Peacekeeping heroes feel the heat of battle in two-week combat exercise
PEACEKEEPING troops are being tested "under fire" in a two-week exercise aimed at preparing them for deployment overseas.
Combat engineers have to demonstrate their ability to move around a battlefield while operating under the threat of attack from an enemy force.
The corps of engineers are currently involved in Defence Force deployments at peace missions in Lebanon, Syria and South Sudan.
Each year the corps concentrates for a fortnight in one location for combined training of personnel, who are drawn from engineer units throughout the military organisation.
The current programme of events is taking place in the Glen of Imaal in west Wicklow and will culminate with a 96-hour tactical exercise.
During the final exercise the engineers must reduce enemy obstacles by de-mining, clearing terrain obstacles, and constructing roads and bridges. They will also engage in activities for holding up the enemy, by destroying roads and bridges, digging trenches and laying anti-minefields.
They are also tasked with showing they can survive on the battlefield by providing bunkers, shelters and armoured vehicle fighting positions while supporting their comrades in the field by constructing a camp and installing water and electrical supplies as well as sewage treatment.