I think we need to take the rules as a total instead of grabbing a piece here and there.
Page 13, Transports
A transport may end its combat move carrying land units, but these are considered cargo until they offload. Cargo cannot take part in combat and is destroyed if the transport is destroyed. A transport may not load or offload in a territory adjacent to a hostile sea zone, unless the enemy units consist only of submerged submarines (see the rules for submerging submarines in Phase 4: Conduct Combat).
Page 21, Phase 5 Noncombat Move
Where Units can Move
Sea Units: Sea units can move through any friendly sea zones. They cannot move through hostile sea zones, except when the enemy forces consist of only submerged submarines. Transports can move to friendly coastal territories and load or offload cargo, unless they moved during the combat move phase. Transports that have been in combat may either load
or offload (not both) during this phase, but not if they have retreated from combat this turn.
This combined with what was presented before gives the scenario that:
This is a simple example:
a) The transport can move out of the seazone that the sub,
b) Load units on the transport during combat phase
c) Move into the seazone with the sub (hopefully there are other naval units that can attack the sub to either sink or make the sub submerge. Either way it would make the seazone safe. So the units are treated as cargo, if transport survives the cargo survives, if not that’s the chance you would be taking.
c) During NCM, offload, since it can only load or offload (not both) during this phase since it was involved in combat.
That’s my thoughts, I can’t find anywhere in the rulebook that prevents loading transports during combat phase.
This is turning out to be an interesting excercise for my brain. Thank you.
Darn Krieghund beat me too it! Krieghund, could you take a look to see if my reasoning is sound and within the rules?