Indian Army Corps of Engineers The Corps of Engineers is one of the oldest arms of the Indian Army. The origin of the Corps dates back to 1780 when the two regular pioneer companies of the Madras Sappers were raised. Subsequently, the Group of Madras, Bengal and Bombay Sappers were formed and later merged on 18 November 1932 to form the Corps of Engineers in its present form. The Corps of Engineers consists of three major constituents namely Combat Engineers, MES and Border Roads. The Corps also provides officers to the Military Survey and Defence Research & Development Organisation. In war, Combat Engineers provide mobility to own forces by constructing bridges, tracks and helipads; on the other hand the Corps denies the same to the enemy by creating obstacles such as laying mine-fields and demolition of bridges. True to the motto SARVATRA, the Corps of Engineers has excelled in multifarious activities in war and peace. In peace time the Sappers have always been in the forefront in rendering aid to the civil authorities during natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes. Engineers' units have also been engaged in the counter insurgency operations in J&K and the North East. Combat Engineers ------------------------- The main role of combat engineers is to provide mobility to own forces by constructing bridges, tracks and helipads; on the other hand the Corps denies the same to the enemy by creating obstacles such as laying mine-fields and demolition of bridges. The need for accurate survey arose before combat engineering. Vast holdings had to be carefully delineated and mapped out, to plan the correct form of commercial extraction. By 1780, serious attention began to be given to the art of sapping and mining. Forts abound in the subcontinent, and to the forts the main defences withdrew for a protracted stand. On being invested, the siege (heavy) artillery including trench mortars or bombards went at it. The real work, not for the faint-hearted, went to the sappers who had to do the sapping or mining. Sapping is the technique of accurately digging trenches, usually covered or zigzag, to cover ones approach to the point of assault. Military Engineer Service (MES) ------------------------------------------- The military engineers are mainly responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of all works, buildings, airfields, dock installations, etc. They are also engaged with additional services such as military roads, water and electricity supply, drainage, refrigeration, furniture, required by the Army, Navy and Air Force in India. Military Engineer Services (MES) is the largest construction agency in the country. As the premier engineering arm of the Ministry of Defence, the MES primarily provides for the three arms of Defence forces, the Army, Air Force and Navy and also to other Defence related departments and organizations. It was founded in 1851 to provide rear-line-engineering support to the erstwhile British Indian Army. Border Roads Organization ---------------------------------- The Border Roads Organisation is another major arm of the Defense services which is playing a vital role by constructing national highways, airfields, buildings and bridges. The Border Roads, by constructing a large number of roads in once inaccessible areas of the Himalayas, Rajasthan and North Eastern States have contributed significantly to their economic development. The personnel of the department are also enhancing the peace keeping process running worldwide. The BRO is now busy in constructing roads and bridges in foreign countries viz. in Afghanistan.