Convoy Tactics
from Frugal Squirrels

There are a bunch of US that have to reside in the cities in order to provide a living, thus it will likely be necessary to to and E&E or BUG OUT for you and yours. Convoy tactics will involve COMMUNICATIONS, via radio comlink. The radio range will likely be about five miles, so that will limit your convoy's dispersal.

Your CONVOY will travel only as fast as the slowest vehicle in it. So you're likely to be traveling under speed restrictions.

You will likely disperse your convoy and maintain a spacing of vehicles, thus having a an effect on your communications if the spacing gets to great.

You will likely have a POINTMAN vehicle that scouts and communicates with the CONVOY.

If you're smart you will have a heavily armed / armored roving vehicle to handle any security problems.

CB's would be nice for com.How about those little motorolla walkies, 2mile range, can by head sets with voice activated or push to talk button.It will keep your hands free while driving or fighting. All of your BOV's should have brush gaurds front and back ,push bars, and wenches to help with pushing road blocks ect. I would throw in two ropes too just in case of a break down. Have a rendevue point in case you do get split up. The roving vehicle is fine too for security.I would make sure it is sturdy enough and has good fuel range. My K-5 only gets 13-14 miles per gallon but I have a 40 gallon tank. that gives me roughly a 400 mile range with out fuel stops. good idea If you know where you are going and you all have maps write down on your map checkpoints that way when one car pass that point he only needs to say passing check point 3 this will aid in security if people are listening in on your communication. Also pick on the map rally points if you become seperated or lose communications. This is what we do when we travel thru enemy controled area when we train. And it works well.

Put slower vehicles in the front, faster vehicles in back to keep them together.

Have a point vehicle that is expendable, in the event of some type of disabling roadblock: spike strips, mines, etc.

Point vehicle should go ahead of convoy to give convoy time to prepare for trouble.

Good reliable comm with backup is a necessity.

Appoint a vehicle commander for each vehicle who is NOT the driver.

All drivers /vehicle commanders should be briefed on route and have maps in each vehicle.

Shotgun position in each vehicle should be armed with auto weapons if available and have access through roof.

Instruct drivers to keep moving regardless of what happens to other vehicles.

Have some type of vehicle in rear with capability to push disabled vehicles off road quickly to clear road.

"Gun truck" vehicle with extra protection and some grunts aboard to deal with trouble. Vehicle should be armored and have layers of sandbags on truck bed to protect occupants from mines. Vehicle should be "hardened" with armor and have firing positions.

Rig vehicles for blackout driving. Paint over headlights except for small slit for minimal light at night. Light discipline is important.

Convoy commander should have small fast vehicle and should not be in lead. Must be able to move quickly to trouble and defend.

Monitor TV/Radio stations to find out where trouble spots arise, avoid trouble.

Do not use unfamiliar roads, stick to main highways if possible.

Stay out of built up areas, move quickly through if unavoidable.

Keep convoy moving and together.

Insofar as traffic jams, that would be one reason not to bunch up your convoy. As for maps, keep them clean and unmarked upon. Tou would not want someone to know your final destination.

Your scout vehicle should be CLEAN - no bad guns or stuff to make the folks at the road block go, "hmmm". Reason being they may get caught up in an official road block - you won't be shooting your way through anyway. The scout's purpose is early warning. They should be at least 1/2 mile up and farther is better - depends on your commo. They can report road conditions, blocks, etc, in time for the main body to react (pick another route).

The main body should travel in a pack - they can block for each other in traffic, help out if one vehicle goes down, etc. Maintain spacing when the road is open but in heavy traffic - close it up.

Commo - have at least two different means and more is better. With each means have primary and secondary freqs/numbers. Have codewords phrases for different things - "I need apples" could mean you need gas. No sense letting anyone who happens on your freq know what you are talking about. Give each vehicle a seperate designation. Someone else said it - lable key points on the route so the scout can report "Green" when he crosses the river and the pack can say "Green" when they get there too - then everyone knows the deal but outsiders.

Routes - plan multiple routes. Identify key potential problem areas,(cities, bridges, major intersections) and have alternates ready to use to get around around them - give those code words too.

Every vehicle should be self sufficient and none should have ALL of something (don't put all the team batteries in Bob's car). Each should have first aid, water, food, maps (all should know where they are on the map all the time, too). Carry basic tools and fluids.

When the covoy stops for gas - everyone fill up. Have a security plan - how will you park to have 360 coverage, who stays with the vehicles, who goes in for soda (or whatever)

I think painting your lights for black out drive is a bad idea - what if darkness falls and the traffic is moving along nicely - no need drawing attention to yourselves.....

Have a plan for how and what you will cross load if one vehicle goes down.

And finally and most importantly - you gotta get out and practice this. Do it over several hundred miles, day and night. You will identify things that work and things that don't. You'll refine the plan to fit your group. Talking about it is good at first - but you must DO. Point unit= 4-5 man with comms, GPS and unmarked maps. Vehicle should be either 4 door non-descript car or a crew-cab truck, could also be a mini-van esp. the new dual sliding door mini-vans. Secondary vehicle should be a security vehicle with the reaction team on board all armed with semi-auto rifles and a couple of shotguns. Reactionary team could be in a full size van or a Suburban. Point vehicle should stay about 100-150 yards away from reaction team. Other vehicles should stay about 75-100 yards away from reaction team with about 25 yards between convoy vehicles. Radio freqs, reaction drills, code words, and routes with rally points as well as rendezvous points, cache points, and re-supply/refuel points on the route to your retreat site should NEVER be written down or carried on your person during TSHTF situations. This would be a serious breach of operational security, esp if this info fell into the wrong hands. Just a little extra info on a good topic.

I think that the FRS radios would be of better use that CB (in the HF bands) which sometimes can be heard far away @ 4w from atmospheric conditions. The FRS would be line of sight only but the range is down to 1 mile usable IMO. Both (CB/FRS) would be better and could fill in the holes. I am kinda biased but I think that the comm needs could be covered with the 2M ham band in the 144mhz range or UHF also called 70 cm in the 440mhz range. With a $120 radio and a $30 antenna you could have about a 10 mile range (Note this would be very flat terrain and range could be more or less, same thing effects the other types of radio too. Remember more power= a better chance of being heard). Just something to consider. If Ham stuff ain't your bag of tea then consider the GRMS radio service as it has around 4 times the power of FRS radios... I agree that blackout lights will be a good idea, but doing without them probably isn't a good idea and only having them isn't a good one either. Keep your headlights free and ready to use in case you need them but install a pair of those cheap fog/running lights and black those out. The cheaper lights will not put out as much light so not as much is wasted as if you blacked out your headlights. Also a pair of blacked out foglights would not be suspicious as a pair of blacked out headlights.

I am surprised no one mentioned using NVG's either driving or for scouting purposes. If some IR filters could be found or made for your lights then you would have an awesome illumination system. If you use blackout others with NVG's will see you as they will also will with IR headlights. I also do not know how safe it would be moving at night unless that danger outweighed what you were running from.

As for a recon vehicle I think either an ATV (wouldn't consider it for highway use as it might raise eyebrows in the urban setting) or my favorite, the dual sport/purpose motorcycle. These would allow for highly agile recons and bypass obstructions with ease. They could be taken out rather easily but that depends on the location and other factors. I also think that some mountain bicycles could also be of benefit for allowing better coverage of terrain than by foot and its stealthy qualities. I think the succesful group would incoporate most of these ideas.

I think that weapons should include semi-autos along with something in 30.06 or larger for hostile vehicle disabling. As much as I am a fan of the .223 and AR-15 I would want a higher powered caliber to disable hostile vehicles ASAP. I would also consider a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot and/or slugs for close range vehicle conflicts. In a firefight with another vehicle both would substain damage of some sort. It might be wise to HARDEN critical components such as battery/electrical system, fuel system, and engine compartment even from above but leaving the bottom alone.

Headlights could be blacked out using some precut thin cardboard and duct tape. That way you do not have to mess around with paint, which will give away your intent.

There is a handheld radio that has the 14 FRS channels and subsets as well as the 8 GMRS channels. I saw it in Office Depot for 99 FRNs and it comes from Motorola iirc.

We use the FRN radios nearly everytime we are out and about. We use them at the mall, COSTCO, and when we convoy anywhere with our kids in their cars. If someone has to park a distance away we use them to coordinate pickup of passengers.

The nice thing about the FRS and its 2 mile output is it will not likely bring down heat quite as quickly as a CB with its greater range and more likely monitoring.

GMRS does require a license but discret use will work most of the time. There is one other frequency system I have seen in the Radio Shack catalog that uses up to 9 channels but I dont have the book handy right now. It does not require a license and has a reasonable range.