Long Night for the Boat Company

By Capt Michael J. Targos


You are the commander of Company C, the boat company for Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/2. The BLT will be landing across Red Beach 1 in order to secure a beachhead for followon forces. Your company has been tasked with landing at H-5 and moving to secure Hill 84 in order to control the high ground overlooking the beach prior to H-hour and to protect the BLT’s left flank.

As you make your final check with the Landing Force Operations Center prior to staging in the well deck of the USS Ponce (LPD-15), you hear a SALUTE report passed over the net by a reconnaissance team: “Estimated 5-6 enemy armored personnel carriers with 10-15 dismounts digging in at grid [north slope of Hill 84].”

You land undetected in combat rubber raiding craft (CRRCs) on the west flank of Red 1 with two rifle platoons, your headquarters, machinegun section (-), and mortar section and begin your infiltration north through the sparse scrub brush. You are near the head of your company column with 3d Platoon. You signal for a short security halt about halfway up the hill. As you move up to the point, you see a soldier silhouetted at the top of the hill. It’s 90 percent illumination with no cloud cover, and you find it hard to believe you have not been spotted. The soldier walks around for about 30 seconds and disappears over the crest to the north. H-hour is in 90 minutes. What do you do, Captain?


In a time limit of 3 minutes, come up with your plan in the form of any orders you will issue or reports/requests you will make. Then provide a sketch and a brief explanation of your plan. Submit your solution to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #98-11, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134 or fax 703-640-0823.