TDG #2 – NEO in Africa (Noncombatant Evacuation Operation)
You must evacuate American personnel from an overseas embassy!
You are the Battalion Commander of Battalion Landing Team 2/2, 24th MEUSOC (Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable). Your battalion is currently deployed aboard the USS Wasp and three support ships, operating off the coast of eastern Africa near the impoverished country of Okagor.
A violent coup is taking place in Saboga (population 750,000), the capital city of Okagor. Intelligence indicates that anti-American rebels are beheading people in the streets and are closing in on the American Embassy, which sits on the bank of the Chapera river in downtown Saboga. The rebels are armed with machetes, AK-47s and RPGs.
Saboga is located about thirty kilometers inland on the Chapera River Delta. For your battalion, access to the city can be accomplished by a coastal landing (and a 30 kilometer land advance), by water up the Chapera River Delta, or by air.
The American Embassy is currently guarded by a small contingent of embassy Marines, however, a large and hostile crowd is gathering in soccer fields next to the embassy. (The soccer fields are the only open area in the general vicinity of the embassy.) To further complicate matters, rebels have blown craters in the city’s only airfield and parked buses and other vehicles on the airfield, making evacuation by airplane impossible.
Your task is to reinforce the embassy as soon as possible and evacuate the thirty American personnel out of the country in the fastest and safest way possible. To accomplish your mission, you have the full range of military personnel and gear usually deployed with a MEUSOC, to include:
Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)
Though the Chapera river gives waterborne access from the ocean to the embassy, direct access to the riverside embassy is not possible for the LCAC, due to a steep embankment. Options include a suitable landing point 3 kilometers south of the embassy in a lightly populated area of the city.
Amphibious Assault Vehicle
Your AAVs are equipped with reactive armor that protects against RPGs.
There may be more than one solution to this TDG. However, a similar situation in Burma in the late 1980s yielded this solution from U.S. Marine commanders: In 1988, thousands of pro-democracy students and other civilians were being massacred or wounded in the streets as the country descended into chaos. (There were people being beheaded in the streets!) Amidst this carnage, American citizens at the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon needed to be evacuated from the country. The preferred method was by air (through the airport), which was eventually realized. However, there was a backup plan in case the air evacuation could not be conducted due to the situation. The backup plan involved a MEUSOC deployed aboard U.S. Navy vessels operating in the Andaman Sea. Basically, the plan called for AAVs to be transported up the Rangoon River Delta via LCACs to a point near the capital of Rangoon (site of the embassy). The AAVs would offload from the LCACs and proceed to the embassy, collect the personnel, and return to the LCACs. To reinforce the embassy, Marines were to be flown in aboard helicopters. Commanders believed that crowds (in a field near the embassy needed as a landing zone) would disperse when the mighty CH-53 helicopters approached for landings.