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Assault Pioneers & Assault Troopers (engineer light of the Inf & Armd)

Michael OLeary

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This is an infantry sepcific follow-on to the "Ranger Course" thread under "Canadian Army" in which Fusaki requested information about Infantry Assault Pioneers:

Fusaki,

Firstly I should mention that the Infantry Corps has started to disband the Pioneer Platoons in the Regular Force battalions, this combat function has been retired from the Corps along with mortars.

Pioneers were the integral combat engineering component of the battalions. They were trained in such tasks as:

field defences and obstacles
timber shelters
mines - placement, detection removal
demolitions
booby traps
non-standard (wood) bridging
winter ice roads and crossings
ropes and anchorages (including suspension traverses, rope bridging, etc)
watermanship (motor assault boat operation, etc)
raod and bridging construction

The pioneer platoon provided small task and close support capabilities to the battalion/battle group which ensured immediacy of response and decreased the workload on the engineer squadrons. This ensured that the focus of engineer taskings were the Brigade‘s higher priority missions.

But this is no more, and the qualification courses as well will no longer be run (either basic pioneer or the advanced pioneer course).

It should be noted that attempts to create Reserve pioneer platoons usually failed because of the very high resource bill as well as the fact that the time required to conduct annual refresher training exceeded the allocated training days per soldier allocated to Reserve units.

Mike
 

Jungle

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Any idea why their getting rid of them?
This is all part of the Army reorg that began last year. They are looking at reallocating human resources, and creating new units with existing pers levels: CMTC in Wainwright, and a new ISTAR based unit for information management. We are certainly making mistakes with this reorg already, but at least we are moving ahead... I just hope we don‘t lose people in a future conflict because Battalions don‘t have integral indirect fire support. :cdn:
 

Fusaki

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thanks for responding!!

the Infantry Corps has started to disband the Pioneer Platoons in the Regular Force battalions
is there still an Assault Pioneer Course?
 

Jarnhamar

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Someone asked why are people only interested in american hollywood courses. I think this is a good example. Were slowly losing our "cool" courses.
 
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sgt.shmedly102

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Infantry without mortars? [shakes head] That‘s just stupid.

We don‘t have anything like Pioneers, but it sounds like a great concept. Why anyone would want to get rid of them is also beyond me.

Does the Canadian Army have sappers? They would seem to me to be the closest thing to Pioneers we have, but they‘re kind of the opposite. Instead of infantrymen who do engineer tasks, they‘re almost engineers who do infantry tasks. Well not quite. They‘re engineers who would be attached to infantry units to perfrom combat engineering tasks, specifically breaching, demining, etc. Maybe there‘s not much difference between them and pioneers, but it would seem that sappers are more combat oriented and pioneers are more mobility oriented. Am I way off?
 

McG

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Consider that the Infantry is currently short by 500 soldiers (about one battalion‘s worth). This is despite a reduction of one Rifle Coy, the Mor Pl, and Pnr Pl from each Bn. There was a need to cut back somewhere because we could not fill all the capabilities we want to have.

sgt.shmedly102,
we do have sappers in our Army. All of our Field Engineers are trained to do that job. All of our Pioneers were trained to do that job.

The organization and equipment of a Pioneer Pl mirrors that of a Field Engineer Troop. There are two key differences between Pioneers and Field Engineers:
  • Pioneers are Infantry first and Engineers second; Field Engineers are Engineers first and Infantry second.
  • Pioneers are integral to an Inf Bn and have resources to conduct tasks at that scope; Field Engineers are external (and may be pulled away for other tasks) and have higher resources to conduct tasks with a more macroscopic effect.

I had started a thread to discus how the loss of Pioneers may effect Engineering capabilities and what Engineers could to minimise negative effects.
 

Recce41

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Don‘t forget Assault Troop or Support troop, depending on yr you took the course.
 
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sgt.shmedly102

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Pioneers are Infantry first and Engineers second; Field Engineers are Engineers first and Infantry second.
Pioneers are integral to an Inf Bn and have resources to conduct tasks at that scope; Field Engineers are external (and may be pulled away for other tasks) and have higher resources to conduct tasks with a more macroscopic effect.
That‘s kind of what I figured.
 
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Yard Ape

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I don‘t see why the Armour need to keep Assault Troops if the Infantry does not need to keep Pioneers. The rational to reduce overlap of roles could be used to argue that Engineers could replace the Assault Troops‘ Pioneer role and Infantry could fill the Anti-Armour and dismounted roll. After all, Armour will never deploy without Infantry, Arty, and Engineers. Just like Infantry won‘t deploy without Mortars (Arty) and Engineers.
 

Recce41

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Assault Troop
Is a DIV/BGE asset, it is the assault troop that does Counter Recce, LRRPs, lays ANTI- Tank Ambushes, minor mine fields and obs.in support of the Recce Sqn, I does all the Bridge Recces, Support for SHQ when colocated with Div/Bge, also a D&S troop for Div. It is not the same as Pioneers. A Recce Sqn has to be self contanded. A Real Recce Sqn will has the Following:
1. SHQ- 1X Coyote, 2 X CP LAV IIIs, 2x Ilitis
2. Scout Troops or Sabre Troops 5-7 Coyotes
3. Assault Troop 5 X Eng or plain Lavs, 2X HLVW, 1X LSVW
4. Anti Armour, Armour TOW, 6X LAV IIITow
5. Sigs/EW Troop 6X LAV III/Bison EW
6. ADM Troop 1X LAVIII, 5X HLVW, 1XLSVW, 1X Ilits
7. Maint Troop 1X LSVW, 3X LAV ARVS, 1X HLVW
8. Air/Arty Support Troop 3X LAVS/Coyote
This is War Time assets.
Remember a Recce Sqn can be as far as 25-50 KM a head of the BGE Recce and 50-75KMs head of the Bge itself.
 
S

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Engineers are also a Bde/Div resource. There is no need for tankers to maintain their own sub-engineers.

. . . well, there is a reason. But the reason is the same as would justify keeping Pioneers. So, keep Pioneers and Assult Troops. Or, get rid of Pioneers, and make Assult Troops just another TOW Pl.
 

1911CoLt45

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Good day

Can anyone here explain to why the CF got rid of this interesting trade?  What was the role pertaining to this trade, and would they still be of use to the CF's needs of the present and the future.  I understand that the trade was quite different from combat engineers role.

Cheers
 

HItorMiss

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It was not a trade it was a specialty found within the Infantry branch of the CF. It was a QL4 course that when completed you may find yourself sent to the Pioneer Platoon.

There specialty was and this is very very over simplified something akin to light engineers but that is doing a diservice to both the training of the Engineers and the Pioneers. I will let someone with more experience go into an indepth answer.
 

Nfld Sapper

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An Assault Pioneer is a trained infantry soldier who is responsible for:
The construction of tools for infantry soldiers to cross enemy terrain and natural obstacles
Supervising the construction of military defence installations

Assault Pioneers normally form a Platoon in infantry regiments. Members of the Assault Pioneer Platoon can be identified by a trade badge of two crossed-axes sewn on their uniforms.

Canadian Assault Pioneers can also by distinguished by their being given permission to wear beards. On formal parades they wear white leather aprons and gloves over their scarlets, carry axes, and lead the battalion onto the parade.

BulletMagnet said:
It was not a trade it was a specialty found within the Infantry branch of the CF. It was a QL4 course that when completed you may find yourself sent to the Pioneer Platoon.

There specialty was and this is very very over simplified something akin to light engineers but that is doing a disservice to both the training of the Engineers and the Pioneers. I will let someone with more experience go into an in depth answer.

British Assault Pioneers are qual'd in the following:

The Skills
As an Assault Pioneer you will specialise in:

- Field Engineering
- Demolitions
- Watermanship
- Minewarfare and Booby Trap Clearance

I would assume that the Canadian ones would be pretty much the same.



 

Fusaki

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lumberjack-commandos.jpg


Funny story from before my time in the CF, as related to me by Anyone's Grunt:

In 2002 1RCR was on EX down in Camp Lejeune, NC conducting training with the USMC. During a bit of downtime, and in the spirit of international competition, the Marines challenged our guys to a Tug-Of-War.

As the story goes, the looks on the faces of the young Marines was priceless as the Pioneers were summoned for the event, and one by one out of the crowd of RCRs steps an entire platoon lumberjacks, each weighing in at well over 200lbs, each grinning menacingly under his full beard...

;D
 

Wynne

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As far as I know, there is only one reserve unit with an Assault Troop.  The QYRANG.
 

HItorMiss

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Wynne

Assault troop has nothing to do with Infantry Pioneers.

WB:

I was there it was funny as hell then again seeing them whip our ass at Rugby it was out little revenge  >:D
 
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