Han Lu River Bridge, part II

This scenario is the continuation of TDG #97-6, "Contract at the Han Lu River Bridge," (MCG Jun97; Solutions, Aug97)


You are the commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines. Your battalion has attacked north to secure a bridgehead across the Han Lu River for the regiment's attack into the enemy's rear areas. Your company has just successfully seized the Jomsom Bridge over the Han Lu River, while Company B (the main effort), supported by Company C, has seized a bridge 6 miles east. Your platoons are consolidating the bridgehead when you receive the following message on the battalion tactical net:

Bravo and Charlie are engaged with an enemy mechanized battalion about 10 clicks to your east. The enemy seems to be fighting a delaying action west toward Jomsom. You are in a position to cut off his only avenue of retreat. I expect him to break and run at any time. Your mission is to ensure that no enemy forces be allowed to escape west of Jomsom. When the enemy main body commits to its retreat, you will become the main effort and receive priority of fires. [The battalion has one artillery battery, a section of Cobras and two sections of Harriers in direct support.] In addition, I've already sent you a tank platoon and CA-AT [combined antiarmor team].

You tell your XO, "Get the orders group assembled for a frag order and have the company ready to attack immediately."

You move to Hill 305 for a look. You see wire and ditches stretching across all open areas from Hill 451 to Rte. 2. An enemy unit, apparently squad size, is entrenched atop Hill 451 overlooking the obstacles. East of Jomsom, Rte. 2 is devoid of traffic, but Jomsom itself is a flurry of activity with 20-30 trucks and about 6 BTRs being loaded with equipment and personnel. You see enemy soldiers but no civilians. There are about 10 trucks already heading west out of Jomsom. Looking to the east, you see the smoke and hear the sounds of battle but no enemy forces heading your direction . . yet.

At the base of Hill 305 you find your commanders standing by. You see four MlAls and five HMMWVs (three with TOWs and two with Mkl9s)just now crossing the bridge. Your FAC tells you the Cobra Section has checked in and is ready for action. The Harriers are on strip alert with a 15-minute flight time. As you begin to brief the situation, you hear the following report over the battalion net:

Enemy breaking contact and heading your way. Estimate two BMP-2 companies and one T-72 company. ETA Jomsom: 20 mikes. It is 1535-about 90 minutes of daylight remaining. The weather is clear. The woods are not thick and allow passage of vehicles although the going is difficult. Your ammo is at 70 percent.

What is your plan, Captain? Requirement

In a time limit of 5 minutes, issue any orders and make any reports or requests. Once this is done, provide a sketch of your plan and an explanation of your decision. Send your solution to the Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #98-1, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134 or fax 703-640-0823. US tMC

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 Jan 95, p. 5.