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reflects new roles
Joint Incident Response
Formed specifically to provide the ADF’s
specialist response for the 2000 Sydney
Olympic Games, the JIRU incorporated
the Chemical Biological and Radiological
Response Squadron along with techni-
cal specialist search and explosive ord-
nance disposal capabilities to support
bomb management and response efforts
during the Games. Ceased operations
November 2, 2000, and had disbanded
by March 30, 2001.
Raised to combine the
Army’s emergency, chemi-
cal, biological and radio-
logical response after the
September 11 terrorist
attacks in the US, the
IRU provided increased
interim capabilities before
the establishment of
the Incident Response
Regiment a year later.
Originally raised under command of the
Land Command Engineers before com-
ing under control of Special Operations
Command in 2003. The IRR supported
the initial invasion of Iraq and every
SOTG rotation to Afghanistan as part of
Op Slipper. The unit continued working
with Socomd, civilian agencies and inter-
national partners before being replaced
by the Special Operations Engineer
Regiment in 2012.
THE Special Operations Engineer
Regiment (SOER) will soon screen
sappers to assess their ability to
serve with the unit.
Combat engineers, which form
the majority of the regiment’s combat
soldiers, are currently posted straight
from the Army’s other engineer units,
but future reinforcements will under-
go psychological and fitness screen-
ing before being placed in a “suitabil-
ity pool” for posting to the unit.
Assessments will occur in con-
junction with a series of SOER infor-
mation sessions at engineer units in
the second half of 2012.
SOER CO Lt-Col Scott Corrigan
said having a pool of suitable candi-
dates would give the career manage-
ment agencies the opportunity to
post the right people to SOER while
at the same time ensuring quality
personnel were retained in the wider
“This process ensures we get
the most suitable operators without
reducing other engineer units’ capa-
bility,” he said.
Soldiers posted to SOER must
go through an initial training period
of between three weeks and seven
months, depending on their roles.
“We need soldiers who are dedi-
cated, who are fit and who under-
stand the strategic importance of
their actions,” Lt-Col Corrigan said.
“They should also have the
capacity to be highly proficient in not
only their own speciality but those
other important skill sets required to
provide support to Special Forces,
such as weapons and insertion tech-
These are essential skills for the
unit’s current job in Afghanistan,
according to Lt-Col Corrigan.
“We’re providing specialised
combat engineer capability for
Special Operations Task Group oper-
ations, including route clearance and
dealing with explosive threats.
“My guys are fully integrated into
assault teams and are involved in
most phases of SOTG operations.
“The actions of our soldiers in
Afghanistan have really increased
the reputation of the unit.”
Test results will tie into SCMA
and DOCM planning for the posting
cycle in 2014.
BECOMING A SPECIAL OPERATIONS ENGINEER
Suit up: Sappers from the newly renamed Special Operations Engineer Regiment demonstrate their abilities to operate in hazardous environments, including testing fluid samples in
potentially contaminated areas (inset).
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