A Pointed Projection of Power


As the commanding officer (CO) of Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable (26th MEU(SOC)) you're attending a CO's and senior staff meeting on USS Wasp (LHD-1) in the Adriatic. The MEU CO is briefing on a mission just received.

"Our Amphibious Ready Group has been designated a Joint Task Force (JTF). We have been tasked by the National Command Authorities to demonstrate the resolve and military capability of the United States to the Serbian leadership by conducting a forcible entry into Mosovic and seizing two indicted war criminals. Rules of engagement allow the immediate use of deadly force against armed men and military vehicles. The S-2 will now fill us in on the opposition."

"Security for the Serbian headquarters in Mosovic consists of a mechanized rifle company, reinforced with SA-7 teams, mounted in seven BRDMs and some trucks. They are concentrated around the town square. There is a 750-man mountain brigade living in the hills 6 kilometers east. Analysis indicates they will fight. Two Serb mechanized brigades are reported to be dispersing among the Serbian population further to the east. Along with the SA6 and associated radar activity around Bihac and Banja Lake, an EA-6B picked up emissions from acquisition and range radars around the units at the border."

"Thanks 2. We'll use a fake helo mishap as deception to set up a forward arming and refueling point (FARP) and staging area here at Kalinovik, 41 nautical miles from Mosovic. Then just before dawn we will prep target reference points (TRPs) 2 through 5 with cluster munitions and drop the northern bridge (TRP 1) with four Mk-84 laserguided bombs. Almost simultaneously we'll helo assault into Landing Zones Lew and Frenchy to take MEU objectives Alpha and Bravo. If they won't surrender the bad guys, we seize the town.

"If they call for reinforcements our aviation combat element (ACE) will teach them all about Marine air support. The ACE CO is to serve as the joint forces air component commander and will have opcon of VMFA-224 and VMAQ-1. CVW-7 is tasked in direct support from USS Washington; she has four MH-53s available also.

"We will withdraw under heavy air cover, but detailed withdrawal planning must wait for events to develop.

"Commander Amphibious Task Force 4 (CATF) has shifted to Shreveport. I will command from the Wasp's Combat Information Center. "CO, BLT we need your scheme of maneuver ASAP. Your battalion is reinforced with a platoon each of engineers, recon, LAVs, tanks, tracks, and a battery of M198s."

In response to questions the ACE S-3 said they could lift up to 510 loaded personnel per wave, subtracting 19 per HMMWV and 38 per LAV or M198.


In 30 minutes provide a scheme of maneuver to seize Alpha, Bravo, and then the town; also recommend a withdrawal option. Include rationale, sup port requests, and a map sketch. Mail your solution to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #97-2, Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134, or send by fax (703-640-0823 or E-mail (gazette@illuminet.net).