Bridges East and West

By Capt Michael J. Targos


You are the commanding officer of Company C, Ist Battalion, 2d Marines, Regimental Landing Team 2. RLT-2 is conducting an amphibious assault in the country of Burgundy. The country is characterized by many rolling hills, sporadically forested. The coastline is fortified with numerous concrete bunkers, minefields, and tank obstacles. Your company is a pre-Hhour helicopterborne force tasked with inserting into Landing Zone (LZ) Hawk near “The Ville” (an evacuated hamlet of 25-30 wooden huts) and blocking on enemy reserve force along the line of the Green River. Higher’s intent is to prevent, at all costs, the enemy reserve force, which is believed to be a reenforced mech battalion equipped with BMP-2s and a platoon of T-72 tanks, from interfering with the fight on the beach. Plans call for the destruction of East Bridge by airstrike at L-30. Lhour is scheduled for 0630. H-hour for the rest of the battalion is 0900 across Red Beach 5 kilometers south of LZ Hawk. Bravo Company (Rein) will comprise the assault wave with a tank platoon close behind in LCUs.

Your plan is to seize the West Bridge with your first wave and to add depth to your position with the second wave along Route 3. The first wave is loaded with two rifle platoons (1st and 2d), two machinegun squads, four assault teams (attached to the platoons), a 60mm mortar squad, a Dragon section, and your company command element (-) with a tactical air control party and naval surface fire spot team attached. The remainder of the company is capable of being in zone in 1 hour. USS Spruance (DD 963) is in direct support of the RLT, and there is a section of AH1Ws (TOWs) escorting your helicopter formation. A section of AV8Bs armed with 500-pound bombs comes on station at 0700.

As you approach LZ Hawk, you observe from your helicopter a company-sized mech force crossing East Bridge. The bridge wasn’t destroyed? You count approximately 10 BMPs and see no tanks. Your helicopter hits the deck. The ramp drops. What are your orders?


In a time limit of 3 minutes, issue any orders you would give and prepare any reports or requests you would submit to higher headquarters. Provide a sketch of the actions taken and the rationale behind them. Send your solution to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #99-8, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134 or fax to (703) 630-9147.