General engineering (military)

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In a military context, general engineering is defined as the modification, maintenance and protection of the physical environment, including " infrastructure, facilities, lines of communication and bases, protection of natural and cultural resources, terrain modification and repair, and selected explosive hazard activities."[1] "General engineering is a very diverse function often involving horizontal and vertical construction, but also encompassing numerous specialized capabilities. General engineering often is a supporting or sustaining operation, however, the commander’s intent may dictate that it be the supported function, for example in recovery, reconstitution, or reconstruction operations. General engineering operations can encompass large-scale tasks requiring detailed design and logistic support as well as expedient operations in environments across the range of military operations. General engineering tasks are usually resource and time-sensitive, demanding a high degree of preplanning and control to effectively manage the limited general engineering resources."

It is distinct from combat engineering, in which the engineers directly affect mobility and protection of friendly or opposing forces.


  1. Joint Engineer Operations, 12 February 2007, JP 3-34 p. xi-xii.