12 FAM 380 

(CT:DS-181;   07-18-2012)
(Office of Origin:   DS/PSP/DEAV)


12 FAM 381.1  Scope

(CT:DS-181;   07-18-2012)

This subchapter covers the Department’s armored vehicle program abroad that provides protection for chiefs of mission (COMs), principal officers, and others as needed from the threat of terrorism, war, and civil disturbance. 

12 FAM 381.2  Authority

(CT:DS-181;   07-18-2012)

The Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorism Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-399) as codified at 22 U.S.C. 4802.


(CT:DS-181;   07-18-2012)

a. These standards ensure that posts have a reasonable number of armored vehicle assets with an enhanced level of protection during periods of threat, instability, evacuation, or when needed to safely transport post personnel (see 12 FAH-6 H-522).

b. The Department’s responsibilities and performance standards for the safety of armored vehicles deployed abroad are to ensure that each armored vehicle meets Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Motor Vehicle Safety (FMVS), and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) standards.  Where armoring may adversely impact these standards, the Department, through its relationships with armoring vendors, makes the necessary adjustments to brake, suspension, and safety systems to align these modified vehicles to the DOT, FMVS, and OEM standards.


(CT:DS-181;   07-18-2012)

a. DS is responsible for coordinating the armored vehicle program and developing standards.  Direct any questions pertaining to this program to the Office of Physical Security Programs, Defensive Equipment and Armored Vehicles Division (DS/PSP/DEAV).  DS/PSP/DEAV serves as the overall coordination point and program manager for vehicle armoring and related issues, and the liaison for various Federal agencies, the Overseas Security Policy Board (OSPB), and posts.  DS/PSP/DEAV provides annual budget estimates to Diplomatic Security (DS) for those platforms and DS-provided armoring systems, along with required funding estimates for International Cooperative Administrative Support Services (ICASS).

b. The post Emergency Action Committee (EAC) meets at least annually to discuss the armored vehicle program and requirements.  It is important that EACs provide information on these requirements, so that ICASS councils and DS/PSP/DEAV have sufficient time to budget for base vehicle requirements and the extra costs associated with armoring the vehicles, respectively.


(CT:DS-181;   07-18-2012)

The vehicle make, type, and model assigned to any post must align with the vehicle assignment policy of the Federal agency using the vehicle.  All assignments of armored vehicles to post, other than for the COM, principal officer (PO), DS- or Marine Security Guard (MSG)-assigned security assets, must include consultation and coordination between the agency and the EAC.  In the event of a disagreement between the EAC and an individual agency, forward the dispute to the COM for resolutionOverall responsibility for the use of official vehicles at a post lies with the COM or principal officer (PO) who must establish policies for the use of official vehicles for business purposes and other authorized uses in accordance with regulation (14 FAM 430).

12 FAM 385  Procurement

(CT:DS-181;   07-18-2012)

Post must coordinate requests for all Department and ICASS armored vehicles through DS/PSP/DEAV.  Other agencies must coordinate requests for armored vehicles through their agency’s headquarters element with oversight for the armoring process.  All armored vehicles must meet OSPB armored vehicle standards (see 12 FAH-6 H-520).


(CT:DS-181;   07-18-2012)

As a post responsibility, armored vehicles must undergo top quality preventive and mechanical maintenance on a regular basis using post-designated local mechanics.  Armored vehicles require regular maintenance to overcome the stress of the armor on the vehicle’s drive train, suspension, and brake systems.  Any post-designated local mechanic, while under an embassy employee’s observation, may perform mechanical work or preventive maintenance on armored vehicles.


(CT:DS-181;   07-18-2012)

DS repairs and replaces armor materials on Department-furnished armored vehicles, and may provide the same services to other agencies, on a reimbursable basis.  When armoring removal or repair is necessary on an official Department or ICASS vehicle, DS/PSP/DEAV must first authorize such work in writing after consulting with the regional security officer (RSO).  The same applies to another agency’s vehicle; however, consult the headquarters element responsible for the agency’s armored vehicle program.  Alterations to an armored vehicle must not reduce the effectiveness of the armor materials or the performance of the vehicle.  When replacing defective armor materials, authorized armoring technicians must perform the work using parts they deem necessary to comply with Department standards.


(CT:DS-181;   07-18-2012)

a. For post- and bureau-armored vehicle assets, the RSO must coordinate disposal with the Office of Logistics Operations, Motor Vehicles Branch, Secure Logistics Division (A/LM/OPS/SL/MV), DS/PSP/DEAV, and the general services officer (GSO).  Other agencies must coordinate disposal of their armored vehicles with the RSO and their responsible headquarters element.  A/LM/OPS/SL/MV and DS/PSP/EAV will offer advice and assistance to posts that are not able to destroy vehicles with one of the prescribed methods listed in paragraph 12 FAM 388 d. Posts must dispose of armored vehicles on the basis of local conditions and restrictions.

b. The methodology and materials used in armoring Department vehicles is classified.  All armored vehicles must be destroyed at the end of their useful life; they may NOT be sold, donated, or transferred to persons, governments, or organizations outside of the U.S. Government.  Armored vehicles may be transferred to other U.S. Government agencies provided the receiving agency agrees to properly dispose of the armored vehicle.  Disposal must be witnessed by a cleared U.S. citizen.

c.  Post personnel, as the RSO authorizes, must remove salvageable radios and security equipment before disposal.

d. For security reasons, post or the receiving agency in paragraph 12 FAM 388 b. must destroy all armored vehicles.  Approved disposal methods include:

(1)  Explosive demolition;

(2)  Burning;

(3)  Crushing;

(4)  Disassembly with sections no larger than 2 square feet; or

(5)  Burial on U.S. Government-controlled land.

12 FAM 389  FSN Armored Vehicle Driver Training

(CT: DS-181;   07-18-2012)

a. The RSO must ensure that drivers assigned to COM and/or PO armored vehicles attend the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Training Center (DSTC) armored vehicle driver training program.  When the assigned, trained driver is temporarily unavailable, RSOs may designate experienced drivers who have not had this training to drive until the trained driver returns to duty.  The DSTC maintains these training records.

b. Supervisors of armored vehicle drivers must ensure that any driver assigned to regularly drive an armored vehicle at post; e.g., an armored shuttle has the opportunity to attend the DSTC armored vehicles driver training program.  The program, section, or agency requesting training absorbs the participation costs.

c.  RSOs must ensure that all drivers who drive the COM and/or PO armored vehicles take refresher training every five years following the initial training.

d. The GSO must include the drivers’ most recent refresher driver training dates when submitting an armored vehicle replacement request to DEAV.

e. Training consists of classes for proper operation and enhanced effectiveness of drivers of armored vehicles, including:

(1)  Terrorist Operations;

(2)  Surveillance Detection/Countermeasures;

(3)  Car-jacking, Route Analysis;

(4)  Vehicle Dynamics 1, 2 and 3;

(5)  Emergency Driving;

(6)  Street Line Driving;

(7)  Barricade Breaching, Backing Drills;

(8)  Evasive Maneuvers;

(9)  Attack Recognition;

(10) Armored Car Enhanced Skills; and

(11) Improvised Explosive Devices.