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Military

CHAPTER 2

UNIT OPERATIONS

This chapter covers the duties of the staff and operating personnel that have a direct interest in the operation and training of motor transport battalions and companies. Guidance given here applies to battalion and company operations. Duties at higher echelons are of a more directive or supervisory nature (see FM 101-5).

2-1. BATTALION STAFF AND RESPONSIBILITIES. Battalions have a headquarters staff organized to meet unit requirements. A Transportation Motor Transport Battalion commands three to five companies. Staff activities focus on assisting the commander with mission accomplishment. Battalion staffs are structured to operate two 12-hour shifts and conduct 24-hour operations.

2-2. COMMAND SECTION. The Command Group consists of the Battalion Commander, Battalion Executive Officer, and the Command Sergeant Major. They have the overall responsibility for executing the battalion mission and supervision of all personnel and assets.

a. Battalion Commander. The commander commands and controls units that are assigned, attached, or under his operational control. He provides his subordinates with missions, taskings, and a clear statement of his intent. The commander's main concerns are accomplishing his mission and taking care of his soldiers. The battalion commander must also do the following:

  • Provide his subordinates with a clear and concise vision that provides a single, unifying focal point for their efforts.
  • Make timely and effective decisions.
  • Understand the capabilities and limitations of his organization.
  • Motivate and direct soldiers and their leaders into action to accomplish the mission.

b. Battalion Executive Officer. The XO is the battalion commander's principal staff officer. He is second in command. He directs staff tasks, conducts staff coordination, and ensures efficient and prompt staff response. He serves as the principal integrator of CSS in support of his mission. He is free to move to any point in the area of operations to accomplish his duties and responsibilities. The XO also performs the following:

  • Transmits the commander's decision to staff sections and in the name of the commander, to subordinate units as needed.
  • Keeps updated on the situation and future plans.
  • Represents the commander during his absence, directing action IAW established policy and guidance.
  • Checks attachments (for example, monitoring the nets and progress of supporting units), monitors overall operations, ensures reports are rendered as necessary, supervises planning of future operations, and provides the commander with situational assessments as needed.
  • Receives and analyzes information from a wide variety of sources that might be useful to the commander.

c. Command Sergeant Major. The CSM is the senior NCO in the command. He is responsible for providing the commander with personal, professional, and technical advice on enlisted soldier matters and the NCO Corps as a whole. Though he is not an administrator, he must understand the administrative, logistical, and operational functions of the unit to which he is assigned. Since he is normally the most experienced soldier in the unit, his attention should be focused on operations and training and on how well the commander's decisions and policies are being carried out. He is the senior enlisted trainer in the organization. He works closely with company commanders when teaching and training first sergeants and platoon sergeants. He maintains close contact with subordinate and attached unit NCOs. The CSM must be tactically and technically proficient in motor operations at battalion, company, platoon, and squad levels. The CSM should act as the commander's representative, as determined by the commander and himself, in supervising aspects vital to an operation.

2-3. PRIMARY STAFF. The Primary Staff consists of the S1, S2/S3, and S4. They are responsible for staff planning and coordination to ensure execution of the battalion's mission and support of all assigned personnel and assets.

a. S1 (Adjutant). The S1 is the principal staff officer responsible for human resource management to include all personnel matters. The S1 performs the following:

  • Maintains unit strength and personnel service support.
  • Supervises medical, legal, safety, and civil affairs (including civilian labor) assets.
  • Monitors postal services and public affairs.
  • Coordinates religious support with the battalion UMT.
  • Shares supervisory responsibility for logistical operations with the S4. They must cross train to be able to conduct continuous operations.
  • Determines replacement policies and requirements.
  • Compiles unit strength and loss estimation (casualty reporting).
  • Supervises morale support functions.
  • Supervises battalion administration functions.
  • Coordinates administrative support of EPWs and civilian internees.
  • Conducts staff supervision of casualty evacuation.
  • Maintains retention/reenlistment files.

b. S2/S3 (Intelligence and Operations Officer). The S2/S3 is the principal staff officer responsible for security, intelligence, and operations. As the operations officer, the S2/S3 is responsible for training, operations and plans, and force development and modernization. The S2/S3 prepares and coordinates operational plans for the battalion and subordinate units and coordinates planning activities of subordinate units. In accomplishing these missions, the S2/S3 performs the following:

  • Prepares operational SOPs and coordinates them with higher and subordinate units.
  • Maintains visibility over all employed battalion truck assets and current roadnet data.
  • Plans and coordinates with other staff sections. This results in published OPORDs, OPLANs, and training programs.
  • Coordinates closely with the S4 to ensure plans and operations are logistically supportable.
  • Considers information that affects the area of operations, which complements the XO's focus on the unit's area of interest.
  • Works directly with elements of the command group to receive information and to analyze, integrate, and convey his assessment to the commander.
  • Maintains operational records and statistical reports.
  • Conducts liaison with supported agencies and activities.
  • Inspects operational and unit dispatch areas.
  • Establishes procedures for cargo documentation, dispatch, and security.
  • Maintains centralized operational control over subordinate units.
  • Studies plans and operations and prepares estimates, plans, and directives.
  • Receives and screens requests for motor transport support (commitments).
  • Assigns workloads and specific operational tasks to subordinate units.
  • Assumes informal accountability for semitrailer equipment engaged in trailer transfer operations.
  • Supervises and directs operation of the battalion communications services.
  • Establishes priorities for communications to support operations.
  • Plans and supervises training and soldier education programs for the battalion and subordinate units.
  • Performs training inspections.
  • Maintains contact and exchanges information with security and intelligence personnel of higher, adjacent, and subordinate units.
  • Receives and distributes intelligence information.
  • Directs and supervises OPSEC.
  • Obtains and disseminates weather information and the probability of use and effects of enemy NBC weapons.
  • Prepares and publishes security directives.
  • Makes security inspections of battalion and subordinate units.
  • Informs the XO about the enemy situation.
  • Prepares and distributes security and intelligence estimates and SOPs.
  • Coordinates and supervises, along with the XO, security and defense measures for the battalion and subordinate units.
  • Requests road clearance for convoys and movement of oversize loads.
  • Advises the commander on operational, security, and training matters.
  • Coordinates and assesses subordinate unit environmental risk assessments and advises the commander on their status and outcome.
  • Maintains unit readiness status of each subordinate unit.

The S2/S3 also has an operations section that requires a senior grade NCO as the Operations NCOIC. He is responsible for planning, coordinating, and staff operation facets of the battalion's missions. He is critical for synchronized and coordinated operations. A second operations sergeant or assistant operations sergeant (one grade lower than the 88Z50) is also required for developing and formulating plans that are critical to successful battalion operations. Both positions are required to ensure that senior 88M NCO leadership is present during 24-hour operations in the battalion TOC. They also supervise the duty performance of the section's enlisted personnel. Each operations sergeant, during their respective shifts, conducts the following duties:

  • Assists the operations officer and ensures that administrative policies and procedures are properly carried out.
  • Coordinates the functions of the operations section.
  • Assists in preparing and maintaining highway reconnaissance data.
  • Coordinates, with dispatch control personnel in the section and subordinate units, daily task vehicle availability data, vehicle requirements, and commitments.
  • Maintains statistics on operational capabilities and performance of subordinate units.
  • Setups and operates, in a proper and timely manner, the Battalion Tactical Operations Center.
  • Establishes and maintains liaison with supported units and activities.
  • Supervises documentation and report procedures.
  • Performs other duties as directed by the operations officer.

The operations section also performs task vehicle commitment and maintains visibility of all employed battalion assets and personnel. Note that at both Corps and at EAC, a motor transport battalion HQ is likely to have a Cargo Transfer Company attached. Therefore, it will coordinate commitments for and commit the Cargo Transfer Company for appropriate missions. It also receives transportation requests from the senior transportation echelon or directly from the movement control battalion if the motor transport battalion is the senior transportation command in the area. Requests should include the following information:

  • Brief description of the operation.
  • Type of cargo.
  • Weight and cube.
  • Priority.
  • Origin and destination.
  • Date movement required.
  • Special handling or outsize load data.
  • Security classification.
  • Other pertinent cargo information that may assist the transportation planners and operators.

Getting trucks to the right destination can be a major problem. The operations section can resolve this problem by doing the following:

  • Ensuring that the requester gives accurate and complete information about when, to where, and to whom the requested transportation should report.
  • Furnishing strip maps to column commanders and to drivers when on independent commitments.
  • Ensuring that the requester names a point of contact at a central location to whom truck drivers can report.

Information from the requester on the type and number of vehicles needed to meet an operational requirement is acceptable but only as a recommendation. The final decision rests with the battalion operations section and is based on the following data:

  • Overall battalion tasks.
  • Differences of cargo and/or operating conditions in the specific operation.
  • Task vehicles available to meet the assigned battalion tasks.

The battalion operations section screens and consolidates requests. It determines the number and type of vehicles needed to meet operational requirements, then directs subordinate truck companies to furnish these vehicles. Unit integrity should be preserved when allocating and assigning commitment tasks to subordinate units. Tasks are assigned in company, platoon, or squad-size elements. This allows truck units to operate in organizational elements and is more efficient. The battalion operations section normally uses locally reproduced formats to receive requests for vehicle commitments and to task subordinate units. A commitment worksheet (Figure 2-1) is suitable for both purposes and can be used to record more than one commitment. It is normally used when requests are received and passed out telephonically. Columns 2 through 5 and column 8 are used to receive requests. The other columns are completed when the tasks for subordinate units are determined. The form is then used to pass on commitments to subordinate units. A second type of worksheet (Figure 2-2) may be used to forward in writing an individual commitment to a subordinate unit. There is probably going to be very little, if any "locally reproduced forms" because everything will be electronic.

c. S4 (Logistics Officer). The S4 is the principal staff officer responsible for maintenance, transportation, and supply and services for the battalion. He is responsible for developing logistical policy. He maintains accountability for operation and maintenance funds. Other duties include coordinating supply activities with higher headquarters and with supporting services and preparing and coordinating supply SOPs and directives. The S4 also plans, coordinates, and supervises the logistical effort. The S4 also performs the following:

  • Prepares and develops CSS plans and annex to current and future operations.
  • Establishes the requirements for civilian labor and the collection and disposal of excess property.
  • Conducts operational and tactical logistics planning to support mode operations.
  • Coordinates with the S1 and S2/S3 on transporting replacement personnel.
  • Coordinates special transport requirements to move the headquarters.
  • Coordinates field sanitation.
  • Coordinates actions for establishing an organizational clothing and individual equipment operations for exchange and for replacing personal field equipment.
  • Coordinates the requisition, acquisition, and storage of supplies and equipment and the maintenance of materiel records.
  • Coordinates with the G5 to support foreign nation and host nation support requirements.
  • Monitors priorities assigned to requisitions by battalion units and monitors submission of requests to supporting supply activities.
  • Consolidates requisitions submitted by subordinate units, as required.
  • Receives supplies, establishes schedules for issue, and issues supplies, as appropriate.
  • Plans, directs, and supervises the supply economy program.
  • Designates POL points and makes distribution of POL.
  • Supervises and inspects subordinate unit supply procedures and records.
  • Establishes, supervises, and directs the food service program.
  • Establishes and maintains liaison with supporting services and activities to expedite supply matters.
  • Prepares and supervises the maintenance of battalion property records and accounts.
  • Procures, allocates, and releases billet areas, buildings, and other facilities used by all battalion elements.
  • Acts as the primary POC for all contracting requirements within the battalion.

The S4 advises the commander concerning the following:

  • Supply, mess, and real estate matters.
  • Property accountability within the battalion.
  • Contracting requirements.
  • Matters pertaining to transportation of ammunition and hazardous materials.
  • Coordination for water purification, mortuary affairs, laundry, shower, and clothing repair.

d. Battalion Maintenance Officer. This officer heads the battalion maintenance section. His duties are normally to advise and coordinate. However, if a consolidated maintenance facility is established at battalion level, he assumes an operational role with duties parallel to those of a unit maintenance officer. In this case, the battalion maintenance officer performs the following:

  • Exercises general supervision over the equipment maintenance activities of subordinate units.
  • Inspects maintenance activities and procedures for efficiency of operations in subordinate units.
  • Establishes and maintains liaison with the appropriate supporting services.
  • Coordinates with the battalion supply section for the expeditious supply of parts and tools.
  • Establishes, directs, and supervises procedures for turn-in, receipt, and exchange of repair parts and accessories.
  • Advises and assists in the organization and development of maintenance procedures in subordinate units.
  • Plans and supervises the maintenance policies of the battalion and subordinate units.
  • Ensures that environmental protection procedures, to include spill response plans, are established and followed in all maintenance activities. Ensures that adequate supplies of spill response materials are on hand.
  • Ensures that safety programs are in place and adhered to by all personnel.
  • Prepares the battalion maintenance SOP.
  • Establishes and operates, when directed, a battalion consolidated maintenance facility.
  • Advises the commander on maintenance matters.
  • Monitors fund expenditures for repair parts in coordination with the supply officer.

e. S6 (Battalion Signal Officer). The S6 serves as the principal staff officer for all matters concerning the installation and use of communication systems and the activities of communications personnel. The battalion S3 directs his specific duties. The S6 also performs the following:

  • Recommends retransmission equipment employment.
  • Establishes messenger services and schedules.
  • Monitors COMSEC.
  • Monitors the procurement, allocation, and service of the battalion's ADP software and hardware.
  • Serves as the network manager and information security officer.

At battalion level, an enlisted signal specialist fills the position of communications chief. The communications chief provides communication services for the battalion headquarters. In doing so, he supervises and operates a 24-hour message center and establishes and maintains liaison with supporting communication services. The battalion's communications chief also performs the following:

  • Directs and supervises the installation and operation of subordinate unit communication systems.
  • Plans, supervises, and inspects communication procedures of subordinate units.
  • Prepares, maintains, distributes, and secures the battalion signal operating instructions.
  • Establishes and directs communication training, maintenance, and repair facilities in the battalion headquarters and subordinate units. Advises the commander on communication matters.

2-4. PERSONAL STAFF (BATTALION CHAPLAIN). The personal staff consists of those positions that are primarily advisory in nature and have direct access to the battalion commander. In the motor transport battalion the chaplain is the only personal staff member assigned. The battalion chaplain serves as the principal staff officer for coordinating religious services and personal counseling. As a special staff officer, he provides the commander with an in-depth view of the esprit de corps, spiritual well being, and morale of the unit. Although he has a personal staff relationship with the commander, he coordinates his special staff actions through the S1. The chaplain advises the commander on the following:

  • Impact of the faith and practices of different religious groups in the area of operations.
  • Implementation of the commander's religious support program.

 


Figure 2-1. Type master commitment worksheet, truck battalion
(suggested format for field use)

 


Figure 2-2. Vehicle commitment worksheet for a single commitment,
truck battalion (suggested format for field use)

 

2-5. MOTOR TRANSPORT COMPANIES. All motor transport task units are organized and operate about the same. Variations occur only in the type of task vehicles authorized and the capabilities of the units. All key personnel, truck drivers, mechanics, and administration personnel have the same duties and responsibilities. Motor transport companies are structured to operate two 12-hour shifts and conduct 24-hour operations. Company operations are explained here by telling how key personnel in a truck company carry out their responsibilities.

a. Company Commander. The company commander is responsible for the training, safety, security, and discipline of his soldiers. He is also responsible for mission accomplishment. He directs and supervises all phases of operations and employment of the unit. He maintains visibility of employed company assets and personnel. He is assisted and advised by his officers and key noncommissioned officers in performing his duties. The following are among the commander's most important duties and responsibilities:

  • Leads the company by planning, directing, and supervising company operations to accomplish the mission. He guides the unit in carrying out its primary mission of providing efficient transportation services for its customers.
  • Establishes maintenance and care of individual and organizational equipment and material.
  • Establishes unit policies, procedures, and SOPs.
  • Establishes and maintains a high degree of operations security.
  • Initiates and ensures adherence to the unit safety program.
  • Ensures that unit readiness is maintained.
  • Initiates unit environmental self-assessments and ensures compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations on pollution prevention.
  • Conducts periodic inspections to determine unit readiness.
  • Stresses the principles of supply economy through the proper use, care, accountability, and maintenance of equipment.
  • Instructs and cross-trains subordinates in their duties.

b. First Sergeant. The first sergeant is the senior noncommissioned officer in the company and assists the company commander in the execution of the unit's mission. The first sergeant must understand the company's mission and be able to adjust administrative requirements to aid in accomplishing that mission. The first sergeant performs the following:

  • Forms the company, at direction of commander or as required, to organize and inform personnel for duty.
  • Manages the company headquarters.
  • Coordinates company activities.
  • Acts as the intermediary between the company commander and the unit's enlisted personnel.
  • Assumes the duties of the company commander, in the absence of all company officers.
  • Supervises the preparation of company correspondence.
  • Plans and posts daily company details, coordinating with the operations section.
  • Maintains duty rosters.
  • Supervises maintenance of the personnel status board.
  • Exercises supervisory responsibility over housekeeping, work details, police, maintenance, and construction projects in the company areas.
  • Assists the company commander in advising enlisted personnel on personal matters.
  • Advises the company commander on personnel and morale problems.
  • Supervises company training as the senior trainer.

c. Operations Section. The operations section provides coordination between operating elements of the truck platoons, maintenance platoon, and tasking unit. The operations section consists of an operations officer, truckmaster, and dispatcher. The following describes their positions and duties.

(1) Operations officer. The operations officer prepares and executes operational plans for the company. The truckmaster, assistant truckmaster, and two dispatchers assist the operations officer. He then assists the commander in coordinating, supervising, and controlling company mission operations. The operations officer coordinates logistics, maintenance, medical, and mess support. He takes command in the absence of the commander. For modular/split-base operations, he takes command of the portion of the company remaining in the rear location. He coordinates directly with the battalion S3 and operating elements of the truck platoons, maintenance platoon, and tasking unit. He also performs the following:

  • Prepares operational SOPs and coordinates them with higher headquarters units.
  • Maintains visibility over all employed company assets and personnel and current roadnet data.
  • Maintains operational readiness data for all platoons in the company.
  • Maintains operational records and statistical reports.
  • Conducts liaison with supported units.
  • Inspects operational and unit dispatch areas.
  • Establishes procedures for dispatching and security.
  • Maintains centralized operational control over subordinate platoons.
  • Studies plans and operations continuously and prepares estimates, plans, and directives.
  • Receives requests for motor transport support (commitments).
  • Assigns workloads and specific operational tasks to subordinate platoons.
  • Supervises and directs operation of the company's communications services.
  • Plans and supervises training and soldier education programs for the company.
  • Performs training inspections.
  • Maintains contact and exchanges information with security and intelligence personnel of higher and adjacent units.
  • Receives and distributes intelligence information.
  • Directs and supervises OPSEC.
  • Prepares and publishes security directives.
  • Makes security inspections.
  • Prepares and distributes security and intelligence SOPs.
  • Coordinates and supervises security and defense measures for the company.
  • Requests road clearance for convoys and movement of oversize loads.
  • Advises the commander on operational, security, and training matters.
  • Assesses unit environmental risk assessments and advises the commander on their status and outcome.

(2) Truckmaster. The truckmaster is the operations assistant to the operations officer and/or the company commander. He assists in the coordinating, supervising, and controlling of company mission operations. A second truckmaster or assistant truckmaster of equal grade is also required for developing and formulating plans that are critical to successful company operations. Both positions are required to cover day and night shift operations in the company TOC. Among their duties, each truckmaster performs the following:

  • Organizes and supervises driver training.
  • Organizes and supervises the unit motor pool (includes assisting in the preparation of unit maintenance and operational SOPs).
  • Conducts training and testing of drivers.
  • Trains personnel in driver preventive maintenance, documentation, and the loading and securing of cargo.
  • Coordinates with platoon sergeants and the maintenance sergeant to ensure complete knowledge of personnel status and vehicle availability.
  • Supervises and checks vehicle operations.
  • Maintains visibility of employed company assets and personnel.
  • Reports evidence of vehicle neglect, abuse, or operator carelessness.
  • Enforces safety rules and techniques.
  • Records safe driving mileage accumulated by unit drivers and advises the company commander of personnel eligible for safe driving awards.
  • Maintains a file of unit accident reports.
  • Coordinates with the maintenance sergeant and platoon sergeants on all maintenance matters (such as vehicles due for scheduled maintenance, vehicles being repaired, and vehicles deadline awaiting repair).
  • Enforces environmental laws and regulations.
  • Supervises, through the dispatcher, all dispatching and routing of company vehicles to ensure that dispatching procedures conform to unit policy.
  • Supervises the dispatcher in keeping records necessary for the operation of motor vehicles to include operational data and fuel consumption.
  • Assists, when required, in making inspections.
  • Assists the operations officer and/or company commander in preparing operational reports.
  • Assists in preparing the motor pool portion of the unit SOP.
  • Maintains custody of DA Form 348 on unit personnel.
  • Selects tactical motor pool sites.
  • Reconnoiters routes.
  • Participates in convoy planning and enforces march discipline during convoy operations.
  • Requests road clearances for convoys and movement of oversize loads to the S3.

The truckmasters should also be familiar with the following:

  • Civil laws and military regulations governing the operation of individual motor vehicles in convoy.
  • Standardization agreements affecting motor vehicle operations.

(3) Dispatcher. The dispatcher, under the supervision of the truckmaster, operates the company vehicle operations center. Dispatchers assemble transportation requests and assign these requests to the company as a commitment. Dispatchers are normally the custodians of vehicle logbooks. They verify entries and ensure that records are maintained as prescribed by DA Pamphlet 738-750 (manually or electronically (ULLS)) and local directives. The dispatcher also performs the following:

  • Receives and fills requests from authorized persons for motor transport support.
  • Checks the time of departure and return of each vehicle.
  • Issues, collects, and ensures completion of trip records.
  • Reports discrepancies in trip records to superiors.
  • Reports mechanical failures that require corrective action to the maintenance sergeant.
  • Maintains records of vehicle miles traveled, fuel and oil consumed, trip frequency and elapsed time, type cargo and tons moved, and such other records as may be directed by higher headquarters.
  • Receives operational trip records and TCMDs from drivers on their return, recording significant data on the appropriate manual or automated form.
  • Examines each operational trip record for completeness of all actions.
  • Initials operational trip records in the space provided and files these records pending disposition IAW current directives.
  • Maintains visibility of employed company assets and personnel.

After receiving a validated request for transportation, the dispatcher will note the following:

  • Who is making the request.
  • What type and quantity of cargo is being moved.
  • The number of vehicles needed.
  • The length of time the vehicles are required.
  • When, where, and to whom drivers report.

To process transportation requests, each dispatcher performs the following:

  • Selects the vehicles and drivers to be used and completes the initial entries on appropriate manual or automated form.
  • Posts all operational records to the appropriate manual or automated form at the time of issue.
  • Maintains a vehicle dispatch board.

The vehicle dispatch board (Figure 2-3) makes record keeping easier. It is an efficient way of locating and determining the availability of vehicles and drivers. At a minimum, the dispatch board shows the following:

  • Numbers of each assigned vehicle.
  • Names of assigned drivers.
  • Status of each vehicle in the motor pool.

The status board should show which vehicles are deadlined in the company motor pool or at a higher-level maintenance facility. The commander may designate other pertinent information. The vehicle dispatch board is not organizational equipment. It must be made locally. It usually has removable labels for each vehicle and each driver. Pegs of different colors can be used opposite each label to show the status of vehicles (in, out, or deadlined). More elaborate boards display the following:

  • Show the location of dispatched vehicles.
  • Indicate the expected time of return.
  • Show projected vehicle availability.

2-6. MAINTENANCE PLATOON. The unit maintenance platoon provides maintenance on organic vehicles and equipment. The motor sergeant, enlisted maintenance personnel, and wrecker and POL vehicle operators assist the maintenance technician. The maintenance platoon provides command and control, supervision, and technical guidance to unit and direct-support maintenance sections performing maintenance on organic vehicles and equipment. The motor sergeant assists the platoon leader.

a. Maintenance Platoon Leader. The maintenance platoon leader of a transportation truck company is responsible for the training and discipline and ensuring that the company commander's instructions are carried out by the members of his platoon. He assists and advises the company commander in assigning capable maintenance personnel. He plays a major role in maintenance training and advises the company commander and operating personnel on maintenance matters and problems. He is also the officer responsible for the overall maintenance of unit automotive equipment. The platoon leader also performs the following:

  • Supervises the training of mechanics in all phases of their duties.
  • Inspects platoon member's individual clothing and equipment for serviceability and availability.
  • Trains and supervises maintenance personnel.
  • Coordinates with maintenance support units and manages the unit shop.
  • Inspects platoon billets and areas to ensure that proper standards of cleanliness, police, and sanitation are kept.
  • Prepares a daily availability report of platoon personnel and submits a copy to the company operations center (as prescribed by the unit SOP).
  • Conducts the preliminary investigation and prepares reports when platoon personnel are involved in accidents.
  • Enforces environmental laws and regulations.
  • Instructs the platoon or company as prescribed by the unit training schedule.
  • Organizes, in coordination with other platoons, defense of the platoon's area of responsibility in bivouac; prepares and submits sketches of the defense plan to the company commander.
  • Undertakes additional duties (such as security officer, investigating officer, and summary court officer) as may be assigned by the company commander.
  • Informs the company commander of all phases of maintenance platoon training and operations; discusses with and advises the commander on matters pertaining to training and operations.

 


Figure 2-3. Vehicle dispatch board, transportation truck company
(suggested format for field use)

 

b. Automotive Maintenance Technician. The automotive maintenance technician (maintenance warrant officer) is responsible for maintaining unit automotive equipment. The automotive maintenance technician also performs the following:

  • Oversees and performs the routine maintenance and emergency repair of mechanical equipment.
  • Oversees the basic and advanced instruction of vehicle drivers and the basic, technical, and military training of maintenance personnel in operational and organizational maintenance.
  • Organizes the company maintenance shop, assigns repair tasks, and supervises the performance of unit mechanics through the motor maintenance sergeant.
  • Conducts inspections to determine equipment repair requirements and the adequacy of repairs made.
  • Prepares the maintenance portion of the company SOP.
  • Establishes and enforces shop safety practices.
  • Establishes and enforces shop environmental practices, especially those involving the handling of waste and hazardous material.
  • Keeps informed about the location and availability of maintenance support units and facilities.
  • Ensures that essential replacement parts are available or are on valid request.
  • Conducts maintenance inspections as directed by the company commander and makes recommendations for the improvement of motor maintenance and/or transport operations, as appropriate.
  • Ensures that maintenance records are maintained according to DA Pamphlet 738-750 and other pertinent directives and publications.

c. Motor Sergeant. The automotive maintenance technician supervises the motor sergeant. He is the chief assistant to the maintenance officer and is responsible for the proper maintenance of unit vehicles. He must have a thorough knowledge of DA Pamphlet 738-750. He must be familiar with vehicle technical manuals, technical bulletins, modification work orders, and lubrication orders. He must know Army vehicle operations, maintenance, inspection, and repair. He must be able to diagnose mechanical trouble in vehicles and to instruct maintenance personnel on corrective actions. The motor sergeant also performs the following:

  • Assists in organizing the shop area and operates it according to sound shop procedure.
  • Assigns tasks.
  • Implements work schedules established by the maintenance officer.
  • Inspects work performed by unit mechanics.
  • Enforces shop safety practices.
  • Controls and accounts for tools.
  • Maintains equipment maintenance records.
  • Supervises repair parts requests, receipt, issue, storage, and inventory.
  • Trains mechanics.
  • Advises operating platoon personnel on maintenance matters.
  • Arranges for the evacuation of vehicles to maintenance support elements.
  • Supervises the recovery, repair, and/or evacuation of a disabled or wrecked vehicle.

d. Mechanics. Company mechanics perform unit-level maintenance repairs on unit vehicles. They perform monthly and semiannual servicing of the company's vehicles according to DA Pamphlet 738-750 and the vehicle TMs. Within their capabilities, they also make repairs and replace parts and unit assemblies.

e. Recovery Vehicle Operator. The recovery vehicle operator drives and operates the recovery vehicle. The recovery vehicle is used in recovering disabled, damaged, mired, or abandoned vehicles.

f. Prescribed Load List Clerk. The PLL clerk is the supply clerk for the maintenance section. He requests, receives, stores, and issues motor vehicle equipment, accessories, repair parts, and tools to support the company maintenance function. He must be familiar with supply procedures and regulations governing accountability for government property.

2-7. MOTOR TRANSPORT PLATOONS. The truck platoon provides command and control, supervision, and technical guidance to truck squads in performance of motor transport taskers. The motor transport platoon provides personnel and equipment to the company to fullfill vehicle task requirements. The motor transport platoon contains a platoon leader, platoon sergeant, squad leaders, and drivers.

a. Platoon Leader. The platoon leader of a transportation truck company is responsible for training, discipline, and accomplishing the mission of his organization. The truck platoon leader is also an officer responsible for managing the hauling of cargo and/or personnel by motor transport. He instructs and supervises platoon personnel in the following:

  • Truck and convoy operations.
  • Driver maintenance.
  • Methods of loading.
  • Other specified subjects.

The truck platoon leader is responsible for ensuring that the company commander's instructions are carried out by the members of his platoon. The platoon leader should train his platoon with a dual purpose in mind:

  • First, he is responsible to the company commander for the development and training of the platoon as part of the company team.
  • Second, he must ensure that the platoon is fully deployable and self-reliant since it may be modularly deployed from the company and operated as a separate unit. In this situation, the platoon leader functions as commander of an independent detachment and is responsible for the administration, operation, supply, and security of the unit.

The platoon leader should be encouraged to act on his initiative to develop and exercise those command and leadership qualities required of his position. When the company operates as a unit, the platoon leader has additional duties assigned by the company commander. Among his duties, the platoon leader performs the following:

  • Supervises the training of drivers in all phases of their duties, including maintenance services.
  • Inspects platoon member's individual clothing and equipment for serviceability and availability.
  • Inspects platoon billets and areas to ensure that proper standards of cleanliness, police, and sanitation are kept.
  • Maintains visibility of employed platoon assets and personnel.
  • Prepares a daily availability report of platoon personnel and submits a copy to the company operations center (as prescribed by the unit SOP).
  • Inspects vehicles dispatched to using agencies to ensure their efficient use.
  • Conducts spot checks on the loading of vehicles to detect and correct overloading or other improper loading practices.
  • Patrols routes traveled by platoon vehicles to ensure drivers practice safe driving.
  • Enforces discipline and internal control during convoy operations.
  • Conducts the preliminary investigation and prepares reports when platoon personnel are involved in accidents.
  • Enforces environmental laws and regulations.
  • Instructs the platoon or company as prescribed by the unit training schedule.
  • Organizes, in coordination with other platoons, defense of the platoon's area of responsibility in bivouac; prepares and submits sketches of the defense plan to the company commander.
  • Undertakes additional duties (such as security officer, investigating officer, and summary court officer) as may be assigned by the company commander.
  • Informs the company commander of all phases of platoon training and operations; discusses with and advises the commander on matters pertaining to training and operations.

b. Platoon Sergeant. The platoon sergeant is the senior noncommissioned officer in charge and is assistant to the platoon leader. He assists in training the platoon and supervises both its tactical and technical operations. Through his squad leaders, the platoon sergeant directs the drivers of the platoon in truck and convoy operations, driver maintenance, and vehicle loading. He must be able to train drivers in the operation and care of military motor vehicles. He must have a working knowledge of the capabilities and the proper use of the vehicles of his platoon. He must be thoroughly familiar with military regulations and civil laws pertaining to the operation of motor vehicles and vehicles in convoy. He is responsible to his platoon leader for march discipline. He must be prepared to assume the duties of the platoon leader as convoy commander when the organization is operating on a round-the-clock basis. In the absence of the platoon leader, the platoon sergeant assumes his duties. When the platoon is operating separately from the company, the platoon sergeant performs the added administrative duties usually performed by the first sergeant. He must be knowledgeable and capable of performing those duties. To perform his duties and to supervise the jobs of the men under him, the platoon sergeant must be familiar with this manual and the following publications:

The platoon sergeant also performs the following:

  • Coordinates the duties of his squad leaders.
  • Inspects frequently, vehicles to ensure the performance of driver maintenance.
  • Supervises, through his squad leaders, the performance of driver maintenance.
  • Inspects frequently, vehicle's BIIs for accountability.
  • Coordinates with the maintenance sergeant for the repair of vehicles that need service beyond the driver's capability.
  • Coordinates squad training and operational activities.
  • Coordinates platoon operations with other platoon sergeants and the truckmaster.
  • Inspects the platoon defensive perimeter in bivouac and takes corrective action when appropriate.
  • Enforces safety rules and techniques.
  • Enforces environmental laws and regulations.
  • Maintains visibility of employed platoon assets and personnel.

c. Squad Leader. Each truck squad provides supervisory and operating personnel to operate the tasking vehicles to perform mission tasks. Drivers assist each squad leader to perform required 24-hour operations. The squad leader is directly responsible to the platoon sergeant for the training, discipline, appearance, and performance of his drivers. He trains and directs squad personnel in driver maintenance, correct loading techniques, safe driving practices, and maintenance of equipment records. Among his other duties, the squad leader performs the following:

  • Maintains a record of availability of personnel and equipment under his control. Also maintains visibility of employed platoon assets and personnel.
  • Ensures that each driver is familiar with his route, destination, and mission.
  • Inspects and, when necessary, corrects daily trip records maintained by the driver.
  • Supervises the performance of driver maintenance.
  • Reports to the platoon sergeant those mechanical defects that are beyond the driver's ability to repair.
  • Ensures that squad member's quarters meet proper standards of cleanliness.
  • Enforces environmental laws and regulations.

d. Drivers. Well-trained and responsible drivers are the backbone of an efficient motor transport unit. They must know their vehicle, driver maintenance, convoy operations, and proper loading. The driver is responsible for the operation of his vehicle and for the safe and prompt delivery of his loads. He must be familiar with his soldier's manual, FM 21-305, and the TM and lubrication order pertaining to his vehicle. Truck companies are required to have one driver per shift per task vehicle, or a total of two drivers per task vehicle. Note that if local policy requires two personnel in the cab any time a vehicle is dispatched for security or other reasons, and if the second driver performs this role, then the capability of the truck company is halved. Also note that HET operations require two HET drivers in the vehicle at all times. The assistant HET driver is the observer/advisor for the driver because of the peculiar handling characteristics of the steerable axle HET semitrailer. When used for damaged or otherwise non-operational combat vehicle evacuation, it is a two-person operation to load the HET semitrailer. In performing his duties, the driver must do the following:

  • Operates vehicles safely in moving cargo or personnel between designated points, following the routes and instructions of the squad leader, platoon sergeant, and company officers. Backs a military vehicle only when using a ground guide.
  • Supervises, loads, secures, and tarps cargo to prevent loss due to shifting, inclement weather, and pilferage. Double-checks tie-downs and security of loads prior to the mission and at all halts.
  • Completes individual driver trip records (listing such information as mileage, trips, times, oil and fuel added, and malfunctions noted).
  • Gathers information for and completes SF 91 when involved in an accident.
  • Performs preventive maintenance on the assigned vehicle by conducting visual, manual, or auditory examination of the vehicle before, during (at halts), and after operations.
  • Services the vehicle with oil, fuel, water, and other lubricants and coolants as may be prescribed and maintains the proper tire pressure.
  • Keeps the vehicle clean, canvas cover tight, and spot-paints as needed.
  • Changes tires.
  • Prepares the vehicle for operations requiring the use of traction devices.
  • Camouflages the vehicle as required.
  • Complies with environmental laws and regulations.
  • Waterproofs the vehicle as required.

All drivers must be trained for the class of vehicles they operate. They must also be examined for, and possess, a valid OF 346 for the class of vehicle they operate. They must be able to drive in convoy under blackout conditions and over difficult terrain. They must be able to operate the winch of the vehicle when it is so equipped. They must have a working knowledge of field expedients and emergency measures that will help them deliver their cargo and return to their units. During the training period, company officers must strive to constantly rotate the drivers with the squad leaders and mechanics. As part of their training, qualified mechanics and drivers should exchange jobs whenever practicable. By this method, the drivers learn the duties of the mechanics and the mechanics improve their skills as drivers. If personnel within either group are lost, the company can continue to function.

 



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