1LT Regis, Elie
Operation Urgent Fury
07 January 2018
Greetings, this paper is written about the battle of Grenada, also known as Operation Urgent Fury, Commanded by Vice-admiral Joseph Metcalf III. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief summarization on Operation Urgent Fury and analyze four out of the six Mission command principles Vice-Admiral Joseph Metcalf exhibited through-out the battle of Grenada. 1979 began a rough time for the Caribbean Island and the US as Problems arose when a bloodless coup placed the pro-Marxist Maurice Bishop as the Prime Minister, which strengthened ties between Grenada and communist nations like Cuba and the Soviet Union. Bishop was eventually murdered in October of 1983 during a power struggle with more extreme individuals within his own movement, creating an unstable environment and breakdown of civil order that threatened the lives of American medical students who were living on the island. In response, and at the request of other Caribbean nations, the US launched “Operation Urgent Fury,” sending the Army assets to the south of the island and Marines to the north. On 25th of October 1983 at 0530, the US together with its allies from the Eastern Caribbean Defense Force invaded Grenada, in the response to the coup d’etat that occurred only nine days earlier. As a result of the secrecy and sudden push for Operation Urgent Fury, planning was minimal.1 Within this paper we will go over the definitions of the four out of six principles of mission command in accordance with ADRP 6-0 Mission Command. The principle I’ve identified and will explain and compare to modern day events are Build Cohesive Team Through Mutual Trust, Exercise Discipline Initiative, Use Mission Orders, and Accept Prudent Risk.
Being that Vice-Admiral Joseph Metcalf was a naval officer his knowledge to ground combat and maneuvering was out of his realm. The operation for Grenada comprised of multiple branches and nations within the Caribbean. With that being said each branch have their own language and ways to communicate, Vice-Admiral Metcalf understood this, and was gladly to except Major General Norman Schwarzkopf as his Army adviser and also serve as the ground force commander. The good working relationship that developed between Admiral Metcalf and his Army adviser, General Schwarzkopf, demonstrated that such cooperation was possible.9
Commanders initiate team building, both inside and outside their organizations, as early as possible and maintain it throughout operations. Team building requires hard work, patience, time, and interpersonal skill from all leaders and team members. Commanders must trust and earn the trust of their unified action partners and key leaders within the operational area. Building trust with unified action partners and key leaders requires significant effort by commanders and staffs to overcome differences in cultures, mandates, and organizational capabilities.
2-10. Collaboration is not merely coordination. Collaboration is two or more people or organizations working together towards a common goal. Through collaboration, commanders establish human connections to create a shared understanding. They use dialogue to build trust and facilitate information sharing. Effective commanders and staffs use collaboration and dialogue to create a shared understanding of the operational issues, concerns, and approaches to solving them. Commanders gain valuable insight and while also sharing their own vision and commander’s intent.
2-18. Encouraging disciplined initiative frees commanders to focus on higher-level tasks and decisions. Using disciplined initiative, subordinates strive to solve many unanticipated problems. Leaders and Soldiers do not need to be told exactly how to accomplish missions. They perform the necessary coordination and take appropriate action when existing orders no longer fit the situation.
2-25. Commanders focus on creating opportunities rather than simply preventing defeat—even when preventing defeat appears safer. Reasonably estimating and intentionally accepting risk are not gambling. Gambling, in contrast to prudent risk-taking, is staking the success of an entire action on a single event without considering the hazard to the force should the event not unfold as envisioned. Therefore, commanders avoid taking gambles. Commanders carefully determine risks, analyze and minimize as many hazards as possible, and then take prudent risks to exploit opportunities.
Operation Urgent Fury was the U.S. response to the growing destabilization in Grenada that climaxed with the assassination of Maurice Bishop, Grenada?s president.4 Following the Iranian crisis and expansion of communist presence in the region, this operation proved critical to America?s prestige and commitment to national security.5 Because of the nature of the crisis, the time in our nation?s history.
diplomatic and military bodies seriously considered the measures necessary to ensure success. The primary mission imperatives included the neutralization of the Grenada forces, protection and evacuation of the US and designated foreign nationals, stabilization of the internal situation, and transition to peacekeeping. To complete these mission imperatives, the US deployed nearly 6,000 soldiers, marines, airman, and sailors to the region under the command and control of a single joint force commander.
1 CPT Patrick M. Higgins. A perspective on Operation Urgent Fury. Grenada, October 25- November 5, 1983, http://www.benning.army.mil/library/content/virtual/donovanpapers/other/STUP5/HigginsPatrick%20M.%20CPT.pdf(accessed (accessed December 2017)
2 Department of the Army, ADRP 6-0, Mission Command (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, May 2012),
3 Ibid., .
4 Ibid., .
5 Eddgar F. Raines Jr.The Rucksack War, U.S. Army Operational Logistics in Grenada, 1983 (Center of Military History United States Army Washington, D.C., 2010)
6 Joint History Office, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1997)
7 Ibid., .
8 Lieutenant Colonel Ronald H. Spector, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. U.S. Marines in Grenada 1983 (History And Museums Division Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps Washington, D.C. 1987)
9 Marbury Brown and Jeffery J. Clarke. Operation Urgent Fury, The Invasion of Grenada, October 1983,
CPT Patrick M. Higgins. A perspective on Operation Urgent Fury. Grenada, October 25- November 5, 1983, http://www.benning.army.mil/library/content/virtual/donovanpapers/other/STUP5/HigginsPatrick%20M.%20CPT.pdf(accessed (accessed December 2017)
Department of the Army, ADRP 6-0, Mission Command (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, May 2012),
Eddgar F. Raines Jr.The Rucksack War, U.S. Army Operational Logistics in Grenada, 1983 (Center of Military History United States Army Washington, D.C., 2010),
Joint History Office, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1997)
Lieutenant Colonel Ronald H. Spector, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. U.S. Marines in Grenada 1983 (History And Museums Division Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps Washington, D.C. 1987)
Marbury Brown and Jeffery J. Clarke. Operation Urgent Fury, The Invasion of Grenada, October 1983,