Rahadnak Valley Search

by Maj Kenneth R. Kassner


You are the Commanding Officer, Company G, Battalion Landing Team 2d Battalion, 2d Marines-the mechanized rifle company currently deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (26th MEU (SOC)). Recently, the MEU was sent to the country of Ghanifstan in order to reinforce coalition units searching for Nadel nib Amaso and remnants of his Nabilat forces and needihajum freedom fighters believed to be operating in the southeastern part of the country. Throughout the winter months Rahadnak and the surrounding provinces have been relatively quiet with no armed conflict in this region. However, with the arrival of the spring thaw and warming temperatures, organized guerrilla groups reignited an active campaign against coalition forces and inflamed tribal unrest throughout the region.

Your mechanized company, embarked aboard 14 assault amphibious vehicles, is reinforced with elements from its organic weapons platoon, including three machinegun squads and six assault teams evenly dispersed between the platoons and a 60mm mortar section. While traveling east along a main road in the Rahadnak Valley during a routine mechanized patrol, your unit is tasked to search a village suspected of harboring Nabilat and needihajum fighters. Speed is essential as the enemy is prone to resupplying its forces and then quickly fading into the rugged and mountainous countryside. A section of AH-IW Cobras that can reinforce your unit within 15 minutes remains on call to provide close air support.

In order to maximize the “shock and awe” and speed of your mechanized unit, you decide on a simple, though previously effective, scheme of maneuver that calls for two platoons to encircle the village-one from the north and the other from the south-one platoon to advance along the main avenue of approach to seal the entry point and a dismounted mortar section to isolate the objective area with calls for fire as needed. The section of Cobras can be used to further isolate the objective area or provide supporting fires if required.

As your lead elements enter the village area, 1st Platoon immediately begins taking machinegun fire from the vicinity of Hill 2. As the platoon commander begins to take immediate action, mortars begin impacting around him. One of his vehicles has sustained a mobility kill. What now, Captain?


In a time limit of 5 minutes, issue your orders to your element leaders. Prepare an overlay depicting your scheme of maneuver, fragmentary order, and rationale for your actions. Submit your solution to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #04-7, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134, fax 703-630-9147, or email <gazette@mca-marines.org>.

For more detailed information on the structure of Marine Corps units, Marine Corps equipment, and symbols used in TDG sketches, see the MCG web site at <www. mca-marines.org/gazeUe>.