Attack on Jersey Island


You are the commanding officer of Company G, Battalion Landing Team 2/2, the small boat company of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable). Your company task organizes for small boat operations aboard 20 combat rubber reconnaissance craft with 3 rifle platoons, 2 mortar teams, 2 SMAW (shoulder launched multipurpose assault weapon) teams, and 2 machinegun squads. The company is currently embarked aboard the USS Austin, and it is part of a combined U.S.-Baklavarian amphibious task force responding to an escalation of arms smuggling in the Adriatic Sea. Arms smugglers continue to use the small, uninhabited islands along the central Baklavarian coast as transshipment points for weapons to insurgent groups operating in the southern Astorian Sea.

Baklavarian naval forces recently intercepted a boat carrying illegal weapons and ammunition. Interrogations of the crewmembers revealed that the headquarters of the smuggling operations and the main weapons cache site are located on Jersey Island, several miles west of the Baklavarian coastline. The island is characterized by several prominent, rocky hills and vegetation that varies in thickness throughout the terrain. Twenty to 25 men armed with AK-47s guard each site. The interrogated crewmen believe that some type of antiaircraft gun protects the command post (CP).

The U.S.-Baklavarian amphibious task force has been directed to conduct a nearly simultaneous surface and heliborne assault on Jersey in order to deny the insurgent groups the strategic use of the island as the main transshipment point for smuggling operations. Specifically, Golf Company will conduct a small boat assault to seize the insurgent headquarters and destroy any antiaircraft guns near the CP in order to facilitate the Baklavarian heliborne company attack on the arms cache site. The times of the surface and heliborne landings will be separated by I hour in order to give your company time to maneuver to its objective. The mission commander believes this action will throw any defense of the island off balance and facilitate the success of the mission.

As the company maneuvers into position for its assault on the enemy CP, your lead platoon stumbles upon a fire team-sized security patrol. Fires are immediately exchanged, and the element of surprise is lost. The Ist Platoon commander reports that he has two men down, and he is also receiving small arms fire from the hilltop to his front. Before you issue any orders to your element leaders, the reconnaissance and surveillance team on the west side of the island reports that a column of armed smugglers is moving generally southeast toward the CP, perhaps to reinforce the headquarters. As you glance at your watch, you realize that the Baklavarian heliborne force is scheduled to land in the landing zone in less than 20 minutes. What do you do, Captain?


In a time limit of 5 minutes, issue your orders to your element leaders and submit any reports to the mission commander aboard USS Austin. Provide a brief rationale for your actions and a sketch of your plan. Submit your solution to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #01-2, 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.