Since 1967, the Royal Engineers have been supporting 3 Commando Brigade RM, with 59 Independent Commando Squadron RE.
From 1st April 2008, this changed, with combat engineer support to 3 Commando Brigade RM, increasing to a Royal Engineer Regiment, based in Chivenor, Devon. This is similar to the support provisioned to the rest of the Field Army, where each Brigade has a supporting Regiment.
For most deployments and operations, 24 Commando Engineer Regiment provides both Close and General support engineering. The Field troops of 59 Commando Field Squadron, provide both Close and General combat engineering support, operating alongside the Brigades manoeuvre units. Close Support Engineering can be divided into three areas:- mobility support, counter mobility and survivability.
Mobility tasks include Bridge building, Route opening/clearance, minefield clearance and the preparation of Beach landing sites.
Counter Mobility tasks include building of obstacles, the demolition of roads and bridges and the laying of Anti-tank minefields, in order to shape the Battlefield.
Survivability tasks include the construction of field defences/fortifications, the provision of fresh water for friendly troops and the clearance of explosive ordnance.
In addition, the Regiment is able to provide support to expeditionary warfare through the provision of utilities and camp construction.
Commando trained Sappers, enable vital engineering support to be provided whenever the Brigade requires it.
54 Commando Headquarters and Support Squadron, control and maintain the specialist vehicles and Plant. It also has a Diving Section, that is able to conduct a wide spectrum of underwater tasks. The Reconnaissance Troop is trained to deploy forwards as part of the Brigade Recce Force (BRF) and is trained in all BRF insertion methods, including Parachuting. Deploying as part of the early warning of engineer tasks.
Another enhancement is the Construction Support Cell, which has the capability to provide design and expert technical engineer construction advice.
In addition to the assets integral to the Regiment, other specialist engineers are often assigned for operations and deployments. 49 Field Squadron (EOD) and both 33 and 101 Engineer Regiment (EOD) provide explosive ordnance disposal and search.
Elements of 516 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (STRE) supply technical assistance for bulk fuel installations.
In the event of a major conflict, the Regiment's General Engineer Support capability is required to be uplifted, through the use of Reserve Forces and 131 Independent Commando Squadron (Volunteers) Territorial Army, backfills the Regiment on operations as required.
131 Independent Commando Squadron's efforts are directed towards the sustainability of the force, with tasks including the provision of water, the maintenance of the bulk fuel installation and construction of field accommodation. 131 Squadron is also trained to reinforce the Regiment's Close Support capability when necessary.
Engineer assets are controlled centrally from Brigade Headquarters, with the Commanding Officer accompanying the Brigade Commander as his Engineer Advisor. It is the role of the Squadron Commanders, supported by the Battle Group Engineers, to provide advice to the respective Commanding Officers of the Brigade Battle Groups or Units. The Troop Commanders exercise command and control of the assets on the ground, during the execution of the engineer tasks.
As with the rest of 3 Commando Brigade RM, 24 Commando Regiment has recently returned from Op. Herrick 14, where it provided the lead for the Task Force Engineer Group (TFH Engr Gp) operating across Helmand. This comprised of over 650 personnel from 6 seperate Royal Engineer Units across Germany and the UK. The TFH Engr Gp remained fully committed throughout the busy tour and contributed fully to the development of the campaign.
Following a period of well deserved leave, the Regiment will begin the preparation and development required to contribute fully to the Lead Commando Group (LCG) in early 2012. This contibution will focus primarily around 59 Commando Sqn, but will consist of elements from Regimental Headquarters, 54 Commando Headquarters and Support Squadron and Regiment Workshops. The LCG will stand-up in April 2012 and will see the Regiment participating in an exceptionally busy programme of exercises, training and deployment well into 2013.
The Regiment will also participate in numerous other tasks, including a Construction tour to Cyprus, Environmental training in Norway and Belize and Adventure training expeditions to the USA and Nepal.