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.