170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group

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Military Works Force
170 Infrastructure Engineer Group
170th Engineer Group Badge.png
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Part of8 Engineer Brigade
Garrison/HQChetwynd Barracks
Nickname(s)170 Infra Sp Engr Gp
Website170 Infra Sp Engr Gp

170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group is an engineering group of the British Army's Corps of Royal Engineers.

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


Military Works Force[edit]

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. It 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 Commanders Royal Engineers (CREs) each with three Specialist Teams Royal Engineers (STREs), but this force was later expanded. At one time, the command controlled 530 STRE (Maintenance), but it is unknown when this STRE was formed, disbanded, and assigned to the group.[2] The four CREs of the command included;[2]

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

170 Engineer Group[edit]

In 2003, the 2003 Delivering Security in a Changing World reforms were announced. By 2005, engineer groups were regulated and renamed, one the changes being the Military Work Force being renamed 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, those who were included, but no longer;[3]

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 opposed 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 Gamecock Barracks. The group HQ is also due to have a decrease of 9 personnel.[4][5] Following the reform, the group now has the following structure;[6][4][5]


Current and former Commanders of the Engineer Group include:[7]

  • 2005–2008: Col. J. David McIlroy
  • 2008-2011: Col. W.H. Smith
  • 2011-2013: Col. Steven P.W. Boyd
  • 2013–2015: Col. David J. Brambell
  • 2015–2017: Col. James Crawford
  • 2017–2020: Col. Peter T. Quaite
  • 2020–Present: Col. Gavin P. Hatcher


  1. ^ STRE - Specialist Team, Royal Engineers


  1. ^ a b "170 Infra Sp Engr Gp - British Army Website". 2018-01-03. Archived from the original on 2018-01-03. Retrieved 2019-10-09.
  2. ^ a b c Watson and Rinaldi, p. 218
  3. ^ a b c Watson and Rinaldi, p.267
  4. ^ a b c "Transforming the British Army, an Update" (PDF). July 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Information on the Army 2020 refine exercise" (PDF).
  6. ^ a b c Watson and Rinaldi, p. 338
  7. ^ Regiments and Commanding Officers, 1960–.


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