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Convoy Escort in Real-Life


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Wonder if anybody knows how convoy escorts work in real-life. For example, how far away from the convoy is the flight allowed to search? Is the modus operandi to search well ahead of the convoy for threats, or to stay tight on the convoy? Any difference in how they work between US perspective and Soviet/Russian? How many in a flight for convoy tasking?

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This is what fm3-04-126 Attack Reconnaissance Helicopter Operations has to say: (Chapter 3: Employment - section IV Security Operations - Guard p.3-41)

 

Critical Tasks

3-183. When operating as an element of a guard force,the ARC conducts the following critical tasks for

the ground maneuver commander:

- Performs reconnaissance along the mainbody’s axis of advance.

- Performs reconnaissance between the mainbody and guard force BPs.

- Maintains continuous surveillance of threat avenues of approach larger than a designated size into the AO.

- Maintains contact with threat forces, not allowing threat ground elements to pass through the AO undetected and unreported.

- Maintains contact with the lead combat element of the main body.

- Destroys or repels threat reconnaissance and security forces and impedes or disrupts threat forces in accordance with guidance and capabilities.

- Defeats, repels, or fixes threat ground forces before it engages the main body with direct fire.

- Locates and causes the threat main body to deploy, determining its composition and direction of travel, if applicable.

 

This is the doctrine, the guiding principle the practical plan should follow, ie. the practical details depend on the situation and judgment of the commanders and pilots. Basically you need to have some kind of idea who you are fighting and what weapons and tactics he uses and what are his goals. From that you can derive a threat assessment and figure out what you need to provide required firepower and what are the distances and tactical details. For example the tactical details are different in Afghanistan and Iraq for convoy escort and they have also changed along the years as the situation has changed in these countries.

 

The basic idea though is to have someone searching the area ahead and at the same time someone else staying close to the convoy to provide immediate fire support if needed.

DCS Finland: Suomalainen DCS yhteisö -- Finnish DCS community

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SF Squadron

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Great info Bushmanni -- thanks for sharing it. And it makes sense -- specially nowadays, with ever-changing battlefields. Was is Sun Tzu who said: "You never step onto the same battlefield twice. For it is not the same battlefield, and it is not the same person."

 

(joke -- but true!)

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