Dull Garrison Chronicles, Part IV: Take the Airfield

By Carl F. Kusch


As the commanding officer BLT 2/8 (part of 26th MEU), you and your command are feeling pretty good about yourselves after Company G was able to rescue the American Ambassador. The general situation, however, has deteriorated further. The forces of BAD invaded Dull Island and are threatening to overrun the Marine garrison, which has suffered heavy casualties and is now fighting for survival on the outskirts of Al Habib. Furthermore, it would appear that BAD is already reinforcing and fortifying its defense of Dull Garrison Island even while it is attempting to eliminate the Marine stronghold.

The loss of Dull Garrison Island would be devastating to the American effort since access to other possible staging areas has eroded through the neglect of reciprocal defense treaties. Therefore, the National Command Authority has no choice but to order the immediate seizure of that vital island staging area.

It has been decided that the initial attack on Dull Garrison Island will occur at the island’s Airfield #2 in order to (a) relieve pressure on the beleaguered Marine garrison; (b) cut off the airfield through which BAD is bringing in supplies and reinforcements; and (c) provide an entry point for the U.S. forces that will continue the attack and secure the entire island.

In defense of Dull Garrison Island, the enemy has mustered a full division spearheaded by elite Guards and filled out with regular infantry spread throughout the entire island. Fortunately, other than a few antiaircraft batteries, the division’s heavy equipment has not yet caught up with it. Airfield #2 is thought to be defended by a small battalion (400 men) of regular infantry along with three antiaircraft emplacements. (See map.)

Available to provide close air support (CAS) are the the MEU’s eight Harriers and eight Cobra’s. A carrier battle group (CBG) will support the landing from a distance but will be engaged primarily in air superiority and CBG and amphibious task force (ATF) defensive missions. Once the airfield secured, elements of the 82d Airborne Division will be airlifted directly into it (by parachute if necessary). The initial elements are to assist the MEU in strengthening and expanding its foothold. The division will eventually assume the mission of securing the rest of the island. Finally, you are ordered to minimize collateral civilian damage. In support of this effort, the BLT’s specific missions are to:

* Secure Dull Garrison Island Airfield #2 (ATF Obj I) ensuring that the three antiaircraft emplacements are destroyed. The airlift of stateside forces is scheduled to begin a mere 6 hours after the commencement of the assault.

* Secure the village of Al Joblin (LF OBJ 1) in order to destroy the enemy headquarters and combat units located there as well as to prevent any reinforcement of the airfield.

* Seize the bridge over North River (LF Obj 2) in order to block any reaction the enemy may attempt as well as to facilitate future operations ashore.

Because of unfavorable beach conditions, the only suitable landing site for an amphibious assault is located at the mouth of North River, which is dry at this time of year. It is felt that the LCACs and AAVs will have no difficulty in overcoming any sandbars that may be located in this area. Beachmasters, however, will have to determine if an alternate landing point will have to be offset slightly for the LCUs, LCM-8s, and general offload. There are two LCACs and two LCUs aboard the LHA and one LCAC and one LCU aboard the LPD. Company E retains possession of the combat rigid raiding craft. Furthermore, there are only enough helicopters available to lift either one reinforced rifle company or the 105mm platoon of the battery at a time. The BLT is tasked organized aboard ship as follows:

LHA BLT 2/8 Headquarters (-) (rein)

Company G

Artillery Battery (4xl05mm+4xl55mm)

Engineer Platoon (-)

TOW section

3d Squad, Dragon Platoon


Company E

Weapons Company (-)

2d Squad, Engineer Platoon

Platoon LAI



Company F

AAV Platoon

1st Squad, Dragon Platoon

1st Squad, Engineer Platoon


As the BLT commander, briefly discuss your plans for accomplishing your mission to include your task organization for the assault, your sequencing of units ashore, and the broad missions you assign your subordinates. Include an overlay which indicates the landing zones you intend to use, additional BLT objectives that you may designate, and your general scheme of maneuver. Submit your solution to the Marine Corps Gazette, Tactical Decision Game #92-6, Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134. The Gazette will publish the author’s and other solutions in the August 1992 issue.