Patrol Base Under Attack

By Capt Paul C. Merida


You are 3d Squad leader, 3d Platoon, Kilo Company 3/8. 3d Platoon is operating out of a patrol base and is tasked with conducting security patrols, in sector, in order to prevent enemy units from infiltrating into friendly rear areas.

As part of this mission your squad was tasked with conducting a night security patrol. You left the patrol base at 2200. Four hours later your patrol is just about to reenter friendly lines. Because of the densely wooded terrain, visibility in the daytime is no more than 50-75 meters, and at night you can hardly see at all. Communications with the platoon commander throughout the patrol has been shaky at best as you try to maintain positive communications via a PRC-68.

Your patrol was uneventful, no sign of the enemy, and you’re scheduled to meet the platoon sergeant at the reentry point between 0230-0300. You’re 200 meters from that point when you begin to hear small arms fire from the direction of the patrol base. You can barely make out green and red tracers through some of the treetops and can definitely hear the sound of an M244G machinegun. You try raising anybody over the PRC-68, but no luck. The level of gunfire slowly increases, and it now sounds like 3d Platoon is fully engaged. It also sounds like the gunfire is getting closer to your position. You make out a garbled transmission over the PRC-68, “. . . casualties . . . mortars . . . 3d Squad .”

Your fire team leaders are now at your position. First Fire Team leader, “Sergeant, we got to get in there!” Second Fire Team leader, “Sergeant, we’ve got no idea what the hell is going on out there.” Third Fire Team leader, “Sergeant, what are you going to do now?” What are you going to do now, Sergeant?


In a time limit of 2 minutes, issue any orders/reports you might make. Then provide a sketch and explanation of your plan. Submit your solution to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #00-10, P.O. 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.