Chapter 9:
Beirut VI--End of the USMNF
20 November 1983-26 February 1984

On 2 August 1983, prior to its return to Lebanon, the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit, now commanded by Colonel James P. "Pat" Faulkner, once again came under the operational control of Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic. At this time, the MAU consisted of BLT 2/8 (LtCol Ray L. Smith), HMM-261 (LtCol Granville R. Amos), and MSSG 22 (Maj Albert E. Shively). All the MAU's Marines, and their Navy colleagues, conducted the usual pre-deployment training and exercises, and boarded Commodore (Captain, USN) Carl R. Erie's Phibron 4 shipping at Morehead City on 17-18 October 1983 for the trip to Beirut. The squadron's ships consisted of the Guam (LPH 9), the flagship; the Trenton (LPD 4); the Fort Snelling (LSD 30); the Manitowoc (LST 1180); and the Barnstable County (LST 1197). On 18 October, they stood out of the North Carolina port city for Beirut.

For Beirut VI, the 22d MAU's third deployment to Lebanon, HMM-261 and MSSG 22 were organized like their predecessors, but BLT 2/8 had been reorganized to conform to a new infantry battalion table of organization (1083C). This new T/O reduced the Marine infantry battalion by 10 percent, to a strength of 43 officers and 779 enlisted Marines. Despite this reduction, the new battalions were given greater fire power with an increase of 24 grenade launchers (bringing the total to 134), 8 additional Dragon antitank weapons (for a total of 32), and the introduction of 8 M-2, .50 caliber machine guns. At a future date, each of the new infantry battalions would be issued other new weapons--the SMAW (Shoulder Launched Multipurpose Weapon), and the Mk 19 40mm machine gun.

To transport the additional heavy weapons and to give the reorganized battalions greater mobility, they were issued 26 additional jeeps, essentially doubling their previous allowance. In a battalion landing team configuration, the infantry battalions would also gain 24 more jeeps from their attached units.

The reduced strength of the battalions was reflected primarily in the reorganization of the rifle units. A rifle platoon now consisted of 36 Marines--including the platoon leader, platoon sergeant, and platoon and 11-man squads of two 5-man fire teams each--instead of the 13-man squads of three four-man fire teams each.

Some of the MAU's Marines had been on an earlier deployment to Lebanon, for more than 40 percent of the BLT had been in the unit two years or more. All of Lieutenant Colonel Smith's squad leaders and more than one third of his fire team leaders had completed the 2d Marine Division's Squad Leader's Course. All the BLT's rifle platoon commanders had been through the Infantry Officer's Course at the Marine Corps Development and Education Command at Quantico following their graduation from The Basic School.1

About midnight of 20-21 October, as Phibron 4 shipping passed north of Bermuda en route to the Mediterranean, CinCLant ordered Commodore Erie to turn south to a holding position about 400 miles northeast of Grenada. Because the Phibron's ships' radios had been monitoring the news stories as well as receiving updated classified intelligence reports about the civil upheaval in Grenada, both Navy and Marine Corps officers presumed that they might be directed to conduct a non-combatant evacuation of American and foreign nationals from the troubled island. The Amphibious Task Force had trained for this types of operation and began planning to carry out such an evacuation shortly.

In his message to Commodore Erie, the Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet also instructed the Phibron commander to remain in his holding position until midnight of 23-24 October. Then, if no further instructions had been received, he was to continue on his way to Beirut. At the same time, the Phibron assumed an EmCom (emission control) condition, in which radio and radar silence was instituted. Messages could be received, but not sent, as all electronic and sonic emissions closed down. As Phibron 4 essentially became a ghost squadron, the inability to talk to higher echelons was to cause some problems as planning for the Grenada operation unfolded.

At this point, Marine and Navy planning was primarily concerned with the evacuation of civilians from a hostile or "non-permissive" environment. At 2200 on 22 October, Commodore Erie was ordered to head his ships toward Grenada. A second message then gave order of battle information about Grenadian forces. No further directives were issued to the Phibron at this point. Admiral Joseph Metcalfe III, Second Fleet


Photograph by the author
En route to Beirut from Grenada on board Trenton (LPD 4) (left to right) Maj Joseph J. Streitz, ExO, BLT 2/8; LtCol Ray L. Smith, Co, BLT 2/8; and Maj Albert E. Shively, Co, MAU Service Support Group 22.

commander and joint task force commander for the operation, radioed Commodore Erie that the Army had been ordered to conduct an airborne assault on Grenada.2 Shortly after this, the Marines were brought into the picture and given their operation orders for the landing on Grenada.

By 1 November the 22d MAU had successfully completed its role in Operation Urgent Fury, the code name for the landing on Grenada. On 2 November, Lieutenant Colonel Ronald R. Rice, 22d MAU executive officer, led an advance party ashore on Grenada, where it boarded a plane for the United States and then on to Beirut. The next day, Colonel Faulkner and his operations officer, Major (later lieutenant colonel) Ernest A. Van Huss, were flown ashore to Grenada, where they briefed Senator John G. Tower of Texas on Operation Urgent Fury. Shortly after this, the two flew to Norfolk to brief Lieutenant General Miller at FMFLant headquarters.

At 1740 on the 2d, Phibron 4 ships steamed past St. George's harbor with battle flags flying. The ships then turned and headed north for Barbados, where HMM-261 helicopters flew supplies from the beach to the carrier Independence. When this task was completed and all helicopters had landed back on the Guam, the Amphibious Ready Group set a course for Beirut.

On 3 November, the 22d MAU received a message stating that when the MAU arrived off Beirut, its structure would be modified.3 Essentially, Brigadier General Jim R. Joy, the Assistant Division Commander of the 2d Marine Division would relieve Colonel Faulkner as commander of the MAU, whereupon the former commander would become MAU chief of staff. General Joy was to bring a small staff group to Lebanon to expand the MAU staff. The rationale behind this high-level decision was the need to provide additional supervisory assistance and coordination of activities ashore in Beirut. In considering the terrorist bombing of the BLT building and the subsequent recovery measures, as well as the need to coordinate the overall efforts of the other Multi-National Force units and to supervise the relief of the 24th MAU by the 22d, it was deemed necessary to assign a Marine general officer as MAU commander. Additionally, this would make him co-equal in rank to the French and Italian MNF commanders.

General Joy later gave an additional reason for the change. In response to the heavy fighting in late August and early September, the 31st MAU was sent to Beirut from Kenya to serve ashore as theater reinforcement, if needed. At this time, General Miller had directed General Joy at Camp Lejeune to put together a "mini-MAB" [Marine Amphibious Brigade] headquarters, ready to fly out to Beirut should the U.S. MUlti-National Force be increased to MAB size.4

General Goy then organized what he called a "suitcase staff," consisting of no more than 10 people, which was packed and ready to fly to Beirut when ordered.4-1

General Joy's small staff was briefed in Norfolk at FMFLant headquarters, and in Washington by Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps staff sections, by the State Department, and by the Defense Intelligence Agency.


Back at Camp Lejeune, in addition to carrying out its regular assignments, the staff met often to work on contingency plans and to keep current on what was going on in Beirut. The staff remained on alert until early October. When the 31st MAU left Beirut on 13 October to return to the Western Pacific area, the concept of sending General Joy and his staff to Beirut became moot. After the bombing of the BLT headquarters building, however, General Joy was instructed to leave for Beirut as soon as possible and assume command of the 22d MAU before it landed to relieve the 24th.5

One day out of Rota, Spain, 10 November, all embarked Marines and their Navy hosts celebrated the 208th Birthday of the Corps in traditional manner, with the reading of Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune's birthday message. Another tradition observed was the cutting of the birthday cake, with the first piece handed to the oldest Marine present, and the second piece to the youngest. Lieutenant Colonel Ray L. Smith, the BLT commander, on the Trenton, was to lead the second advance party into Beirut, flying from the Guam to Rota on the 11th. As he had to leave the Trenton on the 9th,5-1 he held his battalion's birthday ceremonies that morning.

Photograph by the author
22d MAU commander Col James P. Faulkner (left) and MAU Chaplain Kevin L. Anderson look over a few of the thousands of letters sent to the 22d MAU following its successful operation on Grenada.

Colonel Faulkner flew on board the Guam from Rota on 11 November, and resumed command of the MAU. He then briefed his key staff and command personnel about the new Marine command arrangement that would go into force when they arrived at Beirut and the relief of the 24th MAU.

The Amphibious Ready Group arrived at Beirut on 17 November. General Joy and his staff boarded the Guam, where he relieved Colonel Faulkner as 22d MAU commander at approximately 1100.

In early November, before he took over command of the MAU, General Joy was in Beirut to survey the situation. CinCEur sent him a message on 9 November, directing a number of actions to enhance the security of the U.S. Multi-National Forces ashore in Lebanon. Among these was a requirement to reduce the size of the BLT and MAU headquarters ashore to an essential few, with the "non-essential" Marines relocated on board Phibron shipping. Following this, the rifle company at the northern end of the airport would be moved to other positions to provide the MAU with integrated and coordinated security.The company's former positions were to be occupied by LAF troops. Company E, 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, which had reinforced the 24th MAU after the bombing, returned to Camp Lejeune by 19 November. In addition, General Joy was to spread out the concentrated billeting of Marines providing security for the U.S./British Embassy. Further, he was directed to return to shipboard all but the forward (or Alpha) command groups of the BLT and MAU until protected command posts with overhead cover could be constructed for them. Finally, except for a minimum of essential units to provide support ashore, the MSSG was to operate afloat.6

Meanwhile the turnover with 24th MAU went well and was completed 12 hours ahead of schedule on 19 November. General Joy then threw the MAU's entire efforts into improving the safety and security of all troops ashore by constructing additional bunkers, improving existing positions, ensuring dispersion of units, and "fine-tuning the command and control capability of the MAU Hq."7 The fact that the turnover had gone so smoothly, in perfect weather, and without harassing fire from unfriendly elements, enabled the MAU to push ahead with its barrier and obstacle plan and to begin building a new MAU command post on 19 November.

A Seabee site survey team had been at the airport for two days, 17-19 November, to review the Marine positions and determine how they could be improved and made safer. Meanwhile, the MAU headquarters had been moved to the airport maintenance building just east of its previous site. The new BLT command post was now on a piece of land between the coastal highway and the southern end of the airport's north-south runway. Located on the same stretch of land, but closer to the crossing of the north-south and


U.S. Navy photo
The battleship New Jersey (BB 62) fires her 16-inch guns off the coast of Beirut in support of Marines ashore when hostile rocket and artillery rounds threatened Americans.

northeast-southwest runways, were the artillery battery emplacements. Two rifle companies (F and G) were dispersed on the eastern side of the northeast-southwest runway within several hundred yards of LAF and SHiite positions near Khaldah, were the Marines were still subject to frequent sniper fire.

The Seabee report noted that the MAU was attempting to build protective, semi-covered bunkers without enough material, equipment, skilled labor, and experience in constructing such structures. The reporting Seabee officer concluded that these MAU-built bunkers offered little more than minimal protection from shell fragments.8

According to General Joy's plan the MAU command post was to be built near the new BLT command post area. By 19 November, preparation of the site was underway. The possibility of heavy rains in December and the immediate requirement of the MAU to dig in influenced the Seabee survey team leader to recommend that 40 Seabees from the 1st Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Detachment, Rota, be sent to Beirut to assist the Marines in their barrier and construction efforts. The recommendation was approved, the Seabees arrived in Lebanon on 24 November for a 30-day assignment, and immediately began work on the new MAU positions. Initially, the MAU recognized the need to protect its combat operations center, intelligence section, fire support coordination center, and the like. At the same time, General Joy pointed out an equally important requirement for an obstacle/barrier protection system for rifle company positions. The Seabee team recommended that sea-land

Beginning in December 1983, sea-land shipping containers are dug in for use as secure command, control, and communications bunkers at Beirut International Airport.


vans be reinforced and dug in as protected bunkers, a solution which seemed eminently workable. Earlier, the MAU had contracted locally for heavy equipment and construction materials to build/reinforce Marine bunker complexes. At the same time, General Tannous provided the MAU with 40 of the large sea-land shipping containers which the Seabees began reinforcing and burying for MAU, MSSG, battery, and company command and control facilities.

General Joy also requested that upon completion of the construction phase, additional containers be procured and buried for use as protected personnel bunkers. As these construction efforts went on, combat engineers assigned to the BLT assisted the rifle companies in improving and rebuilding their fighting positions. The Seabees were tasked with building "dive-in" bunkers, strong backing for tents, and construction of earth berms between fighting and living positions. The MAU commander wanted to reduce the number of Marines living in buildings in the old MAU/MSSG area, and he predicted in his 19 November report to CinCEur that, when the new MAU command post was completed--within 10-14 days--the number of personnel ashore would be reduced considerably. General Joy concluded his situation report by saying, "We are mindful of requirements for keeping minimum essential people ashore and are reviewing each functional area in the MAU/MSSG on a line by line basis."9

Photo courtesy of Claude Salhani
From his vantage point in the turret of an LVTP-7 assault amphibious vehicle in front of the British embassy, a 24th MAU Marine keeps watch for potential attacks against the UI.S.-British diplomatic center.

Less than a week after 23 November, General Joy again reported that he, his staff, and his commanders had dedicated their efforts to continuing the "presence" mission while doing their utmost to prevent a recurrence of the bombing and other terrorist actions. At the same time, he recognized that the terrorists might resort to such other tactics as mining the MAU area, and ambushing, kidnapping, or assassinating Marines. The MAU commander further reported that he had identified the Durrafourd Building, the U.S./U.K. Embassy, and the MAU/MSSG areas as the most likely terrorist targets, and that he had taken the steps he mentioned earlier to protect the Marines against terrorist attacks. To refuse entry into the MAU positions by sappers, infiltrators, and kidnappers, General Joy replaced the fixed positions along the perimeter with aggressive patrolling at irregular intervals. he back this so-called "Forward security line" with section-and platoon-maned strongpoints with mutually supporting crew-served weapons. He also placed tactical and protective wire around the strongpoints and planned to install floodlights at these positions.

General Joy also reduced access to the roads leading into the Marine perimeter with what amounted to a three-tiered system. The innermost tier was armed with direct fire weapons, such as Dragon, LAAW, and .50-caliber machine guns, manned and fully ready 24 hours a day. Each Marine position was issued special rules of engagement based on specific triggering situations that were most likely to occur. The MAU commander had also recognized the potential threat of suicide air attacks and had considered the use of Redeye and Stinger missiles in an air defense role, but because of the danger they might pose to commercial flights in and out of Beirut International Airport, those weapons were not initially used. And so air defense was assigned to .50 caliber and M-60 machine guns.

Finally, General Joy reported that he was fully employing the counterintelligence augmentation he had been given. This consisted of the 2d Counterintelligence Team, a composite team with personnel drawn from the 2d and 4th Counterintelligence Teams (FMFLant), and the 8th Counterintelligence Team (2d Marine Aircraft Wing), augmenting the counterintelligence detachment that originally deployed with the 22d MAU. The composite team operated with a headquarters element and four subteams, each of which was assigned a specific functional area. One subteam


was assigned to counterterrorism activities and physical security of the MAU area of operations, while a second was tasked to collect information about threats to the U.S. Multi-National Force. A third subteam was assigned the mission of analysis and reporting, while the fourth was held in reserve with a secondary mission of reinforcing the physical security subteam.10

As a matter of Marine Corps doctrine, counterintelligence teams are not normally assigned to or deployed with units below Marine Amphibious Brigade level, and the 22d MAU became the first unit of its kind to be supported by a counterintelligence team that was fully manned and equipped. Lebanon also marked the first time since Vietnam that a counterintelligence team had deployed in support of a landing force commander.11

While all this activity was going on ashore, Colonel Faulkner, as chief of staff of the MAU, spent his nights on board the Guam, coordinating with the Phibron staff as well as coordinating MAU staff functions afloat. His days ashore were spent at the MAU forward command post at the airport, coordinating MAU staff functions there. This permitted General Joy to devote more time to improving the MAU's defensive positions, "enhancing boring conditions, handling visiting VIPs, and coordinating with other MNF and GOL [Government of Lebanon] agencies."12

On 25 November, General joy reported that two 9-foot berms had been prepared to the north of the MSSG command post and that a tank ditch was being dug in between the berms. At the same time, two 9-foot berms were being built outside the western and southern fence lines encircling the MAU area, after which a tank ditch would be dug inside the fences. Protective wire was strung and the berms were covered by M-60 and .50 caliber machine guns, Dragons, and LAAWs. No Lebanese vehicles were permitted inside the area and all other autos were stopped and inspected before they were given entry. The old gates and weak portions of the fenceline were blocked with wrecked buses and automobiles.

A wrecked automobile is placed with other obstacles in the defense perimeter surrounding the 22d MAU.

By the 25th, the BLT command post had moved to its new site. On the same day, the Seabee contingent began preparing the MAU headquarters' new bunkers. Earthen berms were thrown up around the BLT and MAU command post sites, and bulldozers were working at the rifle company and artillery battery positions, building berms and clearing fields of fire.

Concurrently with these engineering activities, the rifle company and platoon positions were being reorganized to become mutually supporting. The existing bunkers were used as "passive type" observation and listening posts, while engineer-designed prefabricated fighting positions were placed int he rear of these posts. Once this "frontline" work was completed, the Seabees were to prepare bunkered living positions and sandbagged strong-back tents in the MAU/MSSG and BLT command post areas and at each company and battery position.

In the midst of all this, the MAU remained on alert in order to be immediately responsive to the multifaceted threat it faced. On the perimeter, the Marines were awakened each day for an early morning stand-to and General Joy set Alert Condition 1 in the predawn hours (0445-0700). Fortunately, there had been little or no sniping or incoming artillery and rocket fire during the 22d MAU's first day back in Lebanon.13

General Joy maintained close relationships with the other Multi-National Force Units in Lebanon. He proposed setting up a MNF coordinating officer at the Lebanese Ministry of Defense for the then-existing MNF Liaison Office at the Presidential Palace was not working effectively and was not responsive. There was no early decision for or against the proposal, however.

During this period, the MAU's composite helicopter squadron was kept busy with passenger, mail, and freight flights to and from Beirut airport or to Larnaca from the flight deck of the Guam. In addition, the helicopters flew VIP shuttle and diplomatic flights, some of which went to Tel Aviv.

When the 22d MAU first arrived in November, the HMM-261 commander, Lieutenant Colonel Granville "Granny" R. Amos, put two of his Cobras on the Trenton, fully armed and on 30-minute alert. Cobra pilots and maintenance crews were rotated from the Guam every five days. A third armed Cobra was ready as backup on the Guam, while the squadron's fourth gunship was undergoing maintenance work. The


Cobras were never flown over the beach, but when the turnover took place in November, they were airborne, orbiting two miles off the beach. They were airborne again when the Embassy was evacuated in early 1984, and once again when the 22d MAU re-embarked in February. The gunships trained regularly, "running close air support with the fixed wing off the Indy and the JFK [the carriers Independence and John F. Kennedy], and they did a lot of naval gunfire exercises in case we did need them to go over the beach."14

In order to employ the helicopters usefully ashore, Major William J. Sublette, the MAU Air Liaison Officer, suggested a tasking for the squadron's other aircraft. Lieutenant Colonel Amos would launch a UH-1N, four CH-46s, and sometimes two CH-53Ds in the morning. These helicopters would then be turned over to Major Sublette's control ashore. At noontime, the planes would return to the Guam where new pilots and crews would take over. This was necessary because on some days, the pilots could fly for 8-10 hours without respite, "and that worked out really good as far as getting the max utilization of the airplanes and air crews without having a lot of dead time orbiting the airport."15 If the aircraft were not needed at any time during the day, they would set down in one of the landing zones and shut down their engines. All helicopters returned to the Guam at night to avoid being hit by the random fire falling within the MAU perimeter. For medical evacuations, a CH-46 was also put on the Trenton on a 30-minute alert at night.

During the first three months into this deployment, HMM-261 fully supported the MAU with 25 percent of its flight time spent in ferrying VIPs and visiting entertainers around, and another 25 percent in supporting the Navy.16

One of the major characteristics of this deployment with respect to helicopter operations was the uncertainty from day to day about the security of the individual landing zones. The erratic and sporadic nature of the attacks on the helicopters was dramatized on 28 January 1984, when an unidentified individual fired a SA-7 missile at a CH-46 approaching a landing zone which had been used extensively since the 22d MAU's landing in November. Fortunately, the SA-7 missed the aircraft. Many flights had previously brought in external fuel loads here, hovering over the LZ without any problems. Earlier, on 8 January, another had flown into LZ Oriole, the landing area near the Embassy, which had been used without incident for two months. This time, however, several men fired upon the plane with small arms and RPGs, killing one Marine in the process.17 In addition, there were many instances of helicopters flying to the beach and picking up indications that the aircraft were being tracked by a radar system that was associated with the Soviet quad-barrelled ZS-23mm antiaircraft gun. DUring the first two and a half to three months of the deployment, aircraft were constantly being tracked by radar as they flew into the airport. The HMM-261 helicopters were fired upon by small arms weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, and the single SA-7, but they received no ZS-23 fire.

When the squadron first arrived in Lebanon, it began averaging a total of 40 hours a day flight time. In December, this increased to 5- hours a day, with two or three days hitting 70 to 80 hours flight time. The squadron ended up the year with 1,415.8 hours of flight time in December, 1,348 in January, all the while averaging 90-95 percent aircraft availability. HMM-261's workload didn't lessen in February, for in 29 days, the pilots flew 1,417 hours for a 49-hour daily average.

All MAU components conducted on-the-job training when they could, in between times filling and hauling sandbags. By the first week of December, the Seabees had completed emplacing all sea-land containers in the MAU command post area. At the same time, the combat engineers attached to BLT 2/8 completed new fighting positions throughout the BLT area, and also emplaced barbed wire obstacles in front of each position.18

The week of 3-9 December was characterized by a series of violent clashes which resulted in the MAU's first casualties of the deployment. On 4 December, Navy jet bombers flew from the flight decks of the Independence and the John F. Kennedy to attack selected targets east of Beirut.18-1 In response to anticipated retaliatory action, the MAU set a maximum alert condition, beginning at 0700.

During the course of the day, Marine positions on the eastern and southern airport perimeter were taken under occasional sniper and mortar fire, which was returned in kind. At 1935 and 2010, Checkpoint 7, a combat outpost located on Pepsi Road, which led towards the airport from Ash Shuwayfat past the Pepsi Cola bottling plant, was hit by small arms fire. Manning this outpost was a rifle squad reinforced by a machine gun team, a sniper team, and a LAAW team from the assault squad of Company G's weapons platoon.


Photo by GySgt Dale S. Welker
A view of Amal-held buildings from Company G, BLT 2/8, positions. The arrow points to "Cafe Daniel," from which hostile small arms fire was directed against Marines.

The fighting positions of these Marines were atop two small, 2 1/2 story buildings, with each rooftop measuring 9'x12' at most. These positions were selected because they provided the best observation of all the small buildings in the area. An air assault company of the LAF 33d Battalion was collocated just southeast of the Marines.

At 2204, the eastern perimeter again came under fire, with one 122mm rocket round landing directly on top of Checkpoint 7, killing eight Marines and wounding two others. When the small arms fire directed at Checkpoint 7 increased, six off-duty Marines had rushed to the rooftop to reinforce the four already there. All became casualties. Of this tragic event, Lieutenant Colonel Smith later commented, "Good men rushed out of protective bunkers and into a fighting position. They felt it was the thing to do, and I don't fault them. I wish now they hadn't."19

Following this, the MAU returned fire with small arms, 81mm mortars, 155mm artillery, and 5-inch naval guns.20 This response caused several secondary explosions, but enemy losses were unknown. The Marines could only tell whether they had inflicted casualties with return fire during daylight hours when they could see Lebanese civilian ambulances evacuating wounded. The BLT commander did not believe that the fire that killed his eight Marines was so-called spillover, ". . . I think from the very beginning that they were shooting at us . . . it is my opinion that it was because of the air strike that morning . . . And there is no way of really documenting that the fire was because of the air strike."21

Two nights later, on 6 December, a short but violent firefight erupted near Company G positions. The fire came from fortified bunkers believed held by Amal radicals. After Marine small arms and machine gun fire, as well as M203 grenades, failed to silence the Amal, Marine tank and Dragon rounds finally did, destroying two bunkers in the process.

Relative quiet prevailed for the next few days, but then short, bitter firefights began in the early morning hours of 8-9 December, again in front of Company G positions and emanating from "Cafe Daniel,"22 a known Amal position that had been fortified, and had firing slits directly facing the Marines.

Around this time, the Amal in Burj al Barahinah seemed to think that they had a special relationship with the Marines. On the evening of 6 December, several Amal appeared at the airport and complained to the LAF liaison officer that the Marines building bunkers on the eastern perimeter were impinging on Amal territory. They said, ". . . that it was too close to them and they wanted it stopped. If we didn't stop it, they were going to shoot at us. Well, we weren't building bunkers any further forward towards them than where they'd [the bunkers] always been."23 Major Alfred L. Butler III, the MAU liaison officer to the Lebanese Army, quietly took notes while avoiding direct contact with the Amal.

Lieutenant Colonel Smith's response to this warning was that the Marines were only building defensive positions and clearing fields of fire. Further, since he had no offensive intent then, he said that he would continue to improve his defenses. On the morning of 7 December, while the Marine engineers worked with the Seabees in front of Company G positions, the Amal opened up with grenades, small arms, and machine gun fire. The Marines returned fire with tank rounds, Dragons, LAAWs, and M203s. After an hour, the firing ended.


That afternoon, Amal representatives again met with the LAF liaison officer and repeated their statement of the previous evening--that if the Marines kept working in front of Company G, they would be fired upon. Ture to their word, the Amal fired at the engineers and the Seabees during the morning of 8 December. This time, however, the Marines responded in more than kind, destroying all of the Amal bunkers to their front, including those in the "Cafe Daniel" building.

While this was going on, the Amal called the American Embassy to ask how they could arrange a ceasefire. They complained that the Marines weren't "responding in kind, that they thought they had an agreement. . . . Well, they didn't have any agreement, but that had been the rules of engagement, and they were aware of them, I guess."24 Prior to this time, and certainly prior to the 23 October bombing, the rules of engagement decreed that Marines would respond proportionally to any life-threatening fire from any quarter. "Well, after 23 October, that made no sense."25 And so the fire the Marines returned on 8 December was intense enough to destroy the positions firing upon them and lethal enough to cause Amal casualties.

On the morning of the 9th, the Americans suffered two more casualties. A Seabee was slightly wounded and his bulldozer just about destroyed when it was hit by an RPG. In the same attack, a Marine was shot in the leg and evacuated to the Guam.

After these incidents, things slowed down somewhat, but the Marines continued to receive fire from small arms and automatic weapons, and occasionally mortars. They were "obviously firing directly at us, and when we could determine where the fire was coming from, we responded, vigorously. Vigorous became the byword for our response. 'You shoot at us, you must be prepared to receive a vigorous response."26

During this time, the MAU continued to upgrade its positions, using the 33-man combat engineer platoon from Camp Lejeune that augmented the MAU's organic engineer capability in the BLT and the MSSG [See Appendix B] and the Seabees' efforts. The Seabees were due to leave 23 December, and General Joy was determined to use them as fully as he could in their remaining time in Beirut, Meanwhile, Marines in Beirut continued to be visited by congressional delegations, as well as by high-ranking officers in the chain of command. In addition, General Joy wa kept busy meeting with his MNF counterparts and with General Tannous.

By mid-December, 50 of the planned 80 sea-land containers had been emplaced as bunkers, with the remainder scheduled to be in place by the first of the year. Surprisingly, the weather continued to be fair, giving Marines an extra measure of time to work in improving fields of fire, building berms, and emplacing wire obstacles in front of their positions. Lieutenant Colonel Smith organized the BLT's defense along the eastern perimeter by pulling back to give Marines on the line as much open terrain--and as many good fields of fire--as possible. He then built platoon-sized strongpoint, ". . . really hardened . . . that, if it came down to defending against a major attack, each of these stronpoints could really fight and defend themselves. And that, of course, left . . . in

Photo by GySgt Dale S. Welker

Only a sandbagged post is visible on the skyline at Beirut International Airport.


Golf [G] Company's case, as much as 300 meters between stronpoints."27

All of these strongpoints were covered by fire and observation. Lieutenant Colonel Smith left quite a few of the old, above-ground, "presence" bunkers in place, and at night he would send tow- and three-man security patrols out to those old bunkers. The Marines would light up cigarettes, and occupy the bunker for several minutes, and then move out to another bunker down the line to do the same thing, to "let them [the Shiites or Amal] know they're ion the bunker, and then let them always wonder where they [the Marines] are."28

In organizing the ground, the BLT moved around the terrain in front of the company positions. At the southern end of the perimeter, all of the ground in front of Company G was re-arranged by the Seabees and their bulldozers. According to Lieutenant Colonel Smith, he:

. . . told Golf Company and Fox Company commanders to use their imagination and look at how they wished that terrain was, then make it that way. . . . There were several places over on Golf Company's frontage where over the years the Syrians had pushed up dirt facing south, Israelis came in and they pushed up the same dirt and reoriented it, but it was facing north. . . . So, those fire piles and artifiical terrain . . . they turned it so it faced the way they wanted it to face. We moved a lot of dirt that way.29

A great deal of money was poured into these efforts to reorganize the defense. Based on an agreement between Generals Miller and Tannous--each acting for the respective governments--FMFLant would pay for all materials and costs for renting heavy equipment* employed in emplacement of the bunkers and building new fighting positions. Simultaneously, the Government of Lebanon agreed to underwrite the cost of installing lighting and placing concrete Dragon Teeth obstacles around the MAU perimeter.30

In the MAU's weekly situation report, General Joy advised that he planned to request the Marine Corps to put certain pieces of heavy equipment on standby for immediate airlift to Beirut, should the local supply no longer be available. he also noted that he was continuing his attempt to reduce the number of MAU personnel ashore and that in the second week of December, he managed to return more than 100 MSSG Marines to the ships.31

Concluding this report, General Joy noted that the threat of a conventional attack on the Marines remained an ever-present possibility.32 At the same time, the terrorist threat remained probable, in light of several small incidents directed at the French MNF.

Watercolor by Maj John T. Dyer, Jr., USMCR (Ret)
On Watch, Christmas 1983

The MAU commander noted the heavy attack on Companies E and G, between 1630 and 1920 on 15 December. At that time, the firing then going on between the LAF and PSP in the vicinity of the Marines had spilled over into MAU positions. Approximately 20 mortar rounds detonated near or amidst the Marines and they were repeatedly fired upon by .50 caliber machine guns and ZS-23s. The MAU answered with 81mm mortars, tank guns, 155mm artillery, and naval gunfire. During the heavy firing, a PSP representative contacted the U.S. Embassy's political officer, asking how they could turn off the bombardment. He was told that if the PSP would stop shooting at Marines, they would not be fired upon. Shortly thereafter, Jumblatt's PSP ceased firing, while the Marines continued firing for 15 to 20 minutes more to ensure that all their targets were neutralized. General Joy wryly commented later, "It would appear our aggressive response to attacks by fire, and especially the New Jersey, has made an impression on some elements."33


Sketch by Cpl Michael Shelton
The 22d MAU's 1983 Christmas card reminiscent of the Iwo Jima flag raising. The tree is a Cedar of Lebanon and symbolizes the country in which it grows.

BLT 2/8 Chaplain Thomas W. Falkenthal, dressed in a Santa Claus suit, delivers gifts to Marines on the MAU perimeter from the rear of an ambulance. LtCol Edmund J. Connelly, Jr., 22d MAU G-3 is at the right.

Bob Hope, Miss America 1983 Debra Moffett, Ann Jillian, Kathy Lee Crosby, and Brooke Shields visit Beirut servicemen on board amphibious squadron ships at Christmas 1983.


As Christmas approached, the MAU was visited by a number of high-ranking military and civilian personnel. In December, the MAU and the Phibron were inundated with tons of mail addressed "To a Marine, 22d MAU," or "To a Sailor, Phibron 4." Included in the mail bags were countless fruit cakes, Christmas cards, thousands of pounds of cookies and candy, and the like. Lieutenant Colonel Amos, commander of HMM-261, recalled that someone sent three pallets of live Christmas trees to the American forces in Beirut, each tree decorated with ornaments. one could go to any one of the squadron's work shops ". . . any time from probably the 10th of December t the 10th of January and there would be five gallon pails of cookies that people had sent. . . . The mess decks [of the Guam] were plastered with 'Dear Sailor' Christmas cards. Just unbelievable. nobody could remember seeing anything like that. The outpouring of the American people. . ."34

The phenomenon was not exactly new to Beirut Marines, for the 24th MAU had experienced something like this expression of American generosity when it was in Lebanon the Christmas before. Also, as the 22d MAU left Grenada, it received mail bags filled with cards, letters, and boxes of cookies and candy, thanking the Marines ad sailors for what they had done in Operation Urgent Fury.

Carrying on a tradition he had begun in World War II of spending Christmas with U.S. forces overseas, Bob Hope and his troupe of entertainers arrived off Beirut just before Christmas to give shows on board the Guam and the New Jersey. Four hundred 22d MAU Marines were flown to the Guam on 23 December to see the show, while another 400 attended a show on the New Jersey the next day. Mr. Hope insisted on visiting the Marines who were not able to see his show, and on Christmas day he was flown ashore to make a quick visit to the MAU headquarters.

Also visiting the Marines during this holiday season, were Captain Eli Takesian, ChC, USN, Chaplain of the Marine Corps, and Captain Angelo J. Libera, ChC, USN, senior chaplain of the 2d Marine Division, who visited all MAU positions, holding Christmas services for the Marines ashore. on Christmas Day, Lieutenant Thomas W. Falkenthal, ChC,USN, the BLT chaplain--who had brought a Santa Claus costume with him to Beirut--donned it and went around to all of the BLT positions by ambulance, handing out Christmas presents to the line Marines.

By Christmas, 95 percent of the tank ditch around the MAU perimeter was completed, with 70 percent of the Dragon Teeth in place. The dirt berm around [the] built-up area was completed, but only 20 percent of the planned wire obstacles were in place. Of the 156 planned fighting positions, 75 percent had been completed.35 The new MAU command post was also sufficiently prepared to permit transfer of essential command/control.communications functions from the old, so-called "vital area" to the new positions.36 On 23 December, 29 of the Seabees sent to assist the MAU in building up its defenses were sent back to Rota. The remaining 12 were to stay in Lebanon for an additional 30 days.

During this Christmas period, the attacks by fire on Marine positions continued at a much-reduced level. A resupply convoy returning from the U.S./UK Embassy took fire with neither damage nor casualties. An Air Force bomb-dog handler in the Embassy area was slightly wounded by sniper fire on 22 December near the bombed-out American Embassy, while conducting a search for car bombs along Ambassador Bartholomew's usual automobile route near the temporary embassy site.37 By the end of the year, in unseasonably good weather, all major MAU command post functions were located in the new command post site. The MAU headquarters had been relocated on 27 December. New 9'x9'x13' living bunkers were completed for the Marines manning the amtracs on the Corniche near the joint embassy site, and three more were constructed in the rear of the Durrafourd Building for the guard platoon assigned to embassy security.

Ever since his arrival in Lebanon, General Joy had pressed for President Gemayel's approval to set up a Multi-National Force liaison/coordination office at the Ministry of Defense, primarily because the liaison office at the Presidential Palace was not operating effectively. The LEbanese officers at the Presidential Palace: . . . were a step behind the operational usefulness of the information that was passed to the MNF liaison officers. It was like a press debrief of the previous day's events and we didn't get anything in a timely manner or know exactly what was going on . . . in the detail or accuracy that was needed for tactical planning in defense of our forces and accomplishment of our mission."38

The problem was that General Tannous and his staff operated in the Ministry of Defense, where the action, planing, and timely information could be found. Seeing that General Tannous wa unable to allow the overt establishment of an MNF functional coordination center at the MOD, General Joy and Lieutenant Colonel Rice, the 22d MAU's special staff officer, sought an opportunity to establish the function without formalizing it.39 On 29 December, Lieutenant


Colonel Rice was assigned to duties at the Ministry of Defense with the Officer of Military Cooperation to serve as a liaison officer between the Lebanese Armed Forces and General Joy, in the latter's function as Commander, Task Force 62, on matters concerning the United States Multi-National Force.40

General Joy commented that General Tannous gave this arrangement unofficial blessing. "However he requested that we maintain a low profile because of some reservations on the part of the Palace."41 Lieutenant Colonel Rice functioned in this billet from 29 December to 24 February, after which he returned to the MAU headquarters and reassumed his assignment as MAU executive officer.

During his time at the Ministry of Defense, Lieutenant Colonel Rice frequently visited the LAF operations center, checking with Lebanese operations officers, intelligence representatives, fire support coordinators, and duty officers. As a result of these contacts, he was able to provide General Joy, and offshore naval units up-to-date target data. This ultimately meant U.S. Multi-National Force and its supporting arms could respond to General Tannous' request in a more timely and suitable fashion.42

Meanwhile, the MAU continued its defensive construction efforts. By the first week of 1984, work at the U.S./UK Embassy and the Durrafourd Building was progressing satisfactorily. The prefabricated bunkers and fighting ;position on the Corniche were completed. The sandbagging of a trailer in the rear of the Durrafourd Building and of a prefabricated protective bunker was almost completed with the assistance of a 20-man working party lifted by helicopter from the airport to the embassy area each day.

Serving as embassy guard for its entire period in Lebanon was Second Lieutenant Michael L. Ettore's 1st Platoon, Company F. He and his advance party were lifted by helicopter to the Embassy on 13 November, and the rest of his platoon joined him five days later. Although he was isolated from the rest of the MAU at its airport location, and was situated in the heart of Muslim-held territory in west Beirut, Ettore felt safer there than at the airport. Muslim factions were doing most of the shelling of the airport and he felt that the Muslims were not about to shell their own people.43

All of the posts of this embassy guard--not to be confused with the Marine Security Guard detachment inside the Embassy--were fortified bunkers in which the guards did tours of six hours on and six hours off. Initially, Lieutenant Ettore's detachment consisted of one officer, and 64 enlisted Marines, supported by three amphibious assault vehicles, two jeeps, two Air Force bomb dogs and their handlers, a cook, and tow Navy corpsmen, all of whom were reinforced by a rifle squad from Company F's 3d Platoon, a two-gun machine gun squad, and a squad from the company's weapons platoon.44

When things became hectic in west Beirut in early February 1984, the embassy guard was reinforced by another 35 Marines, approximately. While the guard was not fired upon purposely, it did received some spillover fire and stray shots. From time to time, a phantom mortarman fired from never-discovered positions without causing Marine casualties. The rules of engagement for the guard changed somewhat from what they had been before the BLT bombing. When Lieutenant Ettore relieved the 24th MAU's Marines in November, he was told, "If there's a man on the roof . . . and he's got an RPG and he's obviously . . . going to shoot it at you, then you don't have to wait to be engaged because of the situation we were in. We didn't have the 400 or 500 meters buffer zone like they did at the airport." The Muslims were quite close to the Marines "and we could get shot at from 10 feet away."45

Surrounding the embassy area was a fairly large group of Druze PSP militia. They apparently had a good talking and working relationship with the American Embassy's Regional Security Officer, Alan O. Bigler, with whom the MAU Marines worked very closely. Having been in one position for so long, Ettore and his men were able to recognize individual PSP militiamen personally and at times were able to deal with them through Bigler. Once, when Ettore needed some dirt to fill sandbags, he passed the work to Bigler, who, in turn, told Salim, the local PSP leaders, "and the Druze actually hauled us in some dirt."46

Despite the heavy fighting which erupted in west Beirut in early February, the status quo between the Marines and the PSP remained in force, and the Marines were not fired upon by the locals. Several unknown assailants did, however, fire upon Marines unloading a helicopter at Landing Zone Oriole, near the embassy, without causing any casualties. According to Ettore, Salim told him that they were not his men, and that "several times, when some of his people caused incidents, he would just simply offer to kill them to show his sincerity. He said, "Do you want me to kill them?" And I would say, 'No, no!' But all you had to do was just tell him, 'Look, this guy is bothering us, don't let him back here,' and you'd never see the guy again."47

Meanwhile, events beyond Lebanon were beginning to determine the future of the Marines in that country. Some segments in American politics and society


were completely opposed to the deployment of Marines to lebanon and the nature of their mission. They pronounced dire forebodings of what would result from the continued presence of Marines in this troubled area of the Middle East. The quickest way to get the Marines out was for Congress to invoke the War Powers Resolution.47-1 After much heated debate, the Congress granted the President authorization to keep the Marines in Lebanon for 18 months.

Following the bombing of the BLT headquarters, publication of the Long Commission and House Armed Services Committee reports, and a period of public mourning, there was increased pressure upon the Administration to pull the Marines out of Lebanon, an action the President adamantly refused to take. None of this clamor in the United States escaped the notice of the Beirut Marines. The media, for example, were constantly asking Marines what they thought about the Beirut situation and how they felt about remaining in Lebanon. Digging in at the airport and witnessing the increased strength and effectiveness of the various militia factions surrounding their positions (as well as the inability of the Lebanese Armed Forces to impose its will on the government's enemies), the Marines began to realize that perhaps their time in Lebanon was growing short.

Rumors--"scuttlebutt"-- to the Marines--began to circulate within the MAU. As General Joy recalled, "I think Congress came back in session around the 23d of January and we had a constant stream of Senators and Congressmen coming to visit us all during December and January. And it was very obvious that there was going to be a big battle on the floor of Congress over getting the Marines out of Beirut."48

In the midst of all this, the MAU continued to improve its positions and to respond to those who fired on them. In the evening hours of 7 January, after a lone rifleman fired on Marine positions at the northeast perimeter of the airport, the Marines there returned aimed rifle fire and one M203 grenade ". . . which blew the attacker out of sight."49 At about the same time, a 107mm rocket impacted near Marine positions in the southeast perimeter, wounding two Marines. Apparently, this was spillover fire coming from LAF-Druze fighting nearby.50

A Marine was killed on 8 January while on a work detail at the Bain Militaire on the Corniche near the U.S./UK Embassy. Five days later, while improving positions at the southeastern end of the airport, Marine combat engineers were fired upon by unidentified individuals from a building nearby, known locally as the "York Building." There were no Marine casualties, but the Marines returned a "decisive volume" of small arms, mortar, tank, Dragon, and LAAW fire which severely damaged the building and quieted the hostile fire.

By 12 January, only 31 Marines remained in the old MAU CP site, and the new MAU headquarters wa in full operation. Phase I of a three-phase construction program had just about been completed. By 16 January, in planned Phase I construction, 119 sea-land containers had been prepared and 130 emplaced. Thirty-two prefabricated bunkers had been completed and 45 emplaced. With respect to fighting positions, 156 had been prepared, 128 completed, and 136 emplaced.51 The cost of material, of equipment rented from local sources, and civilian labor came to $1.56 million.52

Meanwhile, Phase II construction went on. In this phase, the MAU planned to construct protected bunkers for all personnel ashore. Material for this construction continued to arrive in Beirut. It arrived either by ship, usually the USS Transcolumbia, or by helicopter from Larnaca. A major effort was also underway to complete the barrier plan, which included the installation of Dragon Teeth and a tank ditch all the way around the perimeter. By the middle of January, the Government of Lebanon's promise to install perimeter lighting was still unfulfilled. Phase II, when completed, would cost $771,000.

Phase II called for the reinforcement and hardening of all sea-land container bunkers to enable them to withstand direct hits from fuzed delay ordnance. The costs for 540 metric tons of steel I-beams, concrete, cyclone fence, waterproofing, lumber, nails, rented equipment, and civilian labor would total $3.705 million.

The actual construction for all phases was done by 74 Seabees and 99 Marine combat engineers. All told, they emplaced more than 400 sea-land containers, 192 bunkers, and 156 two-man fighting holes.

In addition to this three-phase construction effort,


Shown in this photograph is one part of the Dragon's Teeth perimeter surrounding the 22d MAU's positions at Beirut International Airport. Nearly 800 were emplaced.

Photo courtesy of BGen Jim R. Joy, USMC
A view of the road leading north to Beirut from the airport in January 1984. Note that a berm has been constructed and Dragon's Teeth are in place outside the MAU compound. To the right is the devastated BLT building and in the background is Beirut itself.


the MAU implemented a barrier plan. In building the barrier during the period beginning November 1983 to January 1984, the MAU accomplished the following:

  1. Constructed and strategically emplaced 500 concrete Dragon Teeth;

  2. Constructed a 9-foot high dirt berm around the MAU perimeter;

  3. Set the existing steel fence along the coastal highway in concrete;

  4. Constructed a tank ditch around the MAU perimeter;

  5. Strategically placed a double apron, triple concertina wire barrier around the perimeter of MAU positions;

  6. Strategically placed trip flares and "flash bangs" around the perimeter;

  7. Employed derelict vehicles as obstacles along the perimeter;

  8. Constructed tetrahedrons for placement at the gates leading into the MAU positions to slow down vehicular traffic.53

When the MAU received orders to leave Lebanon, consideration was given to destroying the bunkers and all defensive positions. However, it was determined that such an effort would be too costly and time-consuming.

Near the end of January, the MAU was furnished six M19 40mm machine guns, .50-caliber sniper rifles, improved 60mm mortar rounds, and additional night vision goggles.

During the evening of 14 January, the MAU's eastern perimeter positions came under small arms fire, but no casualties resulted. Later that evening, positions on the southern perimeter received four large-caliber rounds, which caused no damage. After the Marines fired three 155mm illumination rounds at suspected firing positions, firing ceased.

The next night, the perimeter came under a large volume of fire of all calibers from the hostile firing positions running along a ridgeline east of the airport. A 122mm rocket hit the Marine fuel farm inside the perimeter destroying large fuel bladders and igniting 2,500 gallons of gasoline. The Marines returned fire vigorously, calling in 5-inch naval gunfire. After the firing ceased, there were no Marine casualties. The number of enemy casualties was unknown.

Toward the end of January, MAU representatives met with embassy personnel and the staff f Phibron 4, to review contingency plans for a non-combatant evacuation operation. Such an operation was not actually contemplated at the time, but the timing for the review would prove to be near perfect.

To break the routine of filling sandbags and improving their positions, the Marines conducted on-the-job training, held classes in first aid, and trained in the use of TOW/MULE (Modular Universal Laser Equipment) night sights.53-1

Concerned by the possibility of kamikaze air attacks on MAU positions and Phibron shipping, FMFLant sent an air defense survey team to Beirut to assess the air defense requirements for the airport, the U.S./UK Embassy, and the Durrafourd Building. The team developed a defensive concept that called for an additional 39 Marines. General Joy noted that this was an unacceptable number in view of his efforts to reduce the number of men ashore, ". . . but appeared warranted to provide a viable air defense/control system."54 On 10 February, the MAU was augmented by ten Stinger Missile Teams from the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing. Six were deployed at the airport, two at the U.S./UK Embassy, and two held in reserve.55

At about 0830 on 28 January, a SA-7 missile was fired from a position northeast of the airport at a CH-46 helicopter landing in the vital area. The missile missed its target and landed in the sea. Two days later, Amal elements in the vicinity of Cafe "Daniel" fired small arms and rocket propelled grenades at Company G positions killing one Marine and wounding another. The Marines responded once again with tank gun fire, 60mm mortars, M203 grenades, fire from 40mm and .50 caliber machine guns, and small arms fire. This resulted in an estimated three Amal killed and 11 wounded.56

The firing continued throughout the day of 30 January, escalated in mid-afternoon, and finally ended approximately three hours later. For the first time during this deployment of the 22d MAU, the vital area (former location of the MAU headquarters), was hit by 15-20 mortar rounds. One Marine was wounded. Company E, on the perimeter, was also hit by seven more mortar rounds. At about the same time, a Company G radioman was hit and killed by a sniper.

The source of the fire was located by the Marine Target Acquisitions Battery (TAB) attached to the MAU and the Army TAB, similarly assigned, but the Amal mortars were firing from heavily populated areas. Under the existing rules of engagement, the Marines were prohibited from firing on areas where there would undoubtedly be "significant collateral damage" (e.g., civilian casualties). General Joy was able to fix one position in a graveyard, and passed target information about this and a second position to the LAF with the request that they place fire on them. The LAF complied, but other Amal positions were not so easily


reached. Some positions were located so far north that the TAB radar fan could not cover them.

The MAU commander noted in his situation report for the period, "The most troublesome matter is that two Marines, well protected, ended up as casualties. This is a very sobering point, that readily demonstrates the fact that we may take casualties regardless of how well we defend ourselves."57

At the end of the month, tension was visibly rising between the LAF and the militia of the various factions. Rumors spread throughout Beirut and the suburbs of an impending major government operation against the militia, and all parties prepared for even heavier fighting. It appeared to the BLT commander that the Amal and PSP well knew LAF plans ahead of time, and had begun an offensive of their own against the Army before the LAF could begin theirs.58 The fighting was particularly heavy on the night of 4 February, with some spillover fire hitting inside the Marine perimeter. Especially heaving fighting broke out between the LAF and Muslim elements in Beirut and the southern suburbs on 5 February. In the late morning, the Marine positions in the northeast portion of the perimeter were hit by both direct and spillover fire, but no casualties were sustained. That night, the LAF pounded the southern suburbs and Khaldah with tank main gun, artillery, mortar, rocket, and small arms fire. A backlash resulted from this heavyhanded effort when LAF Muslim soldiers, whose families lived in these areas, refused to continue fighting. Some left their units, while others just remained in their barracks. Meanwhile, Nabih Berri called the Amal out of the Lebanese Armed Forces, ". . . in fact, he called all Muslims to leave the LAF."59

The Marines could see what was happening in the LAF units closest to the MAU lines. On the night of 5 February, the Amal and the PSP went on the offensive all over west Beirut and the southern suburbs. LAF units along the airport road leading from Beirut to the terminal essentially laid down their arms and left quietly, with the Amal just as quietly taking over the abandoned posts and terminal area that night. The only building they did not occupy housed the LAF liaison office. An Amal leader, Dr. Salinas, visited the office, ". . . and asked that the Marines be advised that 'the Amal does not want to fight the Marines.'" He reportedly requested that the Marines not fire on the Amal, and said, "Even if the Marines attack us, we will not return the fire."60

The LAF units east of Company G had a particularly hard fight that night. It lasted from about dusk to about 2230 before it died down, observed closely by the Marines. In front of the MAU positions were a Lebanese infantry company (reinforced by a tank platoon) and an air assault company. The LAF units had shared a checkpoint with the Marines on Pepsi Road. A telephone line went back to the Marine company command post. The LAF captain called Company G commander, Captain Robert K. Dobson, Jr., to tell him that the government troops still held all of their positions. At about 2300, loudspeakers in front of the LAF units began to blare messages in Arabic. By dawn the next day, the LAF commander had but few troops left, all of them Christian. His Muslim soldiers all had deserted. The Lebanese officer told Captain Dobson that he had to withdraw through the Marine lines because he only had about one-fourth of his former command remaining. Lieutenant Colonel Smith ordered Company E, less a few Marines holding their former positions, to fill in where the LAF companies had formerly been. At this time the Amal pulled back, indicating once more that they had no desire to fight Marine forces.

About 1530 on 6 February, a heavy volume of large caliber and small arms fire, originating from Druze-controlled areas, fell on MAU positions along the eastern perimeter. The Marines answered with fire from all their organic weapons, plus 5-inch naval gunfire. The MAU also called in the first Marine-controlled tactical air mission since the August 1982 landing in Lebanon. Directed by a BLT 2/8 forward air controller, a Navy A-6 Intruder from the carrier John F. Kennedy dropped two laser-guided bombs on an identified target. At 2230, firing on the Marines ceased. One Marine had been killed.61

The next day, LAF security around the airport61-1 deteriorated at a rapid rate, as Lebanese soldiers, with their tanks and other rolling stock, sought a safe haven within U.S. positions at the airport, or continued on to the north to join up with other government forces. An hour after noon on the 7th, large caliber fire landed in the center of the airport, and 50 minutes later, the MAU evacuated approximately 250 personnel, including Seabees, Marine combat engineers, and other Marines to Phibron shipping. All construction work at the airport ended. General Joy planned to bring some of the Seabees back ashore, when possible, to finish emplacing the sea-land vans, but this plan was overtaken by events.

On 7 February, the MAU began non-combatant evacuation operations, bringing out 40 American civilian embassy employees and their dependents by


Civilians leave the Durrafourd Building for helicopters carrying them out of Beirut in February 1984.

Marines adjust a protective helmet on a youngster before he is evacuated from Beirut in February 1984.

helicopter from the evacuation control center at the U.S./UK Embassy to the Manitowoc. The next day, 49 more Americans were evacuated to the Guam for the airlift to Larnaca later. By 11 February, a total of 787 individuals had been flown from the embassy area or from Juniyah to Phibron 4 shipping, and then on to Larnaca.62 On 11 February, one evacuee was hit in the neck by a stray bullet, but suffered only minor injuries. She was flown to the Guam for treatment.

Playing a major role in these evacuation operations was First Lieutenant Ettore's platoon from Company F. Ever since its arrival in Lebanon in November 1983, it had been providing security for the U.S./UK Embassy and Lieutenant Ettore had worked very closely with State Department representatives on the evacuation plan.

heavy shelling in east Beirut was coming close to the Lebanese Presidential Palace, Ambassador Bartholomew's residence, and the Ministry of Defense on 8 and 9 February. The Government of Lebanon requested American fire support to engage the hostile artillery positions. Target acquisition units located the positions inside Syrian controlled territory. The Lebanese request was passed to higher headquarters for approval and once it was received, the New Jersey and the Moosebrugger took the position under fire, silencing them.63

Plans for the withdrawal of the MAUs had existed since August 1982. When the 22d MAU landed in November 1983, the concept of redeployment was rediscussed. It became apparent to MAU staff officers as they read the message traffic through early February, that the Marines would be redeployed, but not

HMM-261 CH-46s lift off from the Corniche near the British Embassy in February 1984, evacuating civilians from strife-torn Beirut, when the situation became critical.


all at once. From the very beginning of his command in Lebanon, General Joy had been under pressure to reduce the number of Marines ashore. The MAU developed numerous plans to shrink the size of shore-based units while maintaining enough force to carry out its mission. [HyperWar: ??? The mission was supposedly "presence". How do you carry out a "presence" mission without being present?!] According to MAU Assistant G-3, Lieutenant Colonel Van Huss, ". . . that was a continuous effort and a priority with General Joy and his staff and the commanders."64

It was also planned that--sooner or later--the Marines would totally seabase their logistical effort, leaving only a small combat service support detachment ashore. Plans for redeployment had been discussed before the LAF situation had deteriorated, ". . . and with the events of early February, it was prudent that we continue with [them]. Not in haste. It was programmed. . . ."65

Early in February, General Joy learned from Lieutenant Colonel Peter E. Woolley, commander of the British MNF contingent, that President Reagan had informed the governments of Great Britain, France, and Italy, that the United States was going to withdraw its forces from Lebanon. General Joy learned of the announced decisions while listening to a British Broadcasting Corporation shortwave news broadcast on 7 February. The report stated that the President had ordered the Marines in the Beirut area to begin a phased withdrawal to Navy ships offshore shortly. Official orders had not yet reached General Joy.

This same day, the British contingent departed. Lieutenant Colonel Woolley called General Joy to tell him that he had received his marching orders and was leaving immediately. As General Joy recalled, Woolley said, ". . . 'I'm going to see General Tannous and tell him I'm leaving. We are going to motor march to Juniyah and will be picked up in Juniyah and leave.' And sure enough, they did."66

On or about 15 February, General joy sent a message to the CinCEur planers stating that the MAU could pull out by 28 February if a redeployment was being considered. The MAU plan for a 28 February departure date provided for the possibility of up to two days of foul weather which meant that the Marines could actually leave on the 26th, the weather and other factors permitting.67 This eventually became the day that the Marines left Lebanese soil. The JCS order to the MAU to execute the redeployment was sent on 18 February.

On 16 February, in response to the MAU message, General Rogers directed General Joy to turn over command of the 22d MAU to Colonel Faulkner on 20 February, and to establish and assume command of Joint Task Force, Lebanon (JTFL).68 At the same time, the MAU was ordered to occupy and defend positions in the vicinity of Beirut International Airport--a MAU mission since September 1982--and to conduct a tactical reembarkation. The MAU was also directed to provide external security for the U.S./UK Embassy, and to support JTFL.

General Joy's new command would be comprised of the MAU; the Office of Military Cooperation; the U.S. Army Training unit located at the Ministry of Defense; and an embassy security detachment, made up of MAU Marines, responsible for guarding the U.S./UK Embassy and the American ambassador's residence. General Joy was further directed to maintain his command post at the airport until the MAU departed, and then to move it into a secure location in east Beirut. Since he would be working with the Lebanese Armed Forces, General Joy decided to set up his office at the Ministry of Defense.69

Once the MAU had re-embarked on Phibron 4 shipping, the Marines reverted to the operational control of the Sixth Fleet. General Joy had the 22d MAU under his JTFL command 20 through 26 February. Thereafter, he had only Lieutenant Ettore and 100 Marines who guarded the embassy, and 200-300 Army trainers in the Office of Military Cooperation, which consisted of three Special Forces training teams, each consisting of approximately 74 soldiers. General Joy also had an ANGLICO team to help carry out his fire support mission. He placed sections of this team in strategic vantage points in the mountains overlooking the city of Beirut and the Ministry of Defense.

The MAU was experienced in rapid re-embarkation, but the Marines had accumulated a large amount of excess gear over their 18 months' stay in Lebanon. The situation in Beirut prevented loading the Transcolumbia from the port, so the MAU's surplus supplies and equipment were loaded aboard the Mi>Manitowoc and the Barnstable County. The two LSTs then steamed to Haifa. After they docked there, the excess was transferred to the Transcolumbia. The LSTs then returned to Beirut, ready to begin a phased re-embarkation.

Throughout early February, fire had fallen sporadically on and around MAU positions, and the Marines continued to return fire. On 9 February, the Government of Lebanon requested naval gunfire placed on rocket positions which were firing on Beirut. The Navy complied with the request, hit the targets, and the firing stopped. The next day, Marine positions in the southern sector received heavy mortar fire, which was answered in kind by 60mm and 81mm mortars again silencing the enemy. However, three large caliber


rounds exploded in the southern sector of the airport, severely damaging the counterbattery radar equipment supporting the Marines there, and effectively limiting their ability to determine where hostile fire was coming from.

On 14 February, the Marines were fired upon again, but suffered neither material damage nor human casualties. Meanwhile, General Joy discussed the situation with his French and Italian counterparts, and consulted with Commodore Erie and Admiral Martin, Sixth Fleet commander, about the future of the U.S. elements of the Multi-National Force in Lebanon. He continued to backload all non-essential personnel and equipment in Phibron shipping, and to refine re-embarkation plans.

In a report to General Rogers, the MAU commander stated that fire support coordination procedures had been simplified under new rules of engagement. All U.S. elements could now respond immediately and directly to LAF requests for fire support. General Joy also reported the impending departure on 19 February of General Angioni's Italian units, with the last of them scheduled to leave Beirut on the 21st. The Italians were to leave behind at the port area a 100-man airborne company, while the San Marcos Tactical Group would remain on ships offshore, ready to land in a contingency.70

Even before the arrival of orders directing the MAU to leave Lebanon's shores, the MAU Service Support Group began backloading equipment, supplies and personnel to comply with General Joy's directive to reduce the size of the MAU ashore. Up to this time, the MSSG was ". . . kept busy 18, perhaps 20, hours a day, in some case [with] primarily what I just call routine support to the MAU; that is, maintaining the MAU with rations, with water, with fuel, with ammunition, all these other kinds of services. . . ."71

When not busy with these jobs, the MSSG Marines were building the berms and digging the tank ditch, or filling sandbags. ". . . there wasn't a lot of free time, and there wasn't any place to go, so we stayed right on the beach and turned to."72 On 13 February, Lieutenant Colonel Davidson, the MSSG commander, began backloading the MAU's Class I (rations), III (petroleum, oil, and lubricants), IV (construction materials), and IX (parts, repair kits and components) supplies to amphibious shipping. The next day, the remaining Seabees went aboard the Transcolumbia together with 22d MAU equipment. By 16 February, the MSSG had completed backloading excess supplies and had begun a phased redeployment of its personnel. Two days later, with nearly all supplies and equipment back on board ships, the MSSG commander established a combat service support detachment at the airport to support 22d MAU elements still ashore. But from this point, combat service for the MAU was

Photo courtesy of Claude Salhani
With spirits high and the U.S. flag waving, BLT 2/8 Marines--among the last to leave Beirut International Airport on 26 February 1984--wade through the surf of Green Beach to board landing craft which will carry them to Phibron shipping offshore and on to Rota.


Marines drive their vehicles into the well deck of the Barnnstable County (LST 1197) in February 1984.

essentially seabased.73 Lieutenant Colonel Davidson moved his command post on board the Trenton on 20 February, a full six days before the rest of the MAU boarded its ships.

The BLT began backloading on 9 February, when support elements and equipment began to leave the airport. The battalion's Headquarters and Service and Weapons Companies went aboard their assigned ships on the 25th, and the rest of the BLT left the airport the next day. At 0400 on 26 February, Company E was flown out from LZ Brown, near the terminal area and the north-south runway of the airport. Helicopters then returned to the airport for Company F. Both companies were back aboard the ship by dawn. Company G was slated to leave from Green Beach in armored amphibian vehicles and Phibron landing craft. The withdrawal of the BLT would have been completed by 0630, had not the Phibron's LCUs been given another task--the transporting of ammunition from Sidon to Juniyah--before loading the Marines at Green Beach. The last elements of the BLT left the beach at about 1237.74

Photo courtesy of Claude Salhani
CH-46 Sea Knights flown by HMM-261 pilots ("The Bulls") pass over Green Beach carrying marines back to Amphibious Squadron 4 shipping offshore as the 22d MAU leaves the soil of Lebanon on 26 February 1984. Beyond the haze in the background is Beirut.


Lieutenant Colonel Amos, HMM-261 commander, recalled that the 26th was:

. . . a beautiful Sunday morning. I remember, I flew back in and landed beside General Joy's Huey and sat up on the hill, you know, where the artillery positions were. And he and I and Ray Smith (BLT commander) sat there watching the beachmasters leave, birds were singing. . . . And you could see young kids moving in, playing in the bunkers down there to the north where we had moved out of. And [then we] flew back to the boat.75

Earlier that morning, another key event took place. The CinCEur directive of 19 February had ordered General Joy, to "effect liaison with Lebanese government to ensure that security for the airport was turned over to the Government of Lebanon."76 At that time, however, neither the Lebanese Government nor its army had a responsible individual or unit at the airport or in its proximity with authority to accept responsibility for airport security.

After the heavy fighting of 7-8 February, when the LAF's 4th Brigade left the souther area of the airport and gave up Khaldah, the Amal took control. One of the Amal representatives, a man named Tylass, who was described as a young Muslim war chief, contacted the Americans and said, "We are responsible for west Beirut, we are responsible for the southern suburbs," and "we will see to it that the airport is safe, we will see to it that the Marines are not attacked, we will ensure that only authorized vehicles will transit the coastal highway." The Amal did what they promised to do.77

At 0600 on 26 February, control of Beirut International Airport was turned over to Captain Habib, representing the LAF 33d Battalion, 3d Brigade.78 Shortly thereafter, Colonel Faulkner, Lieutenant Colonel Van Juss, and Major William J. Sublette, the MAU Air Liaison Officer, went to the LAF liaison office at the airport to recover the American flag, which had been there for some time. They had planned to bring the flag back to the States to present it to the widow of Major Alfred L. Butler III, the MAU liaison officer to the LAF, who died as the result of an accidental discharge on 8 FEbruary--the last Marine to die in Lebanon.

As Lieutenant Colonel Van Huss recalled the scene:

. . . Colonel Faulkner turned to Colonel [Fahim] Qortabawi [the LAF liaison officer], and said 'With your permission, we will now strike our colors.' Bull Sublette and I moved immediately to the flag staff, took the flag down, folded it properly as it should be, and as we were folding it into the triangle, Colonel Qortabawi, perhaps was a little bit taken by the seriousness of what we had been doing. He reached up and took the Lebanese flag down, folded it--I don't know if he folded it properly. . . . He simply folded it and handed it to Colonel Faulkner and said, 'Well, you may as well take our flag, too.' And it was over.79

Maj William J. Sublette, 22d MAU Air Officer (left), and LtCol Earnest A. Van Huss, 22d MAU Operations Officer, carefully fold the American flag which hung in the Lebanese Armed Forces airport liaison office.

As though he really didn't fully understand the significance of the moment, Colonel Qortawabi said to Colonel Faulkner, "You are leaving?" The MAU commander replied, "Yes, we are really leaving. Our eastern positions have already been vacated, we're in pullback positions now, holding in the vicinity of the high ground down near where Hotel Battery was emplaced [on the western edge of the airfield], and we are in the final throes of embarkation. Yes, Colonel Qortabawi, we are really leaving." Again, Lieutenant Colonel Van Huss recalls:

Colonel Qortawabi was a Christian. He said, "I have no way to go home. To go home, I have to go through Muslim checkpoints. You can get me to the Ministry of Defense by helo ride?" [Col Faulkner replied]"Yes, we can do that." So Colonel Qortabawi left with us; we gave him a helo ride to the Ministry of Defense, he linked back up to General Tannous, and it was all very final and over.80

The 22d Marine Amphibious Unit left behind more than one million filled sandbags and a lot of deep holes, which the Shiite militia Amal very quickly occupied80-1 The Marines departed with all that they had brought with them, leaving behind very little in the way of scrap materials. There was some thought of cratering the emplacements that they had dug and destroying the sea-land vans, but, in the minds of the MAU's staff officers, it had taken a Herculean effort


Photo courtesy of Claude Salhani
Security men with weapons at the ready surround Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, in helmet and flak jacket, as he holds an impromptu press conference before meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Bartholomew at the latter's residence.

to get them in the ground, and it would have taken a similar effort to have dug them out. The Dragon Teeth were left where they had been placed, for only a heavy crane could have lifted them.

The MAU remained on board its ships until relieved on 10 April by the 24th MAU, commanded by Colonel Myron C. Harrington, Jr. At that time, the new amphibious task force took position hull down on the horizon, just out of sight of the Beirut shoreline. On 29 February, the Secretary of Defense visited the 22d MAU and Phibron 4 and presented the Navy Unit Commendation to both commands. General Kelley visited his Marines on 11 March.

The MAU still had a role to play in Lebanon--as a reaction force to rescue the American ambassador, if necessary, or in other contingency operations in Lebanon or elsewhere in the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, Phibron 4 ships, with embarked Marines, would leave, one at a time, for port calls at Haifa and liberty for all hands. During one such port call, a young Marine was killed in Haifa in an automobile accident. He was the last MAU Marine to die while the 22d MAU was deployed.

USMC photo by Sgt Hartman T. Slate
Marines lower the national colors for the last time in Lebanon at their Beirut International Airport outpost.


The turnover between the 22d and 24th MAUs was completed by 1000 on 10 April. At 1600, Commodore Erie's Amphibious Squadron 4 left the Lebanese littoral for Rota, where the MAU would wash down all its equipment. This task took three days, 16-19 April, after which Phibron 4 headed for the United States. Arriving at Morehead City on 1 May, the 22d MAU was given the same type of greeting by bands, cheerleaders, and officials which had met all the other returning MAUs. On 3 May the Secretary of the Navy and the Commandant reviewed the MAU. Eight days later, on 11 May, the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit was deactivated as Landing Force Sixth Fleet 1-84.81

The departure of the 22d MAU did not end the Marine presence in lebanon. Still ashore were General Joy and his joint task force, the 24th MAU Marines who provided external security for the U.S./UK Embassy, and the Marine Security Guards providing internal security for the U.S./UK Embassy. Initially, General Joy was scheduled to deactivate the task force when the 24th MAU relieved the 22d. However, General Lawson, Deputy CinCEur, directed Joy to remain after the new MAU arrived to assist in getting it settled and to ensure that the 24th MAU and Phibron 6 instituted good working relations with Ambassador Bartholomew and the Office of Military Cooperation, as well as with the Lebanese.

The first orders General Joy received set a date of not later than 15 April for the deactivation of the joint task force. Meanwhile, a senior U.S. Embassy official was kidnapped in Beirut by an unidentified faction and General Joy was called upon to assist in the efforts to recover him. As a result, the deactivation was delayed. On 19 April, he was finally ordered to deactivate the force two days later and to inform Ambassador Bartholomew and General Tannous of his orders. The Ambassador was none too happy with this news nor with the timing for the deactivation. Peace talks were then being held in Damascus, and the American diplomate believed that President Gemayel was going to return to his capital and announce an accommodation with the Syrians. Ambassador Bartholomew felt, accordingly, that the deactivation was premature. He suggested that General Joy request a delay for several days. CinCEur concurred, and the Joint Task Force, Lebanon was officially deactivated on 26 April. General Joy flew to Stuttgart for a debriefing and then returned to Camp Lejeune, where he resumed his duties as Assistant Division Commander, 2d Marine Division.82

The final curtain came down on marine Corps presence in lebanon on 31 July 1984, when 24th MAU Marines guarding the U.S./UK Embassy returned to Phibron 6 shipping by helicopter and amtracs. The

USMC photo by Cpl Jamee Sosa
The Beirut Memorial, at the entrance of Camp Johnson, Jacksonville, North Carolina, was dedicated on 23 October 1986. The concept for the memorial came from Jacksonville citizens and was paid for by donations coming from all over the country and world.


last of the Marines departed at 1824 local time. This departure coincided with the transfer of American diplomats from the British Embassy to new offices in east Beirut, where space had been found to house the U.S. Embassy.

With the withdrawal of the last MAU Marines, Marine presence in Lebanon ended as quietly as it had begun spectacularly. The only Marines now remaining in Beirut are those assigned to the security guard inside the American Embassy.

For a time after the Marines left, there was an uneasy truce in Beirut. The Green Line was bulldozed out of existence and there were few reports of firing between factions. it almost seemed as though the peace that was elusive when the Marines were in country was almost within grasp. But it was never to be, for the fighting soon became as intense as ever.

In the 18 months that the MAUs were in Lebanon, 238 Marines died and 151 were wounded. Another 40 Marines suffered non-battle injuries, and seven were wounded as the result of the accidental discharge of weapons.82-1

To memorialize the Marines who served and died in Beirut, "Lebanon" was added to the battle honors of the Marine Corps already enscribed on the base of the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. It as, perhaps, appropriate that this new battle honor was unveiled on 8 November 1985, when the traditional ceremonies celebrating the 210 birthday of the Marine Corps were observed.

A further memorial to the Beirut Marines was dedicated on 23 October 1986 at the entrance to Camp Johnson--the old Montford Point Camp--in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The concept of this memorial came from Jacksonville citizens, whose enthusiasm and dedication served to inspire the donations from individuals and organizations from all over the country. Present at the dedication were the families and friends of those who died in Beirut and General Kelley and Gray, as well as now-retired General Miller, Colonel Geraghty, and Lieutenant Colonel Gerlach. The simple memorial consists primarily of two large walls. On the left side is inscribed the names of the soldiers, sailors, and Marines killed in Beirut and Grenada, while on the right wall are the words, "They Came in Peace."

Of these Americans, a proud but saddened and grateful Marine Corps and nation can only say, "Thank you" and "Semper Fidelis!"

Copyright 1983, Dick Locher, Chicago Tribune. Reprinted with permission.


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (8) * Next Appendix (A)


[1] 22d MAU Preliminary AAR for Operation Urgent Fury; Operational Summary of Landing Force Participation, dtd 1Nov83.

[2] Col James P. Faulkner intvw dtd 13Nov83, hereafter Faulkner intvw I. For the complete story of the Marine operation in Grenada, see LtCol Ronald A. Spector, U.S. Marines in Grenada, 1983 (Washington, D.C.: HQMC, 1987).

[3] CG, FMFLant msg to 22d MAU, dtd 3Nov83.

[4] BGen Jim R. Joy intvw dtd 26-27May84, p. 75, hereafter Joy intvw. A MAB is usually commanded by a brigadier general.

[4-1] When General Joy took command of the 22d MAU on 17 November 1983 at 1100, the MAU's staff sections--S-1, S-2, S-3, and S-4--became G-sections. The 22d's S-1, First Lieutenant Kenneth R. Bergman, remained as G-1, and his section was augmented by a warrant officer, whose initial assignment was to work with BLT 1/8 to get its personnel records organized before the unit returned to the United States. Lieutenant Colonel Forrest L. Lucy became G-2, with the former S-2, Captain Paul M. Jungel, becoming his assistant. Similarly, the MSU S-3, Lieutenant Colonel Earnest A. Van Huss became assistant G-3 to Lieutenant Colonel Edmund J. Connelly, Jr., and Lieutenant Colonel Charles S. Reinhart became G-4 with Major Albert J. Martin his assistant. Lieutenant Colonel William H. Schopfel III relieved First Lieutenant Billy D. Martin as the Fire Support Coordinator, and was in turn relieved by Major Jon R. Todd for seven days, 13-19 February 1984. The only unit commander replaced was Major Albert E. Shively, head of MSSG 22, who became executive officer to Lieutenant Colonel Douglas M. Davidson. When Colonel Faulkner became General Joy's chief of staff, the MAU's former executive officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ronald R. Rice, became MSU liaison officer to the Lebanese Ministry of Defense. On 20 February 1984, Colonel Faulkner again took command of the MAU, and General Joy became Commanding General, Joint Task Force, Lebanon. The senior staff officers who came to Beirut with General Joy became the JTF staff whereupon their former assistants once again became the MAU's senior staff. 22d MAU Post Deployment Rpt for Landing Force Sixth Fleet 1-84, dtd 11May84, p. 3, hereafter 22d MAU Post Deployment Rpt.

[5] Joy intvw., p. 76.

[5-1] When the Guam headed towards Rota, the rest of Phibron shipping steamed directly into the Mediterranean, where the Guam would join up later.

[6] CinCEur msg to Gen Joy dtd 9Nov83.

[7] 22d MAU SitRep No. 11, dtd 19Nov83.

[8] CTF 62 msg to Commander, Naval Construction Battalion 1, dtd 19Nov83.

[9] 22d MAU SitRep No. 11, dtd 19Nov83.

[10] CG, 22 MAU msg to CGFMFLant, dtd 23Nov83.

[11] 22d MAU Post-Deployment Rpt, p. 21.

[12] 22d MAU SitRep No. 12, dtd 27Nov83.

[13] CTF 62 msg to CGFMFLant, dtd 25Nov83.

[14] LtCol Granville R. Amos intvw, dtd 22May84, pp. 6-7, hereafter Amos intvw.

[15] Ibid., p. 8.

[16] Maj Richard J. Gallagher intvw, dtd 22May84, pp. 6-7, hereafter Gallagher intvw.

[17] 22d MAU ComdC, 1Jan-11May84, pt 3, p. 3.

[18] 22d MAU SitRep No. 13, dtd 4Dec83.

[18-1] Two of the planes were shot down during this raid, with one Navy pilot killed and the second bailing out over Syrian-held territory.He was later returned to U.S. jurisdiction.

[19] LtCol Smith quoted in Newsweek, 19Dec83, p. 40.

[20] 22d MAU ComdC, 5Jul-31Dec83.

[21] LtCol Ray L. Smith intvw, dtd 21May84, p. 4, hereafter Smith intvw.

[22] Directly across from Company G was Burj as Barajinah, dubbed "Hooterville" by the 32d MAU Marines in September 1982 and known as such by Beirut Marines ever since. One the corner of an alley opposite MAU positions was what appeared to be a restaurant with a sign over the door reading, "Cafe Daniel." As Lieutenant Colonel Smith related, however, "We were there three months before I discovered this, that actually 'Cafe Daniel' is a brand of coffee." Smith intvw, p. 9.

[23] Ibid., p. 10.

[24] Ibid., p. 12.0

[25] LtCol Earnest A. Van Huss intvw, dtd 21May84, p. 30, hereafter Van Huss intvw.

[26] Ibid., p. 37.

[27] Smith intvw, p. 27.

[28] Ibid., p. 28.

[29] Ibid., pp. 28-29.

[*] Because the heavy equipment needed to build these new defenses was not immediately available through military channels and not part of the equipment organic to the MAU or its component units, arrangements were made through the Government of Lebanon to rent them from local civilian construction firms.

[30] 22d MAU SitRep No. 15, dtd 20Dec82. The Dragon Teeth were blocks of concrete, approximately 4'x4'x2' in size, and solid obstacles to any vehicle attempting to crash into the MAU areas.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Commenting on this matter, Colonel Faulkner said, "We had . . . different type[s] of threat[s] daily. And I think you have to choose which one you're going to counter today, which one you're going to take action against." Col James P. Faulkner intvw, dtd 25May84, p. 27, hereafter Faulkner intvw II.

[33] 22d MAU SitRep No. 15, dtd 20Dec83.

[34] Amos intvw, pp. 13-14.

[35] 22d MAU SitRep No. 16, dtd 26Dec83.

[36] The "vital area" was that area where the MAU, MSSG, and the BLT headquarters had been located prior to the bombing. After the bombing and until it re-embarked in February, the MSSG elements which had not gone back on board ships earlier, remained in place. The BLT and the MAU remained in the vital area until their new dug-in bunkers were ready for occupation in the southwest portion of the airport. Throughout the post-bombing period, the vital area was protected by significant defenses--the tank ditch, Dragon Teeth, and wire obstacles. A rifle company defended the area, augmented at night by an engineer platoon. Capt Christopher J. Guenther intvw, dtd 22May84, pp. 29-30, hereafter Guenther intvw.

[37] 22d MAU SitRep No. 16, dtd 26Dec83.

[38] LtCol Ronald R. Rice intvw, dtd 24May84, p. 5, hereafter Rice intvw.

[39] Ibid., p. 8.

[40] 22d MAU ComdC, 5Jul-31Dec83, pt 3, p. 11.

[41] 22d MAU SitRep No. 17, dtd 2Jan84.

[42] Rice intvw, p. 9.

[43] 1stLt Michael L. Ettore intvw, dtd 22May84, p. 2, hereafter Ettore intvw.

[44] Ibid., pp. 4-5.

[45] Ibid., p. 9.

[46] Ibid, p. 11.

[47] Ibid., pp. 11-12.

[47-1] Essentially, the War Powers Resolution states, among other things, that if U.S. forces are introduced into hostilities or a place where hostilities are imminent, the President will report to the Congress within 48 hours of taking such action the circumstances necessitating this action, the constitutional and legislative authority on which such action was based, and the anticipated scope and direction of the hostilities. From this time, whenever the President has reported to Congress that he has taken such action or plans to, he has 60 days to recall the forces, unless (1) Congress declares war or authorizes such use of force; (2) Congress extends the 60 days period; or (3) Congress is unable to meet because of an attack on the United States.

[48] Joy intvw, p. 59.

[49] 22d MAU SitRep No. 19, dtd 16Jan84.

[50] 22d MAU ComdC, 1Jan-11May84, pt 3, p. 2.

[51] 22d MAU SitRep No. 19, dtd 15Jan84.

[52] 22 MAU ComdC, 1Jan-11May84, loc. cit.

[53] Ibid., p. 6.

[53-1] The MULE proved invaluable in determining the accurate ranges of targets and key terrain features, and in the designation of targets for aircraft acquisition and engagement.

[54] 22d MAU SitRep No. 21, dtd 29Jan84.

[55] 22d MAU SitRep No. 22, dtd 12Feb84.

[56] 22d MAU SitRep No. 22, dtd 5Feb84. Because of a numbering error the MAU issued two SitReps numbered "ss": one on 5Feb84 and the second on 12Feb84.

[57] Ibid. EUCOM engineers and logisticians had earlier recommended that the bunkers being built in Phase II of the MAU construction plan were to be hardened to provide adequate protection from delayed fuze-detonated ordnance, which had not yet been used against the Marines. Accordingly, the materials to accomplish this were requisitioned through channels. When JCS Chairman General Vessey visited the MAU headquarters and toured the Marine positions on 8 January, he was not convinced that Phase III needed to be fulfilled. Although he made no decision one way or another, completion of Phase III construction was overtaken by events. Nonetheless, a lot of material necessary for Phase III construction had already been delivered and more was in the pipeline. According to General Joy, ". . . if we had completed the whole construction plan of Phase III, we would have spent about $7.5 million for construction. As it turned out, we spent about $4.5 million." Joy intvw, p. 56.

[58] Smith intvw, pp. 35-36.

[59] Ibid.

[60] 22d MAU SitRep No. 22, dtd 12Feb84.

[61] Ibid.

[61-1] Since September 1982, the Government of Lebanon's Army was responsible for the exterior security of the Multi-National Force units.

[62] 22d MAU ComdC, 1Jan-11May84, dtd 11May84, pt 1, p. 2.

[63] 22d MAU SitRep No. 22, dtd 12Feb84.

[64] Van Huss intvw, p. 57.

[65] Ibid., p. 48.

[66] Joy intvw, pp. 66-67. The headquarters of the British contingent was located across the Old Sidon Road from the Marine outpost at Lebanon University. When the Americans were withdrawn from here and put on board ships in November 1983, the British had found themselves rather isolated from the rest of the MNF units.

[67] Van Huss intvw, pp. 48-49.

[68] BGen Joy telecon with author, 31Jul84.

[69] Joy intvw, p. 62.

[70] 2d MAU SitRep No. 23, dtd 19Feb84.

[71] LtCol Douglas M. Davidson intvw, dtd 24May84, p. 27, hereafter Davidson intvw.

[72] Ibid., p. 28.

[73] MSSG 22 Post-Deployment Rpt, pt 1, p. 9, dtd 6Apr84, enclosure (3) to 22d MAU Post-Deployment Rpt. LtCol Davidson was not an advocate of seabasing, particularly for prolonged operations. "It's good for short duration exercises where you don't have time to put everything ashore anyway." Davidson intvw, p. 14.

[74] Maj Stephen D. Anderson intvw, dtd 21May84, p. 18.

[75] Amos intvw, pp. 22-23.

[76] Van Huss intvw, p. 56.

[77] Ibid., pp. 56-57.

[78] 22d MAU SitRep No. 25, dtd 5Mar84.

[79] Van Huss intvw, pp. 61-62.

[80] Ibid.

[80-1] "Exactly six minutes after the last [Marine] amtrac left [the beach][, the Amal flag was flying over the watchtower at Black Beach. Likewise, Amal flags were going up all over the airport." Larry Pintak ltr to author, dtd 10Jan87.

[81] 22d MAU ComdC, 1Jan-11May84, dtd 11May84, pt 3, p. 13.

[82] The material in this section about deactivation of JTFL was derived from Joy intvw, pp. 72-73.

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