Evacuate the Embassy! Friction on the stage

You are the company commander of Echo Company, 2d Battalion, 6th Marines. Your company is at its table of organization strength, and it is part of a Marine expeditionary unit (MEU).

As a consequence of recent terrorist attacks against the United States, U.S. forces are being deployed to the theater of operations. An initial attempt to evacuate U.S. Embassy personnel ended in failure when paramilitary forces with ties to several terrorist organizations were able to attack the airfield. They destroyed three commercial aircraft, destroyed the control tower, and damaged several adjacent hangers. During their attack four embassy personnel were seriously wounded. One Marine from the security guard detachment was killed and two were slightly wounded. All personnel were able to get back to the embassy compound.

The MEU has been diverted and instructed to evacuate embassy personnel. The MEU commander's initial guidance stressed the neutralization of existing enemy antiair assets. Damage to civilian property is to be kept to a minimum.

From intelligence reports you know that:

* While enemy antiair assets have been diminished, he still possesses some antiair capability and can take advantage of the good observation and fields of fire that the higher buildings provide over the embassy.

* The enemy deployed at least two more heavy machineguns (HMGs) into the area.

* The enemy is supposed to have an undetermined number of antiair missile launchers. These are fireand-forget systems.

* Enemy forces have been seen deploying east of the embassy.

* There's been strong sniper activity. Two more embassy Marines were slightly injured.

* A big demonstration is taking place at the Embassy's north gate.

* There are 36 people in the embassy including the survivors of the first raid.

Your company is part of the security element and along with Fox and Golf Companies began the helilift at 0445. You are now nearing the objective. It's 0500 and the 500-year-old city lays in front of you totally obscured. The embassy is located in the city center. The wavy street pattern reminds you of a spider's web. The tallest buildings are three- to four-stories high, and they appear to emerge from a sea of small mud houses and green spaces.

At 0530 your company lands and secures the objective with minor enemy resistance and no casualties. Platoon commanders report the destruction of two HMGs and the capture of some prisoners and weapons-six soldiers, a sniper, and one Stinger antiair missile launcher. Suddenly, you hear small arms fighting about 200 meters south.

Suddenly, the Fox Company commander reports that heavy enemy resistance has forced him to land in his alternate landing zone. You can see muzzle flashes and tracers from enemy HMGs being fired from sectors 50 and 60 toward the area where Fox Company is deployed.

The Golf Company commander reports having secured his objective with no casualties but is now receiving heavy enemy fire from the southeast and sniper fire from the west. He says he has seen enemy soldiers jumping from trucks and rushing into the small houses and moving toward Fox Company.

You stop a minute and think. Fox Company reports he is decisively engaged and "mission accomplishment impossible at this time." Civilians that were standing at the Embassy's north gate start running to the north and northwest, trying to escape from the fighting. At the same time you hear your commander's voice on the radio saying that he'll arrive with the evacuation element 4 minutes later than scheduled. That leaves the security element 14 minutes to accomplish its mission.

Now what, Commander?


In a time limit of 2 minutes, describe the actions you will take and the instructions you will give to your subordinates. Provide an overlay and give a brief explanation of the rationale behind your plan. Submit your solution to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #01-12, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134, fax 703-630-9147, or e-mail <gazette @mca-marines.org>.