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thedrifter
05-07-03, 08:50 AM
COMMAND CHRONOLOGY!!!


Subject: RCT 5 Narrative History
>Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 16:15:32 -0400
>
>The initial organization for combat for RCT-5 included the organic 5th
>Marine Regiment Battalions (1st, 2d and 3d Battalions) as well as separate
>battalions from both the 1st and 2d Marine Divisions, to include 1st Light
>Armored Reconnaissance Bn, 2nd Tank Bn. Additionally 2nd Battalion, 11th
>Marines and Combat Service Support Company 115 were in Direct Support to
>RCT-5. By the time the RCT crossed the line of departure, the RCT had
>grown
>to include elements of the 1st United Kingdom (UK) Division. RCT-5 attacked
>with approximately 7500 personnel and in excess of 2000 pieces of rolling
>stock. Following the successful completion of the "Opening Gambit", the
>seizure of the strategically important Ramalyah Oilfields, the elements of
>the 1st UK Division detached and the RCT's end strength remained
>consistently around 6,000 Marines and sailors. Finally, as the RCT
>attacked
>up Highway 1, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Bn was attached adding
>another 900 Marines and Sailors under Col Dunford's control and leadership.
>
>
>In the early morning hours of 18 March the Division was ordered to move to
>their Dispersal Areas (DA), the first step of pending combat action.
>Because of the numerous hours spent rehearsing and imaging, the RCT
>executed
>the move seamlessly. No sooner than the bulk of the RCT arrived in their
>dispersal areas, and with much of the CSS elements still enroute, the RCT
>was ordered to occupy positions just short of their Attack Positions (AP)
>in
>order to facilitate easy transition into the APs. Colonel Dunford's quick
>assessment and fragmentary order issued over the TAC net got the RCT in
>place ready for the next step. On the 19th of March Colonel Dunford spent
>the day on the road moving from battalion to battalion reviewing the plan
>with leaders and reassuring the Marines of their preparedness to execute
>the
>task at hand.
>
>On 20 March, RCT-5 was given the order to attack the next morning. Mid-
>afternoon Colonel Dunford was queried about how soon the RCT could be
>prepared to attack, after a quick assessment and confirmation with his
>subordinate commanders, six hours was set as the optimal time, although the
>RCT could be ready earlier if required. Despite best-laid plans, the RCT
>was ordered to attack in 2 hours, some nine hours earlier than originally
>planned, and ahead of the coalition's and Division's Main effort time of
>attack. Because of the detailed preparations for combat demanded by
>Colonel
>Dunford earlier in the prior months, RCT-5 was ready to execute. As such,
>Colonel Dunford's RCT was first unit across the international border, the
>line of departure into Iraq.
>
>
>
>The summary of RCT 5 Actions:
>
>* 20 Mar: RCT 5 attacked into Iraqi as the 1st MarDiv's supporting
>effort and is the first element of the coalition force to cross the
>international border -- 9 hours in advance of the Division's main effort.
>RCT 5's objectives were the strategically important Southern and Northern
>Rumaylah Oilfields; Additionally the RCT was to block the 6th Armor
>Division
>and to contain the 57th Mech Inf Div. The RCT's scheme of maneuver
>involved 2 breach sites consisting of 3 lanes apiece. In the Western
>breach
>site, early on an enemy minefield was detected effectively closing the lane
>for the duration of the operation. The RCT's combat units were split
>between the 2 lanes with 2d Tanks followed in trace by 2/5 attacking in the
>West and 1/5 followed by 3/5 attacking through the Eastern breach sites.
>The DS artillery, CSS units and both elements of the Command Group utilized
>the Eastern breach site. As part of the Division scheme of maneuver, RCT 5
>"pulled" 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and RCT 1 through the western breach
>site. Despite the call to go 9 hours early and the added friction of
>conducting the breach and movement at night the RCT lost zero vehicles to
>enemy fires.
>
>* 21 Mar: Jump and Forward Command Post displaced north through the
>Southern Rumaylah Oilfield, in trace of 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, en
>route
>one HMMWV was destroyed due to unexploded ordnance.
>
>* 22-23 Mar: After 3rd LAR was decisively engaged by a superior enemy
>force, RCT 5 was called on to conduct a Forward Passage of Lines, attach
>3rd
>LAR and assume the Division's main effort. Specific taskings was, RCT 5 as
>the Division's Main effort, conduct a movement to contact along Highway 1
>to
>clear enemy in zone in order to facilitate the introduction of follow-on
>forces. Hwy 1 is an unfinished four-lane highway that provides direct
>access to Baghdad from the Southern region. The selection of this avenue
>of
>approach undoubtedly caught the Iraqi's off guard, this coupled with the
>tempo that the RCT generated quickly positioned the RCT and subsequently
>the
>Division in such a way as to severely threaten the Southern approaches to
>Baghdad well ahead of planning dates.
>
>* 24-25 Mar: As the 1st MarDiv's Main effort, 3/5 was the lead element
>in movement to contact along Hwy 1 to cross roads in the vicinity of Ad
>Diwaniyah. 3/5 was engaged in heavy fighting with irregular forces during
>a
>devastating sandstorm.
27 Mar: as the 1st MarDiv's Main effort 2/5 attacks to seize
>Hantush Airfield; Jump CP moved with 2/5 to facilitate command and control.
>Despite the successful seizure of the airfield, RCT 5 ordered to
>consolidate
>in original positions in the vicinity of Ad Diwaniyah cross roads.
>
>* 28-30 Mar: As a result of the speed that RCT 5 attacked up Hwy 1
>the RCT and subsequently the division quickly out stripped the logisticians
>ability to adequately feed, fuel and water its units. As such the 1st
>MarDiv ordered an operational pause to consolidate CSS. As the
>logistician's worked the CSS RCT 5 conducted limited objective attacks and
>local security patrols along the Hwy 1 corridor consolidating its gains and
>clearing enemy in zone.
>
>* 31 Mar: As 1st Marine Division's Main effort, RCT-5 with 2/5 in the
>lead, attacked to re-seize Hantush Airfield in order to open airfield as a
>FARP/Logistics hub. The 2/5 attack was also a part of the Divisions
>deception plan to deceive the enemy into thinking the division would
>continue up the heavily defended approaches along Hwy 1.
>
>* 1 Apr: With the stage set for the divisions deception RCT 5 as 1st
>MarDiv's Main effort, with 1/5 as the lead unit, was ordered to attack up
>Rt
>27 to seize a bridge over Saddam Canal in order to facilitate the movement
>of follow on forces.
>
>* 2 Apr: As 1st MarDiv's Main effort, RCT-5, with 2/5 as the lead
>unit, attacks on Route 27 to seize an establsihed bridge crossing site over
>the Tigris river west of An Numaniyah, 2nd Tanks attacks to seize the
>bridge
>and establish a bridge head at An Numaniyah and blocks to the west.
>
>* 3 Apr: as 1st MarDiv's Main effort, 2d Tanks attacks along Hwy 6,
>3/5 follows in support to clear enemy vicinity of Aziziyah. 2d Tanks
>clears
>to Hamid as Sayyid.
4 Apr: as 1st MarDiv Main effort's, 2d Tanks attacks along Hwy 6
>to
>clear SE approaches to Baghdad. During occupation/set-up of the RCT COC
>the
>command group came under 120mm mortar shelling.
>
>* 5-7 Apr: Frustrated by the limited bridges available to cross and
>the Iraqi's defense of the same RCT 5 was tasked to reconnoiter potential
>crossing sites across the Dialah river. The RCT covered over 20 kilometers
>of riverbank and more importantly the approaches in from the MSR in an
>attempt to identify a gap to be exploited. The RCT was able to identify
>suitable potential bridging sites and AAV fording sites, but was frustrated
>by the insufficient access to the river from the MSR. Based on RCT 5
>assessment/input to the CG 1st MarDiv greatly shaped the Division's scheme
>of maneuver for the closing the cordon around they city of Baghdad.
>



continued.........

thedrifter
05-07-03, 08:51 AM
8-9 Apr: As a 1st MarDiv's Supporting effort, RCT 5 attacked
>across
>the Dialah to the northeast suburbs of Baghdad. Alpha command echelon link
>ups with Col Dunford as a firefight is ensuing across the street. Amid the
>chaos of the looters, snipers and the pulsating congestion innocent
>civilians of the volatile city. In early evening, RCT 5 received a order
>to
>conduct a link-up with 3ID units on bridges on Western side of Baghdad to
>complete the cordon of the city. Colonel Dunford and his Jump CP drove
>unescorted through unsecured streets to link up with lead echelon, 2/5, and
>conducted an all night movement to contact.
>
>* 10 Apr: As the 1st MarDiv's supporting effort, RCT-5, with 1/5 as
>the lead unit, attacked to seize the Almilyah Palace. En route, 1/5 was
>instructed to conduct a hasty search of 2 possible American POW holding
>sites. As the attack was underway, Saddam Hussein is sighted in vicinity
>of
>palace, and 1/5 was ordered to cordon the area to capture Hussein. To
>facilitate the rapidly changing situation, the RCT-5 Quick Reaction Force,
>2d Tanks, was activated. 1/5 became engaged in a fierce battle. The QRF
>was vectored to the Iman Abu Hanifah Mosque, where a key figure supposedly
>fled. En route to the mosque to reinforce a company from 1/5 the QRF came
>under withering rocket and small arms fire that resulted in M1A1 mobility
>kill. The butcher's bill for the fighting at the palace and mosque was 1
>KIA and 70 some WIA.
>
>* 11 Apr: RCT 5 occupies assigned sectors in Baghdad.
>
>* 12 Apr: RCT 5 ordered to follow in support of TF Tripoli as they
>conduct a movement to contact to Samarah and Tikkrit. RCT 5 (-) conducts a
>movement to contact to Samarah. The remainder of the RCT remains in
>Baghdad
>as the Division QRF force.
>
>* 13- 17 Apr: RCT 5(-) conducted a presence mission in sector in
>Baghdad and in Samarah. The remainder of the RCT remained tasked as the
>Division QRF.
>
>* 17 Apr: RCT 5 is ordered to conduct a relief in place with 82d
>Airborne Brigade operating in the Karbala region, south east of Baghdad
>approximately 150 kilometers to the Southeast. To facilitate command and
>control the RCT command echelons conducted d a link up south of Baghdad and
>subsequently pushed the A echelon forward to Ad Diwanyah to begin
>face-to-face coordination with the Brigade, 82nd Airborne.
>
>* 18 Apr: RCT 5 conducts a tactical road march in order to
>facilitate
>the RIP with the Brigade, 82nd Airborne. Co-locate HQs in Ad Diwaniyah.
>
>* 19 Apr: 2/5 completes their road march to As Samawah and begins to
>conduct RIP, 3/5 completed their road march to Ad Diwaniyah and initiated
>left side/right side rides to facilitate a mutual understanding of the
>battlespace. The remainder of the RCT closes on the Jump and Alpha Command
>Echelon in Ad Diwaniyah.
>
>* 20 Apr: RIP complete, RCT 5 consolidating in vicinity of Ad
>Diwaniyah.
>
>RCT 5 under Col Dunford's leadership participated in approximately 10
>engagements with determined enemy forces resulting in countless enemy dead,
>wounded and __ Enemy Prisoners of War, the destruction of countless numbers
>of enemy armor assets, to include main battle tanks, APCs, ZSU's and the
>like. RCT 5's combat losses totaled 12 Killed in action, 126 wounded in
>action, 0 Missing in action. Equipment wise the RCT's final tally was 3
>M1A1s lost due to mobility kills, one MK138, and one TOW HMMWV. In all the
>RCT moved over 1200 kilometers from Living Support Area's in Kuwait to the
>RCT's final command post location in Ad Diwanyah, Iraq. The Marine's of
>the
>RCT spent 18 days in MOPP 1 or 2. Throughout the RCT was challenged by
>extended lines of communication, austere weather, and extremely limited
>resources.



Sempers,

Roger

mrbsox
05-07-03, 10:02 AM
Ya gotta Love it:

The History of "KICKING A$$ AND TAKING NAMES", in detail :marine:

Need some help with the abbreviations though !!

RCT = Regimential Combat Team ???
CSS = ???
DS Artillery = Direct Support ???
LAR = ???
QRF = Quick Reaction Force !!
RIP = ???
APC = Armored Personell Carrier !!
ZSU = ???

Thanks for all the behind the scenes work, Roger and Ms. Ellie :D

(icon of coffee cup)

Terry

jryanjack
05-07-03, 10:19 AM
CSS = Combat Service Support
LAR = Light Armored Recon (I believe this is the old Light Armored Infantry, LAI, or LAV Light Armored Vehicle BN).
RIP = ?? Some type of recon mission?
ZSU = Soviet made anti-aircraft guns or artillery, can be either fixed or mobile, there are several different types, ZSU is an abbreviation of the manufacturer.