and near creek beds, Engineers have lost too many good mates…
names now on the wall in Canberra, along with rank, unit and the fateful dates.

The loss of mates doesn’t deter them, but rather provides steely resolve…
to get the mission done, serve mates and country, go home and grow peacefully old.

What man in his right mind would go out front, disarm bombs and patrol without fear
A proud soldier, a great mate, a leader among equals, the Australian Combat Engineer.


By Michael Braithwaite
November 2012


FILE PHOTO: Sapper Lewis Coulter sweeps for mines during the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment Commanding Officers’ Challenge held at Robertson Barracks, Northern Territory. Photo by Private Rodrigo Villablanca.





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One thought on “The Australian Combat Engineer

  • 17/03/2024 at 7:25 pm

    operate five slewing units from tower cranes on the deck of a ship to turn 155mm howitzers left or right useing a large unit like slewing unit compensates for the trail arms on the howitzer
    for the cannon to elevate useing a trolly drive motor from a tower crane on the elevating mechanism on cannon on each of the platforms on the ship
    so attaching the top carriage from a howitzer to slewing unit from a tower crane so useing the elements that move a tower crane to move canonry
    Getting rid of the fireing mechanism assembly and primer on howitzer and introducing a spark generator with the push of a button for spark on cannons cradle so the spark generator is generating to the button at all times there is coiled cable due to recoil going to the carrier from the button the cables wireing passing thrue the breach block and thrue the obturator that has a Center electrode core with a ground electrode as prongs that stick into charge to produce a spark to ignite propellant charge bag once you close the carrier press the big green button and kabooom so you might want a motor to close the carrier because if the button malfunctions and spark going thrue prongs as your closing the breach block you might blow your hands off
    either way if your closing the carrier or if you put the propellant charge on the prongs if the button malfunctions you’ll blow up
    All Teflon coated wires
    Shielding around canons a dome to protect the men green and red lights in the dome to tell the men to manually load and fire
    walk ways under the deck
    Could build to sell
    Price of 5 trolly drive motors 25,000
    Price of 5 slewing units around 50,000usd
    Price of slewing units motors 40,000
    Price of attaching slewing units to deck of ship around 100,000
    Price of Teflon coated wireing to slewing unit motor and truly drive motor 80,000
    Price of 5 howitzers 15 million
    Price to attach 5 howitzers top carriages to slewing units around 80,000
    Sonar 25,000,000
    Price of oil tanker ship 100,000,000
    Price of armament for protection of machine gun spray only to sides and deck and engine control rooms of oil tanker ship 50,000,000
    Building the weapons on slewing units to attach to any ship for under 50,000,000
    Building a navy for under 300,000,000 and selling for 400,000,000


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