Cover image for Stingray
Title:
Stingray
Author:
Norton, B. H. (Bruce H.)
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Ballantine Books, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
357 pages ; 18 cm
General Note:
Includes bibliography and index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780804110266
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library DS559.8.R43 S75 2000 Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

A retired Marine major and Bronze Star winner who led highly successful Stingray Patrol missions into the enemy-infested jungles of Vietnam offers this gripping account of the elite patrol, drawing on numerous interviews, eye-witness accounts, declassified documents, and contemporary reports. 8-page photo insert.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Force Recon-- By Land, Sea, and Air by Lt. Gen. Herman Nickerson Jr., USMC* Marine Corps Gazette , February 1959 Force Recon--By Land, Sea, and Air , written by, then, Brig. Gen. Herman Nickerson, Jr., February 1959, and published in the Marine Corps Gazette , defines the new company's mission, main tasks, and capabilities. Using an amphibious operation ("Strongback") conducted in the Philippines in 1958, General Nickerson explains, in depth, the concept of how the Force Recon Company performs the task of gaining "timely" information to assist the commander in arriving at decisions and in executing it's other vital roles in the landings. "The job: Reduce the Uncertainty." So wrote Brig. Gen. J. M. Masters Sr. in the June 1958 Gazette . "Uncertainty is an ugly three-headed spook, which will haunt the commander. . . . The spook's three heads? The enemy, the weather, and the terrain. . . ." To this statement of the intelligence officer's job we could add a job description: use available tools skillfully to strip *Credited as "The God-Father of Long-Range Reconnaissance," Lt. Gen. General Nickerson assumed command of III MAF in March 1969. Immediately realizing the need for reconnaissance information beyond that provided division commanders by their respective recon battalions, he put theory to form when he tasked 1st Force Recon Company to conduct deep patrol operations for the MAF in June, followed by the reconstituted 3d Force Reconnaissance Company in October of that year.--Ed. the veils from the three-headed spook and provide the commander with the information he needs to make a sound decision. One of the commander's best tools, in my opinion, is the force recon company. By well-conceived employment of this organization, many of the uncertainties can be reduced. Only when the commander has the best available information on the enemy, weather, and terrain can he confidently order "Launch helicopters!" and "Land the landing force!" Perhaps the greatest difference of opinion on modern amphibious tactics and techniques arises from: first, the debate as to whether or not nuclear munitions will be used; and second, the size and degree of unit separation. No matter what size the separation unit is that lands by helicopter in the amphibious assault, we can all agree that the highest order of intelligence is required for this unit to "stay loose," hit hard, then saddle up and move out rapidly--avoiding, all the while, the unproductive moment of nuclear-weapon target-size concentration. How, then, shall we succeed in unveiling the spook? Within force troops, in both FMFLant and FMFPac, we have the key to unlock a part of the Houdini apparatus--the force reconnaissance company. The proper utilization of these highly skilled "eyeballs" and "eardrums" is the skeleton key to success in modern amphibious warfare. The general missions of these companies are to support a landing force by: first, conducting a pre-assault and post-assault amphibious and parachute reconnaissance; and second, conducting pre-assault and post-assault parachute and other pathfinding missions. A force reconnaissance company is a part of the task organization of the landing force and is employed to extend the ground reconnaissance capability of that force beyond the coverage afforded by the organic reconnaissance battalion of Marine divisions. As noted in the mission, this is accomplished by pre-assault terrestrial reconnaissance using amphibious and parachute means. To conduct post-assault deep reconnaissance, helicopter lift and parachuting are used. The company employs helicopters to establish and displace deep observation posts for battlefield surveillance. The reconnaissance-surveillance portion of the force reconnaissance company's mission must be closely monitored by the landing force G-2 to insure that all efforts are integrated into the overall intelligence collection plan. Only by obtaining and using all available information can the intelligence officer fit together the assorted pieces of the jigsaw puzzle and present the commander with a clear picture. In addition, the force reconnaissance company is employed to provide parachute pathfinder services in the approach and retirement lanes and helicopter landing zones, in amphibious and subsequent land operations. Pathfinder teams provide pre-assault navigational assistance to helicopters in approach to and along approach-retirement lanes. Pathfinder teams provide terminal guidance to the helicopter assault waves in the landing zones, in either day or night operations. Final pre-H-hour reports of enemy activity, obstacles, weather, and radiological contamination in the landing zones and near vicinity are made by these pathfinder teams. Pathfinders are capable of limited obstacle clearance, should this work be necessary, and they provide emergency communication support and assembly aid to the helicopter-landed troops. The main tasks of a force reconnaissance company, then, are: First, to perform pre-D-day reconnaissance as required by the overall intelligence collection plan, using parachute and amphibious means; second, to provide pathfinder services. In order to do these jobs, the company is functionally organized to plan and execute--with the support of tactical and transport fixed-winged aircraft, helicopters, and naval vessels--the following tactical missions: perform pre-D-day amphibious reconnaissance of any landing beaches required by the landing plan; establish coastwatcher stations or inland observation posts after D-day, if required; execute pre-D-day parachute reconnaissance of helicopter landing zones--of the approach and retirement lanes thereto--and of other key inland installations of interest to the Marine expeditionary force; conduct post-D-day reconnaissance, by helicopter or parachute, of critical areas beyond the range of division reconnaissance means; and finally, render necessary parachute or pathfinder support to assault waves. These varied tasks are accomplished by fourteen officers and 147 enlisted, organized into a company headquarters of four officers and thirty-three enlisted; a parachute reconnaissance platoon of three officers and twenty-three enlisted; and an amphibious reconnaissance platoon of two officers and twenty-three enlisted. A major (0302) is in command. Twelve officers and ninety-seven enlisted Marines are on parachute jump status. Excerpted from Stingray All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Force Recon-- By Land, Sea, and Air by Lt. Gen. Herman Nickerson Jr., USMC* Marine Corps Gazette , February 1959 Force Recon--By Land, Sea, and Air, written by, then, Brig. Gen. Herman Nickerson, Jr., February 1959, and published in the Marine Corps Gazette , defines the new company's mission, main tasks, and capabilities. Using an amphibious operation ("Strongback") conducted in the Philippines in 1958, General Nickerson explains, in depth, the concept of how the Force Recon Company performs the task of gaining "timely" information to assist the commander in arriving at decisions and in executing it's other vital roles in the landings.
"The job: Reduce the Uncertainty." So wrote Brig. Gen. J. M. Masters Sr. in the June 1958 Gazette. "Uncertainty is an ugly three-headed spook, which will haunt the commander.... The spook's three heads? The enemy, the weather, and the terrain...." To this statement of the intelligence officer's job we could add a job description: use available tools skillfully to strip *Credited as "The God-Father of Long-Range Reconnaissance," Lt. Gen. General Nickerson assumed command of III MAF in March 1969. Immediately realizing the need for reconnaissance information beyond that provided division commanders by their respective recon battalions, he put theory to form when he tasked 1st Force Recon Company to conduct deep patrol operations for the MAF in June, followed by the reconstituted 3d Force Reconnaissance Company in October of that year.--Ed.
the veils from the three-headed spook and provide the commander with the information he needs to make a sound decision. One of the commander's best tools, in my opinion, is the force recon company. By well-conceived employment of this organization, many of the uncertainties can be reduced. Only when the commander has the best available information on the enemy, weather, and terrain can he confidently order "Launch helicopters!" and "Land the landing force!" Perhaps the greatest difference of opinion on modern amphibious tactics and techniques arises from: first, the debate as to whether or not nuclear munitions will be used; and second, the size and degree of unit separation. No matter what size the separation unit is that lands by helicopter in the amphibious assault, we can all agree that the highest order of intelligence is required for this unit to "stay loose," hit hard, then saddle up and move out rapidly--avoiding, all the while, the unproductive moment of nuclear-weapon target-size concentration. How, then, shall we succeed in unveiling the spook? Within force troops, in both FMFLant and FMFPac, we have the key to unlock a part of the Houdini apparatus--the force reconnaissance company. The proper utilization of these highly skilled "eyeballs" and "eardrums" is the skeleton key to success in modern amphibious warfare.
The general missions of these companies are to support a landing force by: first, conducting a pre-assault and post-assault amphibious and parachute reconnaissance; and second, conducting pre-assault and post-assault parachute and other pathfinding missions.
A force reconnaissance company is a part of the task organization of the landing force and is employed to extend the ground reconnaissance capability of that force beyond the coverage afforded by the organic reconnaissance battalion of Marine divisions. As noted in the mission, this is accomplished by pre-assault terrestrial reconnaissance using amphibious and parachute means. To conduct post-assault deep reconnaissance, helicopter lift and parachuting are used. The company employs helicopters to establish and displace deep observation posts for battlefield surveillance. The reconnaissance-surveillance portion of the force reconnaissance company's mission must be closely monitored by the landing force G-2 to insure that all efforts are integrated into the overall intelligence collection plan. Only by obtaining and using all available information can the intelligence officer fit together the assorted pieces of the jigsaw puzzle and present the commander with a clear picture.
In addition, the force reconnaissance company is employed to provide parachute pathfinder services in the approach and retirement lanes and helicopter landing zones, in amphibious and subsequent land operations. Pathfinder teams provide pre-assault navigational assistance to helicopters in approach to and along approach-retirement lanes.
Pathfinder teams provide terminal guidance to the helicopter assault waves in the landing zones, in either day or night operations. Final pre-H-hour reports of enemy activity, obstacles, weather, and radiological contamination in the landing zones and near vicinity are made by these pathfinder teams. Pathfinders are capable of limited obstacle clearance, should this work be necessary, and they provide emergency communication support and assembly aid to the helicopter-landed troops.
The main tasks of a force reconnaissance company, then, are: First, to perform pre-D-day reconnaissance as required by the overall intelligence collection plan, using parachute and amphibious means; second, to provide pathfinder services. In order to do these jobs, the company is functionally organized to plan and execute--with the support of tactical and transport fixed-winged aircraft, helicopters, and naval vessels--the following tactical missions: perform pre-D-day amphibious reconnaissance of any landing beaches required by the landing plan; establish coastwatcher stations or inland observation posts after D-day, if required; execute pre-D-day parachute reconnaissance of helicopter landing zones--of the approach and retirement lanes thereto--and of other key inland installations of interest to the Marine expeditionary force; conduct post-D-day reconnaissance, by helicopter or parachute, of critical areas beyond the range of division reconnaissance means; and finally, render necessary parachute or pathfinder support to assault waves.
These varied tasks are accomplished by fourteen officers and 147 enlisted, organized into a company headquarters of four officers and thirty-three enlisted; a parachute reconnaissance platoon of three officers and twenty-three enlisted; and an amphibious reconnaissance platoon of two officers and twenty-three enlisted. A major (0302) is in command. Twelve officers and ninety-seven enlisted Marines are on parachute jump status.

Google Preview