Some of the most vicious fighting
during the "Outpost" war took place in the
Nevada Cities. The Marines' defenses there were
made even more complex because the enemy held the high
ground surrounding them, and each of the three Outposts
of was dependent on the other, making it essential to
hold them all or face isolation and destruction one by
A Marine with disassembled M20
3.5in Rocket Launcher, after after a patrol in the
Nevada Cities area, 1953
Marine combat outposts named Reno,
Carson and Vegas, called the Nevada Cities, were north
of Seoul on three strategic crests near Panmunjom.
Carson was the westernmost outpost,
located 800 yards from the Main Line of Resistance
(MLR). Reno was situated in the center, farthest from
the MLR, about 1,600 yards, and the most difficult to
defend because of rough terrain.
Just south of Reno was an area called
the Reno Block. Occupied only at night, it was tasked
with stopping the enemy if Reno fell.
Vegas, the highest of the outposts, was
to the right of Reno and approximately 1,300 yards in
front of the MLR. The cities were held by composite
platoons of rifle and weapons company personnel.
In " The Final Crucible: Marines
in Korea, 1953", Ballenger explains: "The
location of the Nevada Cities was a problem. They were
surrounded by higher ground held by the enemy, and each
one depended on the others for flank defense. If one
outpost fell, the others were as vulnerable as a stack