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In CONUS, each state establishes rules, procedures, and laws that govern the use of public highways. Counties, cities, and municipalities may establish added restrictions for the use of their respective county or city routes. No vehicular movement that exceeds these legal limitations or regulations, or that subjects highway users to unusual hazards (including movement of explosives or other dangerous cargo), will be made over public highways without prior permission from the appropriate state, local, and/or toll authority. These terms require that military convoys have an approved convoy clearance to travel on public highways and roads. This appendix discusses the agencies involved and coordination required in obtaining approval to operate military convoys in CONUS. A military convoy can be defined as one of the following:
  • Any group of six or more vehicles temporarily organized to operate as a column, with or without escort, proceeding together under a single commander.
  • Ten or more vehicles per hour dispatched to the same destination, over the same route (except during mobilization and deployment, then all movements to a mobilization station will require a convoy clearance).
Five or fewer vehicles operating as a column, with or without escort, proceeding under a single commander (if one or more vehicles require the submission of a DD Form 1266).

M-1. SOURCES OF CONVOY CLEARANCE APPROVAL. Within the Army, there are two primary focal points for coordinating and obtaining convoy clearance approval. AC units coordinate with their respective ITO. RC units (both NG and AR) coordinate with the ARNG STARC in their respective home station state. Within the STARC, the SMCC performs convoy approval functions. Since the STARC already has a close working relationship with the state, it has been selected to become the approval authority for all convoy movement. Upon order from FORSCOM, the SMCC will become the coordinating and approval authority for all Army movement within its respective state. Currently (depending on working agreements within each state), the ITO may request convoy clearance approval from its STARC. However, this procedure is not required.

The STARC SMCC is supervised and controlled by the DMC. The DMC serves as the coordinating agent between FORSCOM, CONUSA commanders, the moving units, and the respective state DOT for managing and controlling military traffic. The STARC refers to the premobilization organization. Upon mobilization, and if federalized, the STARC will be referred to as the JSAC.

M-2. AUTOMATED CONVOY MANAGEMENT IN CONUS. The continental United States is divided into two CONUSAs. These commands are responsible for military operations that take place within their respective areas. Of major concern is the effective management of military convoys within states, crossing state lines, and crossing CONUSA boundaries. Maintaining command and control over military convoys by one command in peacetime is difficult and during mobilization would become impossible.

To assist in centralized convoy management, FORSCOM has developed and implemented a computerized management system known as MOBCON. The MOBCON software uses the NHTN in conjunction with a system of nodes (road junctions, critical points) and links (road segments between nodes). About 380,000 miles of roadway with 28,500 nodes and 45,000 links represent this network. MOBCON software uses the electronic NHTN data base to schedule and deconflict convoys within CONUS. The deconfliction process permits only one convoy to operate over a segment of road at any given time. Normally, this process is accomplished by changing times of movement or rest halt duration. MOBCON usually separates convoys by a 10-minute time gap.

MOBCON provides visibility of all military traffic processed in the system. It links all DMCs and provides a means of communication. A convoy processed in one state and passing through other states has immediate visibility of all MOBCON users. For US Army MOBCON procedures, refer to the SMCC Operations section in this appendix and FORSCOM Regulation 55-1.

M-3. SMCC RESPONSIBILITIES. SMCCs collect, analyze, and consolidate all DOD-organic convoy movements and develop master movement plans for mobilization and deployment. They provide FORSCOM and CONUSA commanders with information about the highway network and status of military motor movements within each state. They approve unit convoy routes, publish march tables, and exercise operational control for the movement of convoys within their respective states. SMCCs provide the communications link between the moving convoy and its command and control headquarters as well as the interface between military (DOD) and civilian (state and US DOT) agencies that control the use of highways, tunnels, and bridges. When the MOBCON program is fully implemented, the smccs will accomplish the following tasks:

  • Approve all DOD convoys within their states.
  • Coordinate convoy movements with civil authorities.
  • Monitor and control convoy movements during major exercises, civil emergencies, and mobilization.

NOTE: Each installation must maintain a 24-hour POC (with telephone number) where the police and/or SMCC may call for emergency service.

Special considerations for centralized control of convoys include movement priority, convoy length, time gap, direction of movement, and routing.

a. Movement Priority. The senior commander establishes movement priority. During peacetime, all convoys are given the same priority. The senior commander of an exercise or annual training period must establish orders of march and coordinate with the installation or training site responsible for setting gate arrival/departure times. During mobilization, first priority is given to deployment convoys moving to meet port calls established by MTMC. All other convoys receive second priority.

b. Convoy Length. Convoys are limited to a maximum of one hour in length. This reduces conflicts and eliminates a long wait while another convoy passes through a node (road junction).

c. Time Gap. The central computer adds a ten-minute "tail" to each convoy. Convoy commanders must be aware that another convoy could be scheduled as close as 10 minutes behind or in front of their convoy.

d. Direction of Movement. MOBCON software enables the DMC to "fix" either the requested arrival time or the departure time at an installation. This allows the central computer to "backward plan" to meet a specific arrival time or to "forward plan" from a specific departure time. Normally, moves to an installation are "fixed" on arrival time, and departures are "fixed" on departing time.

e. Routing. The DMC in each state coordinates with the state DOT to establish approved convoy routes and halt locations. Route selection by the central computer will normally default to interstate highways unless the DMC specifies alternate routes due to traffic congestion, construction, or other restrictive reasons. The DMC's goal is to always give the convoy commander the most practical and direct route that meets mission requirements and to provide for public safety. The SMCC/DMC is responsible for obtaining the required movement permits from the state DOT for oversize/overweight vehicles and equipment for NG units. Assistance may be provided to others.

M-4. SMCC OPERATIONS. When a DD Form 1265 or DD Form 1266 is received in the SMCC, it is reviewed and essential information extracted. The SMCC translates the data into MOBCON terminology and electronically transmits it to the MOBCON central computer. The computer deconflicts the data with all military traffic in its data base for the route and time requested. After deconflicting the requested convoy movement with all other convoys already scheduled along the route, the MOBCON computer generates data the DMC uses to produce an approved CMO. The CMO is returned to the unit and becomes the approval document for the move. It contains the following information:

  • Approved road summary data (Paragraph 1).
  • Specific route and time schedule (Paragraph 2).
  • En route reporting requirements (if any) (Paragraph 3).
  • Remarks (Paragraph 4).

The CMO also contains the CCN. This number will identify the convoy during its entire movement. The CCN is placed on both sides of each vehicle in the convoy and, if possible, on the front and back of each vehicle. It is also placed on the top of the hood of the lead and last vehicles of each march unit. For both peacetime and mobilization/deployment, the CCN for a MOBCON approved convoy is an eight-character, three-part figure that includes the following:

  • The two-letter abbreviation of the issuing state (for example VA for Virginia, KS for Kansas, CA for California, and so forth).
  • A five-digit control number. Control numbers are assigned in sequence on an annual basis. The first digit is the last digit of the calendar year; the next four digits represent the numerical sequence of the CMOs processed.
  • A one-character type-of-movement designator. The types of movement designators are: S--outsize/overweight vehicles; E--explosives; H--hazardous cargoes; and C--all other convoys.

For example, the eighty-first convoy originating in Virginia in 1997 and carrying hazardous cargo will be assigned the convoy number VA-70081-H.

The CMO is valid only for the route and time designated. Convoy commanders must realize that other convoys may be operating within a 10-minute gap before or after their convoys, so meeting road movement times is critical. Commanders should also realize that the routing and times requested on the DD Form 1265 may not be exactly as received on the CMO. Upon receipt, the CMO must be reviewed to ensure that it meets mission requirements; if needed, changes may be requested through the SMCC.

The MOBCON CMO does not differentiate between serials and march units. All divisions of a convoy are referred to as march units. To accommodate all users of the highway network, the DMC must consider public safety, legal requirements, mission needs, and time space (time consumed while a convoy passes any point en route). MOBCON normally limits the time space of a convoy to 1 hour or less. Convoys of 20 vehicles or less are not usually subdivided into serials or march units.

M-5. REQUESTING CONVOY MOVEMENTS. The request for a convoy clearance will be submitted through the STARC to the SMCC to the DMC. ARNG and USAR units must ensure that requests arrive at the appropriate STARC not less than 60 days before the proposed convoy movement. Active component requests must arrive at the appropriate ITO not less than 30 days before the proposed convoy movement. The ITO will process the convoy request and return the approved DD Form 1265 with a CCN. The ITO may coordinate with the DMC for convoy clearance.

NOTE: Obtaining a convoy clearance through the normal procedures will delay mission accomplishment. An emergency request to the appropriate approval authority can be made by telephone or FAX, and the CMO returned by telephone or FAX.

The DMC immediately processes the convoy request, obtains the required highway permits, and provides the CMO to the requesting unit. He advises the unit of toll roads, bridges, and tunnels along the route and provides POCs for further coordination. The DMC also obtains permission from the toll authorities when toll roads, bridges, and tunnels are under the control of an agency other than the state or city government. The procurement of tolls is a unit responsibility.

M-6. ROUTING A CONVOY. The primary goal in routing a convoy is to ensure its safe and timely arrival at destination. The following factors must be considered if this goal is to be met:

  • State DOT requirements and restrictions on length, width, height, weight, and cargo types; dates and time of travel.
  • The effects of military traffic on the civilian population and emergency operations as well as other military convoys.
  • The most practical and direct route available from origin to destination.
  • The laws and regulations governing the use of special use routes.

a. Highway Identification Systems. The four principal types of highways are the US interstate, US highways, state highways, and county roads. Each type of highway has a different marking and numbering system. However, not all states and counties follow the same system of marking.

(1) Markers. There are four primary types of highway markers (signs). They are as follows:

  • US interstate--shield-shaped red, white, and blue sign.
  • US highways--shield-shaped white sign with black lettering.
  • State highways--round signs.
  • County roads--square or diamond-shaped signs.

(2) Numbering system. Under the federal highway numbering system, east-west routes are generally identified by even numbers and north-south routes by odd numbers. Low numbers in each 100 series of the federal highway system usually begin in either the east or north and increase numerically as they progress west or south.

In the Interstate highway numbering system, two-digit odd numbers designate rural routes that generally run north-south (I-75), and two-digit even numbers identify rural routes that generally run east-west (I-64). Routes numbered in the hundreds (I-275) are Interstate spur routes.

The numbering system for US highways is directly opposite of the US Interstate numbering system. Under the US highway numbering system, the low numbers are found in the south and west while the high numbers appear in the east and north.

b. Route Selection. The convoy commander selects the best route before completing Section III, Route Data, DD Form 1265 or DD Form 1266. Coordination with the ITO/UMC and/or UMO is paramount.

After making a map reconnaissance of possible routes, it is important to follow up with a ground reconnaissance. The convoy commander may ask the SMCC to recommend one or more routes for evaluation during a ground reconnaissance. The convoy commander may also request that the convoy be routed through specific intersections. Some factors that may influence the route selection, but will not be shown on maps, include the following:

  • Maximum weight limitations on bridges and culverts.
  • Maximum width and height clearances on highways, bridges, tunnels, and other overhead obstacles. If planning to use a toll highway, bridge, or tunnel, REMEMBER TO CHECK THE WIDTH AND HEIGHT FOR TOLL BOOTH CLEARANCE.

NOTE: Vehicles transporting POL, oxygen, acetylene, or other hazardous materials, or carrying military explosives may be prohibited from using tunnels and otherwise placed under severe operating restrictions, such as routings around large population centers.

c. Deconflicting Highway Space. The SMCCs will deconflict road space within their respective states based on movement priority, availability of the requested route, and logistic support requirements. DMCs will schedule convoy movements to maximize the effective use of the highway network. They are authorized to change convoy routes to avoid road space conflicts. Route changes will only be made as a last resort. Adequate service/rest facilities and communications must be available along the alternate routes. The primary goal is to ensure that all convoys are able to arrive at their destinations at or before their latest arrival times.

M-7. MANUAL CLEARANCE REQUESTS AND SPECIAL HAULING PERMITS. The DD Form 1265 or DD Form 1266 should always include the following information: requesting unit UIC; a strip map of the proposed convoy route (four copies with one copy added for each state to be traversed/see local SOP); and the name of the UMC or UMO at the point of origin.

A manual request should be submitted through command channels so that it arrives at the SMCC within the specified time frames. All sections of the form must be completed. In Block 14 (Proposed Routing)--besides the required location and duration of each halt--the convoy commander should identify specific checkpoints. If they are available for use, the MOBCON software will route the convoy through them. Also, in Block 20 (Remarks), the convoy commander may request that specific points be avoided.

Once the convoy clearance request has been reviewed and processed by the approving authority, the unit is issued a CMO. The movement of the convoy to which it applies MUST be conducted as the convoy clearance directs. Deviation from clearance instructions is not authorized without prior coordination with the approving authority. It is here that command emphasis is required. The convoy commander must ensure that the routing specified on the approved CMO is followed and that the ETA and ETD are met at each of the checkpoints and rest halts. (MOBCON software schedules convoys at 10-minute intervals.)

The DD Form 1266 is used to request permission to move oversize and/or overweight vehicles on public roads. It should be submitted in four copies with one copy added for each state to be traversed (see local SOP).

1. To determine the legal maximum dimensions and weight authorized for vehicles on the highway, see Appendix E (applicable for all states within CONUS). To compute military vehicle axle weights, refer to Appendix N.
2. Only identical vehicles with loads of uniform weight may be listed on the same DD Form 1266. Each vehicle driver must have a copy of the approved hauling permit.
3. For recurring shipments, a blanket permit may be requested to avoid excess paperwork and processing. Each vehicle must have a separate permit.

M-8. TRANSPORTATION COORDINATOR AUTOMATED COMMAND AND CONTROL INFORMATION SYSTEM. The ITO is authorized to approve convoy movements for AC units departing his installation. All AC units can use TC-ACCIS to prepare DD Forms 1265 and 1266 and to have these requests approved through the installation's established system. The ITO reviews, corrects as necessary, and approves the request. The convoy clearance becomes the signed DD Form with the inclusion of a CCN. This CCN validates the approval process and identifies the convoy during movement. CCNs issued under this system differ from those issued under MOBCON. CCNs in this numbering system have ten characters as follows:

  • The first two digits identify the post from which the convoy originates.
  • The next four digits are the Julian date.
  • The next three digits are the sequence number.
  • The last is a single digit type of movement designator.

For example, FE 6270 023 C would be a convoy leaving from Fort Eustis on 26 September 1996; it is the 23d convoy approved on that day; and it is a regular convoy without any special requirements. If desired, the ITO may coordinate with the SMCC of his state and obtain convoy clearances through MOBCON.

M-9. MOBILIZATION CONVOY CLEARANCE REQUESTS. Mobilization convoy clearance requests are prepared by USAR and ARNG units based on the MPES or superseding command guidance. Each unit forwards the request to the DMC through the chain of command and retains a copy for inclusion in its mobilization plan. Upon mobilization, the DMC finalizes the clearance and provides the unit with a CMO. Mobilization convoy clearances are part of the mobilization plan that is validated and approved every two years. The plan should also be updated when significant changes affect a convoy's movement. Changes may include the following:

  • Change of mobilization date (M-date).
  • Change in convoy release points (gate changes).
  • Change in the time length of the convoy of 5 or more minutes.
  • Reorganization of the unit.
  • Change in the rate of march of 5 or more miles in an hour.
  • Addition or deletion of oversize/overweight vehicles.
  • Route or halt changes.
  • Changes in logistical support requirements.
  • Addition or deletion of hazardous cargo.
  • Change in number of vehicles in convoy.

M-10. PREPARATION OF THE GRAPHIC STRIP MAP. The strip map shows an itinerary picture of the route over which the convoy will travel. It is not drawn to scale, and this point should be indicated on the face of the map. Items that must be shown on the strip map include the start point, release point, rest areas, routes, major cities and towns, critical points and checkpoints, the distance between checkpoints, and north orientation.

a. Start Point. The SP is the location where the convoy must start. At the SP, the convoy comes under the active control of the convoy commander. The convoy is formed (at the SP without stopping) by the successive arrival of the units in it. Once the SP is passed, each unit should be traveling at the rate of speed and vehicle interval stated in the OPORD. When selecting an SP, choose a place that is easily recognized both on the map and on the ground; also ensure that it is easily accessible and located so that any element of the convoy can reach it without moving through another element of the convoy.

b. Release Point. The RP is that place where certain elements of the column are released. It must be clearly shown on the strip map. As with the SP, the convoy passes the RP without halting and at the rate and vehicle interval stated in the OPORD.

c. Rest Areas. Rest areas provide rest, personal relief, messing, refueling, inspection and maintenance, and schedule adjustment while allowing other traffic to pass. Convoys will halt for 15 minutes during the first hour and then 10 minutes every 2 hours thereafter. Long halts are identified for dining, refueling, and bivouacking. Every effort should be made to ensure that dining and refueling halts coincide. Halt areas must be clearly shown on the strip map.

NOTE: The first halt for 15 minutes allows truck personnel an added 5 minutes to recheck the loads and secure them if necessary.

d. Routes. All highways, state routes, and other routes or trails to be used must be shown on the strip map and must be designated by name or number.

e. Major Cities and Towns. Besides serving as valuable reference points, cities and towns indicate areas of heavy population concentration. They should be bypassed, if possible, to avoid congestion and/or choke points.

f. Critical points and checkpoints. Checkpoints are points designated along the route to control the convoy. Choose easily recognized features as checkpoints and clearly identify them on the strip map provided to each driver. CPs are always numbered consecutively.

g. Distance Between Checkpoints. In CONUS, distance will always be shown in miles.

h. North orientation. North orientation is a critical feature of the strip map. It is necessary to align the strip map with a standard map.

i. Additional Data. The strip map should be detailed but not so cluttered with information that it is unreadable (see Figure M-1). Examples of information to be shown include the following:

  • Route data. Includes route numbers, major intersections, and mileage between points. Whenever possible, insets or separate strip maps should be made to show routes through metropolitan areas or entrances into rest halts and refueling sites (see Figure M-2).
  • Movement control data. Includes arrival and departure times at the SP, CP, RP, state lines, and all halts. These times must coincide with the CMO.
  • Logistical support data. Shows the location of all logistical support facilities. Such data includes procedures for requesting/obtaining medical and maintenance support.

M-11. COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS. Each SMCC must establish a communications network that allows them to maintain communications with en route convoys. The SMCC will also establish communications with other SMCCs and selected federal, state, and local agencies.

a. En Route Convoys. During peacetime, convoys are normally not required to report movement progress. During mobilization or selected exercises, special instructions should be provided in paragraph 3 of the convoy movement order. It may direct the convoy commander to report to the appropriate SMCC on departure, at selected rest halts en route, and on arrival at destination. If HRPTs are available, convoy commanders may be directed to report by tactical radio while moving past the HRPT.

NOTE: The primary means of communication between the SMCC and the convoy commander is the commercial telephone. the SMCCs will list the telephone numbers and radio frequencies to be used by each convoy originating and operating in their states. Long distance telephone calls will be toll free or collect.

Figure M-1. Sample strip map

Figure M-2. Andrews AFB refueling site

Convoy commanders will report to the SMCC of the approving state IAW the convoy clearance. They will use the convoy en route report shown in Figure M-3. These reports will be made at designated ERPs along the convoy route. ERPs should be established at rest halts unless movement control procedures dictate otherwise. The ERPs advise the SMCC of emergency requests, security threats, road conditions, traffic and weather information, or any other situation that could affect the road movement. Through this process, the SMCC receives real-time reports on actual highway conditions from moving convoys. The location of each convoy can be graphically displayed. The SMCC can immediately evaluate highway and traffic conditions, congested points, and when necessary, revise convoy routes or movement schedules to ensure a smooth flow of traffic.

NOTE: A convoy commander is not expected to allow the reporting requirement to interfere with the operation of the convoy. Attempts to contact the SMCC should not delay the convoy's scheduled departure by more than 10 minutes. After this amount of time has passed, the convoy commander should leave a message and proceed as scheduled. Contact with the SMCC will be made at the next scheduled ERP.

Figure M-3. example of a convoy en route report

b. Interstate Communications. Each SMCC will establish communications with SMCCs of adjoining states. Convoy operations in peacetime are generally not a problem. However, during mobilization or deployment the competition for road space and support will be massive. MOBCON addresses this problem. Figure M-4 shows simplified convoy communications between SMCCs in the coordination process between state clearance authorities.

c. Communications Across Conusa Boundaries. The interstate communications network should include the SMCCs in states outside the Army area to the extent possible. Communication is particularly important when processing convoy clearance requests for convoys crossing Army area boundaries.

d. Interagency Communications. Each SMCC must maintain effective communications with other agencies involved in the convoy movement; for example, civilian agencies, state police, and logistical support agencies.

e. En Route Assistance Report. An en route assistance report requires either the immediate action or a decision by the SMCC and/or coordination with other agencies. Such reports may include emergency requests for medical aid, law enforcement, or security threat assistance; logistical support requests; or a convoy clearance revision.

M-12. CONVOY ARRIVAL TIMES. Three types of convoys operate over the public highways: administrative (peacetime), mobilization, and deployment. The type of convoy determines how the convoy arrival time is found.

a. Administrative Convoys. The convoy commander coordinates directly with the installation or the command that directed the move to determine arrival/departure gates and times. Communication with the responsible organization may be made directly by the moving unit or through normal command channels, depending on local command policy.

b. Mobilization Convoys. These are convoys conducted for moving mobilized NG and AR units from their HS to their designated MS. The arrival times for these convoys are established by the MS in conjunction with the appropriate SMCC.

c. Deployment Convoys. These convoys move military units to a POE. Determining arrival times for these convoys is based on A/SPOE gate arrival times (port calls) and, as in the case of mobilization convoys, is the result of coordination between the installation and the SMCC. Procedures for determining arrival times for both mobilization and deployment convoys are outlined in FORSCOM Regulation 55-1.

Figure M-4. MOBCON interstate communication



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