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Military Works Force
170 Infrastructure Engineer Group
Active 1978—Present
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom

Flag of the British Army.svg British Army

  • Corps of Royal Engineers
Type Engineers
Size Group
Part of 8 Engineer Brigade
Garrison/HQ Chetwynd Barracks
Nickname(s) 170 Infra Sp Engr Gp
Website 170 Infra Sp Engr Gp

170 (Infastructure Support) Engineer Group is an engineering command of the British Army's Corps of Royal Engineers. The group is currently the highest numbered command of the British Army, although formed earlier then some of the other commands. The group was first formed as the Military Works Force, but later reformed following the 2002 field army re-organisation.

Today the group controls all of the STREs of the army in addition to 20 Works Group (Air Support), Royal Monmouthshire Militia, and the command squadron 43 HQ and Support Squadron.[1]


Military Works ForceEdit

In 1978, following the 1975 Mason Review, the Military Works Force was formed at Chetwynd Barracks to control the Corps of Royal Engineers's works groups. The command as a result controlled the specialist engineering units and helped in commanding and providing those special services. The group was originally formed with the control of just two CREs[Notes 1] each with three STREs,[Notes 2] but this force was later expanded. At one time, the command controlled 530 STRE (Maintenance),[Notes 2] but it is unknown when this STRE[Notes 2] was formed, disbanded, and assigned to the group.[2] The four CREs[Notes 1] of the command included;[2]

  • Command Headquarters, Chetwynd Barracks
  • 62 Chief Engineer Command (Works) [Water utilities, water development, and well drilling]
  • 63 Chief Engineer Command (Works) [Electrical power generation and distribution, originally utilities and force protection]
  • 64 Chief Engineer Command (Works) [Fuels, fuel production, and distribution]
  • 65 Chief Engineer Command (Works) (V) [Civilian infrastructure, railway and ports infrastructure lines of communications][2]

170 Engineer GroupEdit

In 2003, the 2003 Delivering Security in a Changing World reforms were announced, which dramatically reformed the British Army as a whole, but more importantly the way the army was structured. By 2005, engineer groups were regulated and renamed, one the changes being the MWF's renaming as 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group and placed under the 8th Force Engineer Brigade. In addition to the changed of the group, the CRE units were re-titled as Works Groups. The name was also brought to represent the group as a military organisation rather than a civil organisation.[3] Between 2005 and present, the group saw many units come and go, they included;[3]

  • 20 Works Group (Air Support) (2015—Present)
  • 62 Works Group (2008—Present)
  • 63 Works Group (2008—Present)
  • 64 Works Group (2008—Present)
  • 66 Works Group (2008—Present)
  • 67 Works Group (2011—2015) [Disbanded under Army 2020]
  • 65 Works Group (V) (2011—Present)
  • Royal Monmouthshire Militia RE (2013—????) [Removed before 2015]
  • Provisional Reconstruction Team (Operation Herrick)[1]

During the sub-groups' time within the engineer group, many saw themselves take on a territorial, later reserve, specialist team. Following the initial Army 2020 reforms, each works group control a reserve specialist team regularly, as apposed to randomly for deployments. Following these initial reforms, the group was due to take control of the Royal Monmouthshire Militia, but this was reverted in 2015 when the refine announced they were to move under control of Headquarters Royal Engineers, 3rd (United Kingdom) Division.[3][4]

In 2015, the Army 2020 Refine was published, as an "updated chapter" to the initial Army 2020 reform. Under this refine, the group HQ is to move to Gamcock Barracks. The group HQ is also due to have a decrease of 9 personnel.[4][5] Following the initial reforms and refines, the group now has the following full structure;[4][5][6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 CRE - Command, Royal Engineers
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 STRE - Specialist Team, Royal Engineers


  1. 1.0 1.1 "170 Infra Sp Engr Gp - British Army Website". 2018-01-03. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Watson and Rinaldi, p. 218
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Watson and Rinaldi, p.267
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Transforming the British Army, an Update". July 2013. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Information on the Army 2020 refine exercise". 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Watson and Rinaldi, p. 338


  • Watson, Graham E, and Richard A Rinaldi. The Corps of Royal Engineers: Organisation and Units 1889-2018. Tiger Lilly Books, 2018. ISBN 978-1717901804
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