By around midday on January 4th, Ambassador Bishop believed the Embassy couldn’t hold out much longer as he reported that the Embassy was “falling behind the curve in our ability to protect ourselves from the lawlessness which now prevails in Mogadishu.” He was certain that they couldn’t hold out until January 7th when the Marine helicopters were originally estimated to arrive, so he requested an “immediate airlift from Saudi Arabia of a parachute force sufficient to provide augmented security to the Chancery and JAO (Joint Administrative Office) building where everyone…currently is safe-havened” until the Marines could arrive.
Meanwhile, the Guam and the Trenton would continue to steam toward Mogadishu at top speed to be in position to launch CH-46E helicopters for the main evacuation that night.
The plan meant that the paratroopers Ambassador Bishop requested, even if they would have been available (which they weren’t), would not be necessary. Washington advised Ambassador Bishop that Marines would begin arriving at the compound at dawn the following morning on the 5th and that the main element would follow later that evening.
The Embassy was eager to have the assistance. Ambassador Bishop said that January 4th was their worst day and remarked, “We can’t have another night like that.”
 James K. Bishop, “Escape from Mogadishu,” Foreign Service Journal (March 1991), p. 29.
 Bishop, “Escape from Mogadishu,” p. 29; Gary J. Ohls, “Eastern Exit–Rescue ‘…From the Sea’,” Naval War College Review, vol 61, no. 4, article 11 (2008), p. 133; Adam B. Siegel, “Eastern Exit: The Noncombatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) from Mogadishu, Somalia in January 1991,” (1992), Center for Naval Analyses, p. 18.
 Bishop, “Escape from Mogadishu,” pp. 29-30.
 Bishop, “Escape from Mogadishu,” p. 29; Elise J. Van Pool, “Operation Eastern Exit veterans speak at EWS,” MCINCR – Marine Corps Base Quantico (2015) https://www.quantico.marines.mil/News/News-Article-Display/Article/628708/operation-eastern-exit-veterans-speak-at-ews/.
© Robert A. Doss