Apr 14, 2012
AAR – 14th April 2012 – Convoy Training
Time: 18:00 GMT
Approx 20 people in attendance
Goals and Objectives
- Establish modus operandi for convoy operations, making use of soft-skinned transport trucks (MTVR) and escort vehicles (HMMVW)
- Undertake contact dismount drills
Highroller (1-1/1-2/1-3/1-4) – Unit commanders, doubling as roleplay training rolls.
Gambler 2-1 – Primary fireteam, consisting of class 01,
Gambler 2-2 – Secondary fireteam, consisting of classes 02, 03
Talon 1-1 – Designated for roleplay training rolls.
Victor 2-1 – Gambler 2-1 mounted callsign, consisting of 2 HMMVW
Victor 2-2 – Gambler 2-2 mounted callsign, consisting of a MTVR
NB: This operation was undertaken as a training drill. Live ammunition was not issued to infantry, and contacts were simulated by deployment of red smoke.
After participating in radio proword and vehicle mount/dismount training, all gamblers were ordered to mount the convoy consisting of two HMMVW with M2 Machine Guns (Victor 2-1) and one MTVR (Victor 2-2), and proceed west from the formation range. Approximately 400 meters along the road, the convoy came under contact from the west-south-west and north-east. The convoy halted, and all gamblers dismounted, with gunners remaining in the vehicles providing suppressing fire on the target.
Having suppressed the targets, Gambler platoon was ordered to proceed to the MOUT range, where a simulated hostage simulation had been established. The convoy was efficiently re-mounted and redirected east to reach its destination. The convoy reached the MOUT range, where Gambler 2-1 and 2-2 dismounted the vehicles and proceeded to clear the buildings in a clockwise and anticlockwise motion respectively. During this time, further support in the form of officers arrived at the AO, and were escorted by Gambler 2-1 to the western-most building of the compound which had been previously cleared.
At this point, further contact was made with the enemy to the north east and south east of the compound. Gambler 2-1 and 2-2 were in ideal positions to repel this attack, and each squad held its ground and effectively engaged the enemy. Once the contact was supressed, Gambler 2-1 proceeded to clear buildings to discover two hostage pilots in the north-east-northern building. Gambler 2-1 secured this building and ordered one element of Victor 2-1 to maneuver an HMMVW to the front door of the building, after which the pilots were loaded safely into and moved, under cover from remaining infantry units, to the north-west where the convoy had stopped. All callsigns then proceeded to fall back to this point.
Upon reaching the vehicles, it became apparent that the MTVR had been rendered immobile by fire. Gambler held position around the vehicles until a replacement arrived from the FOB. Exfiltration was then achieved.
Analysis of Outcomes
- Awareness of methods for defending vehicles were well rehearsed by Gambler
- Despite lack of training, the simulated MOUT environment was well dealt with by all callsigns.
- Reaction to contacts was slower than expected.
This training session was hugely successful, due in part to the excellent turnout and the quality of the simulated maneuvers that were developed for Gambler to face. There were several issues highlighted that have allowed issues with our current methodology:
- Fire Team Leaders (and, to an extent, other squad members) may have difficulty identifying individual members of their squad, especially in situations where both fireteams are operating in close proximity. This is creating a lack of situational awareness.
- As a result, the issue of specific orders to a single fireteam member is difficult.
- Fire team members, while aware of the required positions in formations, including those required in a convoy defense situation, are not becoming aware of their specific role in those formations and the roles that their fellow squad members are occupying. This is resulting in critical firing arcs remaining unobserved.
NB: These recommendations are based on improving how teamwork works in context of ARMA2 and may not reflect real-world methodology.
Recommendation 1: Adjusting radio operating procedure and instigate mandatory sound-offs when occupying firing arcs
In order for all units in the squad to be situationally aware, it is recommended that all squad members sound off to their squad when the occupy a firing arc. For example:
1ic: All units dismount
Unit 1: Watching north
Unit 2: watching east
Unit 3: Watching west
Unit 4: Watching south
As each unit reaches their position, announcing their firing arc means that units that are still dismounting and have yet to move to defend are aware of which arcs remain available to be covered. They can then quickly find a position, resulting in all arcs being efficiently occupied.
This technique can also be employed outside of the squad level.
Recommendation 2: Assign numerical designations to squad members
In order for FTLs to have more efficient control of their squad, it is recommended that squads instigate a numerical designation system. At the start of an operation, each FTL will designate a number to each squad member. This number will determine the position the respective squad member has in formation, as per figure 1.
figure 1: Numerically designated squad positions in formation
Additionally, this practice will allow more efficient squad member command by the FTL, e.g.:
1ic: 1 and 2, hold position and create a base of fire facing north
Unit 1: Roger
Unit 2: Roger
1ic: 3 and 4, on me, we’re moving to the compound on our 11 o’clock
Unit 3: Roger
Unit 4: Roger
The reasoning behind using this method over simply referring to squad members by name is that it is surprisingly difficult to establish the identity of another player in Arma2. If team member designations are clear and absolute, such as numerical, then the FTL (and, indeed, any other squad member) can quickly communicate with a specific unit based on their position in formation instead of having to work out exactly who that player is so they can be called by name.