2 Combat Engineer Regiment - History

Our History

Formed originally as 1st Field Company Royal Canadian Engineers in 1931, today 2 Combat Engineer Regiment (CER) continues to be the senior Regular Force engineering unit in Canada. During the Second World War, the unit served with distinction in Sicily, Italy, and North West Europe. At the end of the war the unit was renamed 23rd Field Company Royal Canadian Engineers. This change was in honour of the wartime 23rd Canadian Field Company, which was responsible for the evacuation of over 2000 soldiers of the 1st British Airborne Division at Arnhem in September 1944 following Op MARKET GARDEN.

Since the war's end, the unit has continued to perpetuate the wartime heritage of the two former units. During the Korean campaign the unit once again served with distinction and since 1949 the unit continued to supply an engineer parachute capability to the army. Two independent Airborne engineer units were eventually formed from the unit, 1 Airborne Field Tp RCE from 1952 to 1958 and 1 Airborne Field Squadron from 1968 to 1977. In 1977 the latter was amalgamated with 1 Field Squadron to form 2 CER in Petawawa.

As a unit of the Special Service Force (SSF), 2 CER was unique within the engineer branch as it was the only engineer unit with the capability to support both ground and air mobile forces. This ability to conduct airborne ops was well demonstrated in the spring of 1983 when the unit constructed a runway on the Arctic ice pack 400 km from the North Pole. This operation was in support of the Canadian Expedition to Study the Alpha Range (CESAR) and required the Regt to drop both soldiers and heavy equipment in by parachute.

Significant changes occurred to the Regiment, the SSF and 2 CMBG at large throughout the 1990's. These changes included most notably the unit's airborne capability being diminished with the transition to more modern mechanized operational support.

From March 1989 to August 1990, members of the unit deployed to Pakistan in support of Op DECIMAL, and upon their return these soldiers were the first to receive the Special Service Medal (SSM). In April 1992, 29 Field Squadron deployed in support of the UN mission to Kuwait and Iraq, a mission the unit supported continuously until March 1993. Concurrently 2 CER participated in the UN mission to Somalia, from December 1992 to June 1993, and then in the former Yugoslavia from October 1994 to May 1995. In December of 1995 the unit participated in Op ALLIANCE as part of NATO's Implementation Force in Bosnia, then twice as the Stabilization Force, with the last members returning to Canada in February of 1999.

In 2000, 2 CER supported Op KINETIC in Kosovo, then returned to Bosnia in 2001 and 2003 on Op PALLADIUM. 2 CER deployed a Composite Engineer Tp to Sri Lanka in 2004 as part of Canada’s Disaster Relief Assistance Team and has since deployed Squadrons to Afghanistan on numerous occasions. Fd Sqns participated on Op ATHENA Roto 3 and 4 while concurrently deploying a Construction Tp to Kabul to close down Camp JULIEN. In 2006-2007, 23 Fd Sqn deployed to Afghanistan with 1 RCR Battle Group as part of TF 3-06, 2 CER Sappers augmented TF 1-07, and in 2008-2009, 24 Fd Sqn deployed with 3 RCR Battle group as part of TF 3-08. In addition 28 Admin Sqn formed the C-IED Sqn, 25 Sp Sqn supported the Kandahar PRT and 2 CER provided the HQ 5-08 ESCC. In April of 2010, the Regiment once again deployed to Afghanistan in strength, deploying all TF 1-10 engineer elements including 23 Fd Sqn forming part of 1 RCR Battle Group., OMLT Engrs, 25 Sp Sqn, C-IED Sqn, the Construction Squadron and Construction Management Organization. In addition 2 CER RHQ formed the HQ 5-10 ESCC in support of TF 1-10 and 3-10 over a ten month deployment. Most recently, members of 25 Construction Troop deployed with the DART to the Philippines for Op Renascence.

Whatever nature or the world may throw our way, 2 CER will continue to provide professional Engineer support to the CF, maintaining the honour of the Corps and living up to the Engineer motto, UBIQUE - everywhere.

More history on 2 Combat Engineer Regiment can be found on the History and Heritage website.

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