Infantry Drills

D-78: Organization of Forces

Previous: Section IV – Convoy and Security Route

D-78. During convoy security operations, the convoy security commander and leaders must establish and maintain security in all directions and throughout the platoon. As noted, several factors, including convoy size affect this disposition. The vital consideration is whether the unit is operating as part of a larger escort force or is executing the escort mission independently. Additional considerations include the employment of rifle squads during the mission. (Fire teams ride in escorted vehicles.)

D-79. The unit also should be reinforced with engineers to reduce obstacles along the route. Higher headquarters should coordinate additional information collection assets to support the security mission. unmanned aircraft system s or aerial reconnaissance should reconnoiter the route in advance of the unit’s lead elements.

D-80. When the platoon executes a convoy escort mission independently, the convoy commander and platoon leader disperse tactical vehicles throughout the convoy formation to provide forward, flank, and rear security. Engineer assets, if available, should be located near the front to respond to obstacles. At times, engineer assets may be required to move ahead of the convoy with scouts to proof the convoy route. In some independent escort missions, variations in terrain along the route may require the unit to operate using a modified traveling overwatch technique. In it, one section leads the convoy while the other trails the convoy. Dispersion between vehicles in each section is sufficient to provide flank security. The terrain may not allow the trail section to overwatch the movement of the lead section.

D-81. When sufficient forces are available, the convoy security should be organized into four elements: reconnaissance element; screen element; escort element; and a reaction element. (See figure D-10, page D-26.) The platoon or squad may be assigned one of the four tasks, but as a general rule, probably cannot be assigned all four.

Figure D-10. Convoy escort organization

Next: D-82: Advanced Guard

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad