Army uses Highway 16 to train long-haul drivers

The in basket: As I returned from the Tacoma area on July 12, I saw something I’d never seen before. A convoy of four long- haul flatbed trucks, all Army vehicles driven by uniformed personnel, was making its way north on Highway 16 in South Kitsap. Signs reading “Student Driver’ were mounted on the front and back of each truck, none of which was carrying any cargo.

When they reached the Sedgwick interchange, they pulled off, and stopped at the red light at the head of the ramp. But when the light changed to green, they pulled across on the on-ramp and continued toward Gorst. I exited at Sedgwick so was left to wonder how far they went.

It obviously was a training mission, but I also wondered if the Army regularly uses Highway 16 for such things.

The out basket: Not surprisingly, there are too many Army units in the region, from Joint Base Lewis McChord to Army Reserve and National Guard units, for me to pin it down too precisely. I wasn’t smart enough to note the truck numbers on the sides of the vehicles that would have allowed Army public affairs to tell me where the trip originated.

But Col. David Johnson of the Army’s I Corp said trainee drivers of Army vehicles have to leave the bases to encounter freeway conditions, so it’s quite possible Highway 16 is often the site of such training. It may also have been a trip to pick up some cargo at one of the Navy bases in Kitsap County piggy-backed on a training exercise, he said.

Have any of you readers encountered student Army drivers motoring along Highway 16 or other local freeways?

One thought on “Army uses Highway 16 to train long-haul drivers

  1. I saw the four military flatbed trucks with student drivers in Belfair. I believe it was on Tuesday. Two of them were parked in the side parking lot at QFC, and the other two were just turning into the parking lot. I wondered what they were doing way out here.

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