Early Party Guests

By Capt Jeffrey J. Tlapa


You are a flight leader for a flight of eight AV-8 Harriers. Your mission is to support a joint Army/Marine airfield seizure in the nation of Ronway. The plan entails an Army paratroop company drop on the airfield to destroy the antiaircraft weapons surrounding the facility in order to allow a Marine battalion to land in MV-22s and seize it. Your role is to provide air cover for the paratroops.

As you execute the plan, you encounter some air-to-air combat with enemy planes. Two Harriers are hit and eject at the cost of four enemy aircraft destroyed and the remainder driven off. You hold awaiting the arrival of the C-141s with the paratroops, but there is no sign of them. As you are about to leave, you see the MV-22s begin to arrive in the distance. You try to signal them on the radio, but they are not responding. As they make their approach, you decide to suppress the antiaircraft artillery (AAA) (S-60s) sites but are critically low on fuel and only have enough to return. The AAA is now getting the range of the MV-22s and has shot one out of the sky as it attempts to land.

What do you do? Requirement

In the space of 1 minute, develop your response to the situation. Provide a concept of operations and tasking for your remaining aircraft. Include a sketch and rationale for your actions. Submit your solution to the Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #01-5, Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134 or fax 703-630-9147.

For more detailed information on the structure of Marine Corps units, Marine Corps equipment, and symbols used in TDG sketches, see MCG, Oct94, pp. 53-56 and the modification reported in Jan95, p. 5.