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Special Escort Group - under attack.

This is a discussion on Special Escort Group - under attack. within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; The British Ministry of Defence uses a Special Escort Group consisting of an 11 vehicle convoy, to ferry nuclear materials ...


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Old October 22nd, 2011   #1
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Special Escort Group - under attack.

The British Ministry of Defence uses a Special Escort Group consisting of an 11 vehicle convoy, to ferry nuclear materials (and warheads) around the country. I am writing a novel - as a new part of this novel, I have decided to write about an attack on one of the SEG convoys.

The attack happens at a choke point as the convoy travels under an overpass, and is carried out by a team of twelve men all armed with M4 assault rifles, MP5A2 sub-machine guns and carrying Beretta M9 pistols. There are two snipers armed with L96A1 sniper rifles which take out the drivers of the two Truck Cargo Heavy Duty carriers.

Comacchio Group Royal Marines (an arm of Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines) provide armed security, these men are armed with L85A2's and sidearms. As far as I am aware, there is no other armed men to protect the SEG convoy.

NOTE: As a part of this section of the novel, there will be a simultaneous terrorist attack to distract MI5 and the fictional Covert Operations Group, while this team attacks the SEG convoy.

My questions are: is an attack possible? If so, how would you do it? Do you like the idea of a diversion being created? If you would be so kind, I'd like a few scenarios from different people as to how an attack on an MoD convoy might occur?

Many thanks, hawky.
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Old October 22nd, 2011   #2
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The British Ministry of Defence uses a Special Escort Group consisting of an 11 vehicle convoy, to ferry nuclear materials (and warheads) around the country. I am writing a novel - as a new part of this novel, I have decided to write about an attack on one of the SEG convoys.

The attack happens at a choke point as the convoy travels under an overpass, and is carried out by a team of twelve men all armed with M4 assault rifles, MP5A2 sub-machine guns and carrying Beretta M9 pistols. There are two snipers armed with L96A1 sniper rifles which take out the drivers of the two Truck Cargo Heavy Duty carriers.

Comacchio Group Royal Marines (an arm of Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines) provide armed security, these men are armed with L85A2's and sidearms. As far as I am aware, there is no other armed men to protect the SEG convoy.

NOTE: As a part of this section of the novel, there will be a simultaneous terrorist attack to distract MI5 and the fictional Covert Operations Group, while this team attacks the SEG convoy.

My questions are: is an attack possible? If so, how would you do it? Do you like the idea of a diversion being created? If you would be so kind, I'd like a few scenarios from different people as to how an attack on an MoD convoy might occur?

Many thanks, hawky.
The problem with your scenario is routes will be cleared in advance and possible choke points/ambush locations will have been surveyed and marked. Plus movement schedules and routes will be a closely guarded secret, so other than the obvious - known points of departure and arrival you will need an insider with access to classified information pertaining to nuclear materials movement (routes and timings). And any move will be supported by top cover from an escorting helicopter (military or police) who will be looking for suspicious activity along the route. Any red flags will be dealt with by a dedicated escort team able to detach itself from the convoy. Your overpass option is too obvious, it will have been marked in advance and at least have civi plod in attendance prior to the convoy getting anywhere near it. The time it takes your assault team and snipers to deploy they will have been pinged.

Fortunately the UK is so densely populated you have a very high degree of natural surveillance, so the capability required to take out an escorting RM/Police team will be of such a size it is highly likely it will be compromised getting into position. Unless that is they dress up and mimic the authorities and bluff their way around as part of the solution not the problem.

Comacchio Group has been integrated with the FPG

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/The-Flee...otection-Group
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Old October 23rd, 2011   #3
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At the risk of appearing over cautious/sensitive.

Some basic OPSEC should apply before anyone responds to contemp security scenarios.

Irrespective of whatever is available in the public domain, basic OPSEC applies for public commentary
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Old October 23rd, 2011   #4
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The attack happens at a choke point as the convoy travels under an overpass, and is carried out by a team of twelve men all armed with M4 assault rifles, MP5A2 sub-machine guns and carrying Beretta M9 pistols. There are two snipers armed with L96A1 sniper rifles which take out the drivers of the two Truck Cargo Heavy Duty carriers.

Comacchio Group Royal Marines (an arm of Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines) provide armed security, these men are armed with L85A2's and sidearms. As far as I am aware, there is no other armed men to protect the SEG convoy.
Questions & Comments:
  1. Are the vehicles armored?
    If so, will the sniper rifles penetrate, or do you need something heavier, maybe much heavier?
    The glass may also be one-way so that the drivers cannot be targeted.
  2. Does the security unit have body armor? If so, then the submachine guns are of limited effectiveness.
  3. How many men in the security unit? Given surprise you will probably want at least a 2 to 1 advantage in numbers and firepower.
  4. The Marines are almost certainly better trained as a unit than the attackers and have a preplanned series of responses that they will execute aggressively. Factor that into your force ratios. Better make that at least a 3 to 1 advantage.
  5. What do you do if all or part of the security detail refuses to exit the vehicles, but instead just hunkers down inside (if armored) or under the vehicles (if unarmored) and calls for backup? Their job is to protect the nukes, not defeat your ambush. This tactic would be especially effective if the vehicles are armored because you submachine guns would be totally useless.
  6. The nukes are going to be in a heavily locked container, probably armored enough to take a combined 120mph (200kph) collision, extremely fire resistant, and securely bolted to the truck chassis. How are you going to open or remove it?
    Note: Only the locks are a deliberate security element. The rest is primarily for the public safety in case of a traffic accident, even if it makes an extremely effective vault. That is why they are using Truck Cargo Heavy Duty carriers.
  7. How are so many men going to make their getaway? Or at least get the nukes out if this is a suicide unit?
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Old October 23rd, 2011   #5
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I doubt an attack with the aim of stealing anything would be possible.

To overwhelm the security forces you'd need a force large enough that they would likely be spotted beforehand.

And the easy solution to avoid that would be to reroute the convoy along a secondary route that has been precleared or to return where it came from.

Helicopter-equiped Rapid Reaction Force could be used to check out the suspicious activity if it is felt necessary.

Note: I'm making this all up just from what "I'd" do. And I have no military or security experience. So if I can think up something to prevent such an attack........
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Old October 23rd, 2011   #6
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Originally Posted by My2Cents View Post
Questions & Comments:
  1. Are the vehicles armored?
    If so, will the sniper rifles penetrate, or do you need something heavier, maybe much heavier?
    The glass may also be one-way so that the drivers cannot be targeted.
  2. Does the security unit have body armor? If so, then the submachine guns are of limited effectiveness.
  3. How many men in the security unit? Given surprise you will probably want at least a 2 to 1 advantage in numbers and firepower.
  4. The Marines are almost certainly better trained as a unit than the attackers and have a preplanned series of responses that they will execute aggressively. Factor that into your force ratios. Better make that at least a 3 to 1 advantage.
  5. What do you do if all or part of the security detail refuses to exit the vehicles, but instead just hunkers down inside (if armored) or under the vehicles (if unarmored) and calls for backup? Their job is to protect the nukes, not defeat your ambush. This tactic would be especially effective if the vehicles are armored because you submachine guns would be totally useless.
  6. The nukes are going to be in a heavily locked container, probably armored enough to take a combined 120mph (200kph) collision, extremely fire resistant, and securely bolted to the truck chassis. How are you going to open or remove it?
    Note: Only the locks are a deliberate security element. The rest is primarily for the public safety in case of a traffic accident, even if it makes an extremely effective vault. That is why they are using Truck Cargo Heavy Duty carriers.
  7. How are so many men going to make their getaway? Or at least get the nukes out if this is a suicide unit?
I should mention that this unit is made up of ex-special forces soldiers, who are now guns-for-hire and are stealing these nukes for a rogue cell of the Central Intelligence Agency (Set in 2012 and the four nuclear powers have disarmed their nuclear weapons, with the nukes being stored in top-secret military bases around the UK)

I've made a change of plan, the SEG unit will be travelling through a heavily forested area, and I've also factored in a separate missile team, armed with a STINGER missile to take out the helicopter.

1. The vehicles are armoured... so I'd need to exchange the SMG for something bigger, much bigger, with armour-piercing rounds. Perhaps an FN MAG?
2. The sniper rifles - I'll change those to .50 BMG - again, equipped with armour-piercing rounds.
3. The security unit doesn't have body armour, and there are lets say, fourteen men in this security detail.
4. As for the process of getting the nukes out of there, I'm not sure, I could always take the easy route and "undo the bolts" but, something tells me that you'd need a BFO spanner to do that - they could of course just hijack the THDC vehicles and drive them to a location.
5. I'm planning on the nukes being stolen, as a part of the plot -- but that being said, I also want to adhere to realism, because I don't want my readers going "pfft... that'd never happen..." I want them to be able to perhaps visualise this (and therefore connect with it)
6. I'm planning on the Marines killing five of the group, but with every Marine being killed. So, nine are going to make a getaway.

Hope this answers your questions.

As for StevoJH's comment -- I'm going to have to give this one some real thought
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Old October 23rd, 2011   #7
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Originally Posted by My2Cents View Post
Questions & Comments:
  1. Are the vehicles armored?
    If so, will the sniper rifles penetrate, or do you need something heavier, maybe much heavier?
    The glass may also be one-way so that the drivers cannot be targeted.
  2. Does the security unit have body armor? If so, then the submachine guns are of limited effectiveness.
  3. How many men in the security unit? Given surprise you will probably want at least a 2 to 1 advantage in numbers and firepower.
  4. The Marines are almost certainly better trained as a unit than the attackers and have a preplanned series of responses that they will execute aggressively. Factor that into your force ratios. Better make that at least a 3 to 1 advantage.
  5. What do you do if all or part of the security detail refuses to exit the vehicles, but instead just hunkers down inside (if armored) or under the vehicles (if unarmored) and calls for backup? Their job is to protect the nukes, not defeat your ambush. This tactic would be especially effective if the vehicles are armored because you submachine guns would be totally useless.
  6. The nukes are going to be in a heavily locked container, probably armored enough to take a combined 120mph (200kph) collision, extremely fire resistant, and securely bolted to the truck chassis. How are you going to open or remove it?
    Note: Only the locks are a deliberate security element. The rest is primarily for the public safety in case of a traffic accident, even if it makes an extremely effective vault. That is why they are using Truck Cargo Heavy Duty carriers.
  7. How are so many men going to make their getaway? Or at least get the nukes out if this is a suicide unit?
NOTE: I have changed the scenario somewhat. I want the attack to take place in a heavily forested area, the attackers are all ex-Special forces (SAS, SBS) and are stealing these nuclear weapons for payment by a rogue cell of the CIA. Also, note my question about a terrorist attack (carried out and premeditated by the same men who're stealing these weapons) as a possible diversion.

1. The vehicles are armoured, I'll exchange the SMG for maybe an FN MAG, and the L96's for .50 BMG's.
2. The security unit doesn't have body armour, there are let's say, fourteen men in this unit.
3. I now have this unit armed with a Javelin missile team, to take out the helicopters, and what about the use of a communications/radar jammer? To jam any potential calls for help/radar?
4. As far as getting the nukes out goes... I could just take the easy way out and say "undo the bolts" - but I think that I'll need a BFO drill - I'm going to have to give that some thought.
5. Let's say the RM manage to take out five men - that leaves nine to make a getaway.

Hope this answers your questions.
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Old October 23rd, 2011   #8
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Pertaining to this, with a mind to opsec, what I will say of what I have seen on moving nuclear weapons around on US bases.
1. routes are swept by multiple platoons of marines (on foot) and also in their humvves & little apc vehicles (that looked like alot of fun to drive but thats for a different post.)
2. always had air cover with fighters on standby with the area being declared a no fly zone 20 miles out.
3. close heli support, could hear them but never saw what they were.
4. random patrols of guys thru the woods surrounding the unloading point, sometimes I saw them but they were usually well hidden / patrolling beyond visual distance from the road.

There is more but I'll leave that to your imagination. If there were some sort of diversion they wouldn't move until it was over / scope was known / thus instead of on standby their air assets would be in the air and probably your force of 12 guys would need alot more heavy weapons that would draw more attention to them in the UK, or anywhere outside an active warzone.

"As far as I am aware, there is no other armed men to protect the SEG convoy"

Those are the close in guys, they will have air assets <5 mins out that will have heavier weapons that can take out the convoy rather than let nuke weapons get away from them on their home soil. If this is where the weapon your dealing with on your cargo ship from the other post its probably better to have it come from somewhere else that has more weapons / less back up. Some that went missing from say when the Ukrane sent their warheads form the bases there back to Russia ( almost all if not all of those were in reality accounted for but still it will seem more possiable).

If your just attacking for the heck of attacking it go for it but pretty much know that your not going to be stealing anything from this attack other than the lives of some of the marines and all of your attack force that doesn't run away when the cavalery shows up.
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Old October 24th, 2011   #9
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1. The vehicles are armoured... so I'd need to exchange the SMG for something bigger, much bigger, with armour-piercing rounds. Perhaps an FN MAG?
2. The sniper rifles - I'll change those to .50 BMG - again, equipped with armour-piercing rounds.
3. The security unit doesn't have body armour, and there are lets say, fourteen men in this security detail.
OK, you have an 11 vehicle convoy, but only 14 men? Or are those 14 men only the protective detail, and there are an additional 11 drivers, plus relief drivers and a couple of officers, say an additional 24 men? How are those personnel equipped?

How many snipers do you plan to have to take out all 11 vehicles? If you don’t get them all the survivors will either hit you in the flank and rear, or block your escape routes.

Since the vehicles are armored are they equipped with firing ports? If so, the defenders will probably fight from inside if they lack body armor, or at least the vehicle crews will, and being under cover will be much harder to aim at.

You are going to issue medium machine guns in the place of SMG’s? Why not just go with old style battle rifles like the FN FAL or HK G3 using the same round? But don’t be too surprised if the armor can stop AP in that caliber.
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4. As for the process of getting the nukes out of there, I'm not sure, I could always take the easy route and "undo the bolts" but, something tells me that you'd need a BFO spanner to do that - they could of course just hijack the THDC vehicles and drive them to a location.
Definitely a BFO spanner, and more than a few bolts. You will also need a crane with a capacity over 2 tons in order to lift it. But it is basically a safe, and can be cracked the same way. But be careful to damage the warheads.

As for hijacking the THDCs, if you shoot the driver while it is moving where do you think the vehicle is going to come to a stop? Probably stuck in a road side ditch, maybe with a busted axel (Break out the BFO spanners and the crane).

Going to trick/force them to stop before you shoot? The lead vehicle will be a minimum of 1/2 mile (1 km) or more (depending on speed and terrain) ahead of the convoy, and will signal the convoy to stop and deploy in a defensive lager if the road is blocked, road side accident begging for help, unexpected construction going on, etc. The target is now much tougher, and probably out of position.

-------------------------------------------------------------

I would suggest you will need to add AT rockets and a couple of .50 cal machine guns and crews to your order of battle, as well as more infantry. There are just too many vehicles, you need more men. You also need to add specialists, like the safe cracker and probably and EOD man.
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Old October 24th, 2011   #10
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Thanks!

Making the convoy actually stop... now there's an idea... I'd like to bring in two or three Russian Mi-28 Havoc's? Perhaps the convoy is travelling across a bridge, and it gets destroyed, leaving them stranded, at the same time as the bridge goes down, the helicopter is taken out by AT missiles? From there, it all goes tits-up.
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Old October 24th, 2011   #11
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road convoys travel at different speeds depending on the nation involved. (and I am not going to discuss actual speeds in here)

eg in Iraq australian army road convoys travel at higher speeds for a number of reasons.

IIRC US army convoys have increased their road speed after they discovered the same reasons.

the convoy speed is based on threat matrix. ie local conditions, support assets available, localised convoy support etc....

its not just an issue of "stopping" the convoy its about understanding the terrain issues, the support issues, air response issues, NEST support, transit times for them etc....

when mission planners look at a convoy route, they factor in red air, terrain etc....

its not just an exercise in waypoint management
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Old October 25th, 2011   #12
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Weaponry needed for such an attack?

These are just my ideas, as I see it formulating... I have a problem of getting such weapons into the country... short of taking them from a base, or getting them from an arms cache.

I'm thinking about twenty-thirty operatives all armed with M243 Smoke Grenade launchers (or possibly two mortar teams, equipped with L9A1 51mm mortars firing smoke bombs) , smoke out the convoy while simultaneously taking out the air support. Then have them all move in equipped with FN MAG's, M4 assault rifles and Tokarev TT pistols (all equipped with armour-piercing rounds and thermal sights).

Have a few snipers armed with Barrett M82A1's, again - armour piercing rounds and thermal sights.

I just have a problem with getting them into the country... I don't think that such heavy equipment (MAG's) are stored on British military bases because the MAG is not in use by British forces and therefore isn't kept on a base... Now, I could change the MAG to something that's British-military-issued, such as the FN MINIMI 7.62,

Even if I could get on to the base, they're locked in an armoury... damned dead ends!
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Old October 25th, 2011   #13
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How about just take driver family as hostages and make him cooperate. Make him break the truck away from convoy and cover his run with your sniper/stinger/javelin/jamming things. Drive the truck to some more or less safer place (abandoned saw mill?) where you have the crane and transportation standing by... mine the roads to slow down any persuers.
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Old October 25th, 2011   #14
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Most powerful US nuclear bomb dismantled - US news - Security - msnbc.com

Maybe this is something you can fit in your story. There's a couple of things you can add or reasons to attack,etc....Wasn't aware that we still had this bad boy around, the next most powerful in inventory is only 1.9 Megatons. Good luck with your book.
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Old October 27th, 2011   #15
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These are just my ideas, as I see it formulating... I have a problem of getting such weapons into the country... short of taking them from a base, or getting them from an arms cache.

I'm thinking about twenty-thirty operatives all armed with M243 Smoke Grenade launchers (or possibly two mortar teams, equipped with L9A1 51mm mortars firing smoke bombs) , smoke out the convoy while simultaneously taking out the air support. Then have them all move in equipped with FN MAG's, M4 assault rifles and Tokarev TT pistols (all equipped with armour-piercing rounds and thermal sights).

Have a few snipers armed with Barrett M82A1's, again - armour piercing rounds and thermal sights.

I just have a problem with getting them into the country... I don't think that such heavy equipment (MAG's) are stored on British military bases because the MAG is not in use by British forces and therefore isn't kept on a base... Now, I could change the MAG to something that's British-military-issued, such as the FN MINIMI 7.62,

Even if I could get on to the base, they're locked in an armoury... damned dead ends!
A couple of observations.

Why is your attacking force armed with Western weapon systems? These will be a tough call and require end user certificates unless of course they are purchased illegally (say through South American Drug Cartels).

In today's world Soviet arms would be much easier to acquire through Eastern European organized crime networks or from stockpiles found in post conflict Libya. This scenario would add credibility to the story and bring it up to date. Plus AK's, PKM's and even the odd DShK HMG could be written in and provide enough heavy firepower to deal with both land and helo air targets. Any rouge CIA cell will need to cover its tracks, buying Russian weapons/ammo from a recently collapsed Arab/African state would leave a very faint audit trail compared to buying modern western kit. As soon as you hit a western armoury for weapons the alert status will go up and the authorities will be on their guard looking for likely targets.

Also if I was planning such an attack I would select a nuclear armed country with poor law enforcement, weak military, corrupt authorities capable of being bought. You are increasing the risk of failure trying to carry out a mission in a small Island nation which has a high-end response, excellent intelligence and security infrastructure on call 24-7.

You plan to use former SBS and SAS in the UK is flawed, As soon as the mission goes down and the survivors provide witness statements it won't take long for the authorities to figure out who carried out the mission (observed skills, local accents etc.). The police will start trolling MOD service record database's and also hit the usual UK based PMC companies to find out who on the circuit has gone rouge/fallen off the radar screen. An evening in the SF Club in London and Special Branch will walk away with credible leads as to who is suspected of being involved. Better off going for disgruntalled English speaking KGB/FSB/GRU chaps looking to earn some serious money.
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