'Convoy communication up and down the line

41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Story by Spc. Anita VanderMolen

Date: 03.10.2010
Posted: 03.10.2010 09:44
News ID: 46443
Glowing Gates

CAMP ADDER, Iraq--Convoy security is one mission the Soldiers of the 41st infantry Brigade Combat Team conduct. Making the mission successful is communication. The communication between the operations centers, the trucks and the teams in the trucks can make or break a mission.

Task Force Volunteer, 41st IBCT, used a variety of techniques to communicate from the beginning to the end of the mission in February.

Briefings on routes and concerned areas take place before the convoy escort teams head out.

"We have briefings so that every member of the [convoy escort team] and [truck commanders] know what's happening on the route," said Staff Sgt. Paul Nickelson, of Ludington, Mich., an infantryman and convoy commander for the CET "They are aware of the significant acts and what to look out for on the routes."

The truck commanders communicate to each other of the road conditions and situations.

"We know what's going on throughout the CET and have up-to-date information of the hazards on the road," truck commander Spc. Milford Garcia, Acoma, N.M., native said. "We maintain communication for safety and security on the route."

Communication is the truck keeps the Soldiers alert and on track with the mission. Safety is the main concern while on mission. Obstacles are called out as the CET goes down the road.
"I will see things that the driver is not going to see. The driver will see things the TC will not see and the TC will see things I will not see," said gunner Sgt. Michael Leslie, of Austin, Texas. "All angles re covered at all times."

All positions are important to make the mission safe and successful.

Nickelson said, "Knowing is half the battle."