.Gov OpTempo Increase? – Via Bracken


Matt sends via Facebook:

I saw a fascinating covert DHS convoy Sunday in South Carolina on I-95.

On Sunday, April 27th at 3:30 pm I was driving by myself southbound on I-95 in the middle of South Carolina. The speed limit was 70 so I was going 80. I passed a convoy of DHS vehicles traveling in tight formation in the slow lane moving at about 75. None of the vehicles was marked in any way with any government or law enforcement decals or insignia. However, they all had black and white U.S. government tags on their rear bumpers.

What was really interesting was the fact that the two lead vehicles had radar or satellite equipment on top of them. I was unable to take any photos, but I took some notes so that I could describe them accurately. I looked for some images on the internet and found the exact types of vehicles, minus the radar/satellite/commo gear on top. I’ll post the photos at the end. Keep in mind these are NOT photos of the trucks I saw, but they are exactly the same types that I did see, minus the tech gear on top.

I’ll start at the back of the convoy, the way that I encountered them in passing. All of the trucks were painted with the same shade of blue-gray. All of the vehicles appeared to be very new, with perfect paint jobs, all were very clean, as if they had just come out of a car wash. That clean. At the rear were three new-looking Suburbans, each hauling a Horton trailer like the one I will post at the end. The trailers were also the identical blue-gray color as the other vehicles. Each trailer had a full ramp for the rear access, that is, the rear wall of the trailers were folded-up ramps, so that I suppose ATVs or other vehicles could be driven in and out when the trailers were parked and the ramps were lowered. Each trailer also had a very large white air-conditioning unit on top. The AC units are not shown on the Horton trailer image I’ll post at the end.

Each trailer was being pulled by a shiny new-looking Suburban. All of the vehicles in the convoy had dark tinted windows, but in passing I did see one driver, he appeared to be around 30-40 years old, and FWIW he had a short trimmed beard. (Grooming standards can be a unit “tell.”) Each Suburban, (in fact, all of the vehicles), had a heavy-duty cable winch on the front bumper.

Next in line in front of the Suburbans, there was a big utility vehicles with a basic square body behind the cab, nothing on top other than radio antennas. This utility vehicle was a Ford F-450 with a body like a tool carrier. Next, there was a heavy-duty GMC utility vehicle about the size of the F-450 or a bit larger. On top of the flat body of the truck there was a radar or satellite dish that was folded down to the rear so that it was horizontal. The dish was approximately five feet in diameter, with all of the hinged gear required to erect it to vertical, all of it folded down beneath the dish transformer-style.

The lead vehicle in the convoy was another heavy-duty GMC truck, but this one had a white radar or satellite communication dome on top of the body of the truck. This white dome stood approximately four feet tall above the flat roof of the back of the truck, and it was about three feet in diameter. That is, it was in the shape of a cylinder, but round on top. I will post pictures of similar vehicles at the end of this report. They are, as far as I can remember, identical to the vehicles I saw, including their dark blue-gray paint jobs.

The convoy drivers had terrific route discipline, that is, they kept a very tight spacing while traveling pretty fast in the right lane. If you have ever tried to keep six vehicles together in heavy highway traffic at 75 mph, (including three with trailers), you will understand that this was a highly professional outfit. Cars entering the highway got between the DHS trucks, but the trucks quickly passed them and reestablished their convoy order with no more than 100 feet between them. These guys were pros, let there be no doubt about that. This was first-tier all the way. Top notch. Extremely impressive.

I am just a little curious about why they were totally unmarked, except for the license plates. Not even a DHS sticker the size of a playing card. Nothing. I did copy down the license plate # of the lead vehicle, the one with the four foot tall radar/satellite dome on top. On top, the plate read U.S. Government. On the left side of the plate, aligned vertically, it read 6G71. These small numbers were aligned vertically, not horizontally, with the 6 on top. On the right side of the plate was the number G177L, aligned normally, that is, horizontally. All of the vehicle plates had the interesting vertically aligned numbers on the left side. (One of the trailers had no license plate at all, but I suppose they were not too worried about being pulled over by the SC state troopers!)

Just after I finished passing the convoy, they exited at Interstate 26, but I was unable to see if they headed north or south. They are probably located today (4-28-2015) between Colombia and Charleston, if you happen to spot them. Also, incidentally, there was an unusually heavy presence of law enforcement vehicles all along I-95 in central South Carolina. At one point I passed about a dozen LE vehicles (cruisers and SUVs) parked in the median strip, like they were ready to move out conduct a raid or some other operation. I have no way of knowing if the extremely heavy LE presence was connected to the DHS convoy or not. Anyway, I thought it was interesting enough to take notes and write this report.

I’m guessing that they were part of a VIP protection detail at the POTUS level, or they are some type of technical response team, such as a NEST (Nuclear Emergency Search Team).

37 responses to “.Gov OpTempo Increase? – Via Bracken

  1. Marlo Stanfield

    Elite unit with self sustaining capability for X amount of time. Only on post long enough to resupply and rotate people if need be. Why keep Delta at Bragg or Seals at where ever. If a base gets hit not one is home. Harder for someone to tag them with a tracking device or picture gets took and its on You Tube or some place in seconds. You run your people thru the screening and check them for cell phones, RFID and stuff and then they get dressed on the other side. Now they can fade to black. I should write a book?

    • Mark Matis

      Their FAMILIES are home, good sir. And every bit as much a valid target as they. Under their very own Rules of Engagement.

      But then of course we must keep the “moral high ground“…

      • Camacho2016

        You forgot the trademark after that. Like this, “Moral High Ground(TM)”

        • And that’s partly the reason why they are always ahead in the game. They don’t play by our “rules” and we are either too pussy or to busy kissing their asses to play by theirs.

  2. Penny Pincher

    Perhaps there is a use for those Tile lost-keys-tracker things after all, if you can get one stuck onto one of those. Preferably on the roof where someone walking around won’t see it.

  3. Tempus Fugit…watch the Capn’s eyes–STATIST

  4. I saw a vehicle along with several others in a group on
    495 near DC years ago. The odd vehicle you describe sounds like one of the vehicles. I assumed at the time thatthey were a roving detection squad of some kind out looking for dirty bombs.

  5. Einsatzgruppe…and, like the originals, with multiple tasks & capabilities

  6. Got fast-follower jammer? Recall that low gain requires low power.

  7. Concur with Bracken’s final paragraph as to possible missions. The behavioral description is indicative of 1 of 2 things I’ve personally seen, something along the lines of either a Nat’l Nuclear Sec Administration team conducting an exercise (or to conduct route clearance down the line for material movement) -or- a high-level commo advance team enroute to support some POTUS-level stop. Such a VIP stop may not be where they are headed to; it is typical for such a team to have a backup staged quite some distance away, off-site, in support should the actual event location undergo some level of duress.

    One question from his narrative here: Absent markings, even one the size of a “playing card”, what piece of data leads to the assumption of DHS ownership?

  8. Pingback: .Gov OpTempo Increase? | From the Trenches World Report

  9. The Savannah River Nuclear Facility (SRS) is not too far away. If they went West on I-26 it would send them in that direction. They recently restarted reprocessing fuel there. I bet they were tailing another vehicle such as a tractor trailer hauling nuclear material to the Site.

    • Talked to a Dept of Energy guy once that did escort for that kind of thing. His indication was that there would be a couple cars/SUVs full of guys each in front and rear of the semi, more spread out that Bracken reports. Commo gear but not the big dishes and toolbox type trucks. Lots of guns, all small arms type stuff, their job was to defend the semi until other .gov could reinforce. They wanted to go unnoticed, just some cars on the road.

  10. Escort for al jazeera news crew.

  11. riverrider

    put your tin hats away. they are wmd/cst. that is, teams formed in the 90’s to detect and react to a weapon of mass destruction attack and coordinate relief efforts and evidence gathering. they are manned by national guard, air force and some civilian technical personnel. there were at last count nearly one for every state, though i recall r.i./conn shared a team. they train DAILY on mock attacks to be highly proficient with very technican equipment/techniques. they are the good guys, they are there to help,but pray to your god you never need them.

  12. Here is a power point from the Tennessee WMD-CST (45th CST)
    The slide with the vehicles almost describes the convoy to a tee.


  13. Saw the vehicles mentioned on I26 East in N. Charleston at University Blvd (HWY 78) exit. As I was moving opposite side of hwy, could not tell final destination. They were not heading to Savannah Site, but towards Charleston. This might or might not be “home base”.

  14. It’s been 15+ years where I live and I’ve never had so many blackhawks going over my house as I’ve had this last year. Getting more and more frequent. But I guess I better get my tinfoil. This afternoon their were 5 at once.

    • I notice increased activity this year as well between the Air Guard base down the road to the east and the Army base to the west of me. Contacted some old colleagues. Just annual exercise stuff & this year alot of their fuel & flying-hours budget isn’t going downrange so they actually get to train rather than simulate.

  15. This is the textbook example of how to report activity. Enough detail to follow the vehicles in question and allow another observer to identify them and continue to observe. Over time a picture of activity could be created to assist in determining who they are, what they do, capabilities, and most importantly, make an educated guess of future intention.

    Compare this to ZOMG there is an Army vehicle somewhere in Texas!

    • Yep, other than the repeated assumption that they were DHS vehicles with some training he would’ve made a damned good tour officer to have in the backseat of a MLM vehicle back in the day.

  16. Philly Phred

    Israeli art students

  17. Camacho2016

    I have it on good authority from my intel source in this AO, LCOL Maximus “Bear” Redactus that this team was escorting the shipment of the long-missing, final chapters of the sacred tome Absolved to SRS for permanent burial.

    Dang. Now we’ll never know how the book ends.


  18. Maybe he saw a CST (WMD). There is one is each state and 2 in NY, Cali, TX and FL.
    They unmarked dark blue trucks and they dont PCS except for promtotions so they get quite good at what they do.
    They operate 2 dark blue Duallys, 2 dark blue suburbans (with SATCOM domes) and 2 largish Trucks, the ALS and the UCS (comm vehicle lots of antennas plus a dish, the dish may be folded or stored)
    They are dark blue except the ALS sometimes is white
    Personell are older than average as unit is a bit rank heavy and they tend to be a bit old for their rank also since they are all AGR.
    Should be no beards though since all are active duty mil (albeit AGR)

  19. Oops. Looks like others beat me to it : )

  20. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on The Lynler Report.