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Combat Engineer 2-Day Conference Agenda
The scale of investment in European defence from NATO partners and the European Union requires the continued development of military engineer capabilities. Whether it be achieving freedom of movement, developing new area denial and anti-access systems, building self-sustaining tactical bases or researching innovative gap crossing systems, military engineer capabilities remain a significant area of investment.
Combat Engineer 2017 will explore how modern military engineer capability can be improved to support NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence, plans and deployments, NATO response forces and the Connected Forces Initiative. The conference provides a unique opportunity for military engineers and industry to showcase and discuss the latest developments in capability requirements and industry solutions.
The Combat Engineer 2017 conference will be chaired by Lieutenant General (Retd) Sir Mark Mans, Chief Royal Engineer, British Army.
DENYING FREEDOM OF MANOEUVRE
NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence deployments have given added emphasis to counter mobility operations that seek to affect an enemy’s ability to manoeuvre freely by denying terrain. An effects based approach is required that uses terrain, situation and target orientated barriers to disrupt, turn, fix or block the enemy. Combat engineers must be prepared to use a variety of lethal and non- lethal capabilities to deny terrain and disrupt enemy movement and manoeuvre.
MINE CLEARANCE AND OBSTACLE USAGE
Despite the Ottawa Treaty’s aim to ban the use of anti-personnel mines, it remains likely that future NATO operations will involve the clearance of landmines, both anti-personnel and anti-vehicle. The ability to breach minefields and other obstacles in order to maintain freedom of manoeuvre will remain key combat engineer tasks. The requirement for sophisticated and intelligent mine an obstacle clearance systems are ever more important.
Combat engineers are key to ensuring a force’s mobility by providing a range of rapidly deployable bridging capabilities to cross dry and wet gaps. Future mission success will depend on the use of innovative bridging and gap crossing solutions and systems to meet NATO’s rapid response priorities. The requirement for bridging systems to be interoperable amongst NATO nations is a key priority in order to mitigate comparatively small equipment holdings.
FORCE AND BASE PROTECTION
Effective base protection does not rely on a single technique or action but comes from a combination of measures both procedural and physical that seek to deter or mitigate the effects of an attack Using geospatial software and computer-aided design technology can help identify key areas to create chokepoints and defensive lines. The fortification of operational bases is a key consideration in both urban and rural operating areas and the latest innovations in base protection and perimeter security remain high on military agendas.
OPERATIONAL AND DEPLOYABLE INFRASTRUCTURE
The need for rapidly deployable infrastructure to meet contingent operational requirements remains an important NATO priority. Standardisation and adaptability of infrastructure are key considerations as are construction equipment, gap crossing, plant vehicles and geospatial software and computer-aided design technology particularly when deployed on overseas operations.
ENABLING AIR AND LAND MOVEMENT
Key engineer tasks in support of air and land operations are to construct and maintain airfields, road networks and rail infrastructure. Airfield tasks are many and varied but principally involve the construction of tactical air landing facilities, runway damage repair, provision of hardened command facilities, blast protection for aircraft, and construction of weapon storage areas, dispersal areas and fuel farms. Lines of Communication, in particular Main Supply Routes, also need to be maintained throughout the operational area and maintenance of the host nation’s rail infrastructure may need to be supported.
DELIVERING FUTURE MILITARY BASES AND A LOOK AHEAD
The provision of base facilities is critical for the support, redeployment and operation of military forces. The ability to maximise the capabilities and utilization of existing base resources and to anticipate future facility-related requirements will be important in maintaining overall force effectiveness. This session will finish with a panel discussion looking at what has been discussed at Combat Engineer 2017 and what the future might hold.