5 Combat Engineer Regiment
5 Combat Engineer Regiment (5 CER) is the only combat engineer regiment operating in French. Its mission is to provide combat engineer support to 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group formations or task forces. 5 CER is also responsible for storing, maintaining and distributing engineer and bridging equipment operational stocks in support of deployed troops and manœuvre troops in peacetime.
Organized into five squadrons, 5 CER provides versatile support, covering all engineer specialities. 5 CER has two field engineer squadrons and one engineer squadron, in addition to a support squadron that handles the heavy and engineer equipment such as bridge components and reverse-osmosis water purification systems and a headquarters squadron that coordinates logistics and commands the other squadrons.
The unit also provides combat diver, airborne force and complex terrain force capabilities as well as expedient route opening capability (EROC).
The unit originated as “5e Escadron du génie du Canada” on July 1, 1968. Its first commanding officer, Major RG Bryan, led a unit of 38 members. The major tasks at the time were the development of the training areas at Valcartier Base. Between 1970 and 1975, the Squadron helped with the construction of runways in the North, particularly at Pond Inlet and Cape Dorset. In 1975, it was renamed “5e Escadron du génie de campagne” and helped out with security at the 1976 Olympic Games.
It was then renamed “5e Régiment du génie de combat” in 1977. The Regiment assisted with a number of improvements to Canadian Forces Bases in the following years, including the construction of a firing range at CFB Gagetown and the renovation of buildings in Winnipeg. Its first international deployment occurred as part of Operation GREYBEARD between March and July 1983 in Cyprus. Regimental troops were deployed again to Cyprus in October 1987 in support of 5e Régiment d’artillerie légère du Canada.
Beginning in 1991, 5 CER has been extremely busy supporting domestic and international operations. Within Canada, it participated in Operation GLACE INFINIE in Drummondville in 1991, Operation SAGUENAY in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in 1996, Operation RECUPERATION during the 1998 ice storm in Montreal and Montérégie and Operation PERSISTANCE in Nova Scotia. Internationally, 5 CER participated in the following Operations: RECORD in Kuwait in 1991, CAVALIER in the former Yugoslavia between 1992 and 1995, HARMONY in Croatia in 1993 and 1995, ALLIANCE in Bosnia in 1996, STABLE in Haiti in 1996, PALLADIUM ROTO 5, 9, 10 and 14 in Bosnia between 1998 and 2003, PRUDENCE in the Central African Republic in 1999, TORRENT in Turkey in 1999, TOUCAN in East Timor in 1999, ATHENA in Afghanistan in 2003, 2007 and 2009, and finally HESTIA in Haiti in 2010.
For information about the vehicles and weapons used by the Canadian Army visit our Equipment page.
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