A lot of casualties in war these days occur on convoy escort operations. That’s because no matter how tough vehicles are, or how thick armor is, or how lethal weapons are, they are all very hungry for supplies. Fuel, bullets, spare parts, food, medical supplies… all are needed in incomprehensible quantities for an army at war.
Of course, we also expect a certain level of luxury goods. It is bizarre to think about, but just about every supply convoy will also have a number of “personal demand items” or “Class Six”, which relates to a classification criteria for supplies. Playstations and XBoxes, magazines, CDs, DVDs, books, and so on that will be sold at the PX come in on supply convoys.
Supply convoys are a weakness in overall operations. They have to travel through territory that is unfriendly or outright hostile. These convoys are traveling on known routes –there’s only so many highways that can handle this amount and weight class of traffic– and guarded by troops who are spending long hours in the hot sun, on the road. An ambush is only a matter of “when”, not a matter of “if”.