Saturday, November 19, 2005

IED Primer, and convoy ops 
A Mobilized Year gives us the scoop on the enemy's employment of IEDs.

He also gives us this account of a challenging convoy operation from Anaconda (north of Baghdad) to Kirkuk (in which a 30-truck convoy, complete with semis, gets lost in Tikrit! Ouch!)

One thing that was interesting: They sent a 30 truck convoy with an escort of just three gun trucks. With a convoy that long, it's not likely that your front and rear gun trucks will be able to mutually support one another anywhere you're likely to get hit.

That tells me that they were reasonably confident about the security situation, even in Tikrit, and thought it was unlikely that the moojies could gather in anything above squad strength to threaten them.

Well, it might also tell me that there are not nearly enough MPs available for those long-range convoy escort missions, too. But if things were really bad, they would have been reinforced with some infantry from around Anaconda.

Alternatively, it might have started out with a four vehicle convoy with three gun trucks, and then all of a sudden you get 26 more vehicles wanting to "tag along." That happens a lot. "Hey, mind if we go with you?"

Splash, out


After reading only your description and not the full account of the convoy: Sounds like this was a Division or Brigade 'combat logistics patrol' to resupply the brigade operating in the Kirkuk region. They would travel along the MSR north out of Anaconda and then turn east towards Kirkuk. The MSR is much more secure than it used to be. I believe they've dedicated forces to protect the MSR itself, rather than travel with each convoy along it. If so, the 3 trucks may have been enough, given the area security on the route (if they had stayed on it). The ASR extending to Kirkuk is probably a lot safer than the MSR used to be, particularly as it gets closer to Kirkuk.

There's a bypass around Tikrit - kind of like a business route that carries truck traffic around a town rather than through the middle. Military traffic is supposed to take the bypass for many reasons, among them being that it's much safer than going through the middle of a muj-friendly town. This wouldn't have been the first convoy to miss the turn onto the bypass. Not by a long shot.
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