Tactical Decision Game #23-04: Hide and Seek

The year is 2031 and the world is at war. You are the squad leader for 1st Squad, Alpha Company, 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment. You are tasked with maintaining a low signature sensing cell on the small island of Pamitinan in the Philippine archipelago. Enemy ships frequent the straight between your island and the island approximately nine kilometers to the north. Although remaining undetected to protect sensing capabilities is the primary mission, your squad is equipped with one squad deployment missile system which has eight missiles as well as two unmanned aquatic vehicles each carrying sixteen surface-to-surface launched missiles. Your weaponry allows you a last line of self-defense if spotted and enables a strike capability in case of a high-priority target as designated by the fleet commander.  

You have been on the island for 57 days and are quickly approaching the end of your 60 days of rations and logistical sustainment. Resupplies have been planned for your squad twice in the past three weeks but have fallen through due to unexpected enemy movement in the area that could reveal your positioning or down the incoming aircraft. Three days ago, your 1st fire team leader, Cpl Snow, developed a high fever. He has been vomiting, in and out of consciousness, and recently finished the last IV bag. A medevac for Cpl Snow and a logistical resupply is now a necessity. To avoid detection, you are limited to one randomly generated comm window a day that lasts for two minutes. During the last window, it was passed that an MV-22 Osprey would be landing at your LZ at 0900 with a medical crew for an extract of Cpl Snow and a logistical resupply of 60 days of sustainment.  

As you are preparing the second fireteam to move to the LZ and rendezvous with the Osprey a Marine from your squad grabs you to tell you to look at the radar. You look to see your sensor has picked up not one but two enemy ships. To your northeast is an enemy sensing ship capable of picking up any transmissions that use SATCOM, HF, and VHF within seconds and pinpointing its location for precision-strike capabilities to act on. To your northwest heading toward the other ship is an enemy battleship capable of ship-to-air and ship-to-shore precision-ballistic strikes. It would take approximately 36 of your organic missiles to overwhelm the battleship’s defense capabilities and 24 for the sensing ship. The Osprey that is inbound is only minutes from being within range and is currently flying dark on comms only able to be reached by an emergency VHF net that you could contact to call them off. A strike from the enemy destroyer would be on target within 90 seconds with an attack from the nearest enemy-held island being 5 minutes. The time is 0852, what do you do? 

>GySgt McGrorty-Hunter is a Cyber Network Chief and is currently serving as a Faculty Advisor at the Staff Non-Commissioned Officers Academy aboard MCB Quantico. He is also the founder of the Quantico Warfighting Society. His most recent assignment prior to serving at Quantico was with ¼ MAR where he deployed twice in support of the 31st and 15th MEUs. 

Home on the Range

Situation

You are the 1st Squad Leader, 3d Platoon, Company F, Battalion Landing Team 2d Battalion, 1st Marines (BLT 2/1). Recently, the MEU was sent to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in support of NATO forces during Operation Enduring Freedom. The MEU has been in country approximately 45 days and is assigned to the northeast sector of the area of responsibility, Nangarhar Province. Recently, your company has been assigned to the eastern sector of the area of operations (AO), a sector that includes the main road from Jalalabad to Pakistan through the Khyber Pass. Your company’s tasks include defeating anticoalition/insurgent/Taliban forces, halting the illegal flow of arms and explosives, and strengthening local government, police, and army forces. All of these tasks are executed in order to increase local stability and promote legitimate economic growth in the AO.

Your company commander assigned your platoon to the town of Basawul with the specific task of working with Afghan police in support of the BLT antiinsurgency campaign. The area around Basawul is arid, sparsely populated, and poor, with a market square in the town center. Extended families reside in low, single-story dwellings built around a central courtyard. You and your men are quite familiar with these dwellings from your weeks of patrolling and frequent house searches for weapons and contraband.

You command a Marine rifle squad (13 men) mounted in 3 HMMWVs, 2 with ring-mounted M240 machineguns, and 1 Afghan police pickup truck. Four Afghan policemen are attached to your squad for this patrol. The mission of your patrol is to interdict any insurgent forces or their supplies transiting your AO and to confiscate any caches of arms or equipment discovered in order to deny this region to the enemy as a sanctuary or supply source. The platoon has two personnel HMMWVs back at the police station, and the Afghan police have two more pickup trucks. One combined antiarmor team is approximately 10 minutes from the town and serves as a quick reaction force.

During an uneventful patrol through the local village you notice more than a dozen unarmed militaryaged men loitering about. You don’t recall seeing any of them before. Those who meet your gaze give you hard looks. You notice that the general store has sold out its small stock of canned goods. Per the patrol route, you drive by a circuitous route to a residence 4 kilometers east of town reputed to be the family home of a popular insurgent chief your battalion has long been after.

You halt your HMMWVs away from the residence, and you assign 1st Fire Team to advance with two of the policemen in the pickup truck to observe the house. You are able to observe through binoculars the team drive up the north side of a mountain, dismount, then ascend the mountain to observe the home. Approximately 5 minutes after they crest the ridgeline and you cannot observe them, your radio operator hands you the radio and says, “1st Fire Team.”

You receive the report. “There’s an unfamiliar pickup truck and a van parked in the courtyard. There’s an older man butchering a sheep in the front yard. Afghan police officer states that he believes the activities in the courtyard are in preparation for a celebration.” You hand the Afghan police officer the radio, and he talks to the Afghan police officer with 1st Fire Team. He then looks at you, shrugs his shoulders, and says in his broken English, “Something will happen, maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day.” He indicates the clear sky and says, “Tonight is a good night for a fight,” and smiles. You look at your watch and notice that sunset is in 80 minutes, and the patrol is due back in 60 minutes. What now?

Requirement

In a time limit of 20 minutes, indicate what actions you will take, issue your orders to your team leaders, give your report to your platoon commander, and make a recommendation on support you need from him to accomplish the mission.

Issues for Consideration

1. What do you believe will happen in the area over the next 4 hours and 24 hours that will impact the platoon’s mission?

2. What do you want to make happen?

3. How do your actions, orders, and recommendations do this? What is the task and purpose of the local police force, if anything?

4. Do your actions and their probable results escalate or deescalate violence in your AO?

5. Do you want to kill or capture possible opponents?

6. What considerations do you give to injury of noncombatants and damage to local property (collateral damage)?

7. Assuming your actions result in a fight and victory over insurgent forces, what actions do you take with regard to:

* Dead and injured enemy combatants?

* Dead and injured noncombatants?

8. Based on your actions in question 7, what do you expect civilian response will be to collateral damage:

* At the conclusion of fighting, while you are in the area?

* Within 1 hour after you leave?

* At the end of the day?

* At the end of the week?

9. Based on your actions in question 7, what is the expected enemy response to collateral damage:

* At conclusion of fighting, while you are in the area?

* Within 1 hour after you leave?

* At the end of the day?

* At the end of the week?

10. What actions can you and the BLT take to counter and exploit enemy and civilian responses to collateral damage:

* While you are in the area?

* After you leave the base?

* When you subsequently patrol in the area?

11. What actions can you, the BLT, and the local forces take to defeat enemy motivation to attack:

* While in the area?

* After you return to base?

* Over the next week?

Unwanted Guests

Situation

You are Ahmed al Aba. You have been the patriarch of your extended family in Basawal for over 30 years. Your extended family is of the Wakhi tribe, and your family interests are primarily in farming and trade. Over the past several years you have watched the Taliban leave to Pakistan through the Khyber Pass, the Americans move in and then leave, the Taliban return, the Europeans come and go, and now the Americans have returned. During this time you have noticed other tribes and families ally themselves with the foreigners, installing themselves in government and army positions, and then stealing from the people they should be protecting. Your family has not benefited from the occupation and has suffered in confrontations with the local “army” and “police” force who are primarily members of the majority Pashtun and city-dwelling Tajik tribes. You have regained some of your family’s prominence by hosting and moving weapons and people from Pakistan into Jalalabad. While you do not have strong passions toward this “insurgent” faction, they at least let your family live in peace according to your customs and tradition and provide you with some means to resist the corrupt police and army in your area.

Over the past month the Americans have been supporting local Pashtun and Tajik tribes as they seek to consolidate power over the region. To further this gain, the Americans have been training the local police force. While this has had the desired effect of making them less corrupt (they cannot charge bribes in front of the Americans), it has also given them more power to attack other family and tribe strongholds, usurping power in the area.

In response to this situation, you called the leaders of three of the families in the area with the idea of diverting some Taliban fighters who flow through your area from Jalalabad into the town of Basawal in order to attack the local police and remind them who is boss. The patriarchs agreed to your idea, and three of you arranged a home and weapons for the fighters in Basawal.

Fifteen fighters arrived yesterday, and you met with their Taliban leader who agreed to do what you asked. In the Afghan tradition, the night before the first attacks in Basawal, the fighters, the family heads, and several members of your family have come to your house to celebrate the coming venture.

Just before sunset, as you are readying to sit and eat, you see your son, Ustad, talking excitedly on his cell phone. He hangs up, walks over to you in defiance of good manners, and whispers in your ear, “Father, my friend told me there are some, maybe four, American armored vehicles with an Afghan police vehicle perhaps 1 kilometer southwest of here along the City Center Road.” You look around and realize that you have 1 5 Taliban fighters, the heads of 3 families with 2 fighting- aged sons each, 20 AK- 47s with 2 magazines each, 6 grenades, and 1 rocket propelled grenade with 4 rockets in your home. There are also four women and children from each of the families who have not learned to fight. You think and remember that your pickup truck and van are inside the compound. You close your eyes, gather your thoughts, and walk over to the head of the three families and the Taliban leader. What do you say?

Requirement

In a time limit of 20 minutes, indicate what actions you will take, what your intent is, and what actions the family heads and Taliban leader must take tonight.

Issues for Consideration

1. Do you face a threat or an opportunity? Explain.

2. What (and when) do you believe the Americans and Afghan police will do tonight?

3. What is your intent for your actions?

4. How do your actions and orders meet your inrenr?

5. Can you ambush the Americans? If so, how?

6. What do you consider mission success?

7. How sensitive are you to:

* Casualties among your family?

* Casualties among the Taliban?

* Casualties among the other family members?

* Damage to your property?

8. Do your actions force the Americans to fight? Is so, what are the possible repercussions of a fight with the Americans?

9. If you chose not to attack the Americans, what other methods could you use to neutralize them?

Trouble at the VCP

Situation

You are the Squad Leader, 1st Squad, 3d Platoon, Company G, Battalion Landing Team 2d Battalion, 1st Marines (BLT 2/1). Recently the MEU was sent to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in support of NATO forces during Operation Enduring Freedom. You have been in-country approximately 2 months and have been assigned to the northeast sector of the area of responsibility, Nangarhar Province. Last month Company G engaged sizable needihajum forces under Sher Dil during a cordon and search operation within the valley. Company G was able to disrupt arms trafficking via the valley; however, small pockets of resistance continue to slip through the valley (squad-sized, Soviet small arms, light machineguns, and rocket propelled grenades). Some of the platoon checkpoints (CPs) have received inaccurate 82mm mortar fire in the last week. Additionally, Company Gs actions last month resulted in significant collateral damage to local poppy fields and goatherds. Several houses and barns within Ada At ah were damaged, and the sole pump in the village center was crushed under the weight of the company’s assault amphibious vehicles. Unequal distributions of solatia payments (appearing to favor Kushtuz farmers in Ada over the minority Nu ristani) have led to increased theft and violence against the Kushtuz by nonaligned Nuristani tribesmen. The company CP is located 25 miles southwest, and the commanding officer has deployed his platoons throughout the valley to provide security for nongovernmental organizations, conduct security patrols, and support human exploitation teams in answering demographic requests for information about the local leaders, population, atmosphere, etc.

It is 1030 and your squad has been at work in Ada Atah for about an hour and a half. You have been in radio contact with your platoon commander and the vehicle CP (VCP). The VCP is closing up shop and is about to push out to continue patrolling along the main supply route. It’s about time; you believe they’re just a target there. In the street in front of you, children kick around a soccer ball that one of your Marines produced out of his pack earlier in the morning. You can hear music from flutes of shepherds who are intermingled with the growing crowd of locals at the seed distribution center and the building housing the health workers. As you clip the handset back to your flak vest you hear the dull thud of two mortar rounds to the north and look up to see a brown pickup truck tear off of the main supply route into a poppy field, heading south. Your radio crackles to life with the voice of one of the heavy machinegun (HMG) corporals up at the VCP, “Orphan 1-3 this is Thor 1. Brown pickup with four Afghans heading south along the dirt road.”

One of the HMG HMMWVs wheels around to the south in the poppy field west of the dirt road and stops. Its gunner traverses the .50 caliber and fires a six-round burst over the pickup that impacts about 100 meters short of the creek bed. The brown pickup jumps onto the northsouth dirt road and continues south at about 40 kilometers per hour. You have about 20 seconds until that pickup makes it to Ada At ah. What now, Sergeant?

Requirement

Given the deployment and current activities of your squad, and in a time limit of 5 seconds, issue your verbal orders to your element leaders and any reports to higher headquarters. What are you doing after your orders are issued?

Issues for Consideration

1. Do you engage the pickup truck? Did the truck’s occupants commit a hostile act/show hostile intent? How does the indirect fire play into your decision? Do your actions change if the passenger points an AK-47 straight in the air out of the window? What if the passenger fires the AK- 47 back at the HMG section?

2. What do you tell the HMG section to do, if anything?

3. Do your actions and their probable results escalate or deescalate violence in your area of operations?

4. What do you expect the enemy to do as a result of your orders? How do your orders exploit the enemy’s response?

5. How do you expect the nongovernmental organizations to react to the actions of your squad?

6. What do you expect civilian reaction/sentiments to be to the collateral damage and/or the actions of your squad? Within 2 hours after you have arrived? At the end of the day? At the end of the week?

7. What is the expected enemy response to collateral damage and/or actions of your squad? Within 2 hours after you leave? At the end of the day? At the end of the week?

8. What actions can you and the BLT take to counter and exploit enemy and civilian responses to collateral damage? While you are in the area? After you return to base?

9. What actions can you, the company, and the BLT take to deter future enemy activity in this area? While you are in the area? After you return to base? During subsequent patrols in the area:

Rabblerousers

Situation

You are the Squad Leader, 1st Squad, 3d Platoon, Company G, Battalion Landing Team 2d Battalion, 1st Marines (BLT 2/1). Recently the MEU was sent to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in support of NATO forces during Operation E N-DURING FREEDOM. You have been in-country approximately 2 months and have been assigned to the northeast sector of the area of responsibility, Nan-garhar Province. Last month Company G engaged sizable needihajum forces under Sher Dil during a cordon and search operation within the valley. Company G was able to disrupt arms trafficking via the valley; however, small pockets of resistance continue to slip through the valley (squad-sized, Soviet small arms, light machineguns/rocket propelled grenades (RPGs)). Some of the platoon checkpoints (CPs) have received inaccurate 82mm mortar fire in the last week. Additionally, Company G’s actions last month resulted in significant collateral damage to local poppy fields and goat herds. Several houses and barns within Ada Atah were damaged, and the sole pump in the village center was crushed under the weight of the company’s assault amphibious vehicles. Unequal distributions of solatia payments (appearing to favor Kushtuz farmers in Ada over the minority Nuris-tani) have led to increased thefts and violence against Kushtuz by nonaligned Nuristani tribesmen. The company CP is located 25 miles southwest, and the commanding officer has deployed his platoons throughout the valley to provide security for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), conduct security patrols, and support human exploitation teams in answering demographic requests for information about the local leaders, population, atmosphere, etc.

It is about 1830 now after 3 days in Ada Atah. The villagers are beginning to be less skittish around your Marines and even the World Agro Fund (WAF) and Healthwatch are less irritable. As you head under the cover of an awning by a stable, you hear Cpl Clark’s voice over your internal squad radio, Boss, this is Echo 4 Charlie. I’ve got two males in man-dresses checking out the village from the farm 300 meters to the north. They were out there this morning, but they’re back with binoculars now.

Roger, Charlie. You release the handset, but something has changed in Ada Atah. The village is still packed. There is a hum, a murmur underneath the noise of the crowd. Then you notice the soccer ball lying still in the middle of the road. The flutes of the shepherds aren’t playing. There are no children. A WAF volunteer sprints from the pile of seed to the medical center. As she does, a rifle cracks over the noise of the crowd. A gunman with an AK-47 stands behind a donkey cart and tries to incite the crowd, ‘Bey-baies . . . paida-warunah . . . bon-sat-tunah!’? A rock is hurled from the crowd and strikes the wall next to you. Seconds before the rock above you explodes you see an RPG skip off the top of the pile of seed bags directly across the village. The chatter of machinegun fire comes from the farm to the north. Your radio squeals as your fire team leaders talk over one another, ‘oeBoss, Williams is hit bad. He needs casevac!’

As soon as you look over to Cpl Clark”s position, a teenage boy from the village runs across your path with an AK’?47. He is 1 meter ahead of you and doesn’t see you. What now, Sergeant?

Requirement

Given the deployment and current activities of your squad, and in a time limit of 5 minutes, issue your verbal orders to your element leaders and any reports to higher headquarters. What are you doing after your orders are issued?

Issues for Consideration

1. What are your priorities? The casevac? The machinegun? The RPG? The boy?

2. What do you want to make happen in the next 60 seconds?

3. What can you make happen in the next 5 minutes?

4. Do your actions and their probable results escalate or deescalate violence in your area of operations?

5. Do you want to kill or capture possible opponents?

6. What considerations do you give to injury to noncombatants and damage to local property (collateral damage)?

7. How much collateral damage do you anticipate as a result of your actions?

8. Assuming your actions result in a fight and victory over insurgent forces, what actions do you take with regard to:

* Dead and injured enemy combatants?

* Dead and injured noncombatants?

9. Based on your actions in question 7, what do you expect civilian/NGO response will be to collateral damage:

* At the conclusion of fighting, while you are in the area?

* Within 1 hour after you leave?

* At the end of the day?

* At the end of the week?

10. Based on your actions in question 7, what is the expected enemy response to collateral damage:

* At the conclusion of fighting, while you are in the area?

* Within 1 hour after you leave?

* At the end of the day?

* At the end of the week?

11. What actions can you and the BLT take to counter and exploit enemy and civilian responses to collateral damage:

* While you are in the area?

* After you return to base?

* When you subsequently patrol in the area?

12. What actions have you, the BLT, and local forces taken to defeat enemy motivation to attack:

* While in the area?

* After you return to base?

* Over the next week?

To Ambush or Not to Ambush

Situation

You are the 1st Squad Leader, 1st Platoon, Company F, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines (2/7). Battalion Landing Team 2/7 (BLT 2/7) is the ground combat element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit that has landed at the port city of New Zeda in the country of Zedastan. The established government is struggling with counterguerrilla insurgency, and there have been numerous high-profile kidnappings, bombings, and assassinations in the past month. Conditions have deteriorated to a point requiring international intervention. The city is home to over 1 million people most of whom require humanitarian relief. The main enemy force, the Zedastan People’s Army (ZPA), retreated from the city upon the arrival of the Marines. ZPA is a large but untrained army with mostly small arms, machineguns, and a few mortars. They do have access to modern communications such as cell phones and global positioning systems.

The BLT is the security element for both U.S. and international aid organizations that are feeding the estimated 300,000 refugees. Company F has been tasked with ensuring that ZPA forces do not return to the city to interfere with humanitarian efforts. Your platoon has been tasked with conducting security patrols outside the city approximately 2 kilometers to the northeast. The terrain is heavily wooded with rolling hills.

Your squad has been on patrol for over an hour. The BLT perimeter and city outskirts are approximately 2 kilometers to the south. Your point man spots what appears to be an enemy patrol armed with small arms moving south toward your squad. You decide to establish an ambush and set your squad into hasty ambush positions oriented to the northwest. You radio higher headquarters and inform them of the situation. just as you are about to initiate your ambush (with a closed bolt weapon), the 1st Fire Team Leader points out another enemy unit moving toward and behind you. he counts at least six enemy with more following. He’s not sure how many. The team leader also notes at least one RPK (Soviet) medium machinegun. It is now 1730 and EENT (end evening nautical twilight) is 10 minutes away. What now, Sergeant?

Requirement

In a time limit of 30 seconds decide whether or not you will spring your ambush. Develop your scheme of maneuver for either case and rationale for your decision. Submit your solution and rationale for your action to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #04-4, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134, fax 703-630-9147, or e-mail <gazette@mca-marines.org>.

Protecting the ‘Golden Leaf’

Situation

You are the 1st Fire Team Leader, 2d Squad, 2d Platoon, Company C, Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines of the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (22d MEU(SOC)). Your company has been tasked to maintain peace in the city of Koper, Slovenia. Slovenia has been suffering from a 5-year civil war. The legitimate government has finally come to a truce with the major belligerents in the war; however, there are rebellious factions who continue to conduct guerrilla warfare against the government and its supporters. The citizens of Koper remain peaceful with American forces but have recently begun to hold peaceful demonstrations against American imperialism. The demonstrations have yet to ignite into resistant crowds. The MEU commander believes that the population will soon become more aggressive in their protests. This is due to a few unfortunate misunderstandings and guerrilla propaganda. The citizens are caught in a whirlpool between the guerrillas’ political ideologies and the efforts of American forces. Their emotions are severely stirred and teetering on the edge. The guerrillas have Soviet-bloc small arms and experiment with crude “basement made” chemical irritants and explosives.

Your squad has been tasked to conduct an urban security patrol in a village located in your company’s area of operations in order to show presence and deter guerrilla actions. Attached to your squad is a corpsman, machinegun squad, assault team shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon, and a human exploitation team (HET) Marine who can speak Slovenian. It is early afternoon, there is light traffic on the streets, and the sky is cloudy. After crossing the bridge en route to checkpoint Nissan, your squad is fragged over the radio to set up a vehicle checkpoint. Your squad leader states that S-2 (intelligence) has reliable information indicating that rebel forces are planning to attack the nearby State Tobacco factory with a car bomb. Your squad must search every vehicle attempting to enter the factory’s perimeter. Your squad establishes a checkpoint in the middle of Tobacco Lane-the only road leading into the factory. There are some small houses to your west and a river to the east. A small crowd of civilians approaches from the riverbank to watch the Americans in action.

As your squad begins to set up the vehicle checkpoint, members of the 3d Fire Team, on the east flank, report a strange odor. At the same time the HET Marine with the 3d Fire Team begins to vomit uncontrollably. He begins to rub his face screaming that his eyes and skin are burning. He collapses in agony and continues to cry out. Your squad leader immediately gives the command to don protective masks, but it is too late for another two members of 3d Fire Team-the squad automatic weapon gunner and rifleman begin experiencing the same symptoms as the HET man. The Marines who masked in time experienced no symptoms except for burning of exposed skin. The corpsman speculates that these are symptoms of a known improvised non-lethal gas that the guerrillas have developed. The crowd becomes aggressive when several civilians begin feeling the effects of the gas. They begin throwing debris (bricks, bottles, and rocks) with extreme force and incredible accuracy at the Marines. Seeing the Marines mask up, the crowd thinks that the Marines used the chemical agent on them. Acting utterly on emotion they are unaware of the fact that the guerrillas probably employed the gas. The squad leader is then suddenly hit in the face with a rock knocking him nearly unconscious. You are now in charge. The crowd is growing angrier and more people are joining them. They are not holding back. What do you do?

Requirement

In a time limit of 2 minutes, write down your fragmentary order and any reports to higher headquarters. Provide a sketch of your actions. Rules of engagement state that riot control agents require authorization, and approval for their use will be given on a case-by-case basis. Submit your solution and rationale for your action to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #04-6, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134, fax 703-630-9147, or e-mail <gazette@mca-marines.org>.

Urban Contact

Note: Readers should use the CD enclosed with this issue of the MCG when developing their TDG solution. See note at end of “Tasks.”

Situation

You are the Commander, 1st Platoon, Company A. Your platoon is reinforced with one machinegun squad.

Company Commander’s Order

“Enemy patrols, mostly squad size, have become increasingly bolder as we have withdrawn south. I think we can expect tentative contact here in the village this morning. The battalion is withdrawing south and repositioning in order to turn over this sector to allied forces. Company A is tasked to guard the battalion rear in order to prevent enemy interference with our withdrawal. One platoon is detached to battalion. One platoon guards the town while one platoon moves south to establish the next rear guard position. There is no close air or artillery support.”

Tasks

“1st Platoon is the main effort; guard the company rear in order to prevent interference with our withdrawal. 2d Platoon is detached. 3d Platoon, move south and establish the next rear guard position in order to permit 1st Platoon’s withdrawal. Priority of fires for mortars is to 3d Platoon.”

(Note: If you are wargaming your course of action by yourself, load Fight 1-1 a which is designed for single play. In single play you will fight with one squad reinforced with a machinegun team. Use Fight 1-1b for three to six Marines; you must have opposing force players when fighting two or more players.)

Requirement

In a time limit of 2 minutes, issue orders to your subordinates. The players have 8 minutes to predeploy before the scenario will automatically begin. After completing your course of action, describe any additional actions that you had to take while the scenario was being played out. Then provide a sketch of your initial plan and an explanation of the outcome. Submit your solution to the Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #04-9, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134, fax 703-630-9147, or email <gazette @mca-marines.ore>.

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/gazette>.

Additional Information

When the Close Combat Marine (CCM) tactical decisionmaking simulation is loaded on your computer, a training library is installed automatically. The library contains the following:

* User’s manual that covers CCM wargaming and multiplayer use through local area network or Internet use.

* CCM workbook containing:

* Warfighting training philosophy.

* Use of the training and readiness (T&R) manual.

* Eight modules on tactical tasks.

* Thoughts on verbal orders.

* Orders shorthand.

* Facilitation.

* Glossary/tactical tasks.

* Infantry T&R manual.

* Marine Corps Reference Publication 3-0A (MCRP 3-0A), Unit Training Management.

* MCRP 3-0B, How to Conduct Training.

* Map folder containing CCM maps.

Catching a Link

Situation

Intelligence reports that one of alQaeda’s top generals, Omar Sharruf, will be in the Ka Bada (KB) training camp. The camp has a squad (plus) element providing security. The camp’s last reported activity was training and strengthening the defense. The camp is in northern Remotistan in the mountains. It’s now 1300. It is believed that Omar will leave in 24 hours. At KB they have Soviet Bloc small arms (AK series and RPK light machineguns (MGs)), as well as RPG-7s (rocket propelled grenades) and third-generation night vision goggles (NVGs). The enemy’s most probable course of action will be to defend the compound long enough for Omar to leave via roadway or foot trails into the mountains. If Omar gets to the mountains he’ll be there for months. They have the ability to reinforce via roadway from the northwest. Special forces (SF) teams have been watching the compound for 24 hours, and they have eyes on and are updating the situation. SF positions are around the compound. There will be one SF team at the landing zone (LZ) to mark it and guide you to the objective.

At 1700 the 28th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) launches a platoon-sized heliborne raid against the compound. You are now 1st Squad leader, Company B, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. Your squad has 13 Marines, and you have an assault team and a squad of MGs as your attachments. Your reinforced squad has a combat load-two claymores, one AT-4, three shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon rockets, and 1,000 rounds for each MG. Your mission is to extract Omar (alive if possible) to LZ Tiger, destroy all KB equipment, and capture or eliminate all KB personnel. To prevent escape along the roads, 2d Squad will position themselves to the northwest of the compound to set a blocking position. 3d Squad will set up a blocking position to the southeast on the road. Both squads setting up blocking positions will land via helicopter onto their objective. They each have an assault team and an MG squad. You have two Harriers that are in direct support of you. They will stand by at Holding Area Lion.

You arrive at 0100 on the deck in northern Remotistan. The hills are steep with loose rock and boulders that provide good cover. It’ll take a little time and effort, but the hills can be climbed. It is a cold night with the moon giving a little more than 60 percent illumination. While sitting in the LZ you give radio checks to all of the key leaders, and communications is excellent. You then scan the area with your NVGs, and you see two flashes of an infrared beam. You respond back with three flashes; the light shines back one time; you have made link up.

As the SF team guides you through the valley, you notice that it’s very flat and is all loose sand. At 0305, as you move into your objective rally point, the KB compound begins to shoot up flares and spotlight the valley floor. This lasts for about 5 minutes. Your MG attachments break off to go to their overwatch positions from which they can provide overhead fire until your squad reaches Phase Line Red. The SF team will provide security. You spend 40 minutes crawling to Phase Line White. Listening to the radio, 3d Squad notifies you that they have set in. 2d Squad had to turn around and abort due to a mechanical malfunction with the helicopter.

Hearing something that alarms you, you look to your west and see vehicle lights. Taking a closer look through a AN/ PAS-13 you discover a BTR-70 (Soviet armored vehicle) and an old Russian flatbed truck with a ZSU-23 (self-propelled antiaircraft gun) mounted on it. The truck has four to six men on it. Both vehicles are heading toward your position. As the vehicles close to 500 meters, the BTR-70 and the truck dismount all troops. They assume a combat formation and continue a course that will bring them straight to you.

The observation post to the northwest reports that through their NVGs they have spotted an individual they believe to be Omar, and he is getting ready to flee. They also report that the compound is scrambling to their defensive positions. The radio goes quiet as more flares go up and the spotlights come back on.

Requirement

In a time limit of 5 minutes, organize your squad for a hasty ambush of the vehicles, extraction of Omar, and destruction of the compound and its equipment. Include your intent, scheme of maneuver on an overlay, and your signal plan. Send your solution and rationale for your actions to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #04-10, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134, fax 703-630-9147, or e-mail <gazette@mca-marines.org>.

Children Bearing Gifts

Scenario 1: Squad TDG Situation

You are the 1st Squad Leader, 2d Platoon, Company F, BLT 2/1, 11th MEU. Your company has recently taken over the area of responsibility (AOR) of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. After initial operations, organized resistance has ceased. However, insurgent and tribal fighters remain as active combatants.

Your AOR is in an urban environment characterized by densely but haphazardly arranged mud brick houses of one and two stories with flat roofs, with the occasional taller building – usually a mosque or other religiously associated structure. The main roads are paved and two lanes wide. Side roads are also paved but only one and a half lanes wide. In addition, there are numerous narrow dirt alleyways only suitable for foot traffic.

The enemy you face wears no standardized military uniform and often appears in civilian dress, uses Soviet-era infantry weapons (AK-47s, light machineguns, and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs)), and has the occasional command of 82mm mortars and 12.7mm machineguns. His main tactic is the ambush, initiated by RPG attack and improvised explosive device. The enemy rarely stands to fight, even after such ambushes. When they do, it is often the signal of a major engagement. S- 2 (intelligence) believes such battles center around religious sites.

The BLT has been relatively successful in matters of civil affairs and civilmilitary relations. They initiated a “weapons buy back program,” paying for each weapon turned in depending upon its lethality. Despite such gains, the AOR still has its share of insurgent attacks. Of the seven major clans in the AO, the BLT has secured the support of one smaller clan but still faces resistance from several of the larger clans in the city and surrounding area.

Currently your platoon is on its second patrol. After crossing the Route 6 bridge you enter the area controlled by the smaller clan that supports coalition forces. You are moving from south to north, your squad on the left flank, 2d Squad in the center with the command element, and 3d Squad on the right. You have only your organic weapons and are in radio contact with the other squads and command element, though such contact is not always 100 percent due to the urban environment.

Approximately 20 minutes after crossing the bridge, the patrol is broken by the sound of yelling and screaming kids coming at you from your left through an alley. You turn to see four young boys, 8 to 10 years old, each with different types of ammunition. One boy has a belt of 12.7mm around his neck, two boys hold 82mm mortar rounds like dead fish from their fin tails (you note one is fused), and to your horror, the fourth clasps a grenade, spoon in place, like a dead frog, but from your angle you cannot see signs of the pin.

At this instant there is the sound of an explosion and a large dust cloud forms to your front. “Sergeant,” yells your 1st Fire Team Leader, “Watson is down hard. Perez is hit too, but maybe not as bad.” One kid drops his mortar round and flees, followed by the kid with the 12.7mm. Then AK-47 fire erupts from a nearby building behind you.

Requirement

What now, Sergeant? In a time limit of 5 minutes, determine what actions you would take, what orders you would issue, and what reports, if any, you would make.

Issues for Consideration

* Who do you believe the enemy is?

* In terms of your mission, what is your most important task?

* How do your actions and orders relate to that task?

* What is the enemy trying to accomplish?

* How will he counter your actions?

* What are the effects of your actions and enemy reaction? Number of civilians wounded or killed? Amount of damage and destroyed property?

* How will the enemy exploit the effects of your actions? In 20 minutes? By the end of the day? The rest of the week?

* What can you do to counter his efforts at exploitation? Now? After you return to base?

Submit your solutions by e-mail to gazette@mca-marines.org. Solutions may also be mailed to: Senior Editor (Attn: TDG), Marine Corps Gazette, PO Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134.

Editor’s Note: This TDG is based on TDG 05-2, “Children Bearing Gifts, ” by Andrew H. Hershey, printed in the Marine Corps Gazette. All imagery used in the TDGs has been provided by Google Earth.

Hostile Intent

Situation

You are the 3d Squad Leader, 2d Platoon, Company F, Battalion Landing Team 2d Battalion, 1st Marines (BLT 2/1), 1 1th MEU. Your company has recently taken over the area of responsibility (AOR) of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. After initial operations, organized resistance has ceased. However, insurgent and tribal fighters remain as active combatants.

Your AOR is in an urban environment characterized by densely but haphazardly arranged mud brick houses of one and two stories with flat roofs, with the occasional taller building, usually a mosque or other religiously associated structure. The main roads are paved and two lanes wide. Side roads are also paved but only 1 u2 lanes wide. In addition, there are numerous narrow dirt alleyways only suitable for foot traffic.

The enemy you face wears no standardized military uniform and often appears in civilian dress, uses Soviet-era infantry weapons (AK-47s, light machi neguns, and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs)), and has the occasional command of 82mm mortars and 12.7mm machineguns. His main tactic is the ambush, initiated by RPG attack or improvised explosive device (IED). The enemy rarely stands to fight, even after such ambushes. When they do, it is often the signal of a major engagement. S-2 (intelligence) believes such battles center around religious sites.

The BLT has been relatively successful in the matter of civil affairs and civil-military relations. They initiated a “weapons buy back program,” paying for each weapon turned in depending upon its lethality. Despite such gain, the AOR still has its share of insurgent attacks. Of the seven major clans in the area of operations, the BLT has secured the support of the one smaller clan but still faces resistance from several of the larger clans in the city and surrounding area.

Currently, your platoon is on its second patrol. After crossing the Route 6 bridge, you enter the area controlled by the smaller clan that supports coalition forces. You are moving from south to north. 1st Squad is on the left flank, 2d Squad is in the center with the command element, and your squad is on the right. You have only your organic weapons and are in radio contact with the other squads and command element, though such contact is not always 100 percent due to the urban environment.

Approximately 20 minutes after crossing the bridge, you hear and see an explosion where you expect 1st Squad to be, followed by automatic and semiautomatic weapons fire. You execute a halt in place and establish 360-degree security. Firing continues for 30 seconds before you hear 1st Squad report: “Enemy squad with AKs, RPG, mortar IED. Watson and Perez are down. Need casevac. Break. Recommend 2d Squad move north of my position and cut off retreating enemy elements. Over.”

Approximately 30 seconds after the 1st Squad report, the platoon commander radios to you: “2d Squad is reinforcing 1st Squad attack. Proceed north to major intersection in order to prevent enemy reinforcements from attacking our flank. Over.”

After acknowledging the order, the squad proceeds north along Route 6. About 100 meters up the road, you observe approximately 20 men armed with a combination of AK-47s and RPGs emerge from a compound and board 3 pickup trucks and 2 trucks with mounted machineguns. They have not observed you yet. You estimate that this force will be ready to leave the compound in 2 minutes. What now, Sergeant?

Requirement

In a time limit of 5 minutes, determine what actions you would take, what orders you would issue, and what reports, if any, you would make.

Issues for Consideration

Who do you believe this new force is? What is their intent?

What actions might you take to determine if this force is friendly or hostile?

If this force is hostile, are your actions in accordance with your commander’s intent?

If this force is friendly, how might they assist you in accomplishing your mission and the BLTs mission?

If the force is friendly, how might they assist your battalion commander in achieving his intent?

Assuming this force is hostile, how can the enemy seek to exploit this situation in the local community?

What are some actions you can take or recommendations you can make to your commander to counter enemy exploitation efforts? Immediately after the fight? After you return to base?