Accession Number : ADA293264

Title :   The Mayaguez Incident: A Failure in Operational Leadership.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI

Personal Author(s) : Starnes, Glenn T.

PDF Url : ADA293264

Report Date : 13 FEB 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 28

Abstract : On 15 May 1975, the United States successfully conducted a hostage rescue mission off the coast of Cambodia. The tactical forces recaptured the Mayaguez, a U.S. cargo container ship, and rescued the forty-man crew. The success and political euphoria of the Mayaguez crisis resolution championed this relatively small tactical mission encompassing strategic implications. Unfortunately, the euphoria hid a number of failure at the operational level of war. Heroic tactical actions and pure good luck overcame these failures in planning, coordination, and execution/supervision to achieve success. Through research and operational analysis, this paper examines these failures. Military rescue missions, more often than not, have strategic implications because of the threat to national or international prestige. The art of command and leadership at the operational level is an essential element to ensure successful strategic/tactical mission accomplishment. The intervening twenty years since Mayaguez have seen a greater emphasis placed on operational art, yet the execution of operational leadership must constantly be studied to ensure proper application. The Mayaguez incident provides an excellent example for the study of operational leadership in strategic/tactical missions. (AN)

Descriptors :   *MILITARY OPERATIONS, *TACTICAL WARFARE, *SEARCH AND RESCUE, MILITARY HISTORY, COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS, COASTAL REGIONS, LESSONS LEARNED, CRISIS MANAGEMENT, DECISION MAKING, LEADERSHIP, STRATEGIC ANALYSIS, HOSTAGES, MISSIONS, JOINT MILITARY ACTIVITIES, MILITARY PLANNING, MILITARY TACTICS, SUPERVISION, CARGO SHIPS, CAMBODIA.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE