identification. In a high threat area some or all of them may be removed for security purposes. This
should only be done in exceptional circumstances when the benefits from ready identification are
completely outweighed by the threat.
Panel markers are used on control vehicles so that they may readily be identified from the air.
These markers can be numbered with tape for further ease of identification. Within the
bounds of good OPSEC, a method of identification corresponding to radio call signs might be
Flags are prescribed by STANAG 2154. The lead vehicle is marked by a blue flag. The last
vehicle carries a green flag. At night the flags are supplemented by a blue and green light.
The convoy commander will display a white over black, diagonally divided flag.
Each column will be marked on the sides of all vehicles with the movement identification
number. This number will be placed on the front of the vehicles if possible. The number is
issued by the HTD in which the move originates. This is described in detail in subcourse MP
1029. It gives the day the move began, the authority organizing the movement, and the
unique serial number of the movement. For example, 25-USV-08, indicates a move that
began on the 25th; was organized by the U.S. Fifth Corps, and is the eighth convoy.
Types of Column Formations
Once a convoy has been organized, the type of formation it will use must be determined by the convoy
commander. It is important that military police *understand the type of formation being used, since it
will affect their security mission. This is true when MP are providing route security as well as convoy
There are three basic types of column formations. They are: close, open, and infiltration. Each has
advantages and disadvantages. These are summarized in figure 2-2. The difference in formation
depends largely on vehicle spacing. The number of vehicles per kilometer of road (density) and the
rate of march depicted in figure 2-2 are for average conditions under a minimal enemy threat. They
may be varied by the convoy commander based on the situation. They do provide a guide. Military
police should pay particular attention to the advantages/disadvantages.
All convoy movement will have a start and release point. They may also have checkpoints along the
way if the distance to be covered warrants. A common point must be selected where the movement
begins--the start point. Similarly, a point must be selected where the convoy movement ends--the
release point. MP will normally assume their responsibilities at the start point and be relieved of them
at the release point. Motor movements are scheduled from the start point to the release point.