Driving for la porta

By Capt Duffy W. White and 1stLt Peter L. Vanderloo


You are the company commander of Company B, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, (Light Armored). Your company consists of three platoons, each of four LAV-25S, your own LAV-25, your executive officer’s LAV-C2, a section of four LAV-ATs, an attached section of four ATs from Company C. and your company combat trains of a LAVR. three LAV-Ls, and two HMMWVs. A squad of engineers also has been attached. Additionally, you have the platoon of eight LAV-Mortars, equipped with 81mm mortars, in direct support of your company.

1st Marine Division has been conducting a penetration to the south, having moved 35 miles in the last 2 days. The division is moving rapidly to seize the combat service support facility at La Porta and deny the enemy its ability to sustain combat activity against the division. The attack would also effectively cut the enemy force into two separate elements. The 5th Marine Regiment is the main effort of the division’s aggressive attack, and your company is the main effort of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion (Light Armored). The main division thrust is pushing south along a thrust line on the Route 5 corridor. The Route 5 corridor passes through the Negra and Bianca Hills, which are slow-go terrain for your LAVs.

The enemy appears to be acting without a unified plan, but they are stubbornly defending hastily established battle positions. They appear to be elements of piecemeal reserves hurriedly thrown info battle.

You are presently at a forward assembly area, having just begun to conduct a hasty service station resupply. As you prepare to continue the movement southward against the confused, isolated but tenacious enemy forces, you receive the following fragmentary order from the battalion commander:

Two BMPs and one lank have been sighted in the vicinity of the Negra and Blanca Hills, on the principal axis of advance. Route 5 (an improved-surface road). Unmanned aerial vehicles also have identified a hasty surface-laid minefield to the west of Blanca Hill along Route 10 (an unimproved road).

At 1000, Company B conducts an area reconnaissance of the Negra and Blanca Hills area to determine the best route for the quick advance of the Division’s follow-on echelon. My intent is to identify enemy dispositions, destroy them within capabilities, or fix, bypass, and hand them over to one of the companies in reserve. You will have a section of two Cobra AHIW helicopters in direct support of your company, since you are beyond artillery range.


It is presently 0900. Prepare the fragmentary order you would issue to your company and attachments. Provide a sketch and a brief explanation of your plan. Submit this order and explanation to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #93-9. P. O. Box 1775. Quantico. VA 22134.