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I'm working on a scenario using the "Latakia Airport (large)" map, and I'm puzzled about which Blue forces would be employed in such a battlespace.

The scenario begins in the darkness of early morning. I figured that plus or minus a dozen men (including a CCT/JTAC and a sniper team) would insert via HAHO (or HALO) jump and establish an OP at the perimeter of the airfield for initial recon and for calling in air strikes on the OPFOR units in and around the airfield in preparation for the arrival on map of the company or so of Blue light infantry (which had parachuted in or been inserted via helo) about 30 minutes into the scenario.

I'm going for as much realism as I can as far as TO&E and unit designations. So my questions are:

- Since Latakia is just a few miles from Syria's coast, would the capture of the airfield be assigned to the USMC? If yes, would the advance party consist of the Fire Control Team and a team from the Scout/Sniper Platoon of the MEU assigned to capture the airfield, or would they from the Scout/Snipler Plt. only, with the FCT retained with the MEU command element? Or would they be Force Recon troops? (If they were Force Recon soldiers, they would most likely have M4s rather than M16A4s, and thus IBCT scout sections would be used to simulate them, even though they're from the wrong branch.) Would this sort of mission be not important enough to use MARSOC operators?

- If not the USMC, what Army unit(s) might be given the task of capturing the airfield? The Rangers? Army Airborne troops? Perhaps some other light infantry inserted via helo? Would a full company of light infantry be reckoned sufficient for capturing (and holding) an airfield, or would more forces be thought necessary on the ground?

- What amount of air assets would be allotted? I figured that, as with the first scenario of the USMC campaign, no less than a pair of JDAM-loaded fast-movers would suffice. Since the battlespace is so near the coast, would the air assets be USN (F/A-18s) or USMC (Harriers), or would they be F-15s or F-16s operating from bases in Turkey (or perhaps even Italy, with in-flight refueling)?

- What Red forces would likely be in place in and around the Latakia airfield? Would these include static tanks, or perhaps even non-static tanks?

Thanks in advance for any answers and/or insight. =)

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I wouldn't get too hung up on the proximity of the coast as to whether this would be a USMC v Army operation. You have to set a wider context and by that I mean which formation 'owns' that battlespace. As you are the scenario designer it means you can specify what you want in there or maybe use the campaign map as a guide to set your backstory/narrative. The other way is just to reverse engineer it - so select your force package for the mission and then build the wider higher formation context around it.

In terms of the packaging suggestions you've got there - all sound plausible enough. In reality it will be determined by factors such as

1. How important is the airfield in the grand scheme of things?

2. What enemy is there?

3. What resources do I have available?

4. Where are those resources?

5. How much time do I have?

6. What risks am I prepared to take?

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