Chevrons on Vehicles?

#1
Hi all,

New to the forum, I’ll introduce myself.

I was in 3 Troop, Badger, 2RTR at the end of the 80’s. Did my basic at Catterick with the 14/20 Kings Hussars. I spent most of the time in Fally, but did a tour of the Maze with Huntsman and Ajax.

One of the reasons why I’m posting is I’ve got a question? It’s probably nothing, but what’s the score with these “arrows” which appeared on our vehicles during the first Gulf War? I noticed that at the same time, the Union Jack disappeared. Unless you know what your looking for, it could be a Yank/British/Israeli vehicle.

I’ve asked a few people about it, including ex RAF personel, and nobody has a clue.

Most of your should know what I'm on about, but if not I'll post pics. I've tried, but for some reason I can't add attachments. Any help would be appericated.

Cheers
Ghilly
 
#2
I'm not sure about why the Brits are using it, except possibly as an IFF aid. In US service, the direction of the chevron indicates what platoon the vehicle is in.

NTM
 
#3
The chevrons were the same as the "Invasion Stripes" on Allied aircraft in WW2 or the white US star on tanks etc of that era and indeed acted as IFF. There was a specific dayglo colur as well. You might have noticed the chevrons changed direction for Gulf2. National flags were discouraged in Gulf1 as we were not to be seen as invading anyone.
 
#4
The spams can't tell one vehicle from another, so we all put a big chevron and a red light shining backwards on the vehicles.

Had to do the same in 1944 with big white stripes so the spams would know which vehicles/planes to shoot at.
 
#5
Reason I heard was that the spams were getting a bit confused, so they had to change the system!

They understood that anything with "US" on the side was one of theirs, but during their training, the opfor always had "THEM written on the side - once they started working with allies it all went a bit wrong, as they assumed anything that didnt say US was a legitimate target....


;o)
 
#6
labrat said:
Reason I heard was that the spams were getting a bit confused, so they had to change the system!

They understood that anything with "US" on the side was one of theirs, but during their training, the opfor always had "THEM written on the side - once they started working with allies it all went a bit wrong, as they assumed anything that didnt say US was a legitimate target....


;o)
one PMC did have that problem , when driving in a convoy flying a Union jack and got shot at by the American troopers thinking it was an Iraqi Flag 8O so they started flying US flags, this is from the article in the daily Mail about PMCs last week
 
#7
labrat said:
Reason I heard was that the spams were getting a bit confused, so they had to change the system!

They understood that anything with "US" on the side was one of theirs, but during their training, the opfor always had "THEM written on the side - once they started working with allies it all went a bit wrong, as they assumed anything that didnt say US was a legitimate target....


;o)
Don't joke so much... the origin of US on kit came in the Civil War when the QMs wanted to make sure they knew which bits belonged to the enemy and which didn't.
 
#8
The cheverons first appeared in white outlined in black as a heath robinson IFF, have you ever noticed the the Israelis were using before hand, it was lo viz!! so you could only see it when you were failry close I never quite figured that one out.
Personaly I think it was a case of.. if it works for them it'll work for us! nah not quite.

The other thing US the americans didn't like was beause it also , as we all know, stands for useless.
 
#9
Nice one, cheers for the info.

I thought as IFF it was pretty strange that is was not that easy to see from a distance though, especially using a black on sand scheme.
 
#10
We painted them on in GW1 to stop the inbred myopic retards in the A10s from inserting any anti armour missiles up our arses again.
 
#11
They think it's were they need to aim, well, that's another of my theories!
 
#12
The chevrons are a form of low level IFF. In Boz we had them on our wagons and the Septics weren't there yet. They are intended to be low vis to the naked eye and blend in with the cam, but viewed through an infra red or image intensifying sight they stood out because they are painted with non IR paint.
 
#13
What gets me is the vagueness of this sign? Everybody has theories, but nobody knows for sure. When I was in, I knew every inch of my tank. If somebody came along and wanted to spray some arrow sign on my tank, as a loader, I’d want to know why?

I know it’s got sod all to do with who’s who in a troop. 30, 32,31 etc takes care of that.

The RAF guys I’ve spoken to have kicked out the IFF theory. A fast mover, skimming over the deserts or towns of the Mideast/Bosnia can’t see what’s on the side of the vehicles. As for the USAF, forget it.

What idea got the whole British/Yank/German Army etc… to start spraying their vehicles in an Israeli Battle Chevron. I say Israeli sign, because they started using it first and it links in to their history. How about a diamond/box/three stripe D DAY Insignia etc…? Why not on the turret/cab/front/back of a vehicle if it’s for IFF? Why not a dayglow green/red box? Why have some vehicles got the arrows going in different direction?

Who’s sprayed these vehicles? What directions where they given? Did they use special paint? Were gunners told to look out for these marks, if the paint was non IR? Surely if it was to show friend or foe, it would be visible in the day, not only the night, and through NVG's?

I’ve googled this one to death, and apart from some tin foil wearing geeks, nobody has a "Scooby Do"!
 
#14
Why didn't we use something more hi-viz for Iraq, like painting the top of turrets day glow, in light of the non-existent Iraqi air threat?
Could have saved a few lives...
 
#15
There's some here in Basra with chevrons taped on with black nasty!
 
#16
Yep some crack team of chevron painters arrived at every unit in theatre and re painted all the callsigns :roll: .
It was a crew responsibility as it always is.
Type of paint? Whatever you could get yer hands on as long as it was black.

As for the dayglo suggestion it was already being done. HLS marker panels were used over the back bin until dayglo paint could be found (we never did find any)

These measures were implimented after the yanks decided to fire upon a section of Warriors with an A10 thunderbolt.

History? Special paint? Ulterior motives? No! just trying not to get our arses spread out over a wide area by trigger happy Yanks
 
#17
Really? Bugger me, thanks for putting me on the straight and narrow. And there was I thinking that the SAS had just added decal work to their selection course :roll:

Ok, so it was crew responsibility. You were told if was some sort of low level IFF for trigger happy yanks. Which way did you do the arrows and why, all directions have been seen. Or was it just a cast of artistic licence?

It still doesn’t answer my question. How is an A10/F15/Tornado whatever, going to see a think black mark on the side of a tank , when it’s flying over the top of the vehicle? Maybe jets trumble along on the ground now to save fuel? I’ve mentioned that the RAF guys I’ve spoken to know nothing about it, why were our guys not told about it?

The best reason I’ve heard so far is that it meant to make us look like one big army, to the civi’s out there watching the news anyway.
 
#18
WOOFFY said:
Yep some crack team of chevron painters arrived at every unit in theatre and re painted all the callsigns :roll: .
It was a crew responsibility as it always is.
Type of paint? Whatever you could get yer hands on as long as it was black.

As for the dayglo suggestion it was already being done. HLS marker panels were used over the back bin until dayglo paint could be found (we never did find any)

These measures were implimented after the yanks decided to fire upon a section of Warriors with an A10 thunderbolt.

History? Special paint? Ulterior motives? No! just trying not to get our arses spread out over a wide area by trigger happy Yanks
Wooffy, it seems from your earlier post that you are talking about GW1. If so, my recollection is different from yours. AFAIK the two Warriors hit by A10 had the appropriate friendly markings which were adopted long before the start of the ground offensive.
 
#19
Nineteen British soldiers lost their lives in action during the campaign. Nine of them were killed on the 26th of February 1991 in the worst friendly fire incident of the war when a pair of USAF A-10 Warthogs attacked a column of Warriors belonging to C Company, 3 RRF, destroying two. The company had halted to reorganise, and was displaying correct inverted V recognition symbols and fluorescent panels, but it is likely that these were not clearly visible from the A-10’s operating altitude on account of dust, smoke and cloud cover.
Got this from http://orbat.com/site/history/historical/uk/gulforbat1990.html
 
#20
In GW1 the inverted chevrons and upper surface hi vis panels were applied before the ground offensive started. Initialy the hi vis panels were to be changed on a daily basis (the colour being indicated alongside the daily passwords and radio frequencies), but the latter was scrapped due to logistical problems, oh and it being a bloody stupid idea to start with!
 
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