ROYAL ENGINEER Captain Matthew Walton-Knight shared his experiences in the Balkans with the North West association last month.
NCE interviewed Captain Walton-Knight shortly after the British forces entered Kosovo on 12 June this year (NCE 17 June). Since his return to Britain he has been giving talks about his time in the war-torn state.
Walton-Knight described the difficulties faced by the Royal Engineers while rebuilding the infrastructure in Kosovo, which included constructing pylons to allow the power distribution network to function again.
One of his main tasks was to decide whether bridges were safe for military vehicles to cross by checking the load capacity as well as looking for booby traps.
Walton-Knight said: 'There was a reasonable level of stress because of the key decisions I had to make. If I told them the bridge was safe and it wasn't it could have serious consequences, but if I told them it wasn't safeI held up all the trucks.'
Asked if he would recommend a career with the Royal Engineers, Walton Knight said: 'You can have a very interesting and exciting career as a civilian engineer but an even more exciting and better paid one in the Royal Engineers. Some people see the risks involved as a problem, but I see them as adding extra spice and excitement.'
Captain Walton-Knight will be giving an updated presentation entitled 'Engineering the Peace in Kosovo' to the East Midlands Local Association on9 February 2000.