About This Unit
Workshops Units and Elements
Workshops are the equipment equivalent of medical units for soldiers. Electrical and Mechanical equipment has progressively become a more critical component of force combat power since the middle of the 19th century, when their primary focus was armaments and wheeled vehicles (wagons). Their role took an exponential bound with the advent of sophisticated modern small arms and artillery, then motorised vehicle propulsion followed in WW1 by radio telecommunications and a general proliferation of electrical/electronic equipment. The need for trained personnel to recover, repair and maintain this equipment, as far forward as possible so that it can be returned to the battlespace as quickly as possible, has grown proportionately.
These personnel are organised in the Australian Army as Electrical and Mechanical Engineers; with the 'Royal' title attached in 1948 they are now known as the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, or RAEME.
They are deployed across the battlespace, embedded in the 'A' Echelons (ie one step back from the Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA) of combat units, in what is described as 'First Line' all the way back to 'Third Line' / Communications Zone echelons which are generally in mainland Australia. A RAEME soldier is known as a 'Craftsman'. RAEME Craftsmen repair and maintain equipment as diverse as tanks, trucks and armoured personnel carriers, helicopters, radios, radars and computers, artillery guns and missile systems. Among the wide range of trades available in the Corps are vehicle mechanics, electronics technicians, aircraft technicians and armament fitters.
Workshops are rarely 'units' in their own right in the Combat Zone, rather they tend to be organised as Platoon and Company equivalents, attached to a larger Arms or Services Corps unit structure. Exceptions are Base Workshops and similar which are discrete unit entities in their own right (commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel equivalent) and are generally located in the 'Third Line' / Communications Zone echelon.
For the purposes of the VWMA, sub units have been aggregated in this listing. Where possible we will attempt to identify where the designated units in the listing were deployed, and in which organisations / formations.