From education to employment

Royal Marines Assault Engineers branch and Exeter College celebrate over 20 years of Partnership

The 13th Royal Marine Assault Engineers branch, carpentry and joinery course comes to a close with the obligatory photograph outside Exeter College’s Faculty of Construction, based on the Sowton industrial Estate in Exeter.

This close partnership between the Royal Marines Assault Engineers branch and Exeter College goes back some 20 years, with the first course starting in November 1999 and running for 11 weeks.

Since 1999 and that first course, a further 13 courses have taken place with a total of 79 ranks passing out with flying colours, receiving qualification accreditation from City and Guilds.

The course is designed to meet the needs of the Assault Engineers branch, ensuring that their personnel have the knowledge and skills set to undertake tasks with confidence, safely.

The course has been designed to cover bench joinery (manufacture of doors and windows), site carpentry (door lining, door hanging, flooring and roofing) and wood machining, which includes 110v portable appliances and larger 3 phase machines as found in the carpenter’s workshops at Stonehouse (Plymouth) and CLR Chivenor (North Devon).

Over recent years, there has been an expectation that each course undertakes a specific task at CTCRM so that learnt skills can be put into practice, demonstrating the worth and value of this branch of the Royal Marines.

To date this has included the roof coverings for both the Rhino and Thermal Cutting rigs, the renovation of the Modern Urban Combat facility, the air conditioning covers for the HQ Building, remounting of the map tables within the Sergeants Mess and more recently, a large elevated platform for training on the GMG (Grenade Machine Gun).

Whilst attending Exeter College, the Royal Marines joined in on “Greening Sowton” litter pick, along with the Environment Agency, collecting some 70 kilos of litter from the Industrial Estate and surrounding carriage ways in a one hour period.

There have been notable course members who have used this course as a promotion spring board within the Royal Marines, this includes Steve Spears, Major Michael Dinger Bell and the outgoing AE Specialist Advisor Robbie Robson and his replacement Darren Daz Cardwell, to name but a few.

The opportunity to run this bespoke course for the Corp has been and continues to be one continual round of pleasure, one which brings a break from the norm for those who deliver on it, we look forward to the next course in January 2020.

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