“What now, Staff Sergeant?”


You are the 1st Platoon Sergeant. Company G (mechanized, reinforced), Battalion Landing Team 2d Battalion, 1st Marines (BLT 2/1). Recently the MEU was sent to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in supporr of NATO forces during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. You have been in-country approximately 1 month and have been assigned to the northeast sector of the area of responsibility, Nangarhar Province. Recently, the BLT has been searching for the warlord, Sher DiI, and his needihajum freedom fighters believed to be operating in the Rahadnak Valle}·. Sher DiI is the primary source of arms transportation into Jalalabad. The arms shipments flow from the northwest tribal regions of Pakistan into the Torà Bora region, through the Rahadnak Valley, then into Jalalabad. The Rahadnak Valley was initially quiet with no armed conflict. However, after successful arms interdiction in the area, organized guerrilla groups initiated an active campaign against coalition forces and inflamed tribal unrest throughout the valley.

Your mechanized platoon is embarked on four assault amphibious vehicles and is further reinforced with one machinegun squad and two assault teams from weapons platoon. Your company is tasked to search a village suspected of harboring Sher DiI and needihajum fighters. Speed is essential as the enemy is prone to resupplying its forces and then quickly fading into the rugged and mountainous countryside. A section of AH-I W Cobras can reinforce the company within 1 5 minutes.

The company scheme of maneuver calls for two platoons to encircle the village, one from the west and the other from the east; one platoon to advance [along the main avenue of approach to the sea] the entry point; and a dismounted mortar section to isolate the objective area with calls for fire as needed. The section of Cobras can be used to further isolate the objective area or provide supporting fires if required. Your platoon is tasked with encircling the village from the west in order to prevent enemy forces from escaping the village during the search operations. The company main effort is 3d Platoon, which will conduct the search of the village. Your boundary (limit of advance) is southwest of the village ending at a line from the village to the western part to Hill 4. You have used this tactic successfully in this area in the past.

The platoon commander orders the platoon to advance west of the village with each squad tasked with securing Hill 2 (1st Squad), the main supply route (MSR) between HiJIs 2 and 3 (2d Squad), and the MSR between Hills 3 and 4 (3d Squad). 2d and 3d Squads are reinforced with one machinegun team .and one assault team. The platoon commander is with 3d Squad, you are with 2d Squad, and the platoon guide is with 1st Squad.

As 1st Squad advanced toward its objective and 2d and 3d Squads continue toward their objectives, lsc Squad begins taking machinegun fire. 2d and 3d Squads dismount and begin to suppress the enemy on Hill 2. Approximately 1 minute into the fight for Hill 2, mortar round and machinegun fire impact around 3d Squad. You see 3d Squad directing fire on Hill 3 but cannot see what they ate firing at. Over the radio 3d Squad Leader reports, "Lieutenant and Jenkins down, enemy team, squad sized, on Hill 3, am preparing to assault pending further orders."

What now, StaffSergeant?


In a time limit of 5 minutes, Issue your orders to your element leaders and any reports and recommendations you would make to higher headquarters.

Issues for Consideration

1. Who do you believe the enemy force is? What is the enemy's intent for this attack?

2. What do you believe is the platoon commander's intent?

3. What do you believe is the company commander's intent for this area?

4. How do your actions support these intents?

5. How do your actions defeat the enemy's intent?

6. What do you expect the enemy to do as a result ol your orders? How do your orders exploit the enemy's response?

7. How much property damage do you anticipate as a result of your actions?

8. How many civilian casualties do you anticipate as a result of your actions?

9. What do you expect the civilian response will be to collateral damage (property damage and casualties):

* At the conclusion of fighting, while you are in the area?

* Within 1 hour after you leave?

* At the end of the day?

* At the end of the week?

10. What is the expected enemy response to the collateral damage:

* At conclusion ot fighting, while you arc in the area?

* Within 1 hour after you leave?

* At the end of the day?

* At the end of the week?

11. What actions can you and the BLT take to counter and exploit enemy and civilian responses to the collateral damage?

12. What actions can you, the company, and the BLT take to deter future enemy activity in this area:

* While you are in the area?

* After you return to base?

* During subsequent patrols in the area?