Evolving the MAGTF for the 21st Century
MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND QUANTICO VA
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Marines have witnessed the emergence of hybrid challenges - the blurring of conventional war, irregular challenges, terrorism, and criminality - or more than two decades. In 1991 a detachment from 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade 4th MEB, embarked aboard USS GUAM and USS TRENTON, was diverted from preparations for Operation DESERT STORM to conduct a noncombatant evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu due to the ongoing civil war in Somalia. Marauding looters, clan militiamen, and former government troops - some of which possessed sophisticated Soviet antiaccess weapons left behind by their former Cold War ally - threatened American citizens and members of the international diplomatic community. Two CH-53 helicopters launched at a range of 466 nautical miles and refueled twice in flight in order to deliver a landing force of 51 Marines and 9 SEALs. The landing force secured the embassy compound, recovered personnel from locations throughout the city, and processed 281 civilians from 32 countries for evacuation when GUAM and TRENTON came within CH-46 range. This operation, titled EASTERN EXIT, gave the Navy and Marine Corps a preview of the threat posed by sophisticated weapons in the hands of non-state actors.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Unconventional Warfare