... under the control of the JFHQ (or something.....) would be one larger and more capable Engineer Unit, focused on GS tasks but perhaps with the ability to provide DS to cbt ops. That, plus a traning establishment, would represent the Regular Component. Heavier engineer assets, or assets unlkely to be called up except for prolonged or general conflicts, would be in the Reserve.
We already have 1 ESU as part of the CFJOG, and the Army has 4 ESR. Between the two, they hold all of the equipment and capabilities that could not be sustained if spread across the CERs. They also hold our theatre activation/tear-down capabilities and are available for other surge tasks. You could ask why we need two national level engineer units (especially when one is in Moncton and the other is in Gagetown). I would not complain too loudly if someone decided to combine the two into a single Joint Engineer Regiment, but I've never heard the arguments for or against this either.
Some of our larger equipment (like MFB/MR) already looks like it may be moving to the new reserve Engr Sp Sqn. As it is, much of this equipment has already been removed from the regiments and given to area engineer equipment troops (EETs). These EETs belong to the LF areas and sp reg and reserve training.
I guess I see the Sappers much like EME is now: existing both integrally and separately. I imagine an integral element inside the Close Combat Unit, with a capability range approximating that of a Field Sqn now, but perhaps with a more robust Equipment Troop, and certainly with MCM and IED/RCIED/EOD capabilities.
It generally sounds good. One fd tp and a sp tp. However, as a permanent structure, the sp tp would prove inadequate and/or unsustainable. It would also require expanding the corps many times lager that we are already looking at.
I do not foresee us engaging in the massive and complex Div and Corps Engineer plans so beloved of WWII-legacy thinking, and for which (IMHO) we have preserved the idea of separate Engr C2 and a range of specalized Engr units and fmns.
The idea may be there, but the actual units and formations do not exist. In fact, the Engr transformation plan moves us even farther from that scale of operations. The CER would be permanently structured with a fd sqn (of one fd tp and a sp tp) for each manoeuvre bn. Formal affiliations would be established (affiliations exist now but it is one fd sqn for two manoeuvre units) and the fd sqn would regularly train with its affiliated manoeuvre unit.
Why could we have four Fd Sqns of ond fd tp and one sp tp in a CER but not be able to support the same number of identical fd sqns split into each of the manoeuvre units? Because the manoeuvre units would each require a composite support tp. This has two problems:
1) Every mission has a uniquely organized sp tp. Some missions have seen sp tps that were primarily Hy Eqpt, others have been primarily EOD, and others have had significant representation from all the sp functions.
2) Many of the components of a sp tp require a full troop or section for force generation (things like a section of Hy Eqpt Ops or a section of Asslt Mob Ops would each require a troop as a base for force generation). The fall out of this is that in order to do its own force generation a BG would need almost the same sized engr sp element as a bde.
It only takes 3 qualified guys to support a ROWPU det for a BG deployment. To sustain that capability for force generation, one section is required. Should each BG have one such section (resulting in 4 per Bde) or should one section exist within a CER and be capable of meeting all the Bde requirements? We currently have ROWPU deployed on ATHENA and it was also deployed on APOLLO.
MCM is an Engr Cbt SP function. Again, one section is enough to Sp a Bde and one section is the minimum size for force generation, but we would require three sections if this element were generated at the BG level. MCM is the major element of the Sp Tp currently in Afghanistan.
Hy Eqpt must exist as a Tp for force generation. Hy Eqpt was the most prominent part of the Sp Tp in the Bosnia deployments and often fills a Cbt Sp function. One troop could meet the needs of the Bde, but each BG would require a full Tp to sustain the capability at that level.