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National Training Center (NTC): force-on-force convoy STX lane.

During a recent rotation at NTC, the Sidewinder team organized and conducted several situational training exercise (STX) lanes. One of those included a convoy lane that trained units on the dangers currently encountered on a daily basis by convoys deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. These notes address the setup of the lane so that units can train this critical task at home station.

Plan the Training

The first step is planning the training and allocating a suitable training area to conduct the training. The convoy route should be long enough to allow each event on the lane to occur independently of each other, as well as allow for retraining on certain events. The lane is designed for a company-sized element and consists of a unit receiving a fragmentary order (FRAGO) to conduct a mounted tactical road march along a specified route. The convoy commander will conduct troop-leading procedures (TLP), issue a movement order, and command and control the convoy along the designated route. The convoy will encounter various contacts along the route, to include a civil disturbance, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack, an improvised explosive device (IED), and a near ambush. For the STX lane, the Opposing Force (OPFOR) and observer-controllers (OCs) must be identified. The following resources are required:

* OPFOR truck: 1

* Simulated RPGs: 2

* Civilian vehicles: 3

* Injured civilian on the battlefield (COB) moulage kits: 3

* Simulated man (SimMan): 1

* IED (inert): 1

* Daisy-chained IED: 1

* COBs (wedding party): 14

* Paramilitary (RPG ambush): 3

* Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel: 2

* Detainee (anti-U.S.) COBs: 3

* Suspect (possibly anti-U.S.) COBs: 3

* Paramilitary snipers: 2

* OCs: 4

* Route: Approximately 30 kilometers

Train and Certify Leaders

The training objectives for the lane for the OCs, OPFOR, and unit leaders should be to--

* Prepare for combat.

* Conduct a tactical road march.

* React to a civil disturbance.

* React to actions on contact.

* Treat and evacuate casualties.

* Call for medical evacuation.

* Perform recovery operations.

* Conduct consolidation and reorganization.

Recon the Site

The OCs and OPFOR should conduct a joint reconnaissance of the route to determine the locations of the events, rehearsal areas, and after-action review (AAR) location.

Issue the Plan

The unit should receive the FRAGO at least one day before the scheduled lane execution. This will allow the convoy commander and the unit to conduct their TLP, precombat checks (PCCs), precombat inspections (PCIs), and rehearsals.

Rehearse the Lane

It is important for the OCs and OPFOR to conduct a rehearsal of the execution of the lane. Each event on the route should be rehearsed, to include movement to the training area, emplacement of OPFOR forces and IEDs, contact with the training unit, and criteria for disengagement. Unit rehearsals could focus on reactions to contact, casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), and movement techniques.

Execute the Lane

The lane begins when the convoy commander receives the FRAGO. The unit then begins TLP, rehearsals, and production of its movement order. The unit will have a set start point time, which allows the lane officer in charge (OIC) to ensure that the lane events are set up and ready for execution as the unit moves along the route. The figure on page 35 shows an example of a lane layout. Communication is critical between the event sites and the lane OIC. One OC should move with the convoy to give the event sites advanced notice that the convoy is approaching.

For this particular lane, the Sidewinder team emplaced four events for the convoy:

* A civil disturbance, consisting of a family wedding party shooting celebratory fire in the air.

* An inert IED placed along the convoy route.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

* An RPG ambush.

* A staged car wreck, consisting of a daisy-chained IED and sniper ambush.

Based on unit reactions, OCs assessed the number and type of casualties. If aircraft were available, the unit requested air CASEVAC for the wounded. If none were available, the unit conducted nonstandard CASEVAC. Additionally, the Sidewinder team used a SimMan, a 190-pound mannequin--connected to a laptop computer--that can simulate the actions of a live human being with any type of injury. It is a great tool for providing immediate feedback to a medic or combat lifesaver.

Conduct an AAR

OCs conducted the AAR at the release point of the route. An AAR could also be conducted after each event if the unit did not achieve the desired objective.

Retrain

Any event could be reset at another location along the route if the unit failed to react properly during any of the events. To do this, the route must allow enough time for the event to be repositioned without impacting the unit's movement. Additionally, the unit can stop, conduct an AAR, and retrain a particular event before continuing along the route.

Summary

The lane allowed the convoys to train on different forms of contact, as well as land navigation, CASEVAC, recovery operations, and consolidation and reorganization activities. This ensured that the units were adequately trained before executing the convoy live-fire exercise that is also available at NTC.

By Captain Christopher Kuhn

POC is CPT Christopher Kuhn (SW12), (760) 380-7051 or DSN 470-7051, e-mail <sw12@irwin.army.mil>.
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Title Annotation:CTC Notes; several situational training exercise; military engineering
Author:Kuhn, Christopher
Publication:Engineer: The Professional Bulletin for Army Engineers
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Words:854
Previous Article:The engineer writer's guide.
Next Article:Convoy live-fire exercise.
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