200 years of the Bombay Sappers: ‘Ever-modernising engineering forces will remain crucial in future warfare’

Bombay Engineer Group, also known as the Bombay Sappers, is a regiment of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army located at Khadki in Pune.

THE EVER-modernising engineering forces will remain crucial to future warfare, said Commandant of College of Military Engineering Lieutenant General Michael Mathews, at the occasion to mark 200 years of the Bombay Sappers.

Bombay Engineer Group, also known as the Bombay Sappers, is a regiment of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army located at Khadki in Pune. The Group is completing 200 years in service this month. The bicentenary celebration commenced in style on Thursday with a para adventure display, including para drop, skydiving and para motors display by serving officers, troops and veterans and teams of Army Adventure Wing. The celebrations will culminate on February 1, when Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Naravane is slated to attend the function.

Lt Gen Mathews, who is also the seniormost officer of the Bombay Sappers, addressed the media on the sidelines of the para drop display.

“Sappers have key roles to play. One is to deny the enemy the mobility by laying mines and other obstacles. The other role is to facilitate and increase mobility when we go for an offensive, and that is by building helipads, tracks, bridges. The relevance of engineering elements in warfare is going to stay, irrespective of the form it takes. The process of modernisation is always on and we too keep evolving. In modern warfare, elements of Artificial Intelligence and robotics are bound to be there. Just as an example, in the College of Engineering, there are in-depth courses of subjects, so that we are ready for future security challenges. The practical application of AI and robotics is focused in these courses,” he said.

The para drop display event commenced with the para motors show by the Army Adventure Wing Parachute team from Parachute Regiment Training Centre, Bengaluru. This was followed by the para jump, in which senior serving officers and veterans took part. Some prominent names included Major General S K Jaswal (Retired); Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Planning and Systems) Lt Gen S S Hasabnis; General Officer Commanding of the Sudarshan Chakra Corps Lt Gen Yogendra Dimri; and Commandant Bombay Engineer Group and Centre, Khadki, Brigadier MJ Kumar. The event culminated with a skydiving display by Lt Gen R R Goswami (Retired) and Brig S R Mazagaonkar (Retired), among the pioneers in skydiving in India.