U.S. Marines in Humanitarian Operations: On Mamba Station - U.S. Marines in West Africa, 1990 - 2003, Civil War in Liberia, Samuel Doe, Evacuation Operations, Sharp Edge, Assured Response
This monograph tells the story of thousands of U.S. Marines who supported Operations Sharp Edge, Assured Response, Quick Response, Noble Obelisk, and Joint Task Force Liberia, the noncombatant evacuation operations in 1990, 1991, 1996, and 2003 from Liberia, in 1996 from the Central African Republic, and in 1997 from Sierra Leone. More
This monograph tells the story of thousands of U.S. Marines who supported Operations Sharp Edge, Assured Response, Quick Response, Noble Obelisk, and Joint Task Force Liberia, the noncombatant evacuation operations in 1990, 1991, 1996, and 2003 from Liberia, in 1996 from the Central African Republic, and in 1997 from Sierra Leone.
The traditional concepts of employing Marines predicated their involvement in West Africa on protecting American lives and property that might be in danger. Before its actions in West Africa, the Marine Corps was frequently called on for noncombatant evacuation operations. Classic examples of which include recent evacuation operations in Cyprus in 1974, South Vietnam in 1975, Cambodia in 1975, and Lebanon in 1982 and 1984. Marine involvement in the Liberian evacuations during the country's 14 years of civil war went beyond the permanent presence of the Marine Security Guard detachment at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, requiring a total of six Marine Air-Ground Task Forces and one Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team platoon to deploy in Liberia. Supporting elements were present in Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Spain. As a testament to operational flexibility, the Marines in Liberia reached as far as the Central African Republic, when a Marine Air-Ground Task Forces successfully launched an additional noncombatant evacuation operation from the Liberia area of operations to support the evacuation of U.S. citizens from Bangui. The civil war in Liberia from 1989 to 2003 caused much bloodshed, death, suffering, and destruction. The Marine Corps efforts focused on protecting Americans lives and property and resulted in the evacuation of Americans and foreign nationals from the violence and chaos of civil war.
Part I - Operation Sharp Edge 1990-1991 * Chapter 1 - Liberian Unrest Turns Violent * The Geography of Liberia * Samuel Doe's Rise to Power * Civil War Begins * The Need for U.S. Involvement * First Look at Monrovia * Chapter 2 - Preparing for Operation Sharp Edge * From Predeployment Training to the Mediterranean * Point Men in Monrovia * Circling at Mamba Station * Frantic Negotiations Fizzle * Marines Poised for Insertion * The Call to Evacuate * Chapter 3 - Evacuation Operations * A Rainy D-Day * Into the Embassy * West African Peacekeepers Arrive * Evacuation from Buchanan * Rotation of Marine Forces * Turnover and Departure * Chapter 4 - Operation Sharp Edge * Deployment of the 26th MEU * 26th MEU and the Formation of the CMAGTF in Liberia * Peacekeepers, Fighters, and Contingency MAGTF * Rotation and Reduction of CMAGTF Marines * Completion of Sharp Edge * The Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team and the Departure of the Marines * Part II - Continuing Operations 1996-2003 * Chapter 5 - 22d MEU in Operation Assured Response * Civil War Continues * Introduction of American Forces * Marines Take the Reins * Actions Ashore * Marines Return Fire * Reduction of Marine Forces * Chapter 6 - Operation Quick Response * Violence to the East * Call in the Marines * Marine Operations in Bangui * Planning for Reinforcements * Reduction of Presence and Withdrawal * Chapter 7 - Planning, Deployment, and Action * Special Purpose MAGTF Deploys * The Special Purpose MAGTF as the Assured Response Joint Task Force * Marines Draw Down and Depart * Epilogue - A Stabilizing Presence * Notes * Appendices * Appendix A: Chronology * Appendix B: Command and Staff List * Appendix C: Citations * Appendix D: Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations