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It’s a convoy!

A convoy of trucks and vehicles guides a rocket booster down the road

Space Launch Delta 30 Safety and Security Forces personnel carry out the critical and delicate task of transporting high-value and sometime hazardous aerospace hardware and support equipment though Vandenberg Space force base, California. Along with every launch, road convoys traverse base roads, and drivers should be prepared to adjust and only pass when directed. (Courtesy Photo)

An oversized load of aerospace equipment is transported on a truck.

Space Launch Delta 30 Safety and Security Forces personnel carry out the critical and delicate task of transporting high-value and sometime hazardous aerospace hardware and support equipment though Vandenberg Space force base, California. Along with every launch, road convoys traverse base roads, and drivers should be prepared to adjust and only pass when directed. (Courtesy Photo)

Trucks driving on the road bring up the rear of a convoy transporting equipment.

Space Launch Delta 30 Safety and Security Forces personnel carry out the critical and delicate task of transporting high-value and sometime hazardous aerospace hardware and support equipment though Vandenberg Space force base, California. Along with every launch, road convoys traverse base roads, and drivers should be prepared to adjust and only pass when directed. (Courtesy Photo)

Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. --

Vandenberg Space Force Base has become a hotbed of launch activity.  Along with every launch, convoys of all sizes and shapes moving high-value hazardous aerospace hardware and support equipment traverse our roadways. These convoys, performed under the auspices of Colonel Robert Long, SLD 30 Commander, follow policy directives established by Security Forces and Safety and are recorded for future review if needed. Correspondingly, all personnel driving on base must be prepared to encounter a convoy and must respect the convoy’s lead and trail support vehicles.  

Convoys are stressful for both personnel supporting the convoy and for other vehicles on the road. Because loads can be very large, heavy, extremely expensive and sometimes sensitive, convoys move slowly and methodically to ensure safe transport from point A to point B. Personnel involved in the convoy process are in constant communication; ready to warn each other of turns, dips and narrow spots along the roadway. They see things drivers not involved in the convoy may not. It’s very important for everyone encountering a convoy to be patient and respect the process.

When approaching a convoy from the rear, slow down and be prepared to stop. Wait for clearance from the convoy support vehicles (usually the tail or trail vehicle operator) to signal you to pass. DO NOT pass a convoy in a “No-Pass” zone (double yellow lines)!  When, and if, its safe, you will be directed to pass the convoy. 

Even when approaching a convoy from the front, slow down and be prepared to stop. Depending on the size of the convoy and the article being moved, you may have to pull onto the shoulder of the road; look for a safe spot and pull over. Allow the convoy to go by or wait for a signal from a convoy member to proceed. Remember, they may know if a larger article or another vehicle is still coming. 

When cleared to pass the convoy from the front or the back, keep your speed low and watch for direction from convoy personnel.  You may be required to slow or perhaps even stop until fully clear of the convoy. 

Hopefully you appreciate the delicate task of transporting these critical loads and the tips provided will remind you to SLOW DOWN and give the convoy the room it needs to move along safely. If you have additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact Mr. William “Bill” Stark, Chief of SLD 30 Pad Safety at 605-7906.