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Drivers Training #4

Discuss convoy procedures

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Action: Discuss Convoy Procedures

Condition: In a classroom setting, we will discuss

the Convoy Procedures,



In any case, the MISSION to be carried out will drive the planning process and how the convoy is to be organized and controlled. Your job as the motor vehicle operator is to be familiar with convoy procedures. There is probably a 90% chance, while stationed at Fort Lewis, to be involved in the preparation and execution of a convoy.




q Convoy is defined as a group of six or more vehicles organized for the purpose of control under a single commander. The convoy commander, a platoon leader, or an NCO depending upon the size of the convoy.


March Column:

The March Column consists of all the vehicles involved in a single move over the same route. An example would be the entire 15th Engineer Battalion moving from Fort Lewis to Yakima.


March unit:

The March unit is a subdivision of a serial. When marched serials exceed 20 vehicles, the commander will break them down into separate march units. An example would be a Squad in the 15th Engineer Battalion, moving from Fort Lewis to Yakima at the same time as does the platoon and unit. There will be a minimum of 15 minutes between marched units on the open road.

What is a Convoy?

a. A group of 4 or more vehicles organized for the purpose of control under a single commander

b. A group of 5 or more vehicle organized for the purpose of control under a single commander

c. A group of 6 or more vehicles organized for the purpose of control under a single commander

d. A group of 7 or more vehicles organized for the purpose of control under a single commander.

Elements of a convoy are:

a. March column, serial, and unit

b. Head, serial, and unit

c. March column. Main body, and unit

d. Head, main body, and unit

A convoy that exceeds ___ vehicles should be broken down into serials and or marched units.

a. 5

b. 10

c. 20

d. 30


The head is the first task vehicle of the column in order of marches. The pace setter rides here and sets the pace necessary to meet the travel schedule. The NCO or Officer at the head ensures that the column is following the proper route. He/She reports checks at scheduled point and receives orders or changes to orders. This allows the commander to move up and down the column to make necessary adjustments. The head must be a responsible person; not PVT Rusty Rifle or Dock Worker.


The main body of the column, serial, or unit follows immediately after the pacesetter. It consists primarily of vehicles carrying troops and equipment.


The trail is the last element of marches column, serial, or unit. The trail officer/NCO is responsible for maintenance and medical support for the rest of the column, serial, or unit. Wrecker, maintenance vehicles, and medical support vehicles/teams are located here. The trail Officer/NCO also assists in maintaining convoy march discipline and checks final clearance and checkpoints.


Detached parties (Advance and follow-up) are not part of the main column. They are detailed to perform special duties such as quartering and reconnaissance. In some tactical situations, advance, flank, or rear guards may be required. Guides, escort, and patrols may also be needed for heavily traveled routes and at busy intersection.


Each serial and marching unit must be identified and marked. The following applies:


Mark each column, serial, and unit with flags that are 12×18 inches. The head vehicle will carry a blue flag.


Each vehicle in a convoy must have a convoy control/clearance number. This number will identify the convoy during the entire movement. It will be placed on both sides and, if possible, on the front of each vehicle. It will also be placed on the top or hood of the head and trail vehicles to insure identification from the air. Numbers are normally written in chalk and must be written large enough to be read from a short distance


The 3rd convoy for members of the 15th Engineer Battalion will move on 26 January 2003. A “C” at the end of a convoy control indicates that the convoy is transporting general cargo. An “E” would indicate that one or more vehicles in the column, serial, or unit is transporting Explosives. An “S” would indicate that one or more vehicles in the columns, serial, or unit is over/outsized.


The three parts of a convoy marched column, serial, and march unit are:

a. Head, main body, and trail

b. Head, serial, and trail

c. March column, main body, and trail

d. March column, serial, and trail

QUESTION: (Continued)

The trail is usually comprised of:


a. Reconnaissance personnel

b. Road guards

c. Medical and maintenance personnel

d. Fuel trucks

The last vehicle in a convoy carries a ____



Black and White

An “S” at the end of a convoy control/clearance
number indicates:

a. A sensitive load

b. An oversized load

c. A shared load

d. A sample load

�� Convoy signs are also a mandatory marking for particular vehicles in a convoy.

The material used for these signs will be yellow reflective paint or sheeting, 8″ X 50″, with a 3/8″ black border: The letters should be 4″ in height, non-reflective black, and centered.

The materials used for these two signs will be yellow reflective paint or sheeting, 16″ X 50″, with a 3/8″ black boarder. The letters will be 5″ in height, non-reflective black, and centered.

(AR 385-55, AR 55-29, FL Reg. 55-2)

Safety must be an important factor when

conducting convoy operations.


1. Convoy speeds will not exceed posted speed limits or those established by State law for commercial trucks traffic. The speed limit of the head vehicle in any convoy will not exceed 50 mph. Usually the speed is set at 45 mph, with a catch-up speed of 50 mph.

2. Convoy driver will be given an opportunity for 8 hours of rest for each 10 hours of driving within 24hour period. Rest period will commence 12hours prior to departure of the convoy.

Convoy Safety (Continued)

Except in justified emergencies, convoys will not be on the roadway for more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period.

All vehicles, regardless of size, will be equipped with the basic reflective warning devices, jack, jack handle, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and troop strap when transporting troop in the rear of the vehicle.


5. Head and trail vehicle of each serial and marching unit will operate their 4-way flasher or amber flashing light. Over/out sized vehicles will operate with an amber flashing light.

6. Each vehicle will carry a complete set of tire chains when traveling routes on which snow or ice conditions may be encountered.


7. All vehicles in a convoy will operate with their headlights on.


8. All drivers must receive a convoy safety briefing prior to departure.

9. Assistant drivers must remain awake at all times.

10. Passing one-another in a convoy is restricted unless directed by the convoy/serial commander.

11. All vehicles in the convoy must maintain the directed following distance.

Road guides will wear high visibility devices.


13. Drivers must exit the passenger side of the vehicle if your vehicle is parked on the shoulder of the road.

14. Short halt will occur a minimum of 10 minutes for every two hours of driving. Longer halts, for dining and refueling are usually a minimum of 1 hour.

15. If you become separated from the rest of the convoy, stop and wait for recovery.


�� Night moves are basically planned the same way as day moves. The main difference is the higher degree of coordination needed for a night convoy. Things to remember are:


1. Keep night convoy small

2. Use roads that drivers are familiar with

3. Dim your dash lights

4. Increase the recovery and towing capability of the


5. Avoid eye contact with a bright light

6. Allow a minimum of 30-45 minutes to reach

maximum dark adaptation.

7. Don’t smoke, smoking reduces your night vision


CONVOY FOLLOWS” signs are:

a. 16″X 50″ with 5″ letters

b. 16″X 50″ with 4″ letters

c. 8″X 50″ with 5″ letters

d. 8″X 50″ with 4″ letters

The speed limit of the head vehicle in any
convoy will not exceed:

a. 40 mph

b. 45 mph

c. 50 mph

d. 55 mph

In a convoy, which vehicle(s) operate with their
headlights on?

a. Front vehicles

b. Front and rear vehicles

c. All vehicles

d. Emergency vehicle

Front and rear vehicles in a March column, serial,
and unit will:

a. Carry a convoy signs

b. Carry a convoy flag

c. Operate their 4-way flashers

d. All of the above

A white light illuminating from each of the rear blackout markers on the vehicle in front of you, while operating in a night convoy, tells you to:

a. Slow down

b. Stop

c. Speed up

d. Everything is OK

If you see two red lights illuminating from each of the rear blackout markers on the vehicle in front of you, while operating in a night convoy you are:

a. Too close

b. The correct distance

c. Too far away


q Terminal Learning Objective was discussed Convoy Procedures the Enabling Learning Objective discussed was the elements of the convoy, convoy markings, convoy night driving and safety.

As I stated in the introduction, you will be probably involved in convoy operation during your stay on Fort Lewis. Convoys are very effective when moving several vehicles from one place to another. However, special emphasis must be taken to ensure that you and your vehicle get there proper and safe.

Check on Learning:

Question of me / I have question for you

Transition to Next Lesson:

q Now that you have learned and understand the Convoy Operations next class will be the PMCS, TEST (Academic)At this time take a _____ break.


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