e. Establish command and support relationships.
(1) Command authority for engineer units should be given to a
maneuver commander when he requires engineer forces that are
responsive immediately. The support relationship depends on the
type of control designated by the force commander.
(2) Choosing a command and a support relationship depends on mission,
enemy, terrain, troops, and time available (METT-T). Attachment
operational control (OPCON) are the primary command
relationships used at division level and below.
relationships suit fluid situations such as exploitations and
A direct support (DS) relationship (a decentralized
method of control that takes away the tasking commander's
flexibility) is appropriate when the subordinate maneuver
commander needs a higher degree of responsiveness from engineers
than that allowed by a general support (GS) relationship (a
relationship that allows the tasking commander to maintain
centralized control over the tasked unit) but does not need task-
A higher headquarters often uses a DS
relationship when it anticipates a change to the engineer task
organization that requires shifting engineer units to other
locations. Engineers in a GS relationship provide support to the
force on an area basis rather than to a specific unit.
Centralized control is maintained over the engineer units
It is the most economical and efficient
maximum support to each maneuver unit.
It allows the engineer to rapidly shift support from one unit
to another as the battle unfolds.
It gives the maneuver commander more flexibility when the
situation is uncertain so that the parent engineer unit can
easily reinforce the DS engineer elements with personnel and
(3) The normal division engineer battalion relationship with a
maneuver brigade is a command relationship.
division engineer battalion to the maneuver brigade under OPCON
for less than 48 hours; otherwise, attach the unit to the
supported brigade. OPCON requires minimal coordination to assure
habitual training relationships are already established.
norm for a division engineer company relationship with a TF is
OPCON in the offense and DS in the defense.
platoons should remain under the division engineer company
commanders control; however, the division engineer company
commander may place a division engineer platoon in DS to the
maneuver company team for a specific period or mission during
When a division engineer platoon is the
highest headquarters supporting a maneuver