Version 1 / 3min read / Updated Tue 25 Feb 2020 / 286 views
Speed in a convoy tends to result in security. This is due to the fact that speed makes it harder to engage the vehicles with threat weapons such as RPGs, command-detonated explosives, and more. However, one must be careful to balance speed with cohesion - if a convoy is spread out too far, the mutual support of each vehicle's weapons, and the security they bring, is lost. This leaves individual vehicles subject to the massed fires of the enemy, which can cause a lot of trouble in short order.
To maintain convoy cohesion, the first vehicle must be aware of their speed and the proximity of those behind him. The convoy commander and other vehicle drivers can facilitate that situational awareness by communicating with the lead vehicle and other vehicles, giving them guidance on their speed, interval, sectors of observation, and more.
If the lead vehicle needs to unexpectedly brake hard for some reason, the driver will say "BRAKING, BRAKING, BRAKING" loudly over comms to help to prevent the trailing vehicles from piling into him when he brakes.
Maintaining good interval is a key aspect of multi-vehicle operations. Depending on the terrain, vehicles should keep from 20 to 100 meters of spacing between each other. This helps to lessen the effects of enemy explosives such as satchel charges and IEDs and makes it harder for the enemy to mass fires on multiple vehicles at once.
It is particularly important to maintain good interval when stopping temporarily, taking corners or other types of turns, and halting the convoy.
Route Selection & Actions-On
Avoid urban areas whenever possible.
It is far too easy for an enemy force to set up a devastating ambush in an urban area. Routes which pass through heavily wooded or extremely rocky areas are likewise dangerous, but due to the nature of some terrains, they cannot always be avoided. Caution is the prime defense in that case.
The convoy must know where to go, and must be planned out in advance with backup courses of action.
If every driver knows the path they're supposed to take, and what the end goal is, they are able to better make tactical decisions and judgment calls in high-stress situations.
The convoy must know actions-on.
If the vehicles take contact, the drivers must know what they are supposed to do. In some situations it will be important to maintain high momentum and fight through every ambush or contact with ferociously aggressive action, while others will benefit from a more deliberate approach which involves clearing each contact with the help of dismounted infantry. It is up to the convoy commander to ensure that actions-on are briefed before the convoy starts rolling.
Situational Awareness & Security
Gunners must cover appropriate sectors.
The first vehicle in a convoy watches to the front, the last vehicle watches to the rear, and vehicles in between alternate left-right-left so that guns are pointed in all threat directions at all times. It is important that gunners maintain their 360° observation even when contact seems to primarily be coming from a specific direction - if not, it is easy for the enemy to exploit this and maneuver into or fire from unobserved areas while the gunners are distracted elsewhere.
Cohesion and security at halts are critical.
Maintaining a cohesive formation and using good security procedures are critical to convoy survivability. If a full halt must be conducted, dismounted infantry must be employed to keep the convoy safe while halted. Cohesion is just as important, as it masses friendly forces and makes it much more difficult for the enemy to endanger the convoy.
UNITAF Standard Operating procedures (SOP) are adapted primarly from US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Our written and audio procedures are a combination of the following primary source materials, as well as our own learnings, modifications and adaptations:
- US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8)
- Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Leader Skills Level 2, 3, and 4 (STP 21-24-SMCT)
- The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills (FM 3-21.75 / FM 21-75)
- Leadership Development (FM 6-22)
- Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3)