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After Action Reports 24
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDOMH 1 May 1969
SUBJECT Operational Report of the 25th Infantry Division for the
Period Ending 30 April 1969, RCS CSFOR -- 65 (R-1)
Location: Vicinity of CU CHI Base Camp (XT647153), DU CHI, RVN.
Reporting Officer: Major General Ellis W. Williamson
Prepared by: Major Michael D. Keating, 18th Military History Detachment.
Map References: Vietnam, 1:50,000, Series, L7014, Sheets: 6131 I, II, 6132 II; 6230 I, II, III, IV,
6231 I, II, III, IV; 6232, II, III, IV; 6330 I, II, IV; 6331 III.
1. (C ) Section I, Operations: Significant Activities.
A. General: The 25th Infantry Division participated in the conclusion of Phase II and in the initiation of Phase III of Operation Toan Thang. The Division's efforts were keyed to finding, fighting and destroying the enemy in his base areas in order to preempt his efforts for a new offensive. Indications were that the enemy was still attempting to launch a follow-up to the “3rd Offensive.” The prevailing dry season enabled the Division to exert its full armor, mechanized and heliborne mobility in search of the enemy.
As the reporting period began, the level of enemy activity varied from light to moderate. The last week of February, however, saw the highest level of enemy activity since the third offensive in August and September of 1968. It became clear that the earlier lull had been used by the enemy to prepare for the general offensive of the Winter-Spring campaign.
The 1st Brigade operation with three maneuver battalions (4th Battalion, 9th Infantry: 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry; and 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, (Mechanized) during most of the month of February. On 28 February, the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, was placed under the operational control of the 1st Brigade, as intelligence reports indicated TAY NINH CITY as a probably target for the Winter-Spring offensive.. These units, working in conjunction with the South Vietnamese airborne battalions (1st/ 2nd/ 3rd/ 5th/ 6th/ 7th/ 8th/ 9th at various times, and the 1st and 3rd South Vietnamese Marine Battalions) conducted offensive operations to preempt enemy initiatives against TAY NINH CITY. Later, during March, the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry was returned to the 2nd Brigade because the majority of contacts were being made in this area. Throughout the period, Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry, flew in support of the 1st Brigade.
Until the departure of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, the 2nd Brigade was comprised of five Maneuver Battalions. These were the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry; 2nd Battalion 34th Armor (-); 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry; 1st Battalion 5th Infantry (Mechanized); and the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry. During March, the Brigade regained the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry and gained the 1st Battalion, 505th Airborne Infantry, which was to continue operations in the SUGARMILL (XT4406) area, begun by the 1st Air Cavalry Division. The Brigade oriented its operations along the BA THU-DUC LAP (XT5505) - MY HANH (XT6302) and BINH THUY (XS6297) infiltration corridors, and the PHU HOA DONG corridor along the Saigon River. Numerous other operations were conducted in the HOBO WOODS (XT6232), BOI LOI (XT4637), FILHOL (XT6720) CITADEL (XT5325), TRANG BANG (XT4919) and TRUNG LAP (XT5923) areas. The Brigade continued daily convoy security missions between CU CHI Base Camp and DUC HOA along Highways 8A and TL10, between HOC MON and TRANG BANG on Highway 1, and portions of Highways 6A, 7A and TL15. In addition, the Brigade was responsible for the defense of the PHUY CUONG / BA BEP Bridges, and daily designated an infantry battalion as a Division Ready Reaction Force. A number of combined operations were conducted with the 1st Vietnamese Marines and the 4th Battalion, 7th Regiment, 5th ARVN Division along the Saigon River and in the FILHOL plantation area.
The 3rd Brigade operated in the northeastern portion of the Division's TAOR with two maneuver battalions, the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry and the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (Mechanized). The Brigade conducted extensive sweep operations in the BEN CUI (xt4645) and MICHELIN (XT5553) rubber plantations and conducted a large relocation of the inhabitants from the MICHELIN to TRI TAM District. The Brigade's efforts were directed towards Military Pacification by the destruction of enemy forces in a priority established through coordination with the chiefs of KHI EN HANH and TRI TAM Districts. The Brigade also conducted operations in the BOI LOI Woods (XT4637) and TRAPEZOID (XT5742) areas.
Activity during the month of February developed slowly. Soldiers from Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, engaged the enemy in a skirmish north of GO DAU HA (XT388312) on 1 February, killing five enemy and capturing six small arms. The following day, 2 February, they returned to this area and reestablished contact about noon. Troop B engaged an estimated enemy company entrenched in bunkers. Coordinated artillery and air strikes were placed upon the position, and Troop B was reinforced by Tr9oops A and C, and by elements of the 1st Vietnamese Marines. This action resulted in 30 enemy killed and 16 wounded.
Later that week (8 February) fighting was centered near the Division Headquarters at CU CHI. Companies A and B, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, were conducting a series of combat assaults along the northern edge of the FILHOL rubber plantation (XT632236). On their third landing, they received small arms and automatic weapons fire. This engagement lasted three hours. Sweeps through the enemy position disclosed 12 enemy dead. At this same time, Companies A and B of the 1st Battalion 5th Infantry (Mechanized) engaged an enemy force just to the east (XT624220) and killed 25 North Vietnamese (p4) regulars. The following day, elements of the 2nd Brigade attempted to reestablish contact in this area, instead, they located a sizable cache of arms, ammunition and explosives.
From this point on, the Division intensified its surveillance and search of the TAOR. With last year's “TET” offensive in mind, and in heed of the intelligence predictions for another major offensive, all efforts were bent toward gaining early contact with the enemy and the denial of his ammunition and food supplies.
On 16 February, contact was made just south of the HOBO WOODS with an estimated enemy company. Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized), made initial contact. Reinforced by Company A, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, their combined fire power resulted in 33 enemy dead. The discovery of caches increased rapidly. 1st Brigade elements discovered two underground warehouse bunkers, eleven kilometers northeast of TAY NINH (XT370556), on 18 February, containing 1700 rounds of mortar, recoilless rifle and RPG ammunition. A combined strike by Air Force jets and Cobra Gunships of the 17th Air Cavalry destroyed 2110 tons of rice, five tons of millet and two and one half tons of salt in an area northwest of TAY NINH (WT966568). Results were confirmed by a ground assessment by the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry.
In the 3rd Brigade area, 28 enemy were killed on 21 February. A listening post from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (Mechanized), detected movement near their night laager several kilometers west of DAU TIENG (XT448452) The Battalion initiated the action with organic weapons and supporting artillery, and the engagement lasted for two and one; half hours. Documents captured identified the enemy as the 5th Battalion, 95C Vietnamese Regiment. These contacts signaled the beginning of the Winter / Spring offensive.
On 23 February, the enemy launched the first wave of the anticipated offensive. The 2nd Brigade had a Patrol Base named “DIAMOND I” three kilometers from the Cambodian border (XT337187), manned by the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry. After a ten minute barrage of mortar and automatic weapons fire, the enemy mounted a massive assault from the west and the south. In spite of all available fires directed against the attackers, the enemy penetrated the protective wire and occupied three defensive bunkers on the southwest side of the perimeter. Direct fire from artillery within the perimeter halted and repelled the enemy penetration. At 0530 hours, a sweep of the battle area disclosed 11 enemy dead.
Meanwhile, DAU TIENG Base Camp (XT4947)), received a similar attack by a reinforced sapper battalion preceded by a mortar and rocket attack. A squad sized enemy force penetrated the eastern side of the perimeter, made their way into the aircraft revetments and planted satchel charges, damaging two aircraft (OV-10) and one helicopter (LOH). A penetration of the southern sector was contained by an interior reaction force. This attack cost the enemy 73 dead and 14 captured, along with the loss of 33 weapons and 205 satchel charges. (p5)
While both DAU TIENG and Patrol Base DIAMOND I were under attack, a third enemy attack developed at Fire Support Base MAHONE II (XT521419), located in the TRAPEZOID area several kilometers south of DAU TIENG. The fire support base received a heavy volume of small arms, automatic weapons, RPG and mortar fire. Tear Gas was also used against one portion of the perimeter in an apparent attempt to mask a penetration. This attempt failed in the face of the coordinated defensive fires. The enemy was forced into a complete withdrawal to the northeast through the MICHELIN Rubber Plantation. The enemy left 38 dead behind.
On the afternoon of 24 February, interrogation of an enemy prisoner revealed plans for a second attack on Patrol Base DIAMOND. Radar and visual reconnaissance of movement around the base confirmed this. Interdictory fire and air strikes were initiated immediately. At 0100 hours, the base again came under attack. The base responded with organic weapons, artillery fires from three batteries, helicopter gunships, air strikes and artillery direct fire in a continuous coordinated volume of fire. US loses were one killed and three wounded. A sweep of the battle area at dawn disclosed 78 enemy dead. Early warning and a heavy concentration of coordinated firepower produced his victory.
To the northeast, the enemy again sought defeat by a second attack on Fire Support Base MAHONE II. The same type of massed firepower response used at DIAMOND I, resulting in 24 enemy killed and five captured.
The Division Base Camp at CU CHI (XT6315) came under attack at 0400 hours on 26 February. Fighting began along the northwestern portion of the perimeter. At 0430 hours, the camp began receiving fire from 122 mm and 107mm rockets and 75mm recoilless rifles, coordinated with a probe on the western sector and a subsequent penetration of the southeastern sector, where a sapper team succeeded in destroying nine CH47 helicopters and damaging two other. The camp's interior defenses and air and artillery fires prevented any further exploitation. Thirty-one enemy were killed and eight captured during the fight. This attack on CU CHI concluded one of the most active weeks experienced during the quarter. One thousand and thirty-eight enemy were killed and four hundred and fifty-four weapons were captured.
Extensive riverine operations were conducted in the Division area during the month of February. On 8 February, the 3rd Brigade and the 28th River Assault Group began Operations HUCK FINN III along the upper Saigon River. The mission was to continue defoliation of the banks and to search areas not covered in Phase II. Large amounts of enemy supplies were uncovered in the densely vegetated tributaries, and by 15 February an additional 20 acres of shoreline were cleared.
On the western side of the Division TAOR, Operations KEEL HAUL I (8-11 February) and KEEL HAUL II (21-24 February) were conducted along the VAM CO DONG River. The Division provided ground reaction forces to exploit contacts made by naval patrol boats along the river. The success of these operations cannot be fully evaluated due to infrequent contact with the enemy. However, these operations did restrict enemy movement and use of base areas in this region. The concept of this combined operations will be further developed. (p6)
The month of March was characterized by continued heavy activity in all Brigade areas. The newly executed offensive had gained full momentum. The Division intensified its search for the enemy through extensive ground reconnaissance, air-mobile operations, and widespread aerial reconnaissance. This approach brought success, as elements of the Division began to hit the enemy in his staging areas.
Among the most successful operations during the month were in areas controlled by the 2nd Brigade deep within the CITADEL and BOI LOI WOODS. On March 4th, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry, performed a combat assault only eight miles northwest of CU CHI (XT547250) and encountered a heavy volume of fire from a well concealed and entrenched enemy battalion. The contact was reinforced by a task force of three rifle, one mechanized, and one tank company. Three thousand rounds of supporting artillery were fired. This engagement lasted until 1800 hours. An evening sweep of the area revealed 84 enemy dead. The combined forces established a night defensive position in the area. Early the next morning this position received a heavy attack by fire and a subsequent ground attack. Artillery, helicopters and fighters broke the assault, and caused the enemy to leave another 74 dead on the battlefield. U.S. casualties, by contrast, were light: 11 killed, 37 wounded.
The two day period, 17 to 19 March, produced several ill considered enemy attempts to defeat 2nd Brigade units. A night attack on Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized) resulted in 30 enemy dead on the 17th. Later that same day, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, fought an engagement (XT565227) with an enemy force in an open area. Without reinforcement, through classic fire and maneuver, Company C killed 81 of the enemy, at a cost of one wounded U.S> soldier. This same enemy force attacked Company C two days later in a night defensive position in the same area. The cover of darkness did not improve their situation. They lost 33KIA again. The enemy became increasingly reckless as he attacked a night defensive position of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry. in the same area (XT-----) on 18 March The massed defensive fire around the position produced another 22 enemy dead. A similar night attack in the --------area (XT5------) on 19 March cost the enemy 26 killed when he fought Company C, ----Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized). Numerous small encounters continued in this area during the next week. On 27 and 28 March, the Division made OPCON the 2lnd Battalion, 27th Infantry, and the 1st Battalion, ---th Infantry -------Air-borne to the 2nd Brigade in order to exploit the contact gained with the enemy in the area. During the month of March, the 2nd Brigade delivered a major defeat to the enemy units massed along the Saigon River infiltration corridor.
The 3rd Brigade oriented its operations toward making contact with the enemy in the MICHILIN and TRAPIZOID and around the TRANG Base camp. On the 6th of March, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (Mechanized) made contact with an enemy force entrenched in a bunker complex northwest of DAU TIENG (XT459503). Company C pinned the enemy to his positions with their machine guns, and directed artillery and air-strikes onto the bunkers. A search of the bunkers revealed 51 enemy killed. A second attack on Fire Support Base MAHONE II (XT521419) resulted in 21 enemy killed.
The month of March also produced several disastrous enemy ambush attempts against Divisional logistic convoys. The Division's convoy plans had been vastly improved during the past six month period. The very concept had been changed from merely defending the convoys to violent counter-attack of ambush forces. The convoys were reorganized into small, well dispersed, march units with more ground and airborne control elements. Only a small portion of the cargo vehicles could be caught in the normal 1500-1800 meter killing zone. Control elements could clear the zone rapidly and security elements could immediately establish a base of fire, while pre-positioned reaction forces quickly moved in to engage the enemy from different directions. Thus firmly fixed, the enemy would be destroyed in place by artillery and air strikes.
The first attempt came at 1205 hours, 11 March, against the DAU TIENG convoy near the BEN CUI Rubber Plantation. Companies A and C, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (Mechanized), blocked escape routes to the north and south, while Company B exerted direct pressure from the east. Combined with this maneuver, artillery and air strikes accounted for 77 enemy dead. Only three U.S> soldiers were wounded and the convoy arrived at DAU TIENG on schedule. The enemy tried again on 25 March along Highway 19 near the village of UIO CAO (XT4528). Quick reaction by Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, and combined fire support accounted for another 42 enemy dead.
The month closed with the same intense fighting. On 28 March, as the Division convoy moved toward TAY NINH along Highway 26, the enemy engaged the column with ineffective fire. The convoy quickly cleared the killing zone, and Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, again moved quickly to the contact area, and, supported by artillery, helicopter gun-ships and air strikes, routed the enemy force, killing a total of 82. On the following day Company A, 4th Battalion 23rd Infantry (Mechanized), while performing mounted reconnaissance ahead of a convoy, encountered a two-company force in the CAU KHOI Rubber (XT3649) at 1110 hours. Company C of the same unit reinforced the contact and with supporting fires they killed another 41 enemy.
April saw a general decrease in the larger enemy initiated contacts with the exception of the border area, where the enemy again made several unsuccessful attempts against 1st and 2nd Brigade patrol bases. Indications were that his plans were being modified. He would place increased emphasis on disruption of the pacification effort by attacks on GVN controlled hamlets, assassination and sabotage. U.S. Forces would be tied down by attacks by fire, attacks against supply routes, and by heavy ground attacks along the border, close to enemy sanctuaries. As the larger enemy concentrations became difficult to find, the Division spread its search wider, using smaller elements to cover more area. Mounted reconnaissance, platoon sized Eagle Flights, combat assaults, saturation patrolling, long range reconnaissance patrols, visual reconnaissance, and a variety of detection devices were employed. Increased emphasis was place on combined operations with Regional and Popular Forces, not only to improve their performance, but to cover more area. Greater emphasis was placed on night operations. These tactics produced results: The number of contacts was high, and the number of enemy killed and enemy weapons captured was the largest since May of 1968. (p8)
On the 2nd of April, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry, detected movement outside of its night defensive position near TRUNG LAP (XT556219). At 0045 hours, the Company engaged the enemy with organic weapons, artillery, and helicopter gun-ships,. The enemy returned fire with automatic weapons, RPGs and mortars, but inflicted no casualties. At first light, Company D counted 49 enemy bodies. On the following day, Company A, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry (Mechanized), in a combined operation with the 164th Regional Force Company north of the CAU KHOI Rubber Plantation (XT364494), engaged an enemy squad and killed six.
The 5th of April saw the beginning of another series of attacks on the 2nd Brigade's Patrol Base DIAMOND II, which was shifted along the border in the ANGEL'S WING sector (XT3322) as a lure for the enemy. Apparently the temptation was too great. At 0130 hours, 5 April, the base detected movement in the area and engaged it with artillery. The enemy responded with direct and indirect fire, followed by a ground assault. The defenders reacted with a carefully prepared fire plan. Organic weapons, artillery, light fire teams, aerial rocket artillery and air strikes broke the assault and made the enemy pay 20 to 1 for the attempt. Eighty-one enemy bodies were counted. U.S. losses were four killed and thirteen wounded. 27th Infantry, engaged an enemy company with artillery and helicopter gunships, killing another 16 of the enemy.
The enemy made another attempt against Patrol Base DIAMOND III early on the morning of 15 April (0315 hours). He had learned something from his previous defeats. This attack was launched from prepared fighting positions, was preceded and sustained by some 800 mortar and RPG rounds, and involved an estimated two enemy battalions. The defenders, however, were ready, since they had detected enemy movement by radar and listening posts, and initiated the contact with artillery. The Division supported DIAMOND III with the full arsenal at its disposal. The concentrated, continuous fire from automatic weapons, artillery, mortars, aerial delivered rockets and machine gun fire, and bomb sorties resulted in 198 enemy killed and eight captured. This success was achieved through the application of the fundamental principles of defense. The enemy was induced to fight at a place of our choice. This position had flat, well cleared fields of fire, protected fighting positions, and wire obstacles. All available supporting fires were pre-planned and well coordinated. The defenders were alert and had early warning of the enemy's approach. The same fundamentals would produce an even grater success later in the month at a place called FRONTIER CITY.
The enemy was not quite so bold on the 17th of April when he hit Patrol Base DIAMOND with 40 rounds of 82mm mortar fire. Even this limited engagement cost him 20 dead as the base counter-fired with their own mortars and artillery.
The 2nd Brigade area continued to produce the major contacts, particularly in the CITADEL area (XT5225),. On 5 April, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor, made contact with an enemy platoon north
of TRANG BANG (XT575249). Reinforced by supporting fires, they killed 17 of the enemy. Two days later, in the same are (XT572244), elements of the 1st battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized) and the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, under the operational control of the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor, engaged an enemy force and killed 33.
On 11 April, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized) was attacked in its night defensive position in the HOBO WOODS (XT560280) at 0320 hours. With the assistance of supporting fires, the company killed 33 enemy and incurred no casualties. The enemy returned two nights later to receive another beating. This time they lost another 24 killed. Apparently intent on revenge, the enemy hit Company B again on the 21st at 2145 hours (XT573262) and left another 21 dead outside the perimeter. Company B's losses for the three engagements were one man wounded an done armored personnel carrier destroyed.
The 20th of April produced another strong contact in the HOBO WOODS (XT568292), when Companies A and D, 2nd Battalion 12th Infantry, assisted by Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized) engaged and killed 41 of the enemy.
The 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, along with its Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol teams was active in and around the CITADEL throughout the month. They made numerous contacts and destroyed substantial amounts of enemy equipment. On 7 and 8 April, two patrols operating south of the BOI LOI (XT514347) detected small enemy units and engaged them, killing six. On the 9th of April, Troop B and one patrol located another group of enemy in this same area and killed 13 with organic weapons and helicopter gunships. The following day, a patrol detected an enemy platoon, again in the same area and killed 15 of them with artillery support.
Activity in the 3rd Brigade area consisted of sweeps through the MICHELIN (XT5554), BOI LOI WOODS and TRAPEZOID (XT5740). Numerous small contacts were made. The capture and destruction of enemy supplies and fortifications went on continuously. The base camp at DAU TIENG was harassed constantly by small arms and rocket attacks. On the 5th, 7th, 11th, 12th and 17th of April the camp was hit by rockets with total casualties of only four wounded and the loss of two trucks, one artillery piece and one building.
On 10 April, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry (Mechanized) engaged an enemy force in the MICHELIN (XT572527) and killed nine of the enemy. The following day, Company C of the same unit reestablished contact in the same area (XT582253) and killed 12 more.
Extensive reconnaissance in the 1st Brigade area also proved successful. On 10 April, a helicopter from the 25th Aviation Battalion received ground fire over a wooded area near the border. Artillery and air strikes killed 63 enemy and destroyed a tunnel and bunker complex. Throughout the month in the TAY NINH area, the enemy provided a steady series of targets for air strikes by indiscriminately firing at the Division's aerial reconnaissance elements. (p10)
On the 16th of April, Company B, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry (Mechanized), while searching an area of previous air strikes (XT031794), discovered the bodies of 93 North Vietnamese soldiers. That same day Company A, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry, engaged 12 enemy close to the border and killed 11 of them.
The TAY NINH Base Camp was subjected to the same attacks by fire as the DAU TIENG Base Camp during the month. Rocket attacks were made on the 6th, 12th, 13th, and 22nd of the month resulting in 1 US killed and 11 wounded.
As the reporting period drew to a close, the Division reached a peak of success. Capitalizing on the enemy's desire for a moral victory, the Division again set the bait close to the border. Following a standard procedure, a well-entrenched company sized patrol base was established within two and one-half kilometers of the border (XT202242). Work on the base began on the morning of 24 April, and all defensive preparations were completed by darkness. Twenty-one sorties of CH-47 helicopters were used to bring in troops bulldozers, demolitions, fortification materials, crew served weapons and ammunition. The, following a synchronized plan, wire obstacles, claymore mines, fighting bunkers, covered sleeping positions, mortar and howitzer pits, ammunition bunkers and an observation tower were all completed in one day. In addition, fields of fire were cleared all around the position.
This patrol base was named FRONTIER CITY and was manned by elements of the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry. At 2200 hours, 25 Apr, radar in the observation tower began to detect movement southwest of the base. As the movement increased, the defenders placed artillery fire on the wooded area southwest of the base, and called for assistance of flare ships, helicopter gunships, and tactical fighters to engage all of the suspected enemy locations.
The enemy responded with a barrage of 107mm rockets, 82mm mortars, RPG's and anti-aircraft machine gun fire. At the height of the fire fight, three batteries of artillery and an AC-47 gunship attacked along the southeast and northwest sides of the base. All fires were coordinated from the base observation tower, and the 81mm mortars in the base marked targets with WP rounds.
At 0035 hours, 26 April, the enemy launched a battalion sized ground attack from the southwest. In the face of the direct fire from the infantrymen in the base and all supporting fires, only 11 of the enemy reached the wire and none made it beyond. At this point, the enemy began to withdraw, but the air and artillery fire continued to pound him. A police of the battle area on 26 April revealed 214 enemy dead. Friendly casualties amounted to one man evacuated for shrapnel wounds. Interrogation of the six enemy prisoners taken revealed that the 271st North Vietnamese Army Regiment was the attacking force.
In the early morning hours of 27 April, the enemy tried another attack against a night defensive position manned by Companies B and C of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry, just south of the HOBO WOODS (XT557287). This attempt cost him another 100 killed.
The month of April culminated with 2,058 enemy killed by the Division, a ratio of almost 30 to 1. The most significant aspect of these figures is that they resulted primarily from contacts initiated by the Division. Even the large enemy attacks along the border were the result of Division plans.
Other Signifiant Activities:
The accelerated pacification campaign, “Colors Up,” was completed on 17 February 1969. This program, which had commenced on 1 November 1968, was designed to raise the MACV Hamlet evaluation system (HES) ratings of specific hamlets within South Vietnam. Upon completion of this program, 57 hamlets were up-graded from ratings of D (contested) and E (VC controlled), to those controlled by the Government of Vietnam. The overall pacification effort was not seriously affected by the enemy attacks during February. There are indications that the disruption of this effort will be the primary enemy objective during the spring and summer.
Several new innovations were developed during this period to deny the enemy the use of sanctuaries. The first of these, “THUNDERBOLT” involves dropping cluster bomb units (CBU) into selected areas to channel the enemy into target areas which are then saturated with multiple B-52 strikes within a 24 hours period. Choice areas are then selected for ground exploitation. Afterwards, both artillery and radar guided air strikes are directed into the area at night to further disrupt any enemy attempt to regroup.
A similar technique named `RED LIGHTNING”, involves first saturating the area with CS (riot control agent) munitions. This is followed by B-52 air strikes. Again, selected areas are exploited by ground troops and after their extraction; a follow up of artillery and air strikes is made at night. These techniques have seriously deteriorated the enemy's combat effectiveness by forcing him to move constantly.
NIGHT HAWK is a somewhat different technique. Artillery flares illuminate the periphery of selected areas. Within these areas, UH-1 helicopters scan the area with night observation devices (ambient light), which intensify the light provided by the distant flares. When targets are observed, they are
marked with tracers, and accompanying gunships engage them. This technique resulted in eight enemy killed in two separate engagements on the night of 27 April and nine enemy killed in three engagements on the night of 29 April.
Engineer activity during this period, in addition to their many daily functions, was oriented toward the CITADEL. They were to enter this traditional enemy stronghold, and deny him the use of the area by destroying tunnel complexes, trench line, fighting positions, pun ji pits, bunkers, and food and weapons caches.
In spite of continuous encounters with booby traps, and numerous attacks against the engineers and their security elements, they destroyed over 1500 meters of trench line, 150 fighting positions, 82 punji pits, 350 bunkers, 3000 pounds of rice, 1000 shelters and over 150 booby traps.
One of the most significant engineer efforts was their assistance in establishing the patrol bases along the border. This was done so rapidly and professionally that these bases were able to withstand heavy volumes of fire on their first night.
Toward the end of the reporting period, the engineers began efforts to relocate some of the fire support bases and to up-grade others in preparation for the rainy season. Preparing the lines of communication for the wet season also received increased effort.
The following section is a detailed daily account of significant combat actions as they occurred in the Divisional TAOR during the reporting period. Enclosure 1, Tab A, contains the organizational structure of the Division. Enclosure 2, Tab B, contains the Division Commander's evaluation of the use of CS gas during combat operations. Enclosure 3, Tab C, concerns a new device to detect trip wires and detonate booby traps. Enclosure 4, Tab D, is the detailed Combat After Action Report on the Defense of Patrol Base FRONTIER CITY.
B. Chronology of significant action: Wd, Hq, DA
C. (C ) Operations:
(1) (C ) The G3 section developed plans and executed operations to pre-empt VC/NVA
operations and to destroy VC/NVA forces. DTOC Forward continued to function at TAY NINH, this integrated staff served two purposes:
(a.) It provided a staff and command post for the AD C-M.
(b.) It provided coordination and liaison between Division Headquarters and FWMAF in the
TAY NINH area.
(2) (C ) The G3 Air Section coordinated the Division Tactical Air Support and B-52 strikes.
The USAF TACP assigned to support the Division was responsible for controlling tactical air strikes, visual reconnaissance, assisting in the development of B-52 targets and B-52 target bomb damage assessment. There were 2582 tactical air sorties flown in support of the Division. The air strikes were in support of troops in contact, landing zone prep-operations, pre-strikes and harassing and interdictory strikes. Bomb damage assessment was:
Killed by Air (Body count) 627
Killed by Air (Possible) 568
Bunkers destroyed 4952
Structures destroyed 307
Secondary fires 104
Secondary explosions 289
(3) (C ) During this period there were 81 B-52 strikes consisting of six sorties each flown in support of the Division operations. Most of the targets were located in War Zone C, the Crescent, the Trapezoid, and the Boi Loi Woods. Over 12,000 tons were dropped on troop concentrations, base camp storage areas, communications centers, and infiltration routes. A bomb damage assessment was made on each target. Reports from agents, ralliers and prisoners-of-war indicated that the B-52 strikes have contributed greatly to the combat power of the Division and are in large part responsible for the enemy being defeated in each move he made. These same reports estimate the number of enemy dead and wounded by the strikes well into the thousands, and uncountable quantities of supplies and equipment lost.
(4) (C ) The Division Chemical Section, and the 9th Chemical Detachment continued to support division operations by employment of tactical and bulk CS, personnel detection, and defoliation missions. During the reporting period a total of 188 EI58 CS canisters and 1216 M7A3 CS grenades were helicopter-dropped in support of troops in contact. A total of 175,840 lbs of micro-pulverized CS powder was dropped by CH-47 to restrict known or suspected enemy infiltration routes, base camps and rocket and mortar sites. Additionally, 24,700 lbs of CS powder were employed utilizing the BLU-52 system. Two hundred and forty lbs of CS powder were employed in bunkers and tunnels. A total of 14,000 gallons of defoliant were used around base camps and along the Saigon and Oriental Rivers. Assistance was also provided to the 25th ARVN Division. A total of 280 hours of flying was devoted to chemical personnel detection missions using the airborne personnel detector. During the reporting period an AGAVENCO Sprayer and three new airborne personnel detectors were received in the Division.
(5) (C ) During the reporting period, Army combat aviation support was provided to the 25th Inf. Div. By organic and non-organic aviation units. Organic aviation units providing support included the Division Artillery Aviation Section, the 25th Avn Bn, D Troop, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav; 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bde Aviation Sections, and E Co, 725th Maint. Bn. Non-organic air support was furnished to the Division by units of the 12th Combat Aviation Group. Primary assault helicopter companies and CH-47 aircraft were provided primarily by the 269th Combat Aviation Battalion whose units include the 116th Assault Helicopter Company, 187th Helicopter Company, and 242nd Assault Support Helicopter Company. During the period, the 269th flew the following in support; of the 25th Infantry division: sorties flown - 45,972; passengers transported 57,444.
(6) (C ) Aerial surveillance and reconnaissance missions were flown in the TAOI by organic aviation units consisting of Troop C, 3rd Squdn, 17th Cavalry, of the 12th Combat Aviation Group; the 73rd Surveillance Company (Mohawk), and the 4th Reconnaissance Airplane Company (Birdog). Primary aero-medical evacuation of wounded was provided the Division by the 159th Medical Company.
(7) During the period 1 November 1968 to 30 April 1969 combat engineer support was
Provided to the 25th Division by the 65th Engineer Battalion (Infantry Division). Additional engineer support was provided by non-divisional units from the 29th Engineer Brigade.
(a) The 588th Engineer Battalion (Combat) with the 362nd Engineer Company (Light Equipment) and the 544th Engineer Company (Construction Support) attached, operated from Tay Ninh and Dau Tieng and provided engineer support in the northern portion of the Division TAOI. Significant operations included repair of the MSR's, resurfacing of Thien Ngon Airfield, construction of aircraft parking facilities at Tay Ninh and Dau Tieng, operations of the quarry at Nui Ba Den, and various MCA projects.
(b) The 544th Engineer Battalion (Construction) with the 104th Dump Truck Company and the 515th Asphalt Platoon attached, operated from Cu Chi and provided support in the southern portion of the Division TAOI. Significant operations included repair of MSR, paving of the MSR from CP17 to Go Dau Ha, construction of aircraft parking facilities at Cu Chi airfield starting on 14 April 69, operation of an asphalt plant at Cu Chi land various MCA projects.
(c) Land clearing operations conducted in the division area totaled 4,334 acres cleared
by the 501st Engineer Company (Land Clearing).
(d) Also within the Division TAOI, the 41st Engineer Company (Port Construction) is
Engaged in constructing pier protective devices for the Phu Cuong Bridge.
(e) Significant activities of the 65th Engineer Battalion (Infantry Division) during this reporting period have been land clearing operations, maintenance of LOC, repair of the Go Dau Ha Bridge, and direct support to the 25th Infantry Division.
(8) (C ) Each maneuver brigade was provided with direct support by a light artillery battalion. Although there were some attachments and detachments, normally support was provided as follows:
BRIGADES DS BATTALIONS
1st Brigade 7th Bn, 11th Artillery
B Battery, 2nd Bn, 77th Arty (attached)
2nd Brigade 1st Bn, 8th Artillery
3rd Brigade 2nd Bn (-), 77th Artillery
The 3rd Battalion (155mm/8”), 13th Artillery provided general support for the division. However, due to a lack of artillery to adequately cover positions in the 2nd Brigade TAOI, 155mm batteries were occasionally assigned a DS mission. A 155mm battery was also assigned a DS mission to support the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, operating under division control, until this DS mission was given to the nearest DS battalion.
(a) During the reporting period the plan for the movement of batteries to support wet
season operations was completed and implementation of the plan began.
(b) The significant increase in the Duffel-bag program during this period required the establishment of new procedures for artillery exploitation of the Air Force DART system to monitor the devices, as well as the establishment of a ground monitoring station on Nui Ba Den. A significant amount of coordination was required to get the increased Duffel-bag Program operating efficiently. New lines of communication were established to permit rapid exploitation of targets obtained by activation of the anti-intrusion devices.
(c ) Ammunition expenditures for the period were reduced due to a reduction of the ASR. In order to operate under the reduction, ammunition expenditures on targets developed by sensor devices, SLAR, Red Haze, visual and photo reconnaissance were significantly reduced. The expenditure reduction occurred at a time when results from all intelligence gathering devices were being coordinated under the Target Information Center to produce a significant increase in reliable intelligence targets. A request to higher headquarters for additional ammunition to exploit the intelligence targets was initiated. Expenditures of artillery ammunition by the Division Artillery were:
(9) (C ) The Division Signal Office continued to coordinate and exercise staff supervision over combat communications operating within the Division.
(a) In the area of FM radio communications, one of the most significant activities was the development and implementation of a frequency management plan for Nui Ba Den mountain. This mountain with almost 1000 meters elevation makes an ideal retransmission site in the otherwise flat terrain of the III Corps area. Thus, almost 60 retransmission nets from 5 US and 2 ARVN major commands had migrated there, and because of virtually autonomous operations, severe interference problems were developing. With the cooperation of the Ii Field Force, Viet Nam, Signal Officer and the Signal Officers of the major commands concerned, retransmission stations which could operate feasibly elsewhere were relocated, coordinated frequency management began, and more effective communications have been provided all concerned. Through the Signal Officer, Nui Ba Den Provisional Company, the Division Signal Officer has continued to exercise technical control of the retransmission facility which is now operating 46 nets for 6 US and 2 ARVN major commands. In addition, the coordination and management has allowed additional nets to be operated when the tactical situation required without any problems.
Other problems of the Division Signal Office have been in the area of secure page copy tele-communications capability from the division through the brigade to battalion forward operating locations. In addition to providing the usual communications support to the division, the 125th Signal Battalion further expanded its multi-channel radio relay support of the forward operating locations. During the month of April, the highest level of commitment was achieved with radio relay systems operating between 19 forward locations and the three principal base camps. All battalion forward CP's as well as several infantry company and artillery battery fire support bases were supported.
(b) The 86th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade continued to provide Corps Area Communications Systems support for the division, including operation of administrative telephone systems on the three major base camps, base camp cable plants, and inter-base camp multi-channel radio systems, which by providing circuits for divisional use made possible the forward commitment of the divisional radio relay systems.
E. (U) Training.
(1) (U) The Doctrine, Organization and Training (DOT) section of G-3 expanded its area of interest and responsibility in R&D items and ran the Lightning Reinforcement Training School, the Lightning Leaders Course, and the Lightning Mines, Booby Traps, and Tunnel Course. The Reinforcement Training School, a five day orientation on Vietnam, was completed by 5168 personnel between 1 February and 30 April. The Mines, Booby Traps, and Tunnel Course, a one day course of instruction on enemy mines, booby traps and tunnels, was completed by 5340 personnel. The ten day field leadership exercise for fire team and squad leaders, conducted by the Lightning Combat Leaders Course (LCLC) was attended by 573 students. Other divisional courses of instruction, the instructing unit and the number of trainees for the period of this report are as follows:
COURSE INSTRUCTOR UNIT STUDENTS
Small Arms Inspection 725th Maint Bn 75
Generator Maintenance 725th Maint Bn 84
Mess Management 25th S & T Bn 129
Tunnel Rat LCLC 78
Explosives & Demolition LCLC 78
Tunnel Destruction LCLC 66
Helicopter Load Preparation 25th Avn Bn 129
Lightning Combat Leaders Course LCLC 573
Lightning Reinforcement Training LCLC 5168
Marksmanship School LCLC 14
(2) (U) Selected division personnel also attended specialized courses of instruction offered by non-divisional units between 1 February and 30 April 1969. These courses by title, the instructing unit, location and number of trainees are shown below:
COURSE UNIT LOCATION STUDENTS
UH-1B, C Airframe 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 1
AH-1C, Airframe 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 2
UH-1D, H Airframe 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 4
CH-6A Airframe 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 5
T-53-L-11 Engine 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 3
T-53-L-13 Engine 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 5
T-63 Engine 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 6
TEC Supply 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 3
Armament Officer #1 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 1
M-5, XM-156 & M-21
Armament Enlisted #2 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 2
XM-28 & SM-18E1
Armament Officer #2 765th Trans Bn Vung Tau 2
XM-28 & XM-18E1
MACV RECONDO 5TH SPG Nha Trang 9
AN/GRC L63 221st Sig Co LBN 4
Audio Visual 221st Sig Co LBN 3
AN/PPS-5 Radar 221st Sig Co LBN 7
AN/GRC-106 221st Sig Co LBN 12
TSESC/KW-7 221st Sig Co LBN 1
Cable Splicer 221st Sig Co LBN 4
Tele Key System 221st Sig Co LBN 2
AN/GRC - 50 221st Sig Co LBN 1
Radio Relay 221st Sig Co LBN 1
Avionics Equip 765th Trans Co Vung Tau 6
XM 706 Maint 18th MP Bde LBN 3
Marksmanship 9th Inf Div Dong Tam 6
MACV / CORDS USAID II Saigon 3
NCR 500 Supv Crs USARV LBN 2
NCR 500 Exc Crs USARV LBN 4
MIO Crs 525th MI Gp Saigon 3
100 KW Gen Maint 5th LEM Co LBN 2
100 KW Gen Oper 5th LEM Co LBN 6
AH-1G Transition 765th Trans Co Vung Tau 2
AH-1G Stabilization & Cnt 765th Trans Co Vung Tau 3
OH-6A Transition 765th Trans Co Vung Tau 3
(3) (U) During the reporting period the Lightning Reinforcement Mobile Training Team (MIT) conducted 106mm Recoilless Rifle Training for the 25th ARVN Infantry Division. A Mobile Training Team from the Lightning Mines, Booby Traps and tunnels School conducted mines and booby trap training for the 5th ARVN Infantry Division.
F. (C) INTELLIGENCE:
(1) (C) Enemy activity during the month of February consisted of: 1. The completion of reconnaissance training and resupply; 2. An early celebration of Tet, and 3. Disposition of some forces toward final staging areas and initiation of the general offensive phase of the Winter-Spring Campaign. Enemy activity dropped to a low level during the Tet Holiday period, lower than it had been for the four previous months. The rate of activity, however, picked up again during the last week and a half of the month to a level equal to that of the 3rd Offensive in August-September 1968.
The COSVN Main Force units were involved in scattered major actions, but did not engage in sustained offensive activity as expected. Preemptive actions by the 25th Infantry Division along the lines of communication into Saigon had, earlier in the year, disrupted the enemy time schedule and objectives for the Winter-Spring Campaign. This same pressure continued to be applied throughout February and consequently resulted in alternate targets being selected by the enemy.
The 9th VC/NVA Division was deployed along the Cambodian border for the entire month continuing its reconnaissance in areas west of Saigon. The 7th NVA Division was positioned in the Fishhook area during most of February, but deployed one of its regiments, the 141st, to the south for action in the Michelin Plantation and the Trapezoid area during the last week of the month.
The 1st NVA Division continued to operate from base camp areas in the Crescent while conducting reconnaissance in the Trang Bang - Go Dau Ha areas. In SR-1, the 88th Regiment was the only unit which engaged in major contact. The SR-1 forces operated in support of COSVN sapper elements which conducted attacks on Dau Tieng and Cu Chi Base Camps on the 23rd and 26th of February. In SR-2, enemy forces avoided contact and continued efforts to enhance their infrastructure and logistical base. Evidence indicated that the enemy intended to increase PSYWAR activities against allied troops
During February, the 25th Infantry Division killed a total of 1038 enemy. The major engagements of the month were:
1. On 8 February the 3rd Bn, 88th Regt was contacted by A,B-1/5 Inf (M) resulting in 25 NVA KIA (BC) and 25 NVA KIA (POSS).
2. On 16 February A-1/5 Inf (M) engaged an element of the 88th Regiment resulting in 33 NVA KIA (BC).
3. On 22 February b-1/11 Inf (M) contacted elements of the 95C Regiment resulting in 28 NVA KIA (BC).
4 On 23 February an attack by the 272 Regt on PB diamond was preempted by B-3/ 4 Cav and resulted in 109 NVA KIA (BC).
5. Elements of the 32 and 141 Regts lost 60 KIA and 5 PW's were taken in a preempted attack at FSB Mahone on 25 February, and
6. The 1st Air Cav Division and 2/22 Inf (M) attacked an element of the 141 Regt resulting in 97 NVA KIA (BC).
(2) (C) Enemy activity during the month of March was highlighted by attempts to execute the
final phase of the Winter-Spring Campaign. An overall high rate of activity was sustained similar to the latter part of February. Reports were received indicating the last big push of the offensive was to take place during 21-25 March. However, this failed to occur. COSVN Main Force units were active throughout the month. The 9th Division operated out of base camp areas along the Cambodian border, and all three regiments of the division were identified in major contacts SW of Tay Ninh City and east of the Angel's Wing. The division attempted to attack Tay Ninh City from the southwest on three occasions, but was intercepted and defeated each time by the ARVN Airborne. The 25th Division provided artillery and air support to these actions. The 18B, 95C and 101D Regiments were all identified as being the maneuver elements of the 1st NVA Division. All three of these regiments were identified in major contacts.
At the beginning of the month, elements of the 7th NVA Division Headquarters and the 209th Regiment deployed southward leaving the 165th Regiment to guard supply lines along the Saigon River. The 7th Division intended to cause heavy losses on allied forces, protect supply lines into the Saigon River Corridor and disrupt the GVN Pacification Program in the Michelin Plantation area. Allied Forces, including elements of the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, countered the enemy action in “Operation Atlas Wedge” during the latter half of the month, inflicting heavy casualties on enemy forces and completely denying him the fulfillment of his objectives.
In SR-1, main force units concentrated their activities in the Citadel and north of Trang Bang. SR-2 was the scene of extensive reconnaissance and supply activity throughout March. The most significant encounters were:
1. On 4 March the 3rd Bn, 88th Regt was contacted by C,D-2/12 Inf and A,C-1/5 (M) resulting in 179 KIA.
2. The 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 95C Regiment lost 154 NVA KIA (BC) and 3 PW's captured in a contact with A-2/22 (M) on 8 March.
3. On 9 March the 1st Air Cav Division killed 109 NVA from the 273 Regiment and captured 1 PW.
4. The ARVN Airborne, on 10 March, engaged elements of the 271 and 273 Regts resulting in 73 KIA (BC) and 2 PW's captured
5. The 3rd Bn, 101 Regt attempted to attack a US convoy on 25 March resulting in 86 KIA (BC) and 5 PW's.
6. On 28 March an ambush attempt by the 1st Bn, 95C Regiment was preempted by a, C-4/23 Inf (M) resulting in 74 KIA (BC) and
7. On 30 March, the ARVN Airborne intercepted an element of the 271 Regiment preparing
to attack Tay Ninh City, resulting in 35 NVA KIA (BC) and 3 PW's
(3) (C ) The month of April was a period of reevaluation for the enemy. For the 25th Infantry
Division, however, April was the most successful month in terms of the number of personnel and weapons removed from the enemy's system since the Second General Offensive in May 1968. Sources indicated that numerous meetings of high level officials were held throughout the TAOI.
The results of the Winter - Spring Campaign were discussed and plans were made for a Summer Campaign. The COSVN Main Force divisions withdrew to rear base areas in Cambodia and War Zone C, and conducted training and received replacements. However, each of the divisions maintained one regiment in an offensive posture during the month and were engaged in heavy contact. Enemy action, in each major contact, was anticipated before the engagement was initiated and allowed 25th Infantry Division forces to achieve maximum use of available firepower and support during the peak of battle.
In SR-1, activity was heavy in the Citadel and lower Boi Loi Woods, while SR-2 was relatively inactive and continued to rebuild its infrastructure. The Tay Ninh provincial battalions avoided significant contact during the month. During April a total of 2058 VC/NVA were KIA (BC). The most notable engagements were:
1. On 5 April PB Diamond was attacked by an element of the 272 Regiment resulting in . 81 NVA KIA (BC) and 1 PW captured.
2. A, C-1/5 Inf (M) and B-2/14 Inf engaged the 2nd Bn, Quyet Thang Regt resulting in
33 NVA KIA (BC).
3. An unidentified NVA unit, probably of the 9th VC/NVA Division, was located on 10
April by a 25th Aviation aircraft and engaged by air strikes, resulting in 63 NVA KIA (BC).
4. On 15 April, PB Diamond was attacked by the 2nd Bn, 272 Regt; the attack was anticipated and repelled by A, B 2/27 Inf, resulting in 198 NVA KIA (BC) and 8 PW's captured.
5. A,D 2/12 Inf and B 1/5 Inf (M) engaged the 2nd Bn, 268 Regt on 20 April resulting in 41 NVA KIA (BC).
6. On 26 April, the 2nd and 3rd Bns, 271 Regt attacked PB Frontier City and were repelled by C-4/9 Inf, resulting in 213 NVA KIA (BC) and 6 PW's captured.
7. B, C-2/12 Inf engaged elements of the 1st and 2nd Bns, 268 Regiment on 27 April resulting in 100 NVA KIA (BC) and 2 PW's.
(4) (C) During the period 1 February through 30 April, the G2 Air Section as the Division's
principal advisor on matters pertaining to aerial reconnaissance and surveillance, requested, coordinated
and disseminated information gained from visual reconnaissance and interpretation of panchromatic camouflage detection, infra-red and SLAR imagery. Daylight, direct support Mohawk aircraft flew 66 visual reconnaissance and 49 photo missions in February, 66 visual and 36 photo missions in March, and 41 visual and 68 photo missions in April. Phase III, Direct Support of the OV-1 Mohawk Evaluation test was extended 30 days and ended on 18 March. Due to the excellent results this Division experienced during the direct support phase, it was gratifying to learn that direct support was extended until conclusions and recommendations are made from the test date.
(5) (C) Significant Duffel Bag activities for the period 1 February to 30 April are as follows:
a. At 252145 Feb 69, the west side of Dau Tieng Base Camp (XT4846) was probed unsuccessfully because of the early warning provided by Duffel Bag sensors.
b. Ten sensor devices at FSB Mahone II (XT62--) provided early warning of an NVA/VC attack 15 March 1969. The results of the attack were 21 VC/NVA KBA (BC) w/boosters, 4 RPG-2 launchers, 1 RPG-7 launcher, one 60mm mortar tube w/base-plate, 22 60mm rds, 35 Chicom HG's, 8 AK-47's, one flame-thrower, and three pounds of documents captured.
(6) (C) The Target Information Center began ;operations on 4 April 1969. Its function is to
correlate information from sensors, aerial photography, visual sightings and all other intelligence sources to develop and confirm exploitable targets. Developed targets are disseminated to operational elements. When more data is needed to confirm or pinpoint a suspected target, further intelligence gathering efforts are recommended. The 45 targets developed and exploited during the month of April yielded 91 KIA/KBA (BC), 108 bunkers destroyed, 34 bunkers damaged, 2 structures destroyed, 6 secondary explosions, 2 secondary fires, 6 crew served weapons (.51 cal MG's destroyed, and 1 weapons cache discovered.
(7) (C) During the period 1 February to 30 April 1969, members of the Counter-intelligence Section were continuously involved in the production of timely and readily exploitable tactical intelligence in support of the units of the 25th Infantry Division. Through aggressive utilization of source nets, and the actual participation by CI case officers and sources with tactical units of the Division in the exploitation of developed targets, the CI Section continued to provide meaningful intelligence support essential to operations in this area.
(a) In addition to tactical intelligence support the CI Section provided a wide range of counter-intelligence services to the Division. The administration of the Volunteer Informant Program (VIP) has shown steady increase in FY69 with an anticipated third quarter monthly average of over 22 informants. This represents a major step from the 1st quarter of 6 informants, and a significant improvement on the 2nd quarter monthly average of 14 informants.
(b) At the direction of the Chief of Staff, the Counter-intelligence Section conducted a major investigative survey of the sapper attack on Cu Chi Base Camp of 26 February 1969. Over a three day period, twelve special agents from the CI Section interviewed over 150 persons concerning the events of the night of 25 - 26 February. In excess of 200 man hours were expended in the interviews, analysis, and compilation of information, and in the preparation of exhibits. This in depth investigation made possible the preparation of an accurate and detailed report of the infiltration of the base camp which was submitted by HQ's, 25th Infantry Division to HQ's USARV. The study provided significant recommendations based on the findings for improvements to base camp security.
(c) During March 1969, a total of seven VC working on Cu Chi Base Camp were apprehended through the joint efforts of the Vietnamese MSS, National Police, and the CI Section, 25th MID. Subsequent interrogation revealed the identities of eight former employees of the base suspected of being VC. In an attempt to tighten controls on the hiring of indigenous employees, a Civilian Personnel Office (CPO) has been established to centralize and standardize the processing of new permanent employees to include requests for MSS clearances. New procedures have been instituted at the Main Gate for searching indigenous employees for explosives and other unauthorized items, and for checking for bogus or erroneous identification.
(8) (C) During February, the VCI Exploitation Team employed Kit Carson Scouts and 3 sources in operations in Duc Hoa District, Hau Nghia Province. In cooperation with the 2nd Bn, 14th Inf, numerous daily operations were launched and the results were as follows: 6 VC KIA, 6 VCI PW's, 1 60mm mortar w/base plate, 3 AK-47's 2 anti-tank mines and a VC SOI were captured.
(a) In March, the same area continued to be exploited. One VC was captured, one was killed, and a third rallied because of the close pursuit. The following were also captured: 2 AK-47's, 1 .30 cal MG, 10 claymore mines, 1 M-1 carbine, and 15 RPG rounds
(b) April yielded an influx of Hoi Chanhs, as the VCI team continued to harass the Duc Hoa infrastructure. Thirty VC rallied to ARVN outposts in Duc Hoa and Hoc Mon, and two surrendered to MID personnel. In addition to this, the following results were obtained in the field: 11 VC PW's, 5 VC KIA, 3 AK-47 rifles, 1 M-16, 2 pistols and 2 RPG launchers captured.
(9) (C) From 1 February to 30 April 1969, the IPW Section, 25th MID processed 453 detainees. This included 140 VC/NVA PW's, 3 VCI, 97 VCS, 26 returnees, 188 Innocent Civilians, and 69 Civil Defendants.
(10) (C ) During the reporting period, the II Section, 25th MID accomplished the following tasks:
Feb. Mar Apr
Mosaic 36 41 33
Area Study 22 30 23
Photo Readout 27 8 24
AF Mission 16 25 75
Misc. 9 43 32
The G2 Targeting Section flew 360 hours of visual reconnaissance and took 1260 frames of black and white photography with hand held cameras.
G. (C) Logistics:
(1) (C) A monthly average of eighteen (18) different conventional Class V items were subjected
to ASR control during the reporting period. It is significant to note that an average of ten of these munitions required a minimum of one supplemental allocation each month in order to sustain tactical operations. High dollar / high tonnage items (i.e. 81mm HE, 4.2” HE, and artillery rounds) were the principal munitions under management control, in addition to 40mm HE, signal flares (white star parachute), and 2.75” rockets.
(2) (C) The division received thirty (30) M551 Sheridan vehicles during the period. Twenty-seven (27) were assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, and three (3) as maintenance floats. Training culminated with the squadron's tactical employment of the vehicles on 23 February. The training program prior to deployment, was conducted by the New Equipment Training Team and technical representatives. The vehicle test phase was monitored by the Army Concept Team in Vietnam (ACTIV).
(3) (C) XM-706 Commando Cars were issued to the division in late March. The initial issue was three (3) vehicles followed by two (2) more during April. Five (5) additional vehicles are due to arrive in the near future. All vehicles were issued to the 25th Military Police Company for convoy escort duty.
(4) (C) In an attempt to identify all reportable equipment, the division established a density list. This list, normally a function of the maintenance battalion, is maintained by the G4 section and has proven an effective management tool at the division level. Copies of the monthly list are furnished USARV-II Field Force, 79th Maintenance Battalion (GS), 94th Maintenance Company (DS), and the 72ND Maintenance Battalion (DS).
(5) (C) The Periodic Logistics Report was discontinued by USARV. Items that had appeared on this report will be entered on the bi-monthly Commander's Critical Items List (CCIL). The two reports were a duplication of effort in various areas; therefore, they were combined. The following statistics are a recap of the 25th Infantry Division's CCIL reported as of 30 April, 1969.
(a) Total lines reported: 115
(b) Lines filled by 1st Log Comd: 39
(c ) Lines with firm lift data: 12
(d) Lines deleted: 11
(e) Lines awaiting CONUS reply 21
(f) Lines under research by 1st Log Comd: 29
(g) Lines under research by USARV: 3
(6) (C ) In March 1969 the 25th Infantry Division implemented the USARV DSI improvement program for maintenance and supply LSU's. Accordingly, the program was established in four phases to accomplish:
(a) Manual review of stock record cards to determine validity of requirements and postings (Project Clean).
(b) Implementation of improved procedures designed to assure that only requisition for proper type material and correct quantities are submitted (Project Edit / Challenge).
(c ) Reconciliation of requisitions to assure each is valid and that material is still required (Project Rage).
(d) A wall-to-wall inventory (Project Count).
(7) (C ) Mr. Reynolds Hemmis, general equipment specialist with the Mobility Equipment
Command, was assigned to the division in late February. He has provided technical assistance and training for organizational mechanics in maintenance of power generating and construction equipment in conjunction with an on-going program to improve the material readiness posture of the command.
(8) (C ) Throughout the reporting period, the 25th Division Support Command Headquarters elements and subordinate units have participated in Operation TOAN THANG, Phases II and III, by supporting the operation from the facilities located at Cu Chi, Dau Tieng, Tay Ninh and Duc Hoa, as well as providing logistical support to the Naval operations at Go Dau Ha. Support Command also continued its responsibility for base camp defense at Cu Chi Base Camp until 20 March 1969. On 20 March the base camp defense was transferred to the 2nd Brigade.
(a) (C ) During the week of 2-9 March, the USARV Annual General Inspection Team conducted its inspection of the Support Command Units.
(b) (C) Command emphasis was placed on the retrograde of salvage and CONEX containers, up-grading the living conditions in all areas of the Support Command, and management of resources. Increased command and staff visits to supported units greatly assisted in up-grading the supply, maintenance, and ammunition status of the Division.
(c) (C) Division Ammunition Office:
1. The 25th Division Ammunition Office continued Class V support of all units operating within the 25th Division Tactical Area of Operations. This included operations of the Cu Chi ASP.
2. The total capacity of the ASP was reduced from approximately 1340 tons to 694 tons.
3. Total divisional issues during the quarter:
ASP ISSUES LONG BINH TO BATTERY
Total tons Tons / Day Total Tons Tons / Day
Feb 2,977 106.3 2,161 77.2
Mar 2,928 94.5 2,076 66.9
Apr 2,562 85.4 1,817 60.6
4. Trailer loads of retrograde loaded and shipped to Long Binh ASP;
5. The Cu Chi Ammunition Supply Point was transferred to the 1st Logistical Command at the end of the reporting period.
(d) (C ) Division Transportation Office:
1. The Division Transportation Section continued to coordinate and schedule the operations of all resupply convoys within the Division Area of Operations. Command emphasis was placed upon centralized control of Divisional assets, maximum utilization of 48th Transportation Group through put assets, and minimizing trailer turn around times. A large degree of success was achieved as the number of divisional trucks moving between Cu Chi and forward supply elements at Dau Tieng and Tay Ninh maximized during the period. Tonnage hauled from Long Binh directly to the consumer without double handling maximized during the period, while the number of trailers requiring more than 2-1/2 hours to off load minimized during the middle of the period. A total of 601 convoys were scheduled in the area of operations with a total volume of 22,051 vehicles. These schedules can be broken down as follows:
MONTH NO. OF CONVOYS NO. OF VEHICLES
Cu Chi - Tay Ninh
Feb 54 664
Mar 61 837
Apr 60 551
Total 175 2,052
Cu Chi - Dau Tieng
Feb 54 775
Mar 61 988
Apr 30 918
Long Binh - Tay Ninh
Feb 54 3,547
Mar 62 4,742
Apr 60 4,475
Long Binh - Dau Tieng
Feb 54 1,110
Mar 62 1,421
Apr 60 1,248
Total 176 3,779
Long Binh - Cu Chi
Feb 37 589
Mar 8 175
Apr 1 28
Total 46 792
Cu Chi - Duc Hoa
Feb 9 67
Mar 12 106
Apr 8 79
Total 29 252
2. The Division Transportation Section coordinates the requirements for US Air Force airlift for unit movement and resupply in support of operations. Airlift data concerning USAF support is as follows:
MONTH CARGO TROOPS SORTIES
Feb 310 12,743 670
Mar 494 17,395 840
Apr 274 13,490 848
Total 1,078 43,628 2,358
3. The Division Transportation Office continued to operate the hold baggage sections at Cu Chi, Tay Ninh and Dau Tieng. At the end of the reporting period a contractor from Saigon Headquarters Area Command undertook the Cu Chi mission while the Division Transportation Office continued with the Dau Tieng and Tay Ninh mission. Data concerning the Division baggage section is as follows:
MONTH PERSONNEL PROVIDED SERVICE PIECES WEIGHT (LBS)
Feb 679 988 84,428
Mar 861 1,232 101,259
Apr 760 1,181 57,944
Total 2,300 3,401 243,631
Air Traffic activity at the Cu Chi Airfield is summarized below:
Rotary Wing 159,236 hours
Fixed Wing 6,920 hours
Total Activity 166,156 hours
4. The helicopter re-arm point was destroyed during an enemy attack on Cu Chi Base Camp on 26 February 1969. A new facility was put into operation on 17 March 1969. A summary issue of experience for the reported period is as follows:
2.75 Rocket 38,619 ea
40mm 36,220 rds
7.62 Ctg. 1,825,225 rds
Flares 5,414 ea
5. Aviation fuel expenditures from the Cu Chi AAF aircraft fuel service activity are as follows::
JP / 4 2,181,230 gallons
AVGAS 43,250 gallons
6, The Cu Chi runway was closed on 14 April 1969 for resurfacing. A 1400 foot strip was kept open for use of CV7A and lighter aircraft during the construction period.
(e) (C ) 25th Supply and Transport Battalion.
1. The 25th Supply and Transport Battalion continued its logistical support missions
for all units operating within the divisional area of operations. Additional support requirements were experienced when the US Naval facility at Go Dau Ha was picked up as a permanent customer, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment operated out of Dau Tieng for approximately ten weeks, and elements of the 1st Cavalry `Division moved into and out of the division area as required. Command emphasis was placed on purging excesses and salvage from the area of operations. Major re-warehousing and inventory projects were undertaken to isolate excesses and prepare for the rainy season. Command emphasis was also placed on truck maintenance to reduce the deadline rate for all wheeled vehicles. A large amount of effort was expended isolating particular Class II & IV line items for which customer demands existed while continued zero balances were experienced. A serious deficiency was noted with expendable supplies.
2. Class I Supply
a. On Hand Status: A - Rations C - Rations
Stockage Objectives (days) 3 10
On hand (days) 3 12.5
b. Rations issued (for Cu Chi and Dau Tieng):
c. The drop in rations issued was due to the transfer of non-divisional troops
who were operating in the division area of operations.
d.. The issue at Cu Chi is for divisional and non-divisional units at Cu Chi and Dau Tieng, who are operating in the divisional area of operations.
e. Issues to Tay Ninh divisional units are accomplished by the 277th S&S Battalion, a 1st Logistical Command unit, as part of their area support mission in Tay Ninh.
3. Class II & IV
a. Deletions to ASL during quarter: 168
b. Total lines on ASL: 3,753
c. ASL Status: Feb. Mar Apr
ASL Lines Stocked 3,804 3,360 3,753
ASL Lines Zero Balance
With Due Out 1,240 650 382
Total Requests Received 16,814 14,124 13,965
Total Requests Received
For ASL 14,709 12,303 13,965
Total Requests Filled ASL 9,352 8,220 8,066
Total Request Priority 1 - 10 1,322 932 576
Total Warehouse Refusals 254 78 23
Units Supported 84 84 84
Per Cent Demand Accommodation 87.4 84.2 84.6
Per Cent Demand Satisfaction 62.8 66.8 56
4. Class III
Consumption rates (gallons) Daily Quarterly
JP/4 Cu Chi 36,220.5 3,158,195
Dau Tieng 13,533.3 1,228,000
Duc Hoa 7,9003.3 711.300
Tay Ninh 47,512.0 4,276,100
AVGAS Cu Chi 756.9 68,935
Dau Tieng 191.1 18,400
Duc Hoa 211.8 19,070
Tay Ninh 576.0 51,900
Diesal Cu Chi 19,368.1 2,643,135
Dau Tieng 6,044.4 551,000
Tay Ninh 17,977.0 1,549,000
a. Graves Registration::
Deceased US Military Personnel processed: 396
US Civilian Personnel processed, 1
ARVN Personnel processed 72
Vietnamese Civilian Personnel processed 55
Enemy Personnel processed 5
Total processed 529
b. Laundry Contact (bundles): 19,719
c QM Bath Section
Total Showers 120,240
Daily Average 60,150
d. Duc Hoa Rearm Point Ammunition Issues:
2.75 Rocket 7,827
Cal .50 14,600
e. Dau Tieng Rearm Point Ammunition Issues:;.
2.75 Rocket 6,078
f. Tay Ninh Rearm Point Ammunition Issues:
2.75 Rocket 15,408
Cal .50 4,800
g. Salvage Retrograde Summary:
Leads Feb Mar Apr Total
Cu Chi S&P's 103 104 75 282
Low Boys 2 11 29 42
Dau Tieng S&P's 35 35 49 119
Low Boys 3 3 6 12
h. Transportation Utilization Summary:
Total Mileage: 147,035
Average Mileage per day: 1,652
Total Tonnage: 15,813
Average per day: 177.7
7.Other Significant Activities:
a. A complete wall to wall inventory of the Class II and IV yard was conducted
b. The DSU Improvement Program was implemented as directed by 1st Logistical Command. Within this program the following was accomplished:
Project Clean: To determine the validity of requirements and postings in both automated and manual supply and maintenance DSU's: The 25th S&T began the project on 17 Mar '69 and completed the project on 27 Apr '69. The following was accomplished:
Number of cards reviewed 3641
Number of errors corrected 581
Number of requisition canceled 192
Value of canceled requisitions submitted $61,985.00
Number of new requisitions submitted 1424
Value of new requisitions $1,827,654.48
Project Count: To improve the validity of storage locators and the balances reflected on stock record cards: The first phase is the accomplishment of an accurate location survey (95%) followed by 100% inventory with at least 90% accuracy between actual balances on hand and those reflected on stock record cards.
Number of storage locator cards at start of location survey 2129
Number of lines surveyed 1959
Number of lines in agreement with storage location 1940
Number of new lines identified and recorded 257
Number of storage locator cards at completion of location survey N/A
Not started pending completion of location survey.
Project Rags: Reconciliation of requests / requisitions to assure each is valid and that materiel is continuous in nature. Each unit reconciles their requests each 30 days. The DSO receives a machine print-out of valid dues-out from the depot. Reconciliation with depot is accomplished quarterly.
c. Large excesses of Class I, II and IV were purged from the Dau Tieng Forward Support area. These totaled 212 ASL Lines in the amount of $96,750.62
d. During the past quarter, 461 excess line items were retrograded from Cu Chi to depot stock. Total dollar value of these items was $727,750.62
e. The training program for helicopter external lift continued with monthly classes sponsored by 25th S&T Battalion and 25th Aviation Battalion. Each class trained approximately 40 personnel.
f. With personnel augmentation provided from the 383rd Parachute Detachment, the S&T Battalion parachute rigger personnel conducted an on site inspection and inventory of each divisional unit's air delivery equipment. A survey of air delivery sling use indicated that slings used infrequently may retain several additional months of service life. Authority was granted for up to an additional six months service life if the sling has been properly maintained, and is classified serviceable.
(f) 725th Maintenance Battalion.
(1) During the reporting period, the 725th Maintenance Battalion continued to provide direct support maintenance and repair parts support to the division in all its operations. Command emphasis was placed upon isolation of excesses and re-warehousing in preparation for the rainy season. Implementation of the DSU improvement program was accomplished with the following result as of the end of the reporting period.
(a) Project Clean: Completed
15,387 cards reviewed
7,089 correction posted
2,507 requisitions canceled
7,270 requisitions initiated
205,615 dollars value of canceled requisitions
800,789 dollars value of requisitions initiated
(b) Project Count: Location survey - Company E waived as a result of 96% locator accuracy on spot checks. Remainder of tech supply survey 40% completed. Inventory Company E 20% completed, remainder of tech supply 5% complete.
(c) Project Strip: Has identified over 300 fringe items in the Company A tech supply yard.
(2) Two new items of equipment were fielded by the Division during this period: The M551 Sheridan and XM706 Commando Car. In both cases the support push package failed to arrive in sufficient time to effect a smooth introduction of the item into the units.
(3) Operations: The following jobs were completed by this Battalion during the reporting period.
ITEM FEB MAR APR (As of 26th) TOTAL
Wheel Vehicles 175 263 220 658
Track Vehicles 124 156 96 376
Small Arms 673 1185 743 2601
Artillery 103 61 57 221
Engineer 23 37 26 86
Generators 120 207 137 464
Signal 1839 2378 2063 6280
Office Machines 155 115 96 366
Other 242 354 302 898
Aircraft 243 283 148 674
Totals 3697 5093 3888 12,624
(a) An all time low backlog figure of 243 was reached on 29 April 1969. This represents about 1-1/2 days work.
(b) New turn-in procedures for unserviceable items were implemented by Ch #2 to the 725th Maintenance Battalion External SOP.
(c) During the period, required repair parts generally became more plentiful as evidenced by reduced backlog rates.
(d) Performance data during this period reflects the improvement made to the entire system. Demand accommodation continued at about the 80% level, but demand satisfaction increased to 48%. This increase was accomplished in spite of the zero balance rate increasing from 30% to 50%. Requisition volume increased from about 15,000 to over 20,000 per month.
(e) A complete location survey was conducted by Company “A” Tech Supply. Over 5,000 excess items were identified and shipping action was initiated.
(f) All external stored supplies have been elevated for drainage and provisions made for overhead shelter in preparation for the rainy season.
(g) Automotive: Certain critical repair parts continue to be the primary cause of dead-lining vehicles in the Division. These are:
Fuel Pumps 2910-678-1856
Major assemblies such as engines, transfers, transmissions
Water Pumps 2930-632-4048
CV Boots 2530-741-0883
Torque Rods 3110-100-1720
Injector Pumps 2910-968-6317
Cross members and the special hardened bolts
CV Boots 2530-832-7123
Injector Pumps 2910-017-9778
Torque Rods 2530-784-1722
Front Axles 2520-904-5537
Power Steering Pump 2530-924-3075
(h) The deadline rate for generator sets has decreased considerably since the 1st reporting period. The biggest factor that has contributed to this is the increased emphasis being placed by units in performing their organizational maintenance responsibilities. In addition, a formal training program for all generator operators and supervisors has been initiated. Resupply of many critical generator repair parts continues at a very slow rate, However, the closed loop support program should more than compensate for this handicap.
(i) The inability to obtain many repair parts for construction and heavy lift equipment greatly handicaps the expedient repair and return to user of critically needed equipment. Critical repair parts that are in short supply for engineer equipment are listed below:
NAME END ITEM FSN
Packing Leader, scoop H900H 5330-820-0761
Seal “ 2530-798-4690
Injection Pump “ 645M 2910-111-2622 Fan Belt “ H9COM 3030-290-6712
Power Steering “ 645 P/N3050882-4
Lift, left “ “ 3805-043-0199
Lift, right “ “ 3805-010-0199
Filter 250 CEM Compressor 4030-907-6932
Speed Control Valve “ “ 2920-930-5694
Transmission Forklift MLT-LCH 3010-999-4761
Pump, Fuel “ MHE 199 3920-922-6559
Pump, Assembly “ “ 2815-930-5694
Cam Follower “ “ 3930-939-0615
Ignition Kit 3KW Generator Set 2920-575-3504
Coil “ “ 2920-342-3783
Ignition Repair Kit “ “ 2920-225-4841
Points “ “ 2920-575-5395
Gen Assy (AC) 1.5 KW Gen Set 6115-903-5395
(j) During the 90 day period concerned aircraft operational ready availability has remained at 78%. This was a drop of about 2% over the previous period with a maximum availability of 84% and minimum of 73% during the period. Three (3) areas of concern have caused fluctuation during the period. The tail rotor assembly on the Ch6A has had numerous tip cap bonding separations. To date twenty-one (21) equipment improvement reports have been submitted, and answers received indicated a design engineering change in progress. No date is available as to when improved items will be in the supply system. The only solution at present is to replace the defective assembly.
Aircraft lube oil MIL-L-7808 has been in short supply. Due to the critical shortage, an effort was made to change as many components as possible to the new improved MIL-L-23699 lube oil. There were considerable differences of opinion as to which components could be converted without damaging or contaminating the item. At present OH6A's are using only MIL-L-23699. The UH-1 type aircraft are using 12699 in the engines, however the gear boxes and main transmission have no authority at this time for conversion to the new type oil. Change over authorization is still pending outcome of message from USARV to AVCO.
The third area contributing to the fluctuation is availability. An aircraft which is a candidate for the 2200 hour Rebuild Program may reach its turn-in point during the later part of the reporting period. When the aircraft is turned in, all operational hours are transferred with the aircraft, thus an aircraft which has had a high operational availability status for the period will not be reflected on the monthly Army Aircraft Inventory Status and Flying Time Report (DA 1253) for the unit during the month. The gaining organization is required to report the aircraft status for the month.
(k) Prior to the arrival of the first SHERIDAN near the end of January, the project team came over to brief all personnel on the method of handling the push packages, de-processing, crew and DSU training, etc. The original concept was to train the entire 3 /4 Cavalry Squadron and the DSU, break out and process all repair parts and then send the vehicles into combat. Eighteen Sheridans arrived at the end of January. B Troop was trained for one week and was deployed on 8 February, 1969 when the ammunition arrived. At this time DSU training had not been started. The PLL and ASL had just arrived and had not been sorted or stored. The NETT team was forced to do all maintenance as well as training, disrupting and delaying the interim training program by several weeks.
The next troop, A Troop, became operational one week later on about 14 February 1969. Vehicles started to come in for repair with leaking recoil seals. The remainder of the vehicles arrived on 15 February 1969 to make a total of 27 vehicles and 3 float vehicles. Six days later almost all of the vehicles were observed to have leaking recoil seals. An Allison representative later verified that the leaks had been caused by a manufacturer's defect in one of the brass rings. This sudden increase in the deadline rate further upset the training. Seals were not in country. A special shipment was made primarily through the efforts of LTC Barrowclough, the head of the M551 project team. He acquired seals after a period of 10 days and the deadline rate was reduced.
During the operation of the Sheridans, it was discovered that many more Turret Power Supplies were burning out than had been anticipated. The reason for this has still not been positively determined. However, it is believed to be caused by keeping the Turret Power on at all times while on an operation. This is necessary because the firing circuit requires a 20 second warm-up time, a delay which can be fatal in combat. Some power supplies have come in. The last few requisitions were canceled without action because WECOM expects this theater to be able to rebuild these items. Approximately 60 repair parts and some highly sensitive electronic equipment is required to accomplish this, although almost all the parts are available at organization or DS level.
Upon reaching 700 to 1000 miles, noticeable wear was encountered on the pulleys and fan belt. The fan tower and generator pulleys are aluminum. It is believed they are too soft to withstand the abrasive effect of the dust. Although attempts have been made to expedite the shipment of this part, to this date no results have been seen. In the current engine failure problem, five engines have been burned out due to poor filters. Improper cleaning of the filter by pounding it against the hull has dented the filter allowing dirt to pass around the filter and into the engine. The proper method; of cleaning requires a high pressure air hose. As this is not available, the units have been cleaning the filters by holding them in front of the gun tube and using the scavenger system to blow out the dust.
In all cases and on all problems we have contacted all persons involved with the M551 project, requesting assistance. The problems have been discussed with Major Wilkerson of 1st Logistical Command, Captain Burndot, Project Control Officer, and through Division G4 to USARV G4. Assistance was rendered by technical representatives from various commands and the manufacturer involved with each problem. Each of these various departments have been going through channels in an attempt to solve the problems and acquire repair parts. At present the parts needed are en route to RVN. However, the present problem is magnified as the units have been changing parts from deadlined vehicles to keep others running in the field, so that actually each of the 216 vehicles presently deadlined will need an air filter, pulleys, and belts, and power supply.
(l) The density of AN/PPS-5 radars has increased to sixteen (16). The overall support for this radar set has improved but there still exists some problem areas. Many repair men are not school trained. Repair parts supply is inadequate because of the non-availability of certain parts. Many parts are obtained through Company E Technical Representative in Long Binh. The 147th LEM Company also supplies repair parts, and repair and return programs provide some parts. In that maintenance at the direct support level is hampered due to the lack of repair parts and school trained personnel, radars have been evacuated to a higher maintenance level, thus causing further delay in returning the radar to an operable status.
H. (C) Revolutionary Development:
(1) (C) The new concept in size and management of the Revolutionary Development Cadre Teams, reducing them to 30 man teams has been fully implemented throughout the TAOI. The new, smaller teams are currently under the control of the village councils rather than directly under the control of Provincial Headquarters. The Cadre teams are provided security by PF platoons stationed in the local areas along with their organic resources. There are presently 64 Cadre teams in the TAOI. The increase of 29 teams during the reporting period was largely due to creation of 30 man teams from the original 509 member teams. There are now 40 teams in the Tay Ninh Province, 20 in Hau Nghia Province, and four in Phu Hoa and d Tri Tam Districts of Binh Duong Province.
(2) (C) The MACV Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) remains the principal means of measuring progress of pacification within the TAOI. Currently the overall US category ratings for the TAOI are:
CATEGGORY HAMLET POPULATION PERCENT
A 0 0 00,00
B 78 242,368 46.00
C 134 227,383 43.00
D 28 32,223 06.00
E 7 6,415 01.00
V 40 24,231 04.00
ABANDONED 111 0 00.00
TOTALS 398 532,620 100.00
The above ratings imply that essentially 90 per cent of the population of the TAOI is under GVN control in terms of security and revolutionary development. Two thirds of the remainder live in at least a contested environment and barely three per cent of the total hamlet population is recognized as living predominantly under VC control.
(3) (C) In ;order to assert control in contested areas and marginal hamlets, the GVN has initiated the 1969 Pacification and Development Plan. It is designed to up-grade security in target hamlets by the use of village governmental assets. Presently there are 73 hamlets targeted for priority in local pacification efforts which are to be measured in terms of HES security ratings. These include hamlets in every district except Phu Khuong, Their current status is:
HAMLET SECURITY CATEGORY NUMBER OF HAMLETS
I. (C) Civic Action:
(1) The CIVAC program expressed at district level by the actions of the S5 of the US battalion stationed in that district has enjoyed considerable success during this reporting period. CIVAC projects have been planned, coordinated and accomplished more efficiently through the employment of the combined personnel of the 25th Infantry Division, VACV teams and GVN agencies, and units located in each district. Coordination and cooperation in the field has never been as effective during earlier periods when responsibilities were not well fixed for given units, and personal relationships between G5/S5 personnel and their counterparts were not close and were of brief duration.
(2) On the evening of 25 January 1969, the hamlets Ap Binh Hoa, A and B, (XT3466186) Binh Thanh Village, Hieu Thien District, Tay Ninh Province were attacked by the Viet Cong and 230 houses were destroyed. During the months of February and March, this command supplied 22,000 board feet of dunnage lumber and 78,600 board feet of new lumber to reconstruct the lost homes. To date the majority of the houses have been rebuilt under the supervision of the new District Chief of Hieu Thien, Major Tuan.
(3) In early March 1969, this office became involved in one of the largest resettlement operations in its history. In the Michelin Plantation, Binh Dong Province, 2129 persons were evacuated from six Viet Cong dominated hamlets and resettled, 1250 in Dau Tieng itself, and the remainder in Ap 2 Hamlet (XT512487). Originally, resettlement had been considered for a population of only 1250. One hundred ten housing units were provided the evacuees and the prefabricated structures were transported to the construction site where they were erected with 25th Division technical assistance. The 3rd Bde, 25th Division, continues to work in connection with Tri Tam District officials in the further support of the evacuees as required.
(4) MEDCAPS have been numerous during this reporting period with a total of 723 MEDCAPS conducted during the quarter, and 56,389 patients treated during those MEDCAPS. Further, there have been new developments in the concept of the conduct and purpose of MEDCAP projects. The combination of intelligence and PSYOP elements with the standard complement of medical and security personnel is designed to produce intelligence from targeted contested areas in which the new MEDCAP program will be concentrated. Finally, in late April, an outbreak of plague took place in Cu Chi District, but was quickly contained by reaction from Mr. Minh, District Health Chief with the aid of the Division Surgeon and ACofS, G5. A total of 10,843 Vietnamese were inoculated by District health Officials and 25th Division medics. The Entomology Section of Pacific Architects and Engineers dusted Phoc Vinh Ninh and Tan An Hoi villages, including 1828 dwellings of 8486 inhabitants.
(5) Construction: During the quarter, a considerable amount of effort has gone into the reconstruction of dwellings destroyed by VC activities, and in general improvement of living standards in targeted hamlets: road improvement, capping of wells, improvement of market places and health facilities. During the reporting period, the following projects were completed: 126.3 Km of road was constructed or repaired, 11 bridges were completed, 534 dwellings, 11 churches, 34 dispensaries, 4 market places, and 33 schools were completed.
(6) Distributions were made to Vietnamese civilians in the following categories and quantities from 1 Feb 69 to 30 Apr 69: 182,439 board feet of lumber were distributed throughout the TAOI along with 684 sheets of tin, 60,000 pounds of cement and 151,117 pounds of food.
(7) Civic Action Imprest Fund expenditures totaled 1,174,538 $VN for the quarter. This sum was largely expended in support of construction projects and distributions to schools and other public institutions.
J. (C) PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS (PSYOP)
(1) PSYOP activities were in support of operations conducted in Tay Ninh and Hau Nghia Provinces, and Tri Tam and Phu Hoa Districts of Binh Duong Province.
(2) A total of 93,751,753 leaflets were disseminated in the Division TAOI. This is an increase of 22,511,753 leaflets over the last reporting period. Thirty-six leaflets were developed and printed by the ACofS, G5 while 24 leaflets were developed and produced by the 6th PSYOP Bn. For the Division.
(3) During the reporting period, 745 hours of air and ground loud-speaker broadcasts were conducted. This represents a 73 hours increase over the last reporting period.
(4) The PSYOP effort toward civilians remained at approximately the same level as the previous quarters. However, increased emphasis was placed on encouraging civilians to report mines and booby traps. The increased PSYOP activity was directed toward specific NVA units. A total of 257 Hoi Chanhs rallied to the GVN, an increase of 163 Hoi Chanh from the previous quarter. The increase in the number of Hoi Chanhs can be attributed to the increase in the number of contacts.
(5) Enemy forces, particularly the NVA, were contacted frequently during the reporting period.
The G5 keeps PSYOP order of battle books on all battalion size or larger units which habitually operate in the TAOI. These books contain such information as unit organization, history, recent contact, PSYOP vulnerabilities as reported by Hoi Chanhs, POW's and captured documents, and a record of psychological operations conducted against the unit. A special leaflet was developed for use against specific enemy units. A general message is printed on one side. As soon as the enemy is contacted and identified, a plate is made and the other side of the leaflet is printed. This side identifies the enemy unit by its previous contact. In this manner, the leaflet must pass through the press only once before delivery, and it is still directed to the enemy unit in contact. When an enemy unit is identified in contact, a loudspeaker tape is made immediately. Approximately 10,000 of the leaflets described above are printed and a mission is flown into the area of contact using the first available aircraft. The Division immediate reaction is followed up within 24-48 hours.
2. SECTION II, LESSONS LEARNED: Commanders' Observations, Evaluations, and Recommendations::
(1) (U) ITEM: Control of personnel Movement On and Around Helipads and Helicopters.
(a) OBSERVATION: During the reporting period there have been numerous incidents
of personnel being severely injured by moving helicopter rotor blades.
(b) EVALUATION: This has been especially true with the OH-6A. There are several reasons for these incidents. Unlike the UH-1, the OH-6A has no crew chief to guide individuals to the ship and; help them load and unload. The main rotor is quite low which, when combined with a cumbersome passenger entrance to the aircraft, presents a hazardous situation for a tall individual.
(c ) RECOMMENDATION: To minimize exposure to personnel injury the following actions are recommended whenever feasible.
1. Designate specific locations for passenger entry onto helipads.
2.. Designate specific helicopter parking spaces.
3.. Establish “Safe Walk” lanes between 1 and 2 above.
4. Publicize passenger loading procedures that stress appropriate approaches to the helicopter.
5. Use crew-members to guide and assist passengers during loading.
6. Install warning signs around helipads which alert personnel to the hazards of
turning rotor blades.
(2) (U) ITEM: Authorized Grade of Graves Registration Section Sergeant
(a) OBSERVATION: The current MTO&E 10-7G (Company A S&T Battalion) authorized an E-6 (NCO) as Graves Registration Section Sergeant. Graves Registration sections organized under MTO&E 10-7H such as the 1st Air Cavalry Division, are authorized a grade of E-7 (NCO).
(b) EVALUATION: Due to the critical and sensitive nature of Graves Registration activities and degree of technical knowledge necessary, the responsibilities of Graves Registration Section Sergeant require an authorized grade of E-7 (NCO).
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That the grade level of the Graves Registration Section Sergeant be up-graded to E-7 (NCO).
(3) (U) ITEM: Aviation Maintenance MTO&E Action.
(a) OBSERVATION: Numerous MOS DEFICIENCIES EXIST IN THE Shop Supervisor MOS 67440. In addition a few minor changes were required to align present MOS authorization with those required to support aircraft currently assigned to the 25th Infantry Division.
(b) EVALUATION: A request has been submitted to update the present TO&E 55 as
Changed by MTO&E USARPAC 55-089G to reflect the last changes in AR 611-301. Requested changes will not alter the present grade or strength authorization.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Action be taken through command channels on the recommendation made by the 725th Maintenance Battalion.
(4) (U) ITEM: Effectiveness of a Stand Down.
(a) OBSERVATION: Periodically, units of this Brigade are granted a one to three-day stand down in Tay Ninh Base Camp, during which no combat requirements are given. The personnel are required to perform only essential maintenance and then are released.
(b) EVALUATION: The morale ;of the units rises significantly, increasing the operating effectiveness of the units. All too often a unit's effectiveness has been decreased by a prolonged period of combat operations with no break
(c) RECOMMENDATION: A regularly scheduled stand down should be SOP.
(5) (C) ITEM: More Effective Use of Scout Dog Personnel.
(a) OBSERVATION: Scout dog personnel are not utilized to maximum when in support of infantry battalions.
(b) EVALUATION: Personnel attached to an infantry battalion may not do anything significant for a period of several days. Scout dog teams may be attached to a unit that has no scout dog related missions.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That scout dog teams be controlled by the battalion S-3 or TOC and attached to those units that have a definite need for the teams.
(1) (C) ITEM: Psychological Operations at the Battalion Level.
(a) OBSERVATION: The VCI Team has initiated the use of personalized propaganda leaflets to increase the number of VCO “Chieu Hois”. Using Kit Carson Scouts, notes addressed to the VC by name are left with VC families whenever a US element is in the area. The notes are hand-written and signed by Kit Carson Scouts or “Chieu Hoi” from the immediate area, and they urge the targeted individual to rally to an allied outpost or face constant harassment until he is eventually captured or killed.
(b) EVALUATION: During the first week of this leaflet's use, 28 Chieu Hoi were recorded by ARVN units, and credited to our PSYOPS program. Harassment caused by allied units constantly returning to the targeted VC's family or by ambush patrols around the house is an important element in the program. This brings the war to a personal level. It singles out one man and destroys the security he has previously had by being an anonymous member of a group. While not usually effective against the hardened cadre, this program is successful against the lower echelons of the VC organization. - that majority with dwindling motivation and little ideological conviction.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Kit Carson Scouts be utilized to implement this “personal war” against the VCI at the battalion level. Together with the S2, this program can be expanded and its success amplified at the district level.
(2) (C) ITEM: Evening Stay-Behind Ambush Element:
(a) OBSERVATION: The VCI Exploitation Team has established the evening stay-behind ambush element as an effective means of countering the VCI. Merged with the standard infantry unit, the VCI Team, with an infantry squad for security and firepower, drops out of the main infantry body as it moves through a vegetated area, and deploys in and around a known VC cadre's home between 1530 and 1900 hours. Observing fire discipline, the security element allows the targeted VC to enter his home where he is surrounded and captured. Kit Carson Scouts are used to get all curious passers-by into the target's house to avoid a breach of security prior to the cadre's arrival.
(b) EVALUATION: This operation's effectiveness is dependent upon secrecy of deployment, continued secrecy of the patrol while deployed and strict fire discipline. It has yielded good results when properly employed because: 1. The VC move between 1600 and 1900 hours, and 2. The VC maintain strong family ties, and will continue to return home to see their families and have dinner on a regular basis.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Infantry units, under S2; direction, should establish the stay-behind ambush as a tool for countering the VCI and for maintaining continuous pressure on VCI at all hours of the day.
(3) (C) ITEM: Control of the Lift Element During the Combat Assault.
(a) OBSERVATION: Recent experience has shown the need for a more effective method of control of the lift element during combat assault operations.
(b) EVALUATION: It has been this unit's (25th Avn Bn) practice in the past to confine all coordination between the command and control aircraft, the supporting gunships and the lift element to the Air Mission Commander on board the C and C aircraft. At times this has resulted in the lift element receiving incomplete data concerning the requirements of the lifted unit, and the specific instructions on such items as winds, terrain in the landing zone, enemy activity, etc. To eliminate this problem, a procedure has been developed whereby control of the lift element is turned over from the Air Mission Commander to the supporting Fire Team Leader at the release point. The Fire Team Leader, having already made a reconnaissance of the LZ, provides the lift element Flight Leader with all required data for the assault portion of the flight. Using a locally devised card format, all information concerning the terrain to be encountered, azimuths of approach, landing and departure, troop loading or off-loading procedures, location of friendly elements, areas of possible enemy activity and essential rules of engagement are transmitted with a minimum of delay and confusion.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That all units concerned with combat assault operations consider utilizing this method of final coordination.
(4) (C) ITEM: Techniques for Defeating Enemy .51 caliber Anti-Aircraft fire with the Helicopter Gunships.
(a) OBSERVATION: With increasing frequency enemy offensive operations are protected by intense anti-aircraft fire.
(b) EVALUATION: During the quarter this unit has encountered enemy .51 caliber anti-aircraft fire habitually employed in a triangular pattern directly adjacent to or along the axis of their main ground attack. By this method of employment they can fire effectively in support of their ground attack and simultaneously engage fire teams during their firing passes from any angle. In order to defeat this anti-aircraft threat, the following techniques have been developed. The wing ship orbits at a relatively safe altitude out of the effective range of the anti-aircraft fires. The lead ship clears the air space in his sector below 1500 feet AGL for his exclusive use, and then blacks out all lights. He is then free to make his firing passes from different angles and altitudes in order to deceive the enemy as to his actual location. Additional deception is gained by varying the length of firing runs and direction of breaks. Long bursts of machine gun fire should be avoided because experience has shown that the enemy will orient his fires on the point of origin of prolonged fires. After the fire team leader has fired a majority of his ordnance, he exchanges positions with his wing ship who repeats the procedures. If the low ship is detected , the high ship should employ long range fires in a covering role.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That any G5/S5 element approached with requests for support of civilian evacuation and refugee projects, insure that the requesting GVN or US agencies have exhausted their own resources and all political personages who may become involved in the projects are properly consulted.
(6) (C) ITEM: Use of Salt as a Defoliant.
(a) OBSERVATION: Captured salt can be used effectively to defoliate fields of fire.
(b) EVALUATION: Fields of fire grow back up shortly after they are cleared. Therefore, clearing fields of fire becomes a never ending job at locations that exist for periods of time.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The use of salt that has been captured will keep vegetation from growing, and alleviate the time consuming process of clearing fields of fire.
(7) (C) ITEM: Conditions Conducive to Increasing the Number of Ralliers:
(a) OBSERVATION: Ralliers to the Chieu Hoi Program have in the past been averaging approximately four per month in the 3rd Brigade area of operations. From 15 March to 30 April, the Brigade has received thirty-eight (38) ralliers.
(b) EVALUATION: No one reason can be attributed to this marked increase in ralliers. The increase is a result of many conditions which, when they chronologically concur, cause improved results. Some of these conditions are:
1. Security provided to Vietnamese civilians as a result of moving the families from VC controlled areas to secure areas, which happened in the Michelin move.
2. A separation of VC and their families as a result of such a move.
3. The ability and skill of the ARVN PSYOP Team to establish rapport with the people and thereby persuade them of the merits of the Chieu Hoi Program. This confidence was in turn passed on to the VC though their families.
4. Timely and effective use of loudspeaker and leaftlet operations exploiting the men that did rally.
5. A divisive wedge being driven between the VC and NVA as a result of VC discontent stemming from being used primarily as laborers by the NVA.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Relocation of villagers into secure areas offers maximum exploitation of the Chieu Hoi Program which results in a greatly increased number of ralliers.
(8) (C) ITEM: Securing Unmanned Bunkers Against Enemy Use.
(a) OBSERVATION: Supplemental perimeter bunkers which are unmanned during normal alert status offer excellent cover if secured by the enemy.
(b) EVALUATION: Perimeter bunkers are mutually supporting. Unmanned perimeter bunkers pose a threat if captured. An enemy held bunker within the perimeter greatly reduces the effectiveness of the defense by providing the enemy a substantial gap for exploiting with reserves.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That unmanned perimeter bunkers by secured by locked doors (with keys kept in adjacent bunkers in event that increased alert posture requires a greater number of bunkers).
(9) (C) ITEM: Preference for Searchlights over Illumination Devices in Base Camp Defense:
(a) OBSERVATION: For base camp defense, several centrally located 100' tower mounted searchlights appear more effective than the use of illumination ordnance.
(b) EVALUATION: The advantages of searchlight illumination over ordnance illumination are as follows:
1. No forewarning of illumination for the enemy
2. Illumination reaction time greatly reduced.
3. No variable compensations required for wind, rain, etc.
4. Capability of providing three (3) hours continuous illumination
5. Vast cost reduction on illumination ordnance…
6. Greater safety. (No falling illumination debris to hit friendly troops or civilians.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That base camps be provided tower mounted searchlights as a primary means of on-call illumination, and, that high powered infra-red binoculars be provided for use with the Xenon infra-red light source.
(10) (C) ITEM: Pick-up and Landing Zones:
(a) OBSERVATION: The enemy rapidly “zeros-in” on landing zones for troop lifts, dustoffs and resupply. Units use one LZ/PZ for several hours and place excessive smoke in the vicinity.
(b) EVALUATION: When troops move after one resupply drop, receive a second drop at another location, the vulnerability to mortar fire is greatly reduced.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That units move rapidly between and after landing and pick-up zones. That the requirement for “continuous smoke” for identification be reduced to the minimum acceptable level by aviation units.
(11) (C) ITEM: Hedgerow Clearing:
(a) OBSERVATION: Requirement for an efficient method of reducing hedgerow
(b) EVALUATION: A problem exists in search and clear operations of hedgerow complexes. The usual methods result in exposing one flank of the friendly troops to enemy forces that may be hidden in the hedgerows.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: This problem may be relieved by setting up two bases of fire in front of two adjacent sides of the complex. The infantry is then sent in to search those two sides in a cloverleaf pattern while their flanks are protected.
(12) (C) ITEM: Mounted Ambush Patrols:
(a) OBSERVATION: Mounted ambush patrols produce very meager result.
(b) EVALUATION: Enemy forces are able to hear and observe mounted patrols and avoid them, hence no results are obtained.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Vehicles should be used as rapid reaction force for dismounted ambush patrols. This permits contact to be made and maintained by the dismounted group who can then be reinforced by the mounted group as necessary. This technique has been employed successfully on eight (8) occasions by this unit during the reporting period.
(13) (C) ITEM: Techniques of Clearing a Hedgerow.
(a) OBSERVATION: It has proven impractical to search and clear a hedgerow complex without securing all vegetated areas systematically before entering open areas.
(b) EVALUATION: Initially, the point element must enter the hedgerow at one corner, moving into it, checking it out thoroughly and clearing it for a distance of 7 to 10 meters in both directions. Then an additional element can enter the hedgerow and establish an automatic weapons position to support the continuing movement of the point element. Once the corners are secured, elements can move in a leapfrog manner, constantly covering each other. This will provide us with an element always in position to roll up the enemy's flank should he engage us from any given hedgerow. This unit will be supported by its adjacent unit which will always be able to support by fire. The roles will constantly be switching back and forth and movement should be continuous. Once the hedgerows have been cleared, the remainder of the elements can move into the open areas between the hedgerows and thoroughly search hootches and the adjacent areas. To preclude unnecessary casualties, no one should b permitted to enter a complex until the hedgerows have been cleared.
(c) RECOMMENDATION:L That the above method of clearing a hedgerow be considered as an effective means of securing the area with a minimum of casualties.
(14) (C) ITEM: Tactical Purpose of LP's:
(a) OBSERVATION: It should be realized that LP's are established for early warning for a perimeter and are not to mistakenly assume the stature of an AP. However, steps should be taken to equip and prepare the LP to engage the enemy.
(b) EVALUATION: The commander must closely study the terrain surrounding a Patrol Base or Fire Support Base and choose the terrain features where LP's must be employed in order to deny access to the enemy. The LP element should move to its pre-determined site after dark, having already laid WD-1 wire and buried it at least 6 inches during the daylight hours. The element should carry a field telephone and an AN/PRC-25 radio, a double basic load of ammo, a strobe light, multicolored flares, a hand-held Starlight scope and entrenching tools. Upon reaching the sire, both wire and radio communications should be established.
The element must then establish itself in such a position as to be able to observe 360 degrees. All danger areas must be kept under constant surveillance, keeping in mind that any slight terrain feature, be it an eight inch berm or six inches of grass, must be considered a danger area. The element must then dig into a defensive posture as much as possible under the conditions of stealth. Should enemy movement be heard or sighted, instantaneous accurate reports must be rendered to the commander. The commander must then decide the degrees of danger to his element and the probability of compromise of their position. He must then decide whether withdrawal action is necessary.
If this action is taken, all necessary coordination with friendly elements should be pre-planned and he must assure that all coordination has been adhered to without exception. It should be noted that the element must never engage the enemy force unless it is afforded no other alternative. If this is the situation, and the element should engage the enemy, the dug-in position and all equipment should be in a ready status and the commander should utilize all support necessary to safely withdraw his element back to the defensive position.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: LP's must be well planned and coordinated but at no time should assume the characteristics of an ambush patrol.
(15) (C) ITEM: Holding-area Prior to AP:
(a) OBSERVATION: this unit has effectively used the tactic of moving an ambush patrol into a holding area prior to the hours of darkness and having the patrol go through the motions of establishing a night ambush position. This technique has proven to be quite effective in populated areas and or “stay-behind” type ambushes.
(b) EVALUATION: When elements are employed in a “stay-behind” ambush or moved into an ambush site after a day sweep, it is quite probable that its location is known by the on-looking enemy or by intelligence-passing civilians. If the element moves into an ambush position during daylight hours and sets up at that location for the night, their location in most cases has been observed and is thus compromised. The element may be subject to an indirect fire attack, a sniper or ground attack, or a counter-ambush upon move-out from the site the next day.
To avoid such possibilities, the element should move into a holding area within range of a pre-determined AP site prior to the hours of darkness. While the element can still be observed, it should begin preparation of its night defensive position, placing its sub-elements into a defensive posture, and making all appropriate actions to make it perfectly clear to a possible observer that it has every intention of staying for the night.
When it becomes dark enough to move undetected, the ambush patrol will form up and move as rapidly as stealth permits out of the holding area and into the pre-planned area. In one instance, an element of this unit employed the holding area technique prior to moving into their pre-planned ambush site. Upon setting up in their new area, they observed a heavy volume of 82mm mortar rounds impacting in their holding area. This technique undoubtedly saved the element costly casualties.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That the above technique be considered as a measure to be taken by ambush patrols to prevent compromise of their mission.
(16) (C) ITEM: Detection of Booby Traps.
(a) OBSERVATION: Recently units in the 2nd Brigade TAOI have sustained an excessive number of casualties from manufactured and home made booby traps.
(b) EVALUATION: Past Lessons Learned pertaining to the detection and destruction of booby traps have been made available to units. Proper techniques are, in many instances, not being employed, i.e , mine detectors, killer eye device, observation and movement, bamboo poles, etc..
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That past lessons learned in the area of mines / booby traps be reviewed and proper techniques implemented. Further, that commanders place command emphasis in this casualty producing area to reduce and minimize unnecessary casualties. Note: Scout dogs are extremely proficient in locating recently emplaced booby traps.
(17) (C) ITEM: Providing the Low LOH with Enough Side and Rear Suppression to Suppress Anti-Aircraft Fire.
(a) OBSERVATION: The majority of hits on LOH's are from the sides and rear, while the mini-gun is only able to fire directly ahead.
(b) EVALUATION: A need exists to provide more suppression than is now given by the M-60MG. A mount and accessories were locally fabricated for a flexible door mounted mini-gun. Tests worked extremely well.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Kits be fabricated in support echelon to provide all LOH's with a flexible mini-gun.
(18) (C) ITEM: Well Casing Made From Metal Culvert.
(a) OBSERVATION: A suitable well casing has been produced using common metal
(b) EVALUATION: Seepage holes in the lower section are cut, and the completely assembled culvert is laid horizontally with the perforated section closest to the lip of the well. Cable clamps are fitted to the top sections and a cable passed through them. The culvert is then lifted by the cable in an arc toward the well opening and carefully lowered into position.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended tha the metal culvert can be used effectively for a well casing.
(19) (C) ITEM: Use of Wagon Wheel Road Net to Lay-out Fire Support Bases:
(a) OBSERVATION: In the past the layout summary of the fire support bases has been accomplished by the Engineers>
(b) EVALUATION: The wagon wheel road net appears to be ideal for the fire support bases. The net can be quickly and easily laid out by an artillery survey section. In a recent experiment, the infantry units, utilizing the artillery survey section, completely laid out two fire support bases.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Use of the above method greatly conserved the very limited survey capability within the Engineer Battalion.
(20) (C) ITEM: Use of Shaped and Cratering Charges in Building of Bunker:
(a) OBSERVATION: Utilization of shaped and cratering charges in conjunction with dozer operations in the excavation of bunkers, has rendered great savings in wear, tear and hours of operations on the dozers.
(b) EVALUATION: Charges placed on line at five foot intervals for the desired length of the bunkers, broke up the hard upper strata which is prevalent in this area during the dry season. The dozer was then able to easily remove this over-burden and move with relative ease through the softer earth below.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Time reduction has been noted as great as 75%.
(21) (C) UTEN: PSYOPS On Tactical Missions:
(a) OBSERVTION: a 1000W speaker was mounted on a UH-1H helicopter and used in conjunction with a CS drop. It was followed by a UH-1H carrying a xenon searchlight and two miniguns. Two gunships flew in support..
(b) EVALUATION: PSYOPS used in conjunction with armed aircraft is very effective. The weapons add strength to Chieu Hoi appeals and “Surrender of Die” messages, while the use of PSYOPS can make the weapons seem more terrifying.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That PSYOP missions be conducted in conjunction with armed aircraft whenever possible.
(1) (c) ITEM: Instructing Personnel in Use of Hand Grenades on AP's
(a) OBSERVATION: The use of fragmentation devices can improve the effectiveness of ambushes.
(b) EVALUATION: The ambush is a highly effective offensive weapon, but there is a tendency to shoot high/ Thus, only a portion of those ambushed become casualties.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The use of claymore mines and hand grenades can greatly improve the success of an ambush. If each man in the ambush is instructed to throw a grenade, the number of enemy casualties will be greatly increased.
(2) (C) ITEM: Need For Training Replacements on 90mm Recoilless Rifle::
(a) OBSERVATION: Replacement personnel should be trained on the 90mm recoilless rifle.
(b) EVALUATION: Replacement personnel are not familiar with employment, care and characteristics of the 90mm recoilless rifle. When these personnel are given one, they cannot use it, or they are dangerous to themselves and others.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That training be given as soon as the new personnel enter the unit on the 90mm recoilless rifle. It would be very advantageous if personnel were trained on the weapon prior to joining the unit.
(3) (C) ITEM: Effectiveness of Radar Sets:
(a) OBSERVATION: Radar sets are proven early warning devices when used effectively.
(b) EVALUATION: Some of the new radar operators do not know how to properly operate the radar set.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: An operation training program should be set up for all new radar operators.
(4) (C) ITEM: Improper Use of Scout Dogs:
(a) OBSERVATION: Scout dog teams are being improperly utilized due to a lack of knowledge by commanders and small unit leaders.
(b) EVALUATION: Units are not getting the benefits that the scout dog team can give.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That classes and briefings be held to inform commanders and small unit leaders of the capabilities and utilization of scout dog teams.
(5) (C) ITEM: Squad and Platoon Refresher Training.
(a) OBSERVATION: Personnel sometimes fail to apply basic successful tactics during combat operations, i.e., squad fire and maneuver ambush techniques.
(b) EVALUATION: Basic combat skills must be continuously re-evaluated and re-taught at the squad and platoon level.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Fire teams, squads and platoon should receive training tactics, employment of weapons and marksmanship between combat operations.
(1) (C) ITEM:: Emplacement of Duffel-Bag Sensors Using Aerial Photography:
(a) OBSERVATION: From all intelligence sources, particularly imagery interpretation and visual reconnaissance, areas are selected for Duffel Bag sensors. Large scale, good quality photography is then accomplished by Mohawk direct support aircraft. This imagery is read out for the best camouflaged locations, and prints are annotated with these locations, then given 8-digit coordinates. Annotated prints or photo-mosaics, as applicable, are given to the unit which has responsibility for emplacing the sensors.
(b) EVALUATION: This method has proven to be very efficient. Response time from request to annotated prints is typically less than 72 hours. Annotated prints make emplacement more accurate than previous methods, and subsequent artillery engagement is more accurate. This photography becomes the basis for comparative studies to determine if new trails are being used by the enemy to bypass the sensor arrangement.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Aerial photography should continue to be used to determine “best” locations for Duffel Bag sensors and annotated print be used for accurate emplacement.
(2) (C) ITEM: Tagging of POW's with Water Repellent Cards:
(a) OBSERVATION: The escalation of enemy activities during the reporting period resulted in the processing of numerous detainees and POW's. The present identification system necessitates tagging each individual with an identification card to facilitate organized processing. Often, wet weather makes these cards illegible.
(b) EVALUATION: A better system of tagging detainees / POW's is essential for organized processing and accurate accounting of personnel.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That a water repellent identification card be developed and issued in lieu of existing cards to prevent unnecessary confusion in personnel identification due to illegible ID cards caused by inclement weather.
(3) (C) ITEM: Voluntary Information Program (VIP):
(a) OBSERVATION: There has been increased positive reaction to the VIP campaign (Voluntary Information Program) observed in the TAOI. The majority of information has been given by children. Although it is standard practice to exchange money for enemy information provided by civilians, the 1st Bn, 5th Inf (Mech) has used “C” rations rather than money.
(b) EVALUATION: The increased reaction to the VIP program by children seems to have been influenced by the use of “C” rations over money. A previous but similar incident was noticed in a different area. In this case the child would only accept half the money offered him. He expressed the fear that people would become suspicious if he was found to have too much money.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Although the preference for “C” rations may only be a local attitude, it is suggested that “C” rations be made available to those citizens who give voluntary information since there may be a fear of receiving money. It is also recommended that PSYOPS, in support of the VIP Campaign, mention that other “goods” can be substituted for monetary rewards.
(4) (C) ITEM: Kit Carson Scouts:
(a) OBSERVATION: Performance of Kit Carson Scouts has improved. They are alert and aggressive during combat operations.
(b) EVALUATION: Continued association with U.S. units has increased their confidence and willingness to perform.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That the Kit Carson Program be expanded to furnish four scouts per infantry platoon.
(5) (C) ITEM: Combined Reconnaissance / Intelligence Patrol (CRIP):
(a) OBSERVATION: Combined Reconnaissance and Intelligence Patrol (CRIP) units used in offensive operations, are unable to perform their primary mission as an intelligence collection agency.
(b) EVALUATION: Use of CRIP on frequent night ambushes produce little or no intelligence. The night ambush can easily be performed by infantry elements.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: Relieve the CRIP of standard commitments and leave them free to react to DIOCC intelligence leads, and to gather information as a free roving force. This may often result in stake-out missions in villages at night, or as ambushes on enemy liaison routes, but as a result of accumulated intelligence rather than a defensive measure.
(6) (C) ITEM: Use of Vietnamese In POW Interrogation:
(a) OBSERVATION: Unit Vietnamese assets can be used for effective gathering and exploiting prisoner-of-war information.
(b) EVALUATION: Many POW's are very willing to talk immediately after capture. This is especially true if the individual was not happy fighting with the VC/NVA. Many times these POW's have information that could be used immediately in the tactical situation, but it is not gained because of language difficulties.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That a Vietnamese be placed near the POW to listen to what he has to say. An ARVN soldier is ideal, but a Kit Carson can also be used. It is not recommended that the unskilled try extensive interrogation, but merely note what the POW says.
(7) (C) ITEM: Use of Starlight Scope With Radar:
(a) OBSERVATION: Starlight scopes and radar sets are both early warning devices.
(b) EVALUATION: The two used in conjunction can better identify th type and size of movement.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: A crew-served starlight scope should be employed with the radar set on top of the radar tower.
(8) (C) ITEM: Red Haze Missions:
(a) OBSERVATION: Red Haze (infra-red) missions flown during the dry season (Nov - Apr) record twice as many heat emissions as missions flown during the wet season.
(b) EVALUATION: This increase in Red Haze activity is directly attributed to the large number of fires that are found at random during the dry season, and not an increase in enemy activity or better read-out conditions existing during the dry season.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: To minimize confusion and distortion caused by these non-enemy initiated heat emissions, use should be made of a last light VR to spot and record the location of all brush and grass fires. This will permit more accurate read-out and prevent dissipation of artillery on bogus targets.
(9) (C) ITEM: False Floors in Enemy Bunkers:
(a) OBSERVATION: VC/NVA Rear Service elements make extensive use of camouflage and concealment in order to safeguard their weapons and food caches from discovery.
(b) EVALUATION: Enemy caches have been discovered inside what appears on the surface as a fighting or sleeping bunker. However, closer examination has revealed that some of these bunkers had false floors and/or false walls constructed of mud and logs under which weapons and canned foodstuffs were stored.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: A thorough examination should be made of all enemy bunkers. A steel rod about three feet in length greatly assists in conducting speedy checks.
(10) (C) ITEM: Duffel Bag and Ambushes:
(a) OBSERVATION: Duffel bag seismic sensors proved to be useful when employed in support of ambushes.
(b) EVALUATION: Duffel bag seismic sensors (G-SIDS) were used by elements of the 1st Bn, 27th Infantry, on several ambushes, both day and night, over a period of one month. The sensors were placed along trails leading into the kill zone with a minimum of two sensors on each trail to facilitate estimating direction of movement and size of force. The sensors were monitored by the ambush command group. The sensor provided early warning of approaching enemy forces on three separate occasions. The system was simple to operate and easy to employ
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That an ambush kit composed of seismic sensors and claymores be issued as standard equipment to all infantry companies.
(11) (C) ITEM: Increased Visual Reconnaissance Throughout the 25th Infantry Division TACI:
(a) OBSERVATION: A recent analysis revealed that an increase in daily visual .
reconnaissance missions would significantly improve the Division's intelligence effort.
(b) EVALUATION: In compliance with the Division Commander's guidance to improve our techniques of locating the enemy, the Battalion has developed the following courses of action: Plans have been made to re-allocate OH-6A helicopters throughout the /Division area each day during daylight hours. A night visual reconnaissance and strike capability has been developed by equipping a UH-1D/H with the Night Vision Sights, AN/TVS-4. This aircraft operates in direct support of a maneuver battalion throughout each night as the intelligence situation dictates. Each VR helicopter is accompanied by a helicopter gunship to exploit targets of opportunity. The two aircraft form a team called Night Hawk. The concept was borrowed from the (?)-th Infantry Division and has been improved upon and adapted to meet the requirements of the 25th Infantry Division.
An additional night reconnaissance and strike capability has been developed by equipping a UH-1H with a Searchlight, Infra-red, 1KW, 28 volt, 50AMP Xenon. This helicopter is also armed with a M-2, .50 caliber MG or 7.62 mini-gun, and 12 Mark 24 aerial flares. When equipped with night vision devices, it can reconnoiter and engage the enemy in either natural or infra-red light. This mission is code named “Night Lightning.”
Finally, attempts are being made to indoctrinate all unit aviators to the importance of seeking intelligence information on every flight. An Intelligence Spot Report Net has been reactivated and is now fully operational.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That other Divisional aviation battalions develop a program of continuous evaluation of their unit assets and capabilities toward improving intelligence gathering techniques. Emphasis should be placed on a free interchange of ideas between divisions. Liaison trips are most valuable.
(12) (C) ITEM: Use of Order of Battle Map:
(a) OBSERVATION: Correlation of information from the various intelligence sources was based previously on the correlative ability of the intelligence analysts.
(b) EVALUATION: a CURRENT Order of Battle map has been established and maintained on a daily basis. Information from sensor devices, i.e. “people sniffer”, Red Haze and SLAR, is plotted on the map as are incidents and agent reports. Any other information adding to the over-all intelligence picture is also shown on the map. The result of this systematic procedure is that the intelligence analysts were no longer required to rely exclusively on their mental recall for information which had to be correlated with new intelligence input.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That this procedure be made a practice in all G2 sections.
(13) (C) ITEM: Duffel Bag Targeting Procedures:*
(a) OBSERVATION: Camouflaged seismic, magnetic, acoustic and infrared sensors continued to be employed in the 25th Infantry Division TAOR to direct activity along enemy routes of infiltration and lines of communication. Sensors were used for offensive, defensive and intelligence missions during the period 1 February to 30 April 1969.
(b) EVALUATION: Eleven areas were seeded with a total of 378 sensors. Each sensor site was provided with coverage by artillery fire. Artillery responded to sensor activation as the result of fife mission requests from monitoring stations. Confirmation of enemy activity and results were obtained through the use of ground forces or aerial reconnaissance. In one instance, 19 NVA KIA (BC) were located as the result of a ground seep to confirm response to activation
It is reasonably certain from blood trails and graves in the vicinity of sensor locations, and destroyed equipment, that Duffel Bag devices contribute significantly to the preemption of the enemy's movement in the Division TAOI. Sensor activation have directly resulted in increased attrition of enemy forces and material, while at the same time actin gin an economy of force role.
(c) RECOMMENDATIONS: Operations using Duffel Bag devices should be increased, and training in use of sensors for such operations should be considered for presentation in basic officer's courses, and made an item of issue to Division forces.
(1) (U) ITEM: Insulated Storage Containers:
(a) OBSERVATION: A requirement existed for a suitable and inexpensive container that would preclude melting of ice and ice cream and spoilage of other dairy products during transport to field locations.
(b) EVAULATION: A 19” x 14-3/4 x 23-3/4” plywood container lined with 2” styrafoam (from 152mm ammunition) and a plastic insert was designed and constructed by this division. The container proved to be invaluable in preserving ice and precluding spoilage of perishable products. The container will hold 10 gallons of ice cream, 28 quarts of milk, or an equal volume of similar products,.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That widespread dissemination be given to the merit and value of this field expedient.
(2) (U) ITEM: The Warping of Rotor Blades on the 540 Rotor System:
(a) OBSERVATION: This unit has experienced three incidents of warped 540 rotor blades within a thirty day period.
(b) EVALUATION: Preliminary investigation indicated that the main cause of the warped blades is from over stress induced by rapid pullouts from gun runs. This is especially true when the pullout is abrupt and is initiated at high airspeeds and power settings on a heavily loaded helicopter. In addition to warping the rotor blades, this type of maneuver also can be extremely damaging to all dynamic components and the airframe.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That unit standardization check rides emphasize the dangers of abrupt control movements. Aviators should be given additional instruction in detecting stress discrepancies on gunships. When a tactical essential mission requires abrupt control movement, a notation should be made in the aircraft log book.
(3) (U) ITEM: CH-6A Avionics and Gyro Equipment:
(a) OBSERVATION: There has been a high incidence of avionics and gyro equipment becoming inoperative after relatively few operational hours.
(b) EVALUATION: One possible reason for these failures may be in the run-up procedure. The present procedure calls for the inverter and radios to be turned on immediately after the generator has been turned on. When the generator has just been turned on, it causes a high amperage load throughout the aircraft electrical system. If the inverter and radios are turned on immediately, these high loads could cause damage to them.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That the radios be turned on after the load meter reading drops below .6 or 60% of available amperage. Because of the importance of monitoring pressure instruments, recommend the inverter be turned on immediately after the generator is turned on.
(4) (U) ITEM: The Aerial Resupply of Ammunition:
(a) OBSERVATION: The shipping boxes for 152mm main gun ammunition (one round per box) are extremely bulky and heavy. Since aerial resupply is restricted by the weight and size of the load, the number of rounds carried per sortie can be greatly increased by removing some of the packing material. The A12 airlift pack, when lined with Styrofoam from the original packing, provides suitable cushion for the ammunition and allows it to be shipped in the fiber container without the wooden ammunition box.
(b) EVALUATION: The A12 pack should be lined on the bottom with a double layer of Styrofoam and lined on each side and the top with a single layer of this same material. Each pack can then be filled with 35 main gun rounds which are still in their fiber containers. This load is 50% lighter and 75% less bulky than a load of like number of rounds in the original packing boxes.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That this method of aerial resupply packing be included in instructions to units authorized 152mm ammunition.
(5) (U) ITEM: Use of 55 Gallon Drums in Bunker Construction:
(a) OBSERVATION: Sandbags and lumber are often critical items in construction of bunkers.
(b) EVALUATION: Squad size bunkers must be built in new Fire Support Bases. Sandbags and lumber usually deteriorate over a period of time, and often cannot be used a second time.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That 55 gallon drums be substituted for beams to support the roof and be used to supplement sandbags on the sides.
(6) (U) ITEM: M551 Sheridan Vehicle:
(a) OBSERVATION: During the initial phase of deployment, a high deadline rate was experienced. This was due to a faulty brass ring in the recoil mechanism. After the problem was identified, corrective action was taken and the recoil mechanism has caused few problems since. After about 700-1000 miles of operation, the fan tower, generator, and crankshaft pulleys began to show considerable wear, causing fan belt failure and an increased deadline. New pulleys were requisitioned from CONUS, received, thus reducing the deadline rate. Concurrent with the pulley problems, problems occurred with air filters. The filters require daily cleaning by use of compressed air. The compressed air was not available due to the area of operations. Some filters were damaged during cleaning. The lack of filters in country caused the deadline rate to rise to a peak of thirty-seven per cent (37%). Engine problems occurred at the same time the air filter problem appeared. As the engines were replaced, they went back into operation if good air filters were on hand. If not, the vehicle remained deadlined until filters were available.
(b) EVALUATION: The M551 Sheridan vehicle needs several modifications to eliminate obvious weak components. Also, a minor redesign should provide a source of compressed air for cleaning air filters.
(c) RECOMMENDATIOONS: That aluminum pulleys be replaced with steel pulleys. That the closed breach scavenger system be modified to provide an air source for cleaning air filters.
(7) (U) ITEM: OH-6A Tail Rotor Deterioration:
(a) OBSERVATION: Many OH-6A tail rotors have not attained their life expectancy in operations with the 25th Infantry Division.
(b) EVALUATION: OH-6A tail rotor blades have been experiencing material separation in the area of the tail rotor tip cap. For example, this unit's DSU reported six OH-6A's requiring tail rotor changes during the period 23 Apr through 30 Apr 1969. Of these six tail rotors, five required changes because of bonding separation on and around the tip cap. The other for material separation of the blade. Those six blades had an average life of 105 hours or approximately one-sixth of their programmed life expectancy.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: A more durable bonding material be employed in the construction of the tail rotor blade for the OH-6A. Additionally, issuing a repair kit for field repairs of the OH-6A tail rotor blade would provide greater OH-6A availability.
(8) (U) ITEM: 600 GPH Airmobile Units:
(a) OBSERVATION: Water supply is a major responsibility of the S-4 section,
purifying between 1 and 2 million gallons of water per month.
(b) EVALUATION: The unusually large TAOI's fire support concept and inaccessibility of terrain demands doubling and tripling the original TOE capacity. Six hundred GPH airmobile units have proven to be very satisfactory and capable of providing the potable water required.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The light weight and ease of operation of the GPH airmobile units make them more useful and adaptable than the larger, less mobile 1500 GPH truck mounted unit.
(9) (U) ITEM: The TC Override of the AR/AAV:
(a) OBSERVATION: The TC override handle is located too low inside the vehicle. When the TC fires the Sheridan “from the hip” his head is below the level of the .50 caliber shield.
(b) EVALUATION: Since the tank commander does all the day time firing, he must be able to see the target, see the gun tube, and place effective fire on his target. With the override handle located in its original position, this cannot be done.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The 3/ 4 Cav has found a temporary solution to the problem. By welding a bracket to the right half of the TC hatch, they were able to move the TC handle out of the vehicle. With the TC handle in this position, the TC can place effective fire on his target. This is not the best answer because the power cable to the TC handle runs through the TC cupola. The TC is then unable to operate the cupola electrically. This problem could be solved by developing a bracket to raise the TC handle from its original position, but keep it inside the vehicle. It could be raised about 12 to 18 inches and still be inside the vehicle.
(10) (U) ITEM: Ammo Stowage Racks of the AR/AVV:
(a) OBSERVATION: The current ammo stowage racks in the driver's compartment and under the turret do not support the combustible case when the vehicle is jolted hard.
(b) EVALUATION: When a vehicle hits a mine or a rice paddy dike hard, we have experienced a separation of the combustible case from the projectile.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: A support for the case should be fixed to hold / counteract the whiplash effect. This could be a modified honeycomb to partially eliminate some of the fire hazard.
(11) (U) ITEM: The Turret Stowage Rack:
(a) OBSERVATION: The turret stowage rack is inadequate to hold necessary equipment and ammunition.
(b) EVALUATION: The amount of small arms ammo required for the crews will not fit on the vehicle. The vehicle was designed to hold 1000 .50 caliber and 3000 coax rounds. The crews like to carry 5000 .50 caliber and 8000 coax rounds.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The turret stowage rack should be enlarged and better supported. The 3/ 4 Cav overcame the problem by welding reinforcing rods and redesigned the rack to be somewhat similar to the M48 RACK. An additional rack was designed to fit on the rear slope over the pioneer tools. This rack will hold boxes of small arms. This extra rack requires an extension for the exhaust to guard against cook-off in the ammo boxes.
(12) (U) ITEM: Zero Balance of ASL Items:
(a) OBSERVATION: The Division Supply Office currently has 1322 ASL items at zero balance.
(b) EVALUATION: The zero balance problem is acute on high demand items such as : stencils, plastic eating utensils, correction fluid, insecticide, and 2oz bottles of insect repellent, etc. These expendable items are requested in bulk quantities for stockage on a 12 priority. This low priority does not provide for sufficient speed in the receipt of these items to allow proper service to customers.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That depot procedures be revised to provide prompt service on high demand items.
(13) (U) ITEM: Aircraft Lube Oil (MIL-L-7808:
(a) OBSERVATION: Aircraft lube oil (MIL-L-7808) is in short supply within the theater.
(b) EVALUATION: A maintenance and supply directive received during the period encourages the use of MIL-L-23499 in all aircraft where applicable. The change over was accomplished for all aircraft except the CH-47 and OH-6A engines. MIL-L7808 oil remained critical. The resultant effect was the generation of a maintenance problem (which oil, where and when?) as well as a supply problem (required stockage of two oils in place of one) all because one oil was short.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That revised theater stockage objective be established and present demands met, if the aircraft for which it is required are to continue operations.
(14) (U) ITEM; Intra-Theater Depot Support:
(a) OBSERVATION: With the non-availability of some items at the Long Binh Depot, it has recently become necessary to send personnel to depots at Da Nang, Quin Nhon and Cam Ranh Bay to pick up required items. On 10,11, and 12 April 1968, personnel were sent to all of the above depots to pick up air delivery equipment and .50 caliber machine guns. On 28 and 29 April 1969, personnel were sent to Cam Ranh Bay to pick up stencils, ink, corrective fluid, insecticides, AN/GRC 106 radios and typewriters.
(b) EVALUATION: These trips cause a loss of time and manpower. This situation has been created by the failure of the ICC to direct depots other than Long Binh to ship items to the 25th Infantry Division. In those cases where the ICC has directed shipment from Quin Nhon, The requests were sent back annotated “Canceled. Not authorized customer.”
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That the ICC implement a system that will allow shipments from depots other than primary supporting depot.
(15) (C) ITEM: Ammunition Storage on RASP Trailers:
(a) OBSERVATION: During the last half of February and the month of March, the ASP kept trailers loaded with various types of ammunition on hand in preparation of the TET; offensive.
(b) EVALUATION: The rolling ammunition supply point (RASP) trailers were utilized to hold and issue the ammunition and therefore reduce the requirements for combat essential missions when the Division was under-going heavy contact.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: When heavy ammunition requirements are foreseen, continue to RASP program
(16) (C) ITEM: Number of Helipads at Fire Support Bases:
(a) OBSERVATION: Each fire support base should have two helipads.
(b) EVALUATION: Fire Support Bases usually have one pad built outside the defensive wire. The one pad is very satisfactory except when in contact. Then it is very difficult to secure the pad for resupply or MEDEVAC.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That two helipads be built. The traditional one outside for normal use, plus an auxiliary one inside the fire support base for use during periods of enemy action, and during periods of limited visibility when the aircraft would be extremely vulnerable if parked outside the berm.
(17) (C) ITEM: Detonating Cord:
(a) OBSERVATION: Detonating cord when buried in the ground can become unserviceable in a relatively short period of time.
(b) EVALUATION: Examination of the detonating cord has revealed that it is attacked by a termite like insect which bores through the protective covering and eats the explosive train.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: When detonating cord is used in static defense situations it should be inspected daily and should b buried only when absolutely necessary.
(18) (U) ITEM: Installation of AN/PRC 77 in the Light Observation Helicopter:
(a) OBSERVATION: The 2nd Brigade presently has four “LOH” helicopters assigned for tactical and general support missions. Subject aircraft is equipped with one FM radio AN/PRC-54 and one UHF radio to facilitate radio communications. In a tactical support role the aircraft is normally utilized by Battalion Commanders and/or Artillery LNO's causing inadequate communication facilities.
(b) EVALUATION: Aircraft utilized for Command and Control ships must have adequate communication facilities to insure control, i.e., capability for pilot, the Battalion Commander, and the Artillery LNO to communicate simultaneously.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: That two PRC-77's with associated antenna AT271 be installed iin the LOH (OH-6) attached to Infantry Brigades for tactical support missions.
(19) (U) ITEM: Tracked Fuel Vehicle:
(a) OBSERVATION: Need for fuel vehicle that can accompany tactical vehicle on operations.
(b) EVALUATION: Conventional fuel trucks are unable to negotiate the terrain encountered in cross-country operations. A tracked fuel vehicle is required.
(c) RECOMMENDATION: The mounting of 600 gallon fuel pods in M-548 enables the tactical vehicles to complete their missions without returning to the roads.
F. ORGANIZATION: None
G. OTHER: None
FOR THE COMMNANDER:
Incl 1 wd Hq, DA ROBERT L. FAIR
Chief of Staff
6 copies - CG, II Field Forces, ATTN: G-3
3 copies - CG, USARV,, ATTN: AVHGC - (DST)
2 copies - CG, USARPAC, ATTN: GPOP - DT
AVFBC-RE-H (1May 69) 1st Ind
SIBKECT” Operational Report of the 25th Infantry Division for the Period Ending 30 April 1969,
RCS CSFOR - 65 (R-1)
DA, HQ II FFORCEV, APO San Francisco 96266
THRU: Commanding General, US Army Vietnam, ATTN: AVHGC (DST), APO 96375
Commander-In-Chief, US Army Pacific, ATTN: GPOP-DT, APO 96558
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army,
Washington, D>C> 20310
This headquarters has reviewed and concurs with the Operational Report - Lessons Learned of the 25th Infantry Division for the period ending 30 April 1969.
FOR THE COMMANDER: B.G. MACDONALD
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES ARMY VIETNAM
APO San Francisco 96375
6 Jul 1969
TO: Commander in Chief, United States Army, Pacific.
ATTN: GPOP-DT APO 96558
1. (U) This headquarters has reviewed the Operational Report-Lessons Learned for the quarterly period ending 30 April 1969 from Headquarters, 25th Infantry Division
2. (C) Comments Follow:
a. (U) Reference item concerning “Authorized Grade of Graves Registration Section Sergeant.” Section II, page 181, paragraph A(2); concur. Standards of grade authorization contained in change 12 to AR 611-201 (Enlisted Military Occupational Specialties) authorizes an E7 memorial activities platoon sergeant (MGS 57f40) as principle NCO of a memorial activities unit comprised of 40 or more personnel. This headquarters will request that USARPAC/DA make pen and ink changes to TOE 10-70 reflecting the grade increase. The unit will be furnished an information copy of the letter requesting the update.
b. (U) Reference item concerning “Aviation Maintenance MTOE Action,” section II, page 182, paragraph A(3). Upon receipt of MTOE submitted to update MOG authorization, this headquarters will evaluate and process the document in accordance with established procedures.
c. (C) Reference item concerning “Techniques for Defeating Enemy .51 Caliber Anti-Aircraft Fire with the Helicopter Gunships,” section II, page 184, paragraph B(4): concur in the use of this technique for night operations.
d. (C) Reference item concerning “Providing the Low LOH with enough side and rear suppression to suppress anti-aircraft fire,” section II, page 190, paragraph B(17): non-concur. The requirement for a more flexible (door mounted) M-134 minigun for the LOH can be submitted through the ENSURE Program. This procedure would facilitate determining if a USARV requirement exists for a new sub-system for the LOH, and if approved, would also result in adequate testing and flight certification of the weapon subsystem.
e. (U) Reference item concerning “PSYOPS on Tactical Missions,” section II, page 191, paragraph B(21): concur: Current doctrinal literature stresses that PSYOPS is a highly effective supporting weapons system which should be habitually integrated with other weapons systems to assist in the accomplishment of the commander's mission. (Para. 5 FM 33-5, Oct 66). In addition current doctrine stresses that consistent psychological attacks upon morale, when integrated with other military operations, can lower the combat efficiency of enemy soldiers (para 6c (2) FM 33-5). Enemy soldiers subjected to psychological operations over extended periods can be induced to malinger, surrender, desert, or refrain from last ditch resistance (para 6c (3) FM 33-5)
f. (C) Reference item concerning “Voluntary Information Program (VIP),” section II, page 194, paragraph D(3); Concur:. Paragraph 6f, USARV Regulation 381-6 states: “Rewards in the form of goods or equipment may offer a more positive incentive than cash payments. If rewards of this nature are made, the item(s) should be common to the area and readily available on the local market.”
g. (U) Reference item concerning “Kit Carson Scouts,” section II, page 194, paragraph D(4); Concur. Kit Carson Scouts are authorized based on requirement determined by using unit within overall strength ceilings of program.
h. (C) Reference item concerning “Duffel Bag and Ambushes,” section II, page 196, paragraph D(10); Concur. Allocations of sensors to USARV combat units beginning o/a Sep 69 will permit these units to issue enough sensors to infantry companies to prepare an ambush kit, as described. In addition to the GSID, a new sensor called the PSID (Patrol Seismic Intrusion Detector) will provide a lighter weight and more easily used system designed specifically for ambush patrols. This will be allocated by MACV to all units for use in the ambush role. Unit will be advised of above comment.
i. (C) Reference item concerning “Duffel Bag Targeting Procedure,” section II, page 197, paragraph D(13): Concur. Operations using these sensors are expected to double by September 1969. USARV has brought to the attention of ACSFOR and to the CONARC Liaison Team during their visit to RVN in June 19699, that inclusion of sensor courses in CONUS service schools was greatly desired. Some courses are now being initiated. A standard sensor BOI is now being studied by both USARV and USACDC.
j. (U) Reference item concerning “Insulated Storage Containers,” section II, page 198, paragraph E(1); Concur. The value and method of construction of the field expedient insulated storage container will be given widest dissemination through food service newsletters and publications. No further action required a higher headquarters.
k. (U) Reference item concerning “Warping of Rotor Blades on the 540 Rotor System,: section II, page 198, paragraph E(2); Concur. The possibility of damaging main rotor blades on UH-1C and AH-1G aircraft during abrupt, high speed maneuvers was emphasized at the USARV Flight Standardization Conference, 23 June 1969, and will be published in a USARV Flight Standardization Letter.
l. (U) Reference item concerning “OH-6A Avionics and Gyro Equipment,” section II, page 199, paragraph E(3); Non-Concur in any change to the OH-6A checklist contained in TM 55-1520-214. No other units have reported this type failure. It is well known that a voltage surge can damage radio equipment, however, if the checklist is used without short-cuts, no problems should occur.
m. Reference item concerning “The Aerial Resupply of Ammunition,” section II, page 199, paragraph E(4); Non-Concur. Airlift of 152mm main gun ammunition in a configuration other than by complete round packaging is not recommended because of the extreme fragility of the rounds. No further action required by higher headquarters.
n. (U) Reference item concerning “OH-6A Tail Rotor Deterioration,” section II, page 200, paragraph E(7); Concur. OH-6A Project Managers Office has issued a maintenance procedure for the repair of tail rotor tip caps by direct support units. The procedure specifies clearances, rivets, and bonding material to be used. Numerous EIR's have established a USAAVSCOM review of OH-6A tail rotor materials and bonding process.
o. (C) Reference item concerning “TC Override of the AR/AAV, section II, page 201, paragraph E(9); Concur. CG USAWECOM has agreed to apply this modification on all future M551 Sheridans before issue to using units. No further action is required.
p. (U) Reference item concerning “Zero Balance of ASL Items,” section II, page 202, paragraph E(12); Non-Concur. The items of supply addressed in this observation are considered to be non-combat essential, and therefore do not qualify for processing with high priorities. No further action required at his or higher headquarters.
q. (U) Reference item ;concerning “Aircraft Lube Oil (MIL-L-7808),” section II, page 202, paragraph E(13); Concur. USARV letter, dated 3 May 1969, subject; Use of MIL-L-23699 and MIL-L-7808 Oils in Army Turbine Powered Aircraft, directed the change to MIL-L-23699 for all components using MIL-L-7808, except CH-47 transmissions and main rotor lube. Stockage level was adjusted accordingly.
r. (U) Reference item concerning “Intra'Theater Depot Support,” section II, page 203, paragraph E(14): Concur. The conditions described in this observation did exist at the time of the writing due to errors in Qui Nhon depot machine programs. All referrals from the Inventory Control Center, Vietnam (ICCV) were rejected if the supplementary address did not match the depot customer listing . This problem was corrected and currently all ICCV referrals are being processed and shipments to supplementary addresses completed. Referral from the primary depot source to other in-country depots is an integral part of the Standard Supply System, Vietnam (3SVN). No further action required at this or higher headquarters.
s. (U) Reference item concerning “Installation of AN/PRC-77 in the Light Observation Helicopter,” section II, page 204, paragraph E(18): Concur. Interim command consoles are to be fabricated in USARV toward this requirement. An ENSURE request is being prepared for a light weight console for the LOH, which will provide three FM radios for the C&C ship.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
Assistant Adjutant General
GPOP-DT (1May 69) 3d Ind (U)
SUBJECT: Operational Report of HQ, 25th Inf Div for Period Ending 30 April 1969,
RCS CSFOR-65 (U)
HQ, US Army, Pacific, APO San Francisco 96558
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C. 20310
This headquarters has evaluated subject report and forwarding endorsements and concurs in the report as endorsed.
FOR THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF:
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTER, 35TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCCO 25 April 1969
COMMANDERS COMBAT NOTE NUMBER 28
SUBJECT: Employment of CS During Combat Operations.
1. The riot control agent CS can be employed as a persistent powder for terrain denial or as a non-persistent pyrotechnic mixture in tactical situations where a short duration of effect is desired. Employment concepts for various CS munitions are described in the following paragraphs.
2. Persistent CS:
a. Bulk quantities of persistent CS can be used to restrict the enemy's use of infiltration routes, base camps, assembly areas, underground tunnels, and dug-in fighting positions. Large area targets or line targets can be covered by dropping 55 gallon drums containing 80 pounds of CS each from a CH-47 aircraft. The drums are armed for detonation on impact. As each drum detonates, powered CS is disseminated over an area approximately 30 meters in diameter. During the dry season the CS powder will be effective from 4 - 6 weeks. Heavy rains will significantly reduce the duration of effectiveness.
b. Use of persistent CS in underground installation and fighting positions will prevent the enemy from entering these structures. Contamination can be achieved by placing 8 pound bags or “jeepo cans” of powdered CS on detonating cord that is strung throughout the tunnels or fighting positions, and detonating the cord. The M25A2, persistent CS filled, baseball grenade may be used to contaminate small tunnel entrances and fighting positions. The grenade has a bursting radius of 5 meters.
3. Tactical non-persistent CS:
a. E158 CS Clusters: This munition is aerial delivered from a UH-1 or CH-47 aircraft at altitudes between 700 - 4000 feet. A single munition will cover an area approximately 100 meters in diameter. Within 10 - 15 seconds after the munition functions, the target area is covered with an incapacitating concentration of agent CS. The agent cloud will effectively reduce the aimed fire capability of an attacking or defending enemy force. Unmasked troops will become incapacitated, evacuate their fighting positions, exposing themselves to friendly fire. Specific situations for employment are:
(1) During offensive exploitation operations when the objective is to gain physical control of the target area and its population with minimum casualties
(2) During a ground attack that is preceded by close air support preparatory fires on the objectives. The use of CS prior to air and artillery fires or infantry moving onto a position makes enemy forces more vulnerable.
(3) During actions for canalizing a withdrawing hostile force into a killing zone or blocking position, and for restricting an avenue of escape from the objective area.
(4) During actions where interdiction or harassing attacks into known or suspected enemy staging areas on a non-patterned recurring basis are desired. When employed in this manner, the E158 munition may complement a simultaneous psychological operations effort.
(5) During an attack of a mixed population target where it is desired to neutralize an entire community, village or hamlet with CS to facilitate search and clear operations.
(6) Landing zone preparations: E158 munitions dropped on suspected enemy positions surrounding a landing zone will flush the enemy out and suppress his aimed fire capability while troops are being unloaded in the area.
(7) During defensive actions as an on-call measure to deter or disrupt an attack on a defensive position, an outpost, or a defended hamlet or village.
(8) During a hostile ambush attack to assist in countering the ambush, or in suspected target areas of possible ambushing forces.
(9) During retrograde operations when the munition could be used as a means of breaking contact when a unit's position becomes untenable, and the use of conventional firepower would inflict friendly casualties because of the close proximity of hostile forces.
(10) The E158 can be used for reconnaissance in areas where aircraft are receiving fire from the ground and the target cannot be sufficiently defined. CS dropped on the area may cause the enemy to move and provide a target for artillery/
b. E8 CS Launcher: The E8 launcher is a multiple tube, 35mm munition capable of dispersing riot control agent CS over a target area of approximately 40 meters wide by 150 deep. An incapacitating concentration of agent CS will cover the target area within 15 - 30 seconds after firing the munition. The effects of the agent are the same as those described for the E158 munition. Specific concepts for employment are:
(1) Counter-ambush and offensive operations: The E8 launcher can be mounted on armored personnel carriers (APC), tanks, and 2 ½ ton vehicles. Mounted and ready to fire, the E8 munition can be used to engage possible ambush sites or defensive fighting positions.
(2) During a ground attack that is preceded by close air support preparatory fires on the objectives. The use of CS prior to air and artillery fires or infantry moving onto a position makes enemy forces more vulnerable.
(3) Retrograde Actions: The E8 munition may be used as a means of breaking contact when a unit's position becomes untenable.
(4) Attack of mixed population targets. The impact velocity of the sub-munitions ejected from th E8 munition is slow enough that lethal impact effects will not result if personnel in the target area are hit. This characteristic of the munition makes it well suited for neutralizing entire villages or hamlets with CS to facilitate search and clear operations and to minim8ze injury to non-combatants.
c. M7A3 and XM54 grenades. The M7A3 is a standard CS grenade usually carried in small quantities by ground troops. It can be used effectively for flushing enemy personnel out of small tunnel complexes. It may also be used to harass and disrupt small groups of enemy forces when in close contact. Cases of the M7A3 can be rigged for dropping from a helicopter at altitudes between 700 - 1100 feet. The XN54 is the M7A3 CS grenade with a 12 second delay fuse. The addition of the delay fuse permits aerial dissemination of the grenades at an altitude of 1500 feet. The M7A3 and XM54 rigged for aerial delivery can be used as a substitute for the E158.
d. XM651 40mm CS cartridge: The 40mm CS cartridge was developed for the M79 launcher and is employed for flushing the enemy out of enclosed positions such as caves, houses, bunkers and other fortifications. Maximum accuracy of the cartridge is obtained at ranges up to 200 meters. Area targets may be engaged up to 400 meters. The projectiles will penetrate window glass or up to ¾ inch pine wood at 200 meters before releasing CS.
e. Mortar and artillery projectiles: Maximum results from CS filled mortar and artillery rounds can be achieved by using them in a target preparation role. Preceding HE fires by one to ten minutes with CS rounds will often flush the enemy out of fortified positions and increase the effectiveness of subsequent HE rounds. The CS rounds may also be used as harassing and interdiction fires and in built up areas where it is desired to reduce property loss and civilian casualties. Presently, there are two types of projectiles in RVN. They are:
(1) The XM630, 4.2 in CS cartridge: The XM630 cartridge ejects four canisters either on impact or at a preset optimum altitude of 120 meters above ground level. The CS agent from one round covers an area of approximately 320 square meters. The round may be employed up to a range of 5650 meters.
(2) The XM629, 10mm CS projectile: The 105mm CS round also ejects four CS canisters on ground impact or at a preset altitude. The single round coverage for the 105 projectile is similar to that of the 4.2 inch cartridge. However, the 105 round can be employed at ranges up to 7000 meters.
SUBJECT: Employment of CS During Combat Operations:
4. Three factors which must be considered when employing any CS munitions are:
a. Use sufficient munitions to cover completely the periphery of the target to make use of escape routes difficult.
b. On moving targets, sufficient munitions must be employed to cover the area of possible movement.
Timely exploitation of the target area must be accomplished to gain the maximum effectiveness of the agent.
5. The employment of CS during tactical operations provides the field commander a capability of maintaining pressure on the enemy with a minimum risk to friendly personnel.
ELLIS W. WILLIAMSON
Major General, USA
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS, 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco, 96225
AVDCCO 27 April 1969
COMMANDERS COMBAT NOTE NUMBER 29
SUBJECT: Killer Eye
1. Killer Eye is a practical device utilized for the detection of trip wires and destruction of the accompanying booby-trap. The device is fabricated from the eye bolt lifting plug located in the fuse well of 155mm or 8-inch artillery ammunition.
2. The lifting plug is rigged for operation by attaching a 50-foot length of rope, WD-1/TT jacketed field telephone wire or claymore firing wire in the lifting ring. Claymore firing wire is preferable to telephone wire because of its greater flexibility.
3. As the soldier moves into a suspected booby trap area, he searches by throwing the Killer Eye out to his front as far as possible. He then assumes a prone position and retrieves the Killer Eye. Any trip-wires present will be snagged by the plug as it passes over them, and the booby-trap detonated. This procedure is repeated as the soldier moves forward.
ELLIS W. WILLIAMSON
Major General, USA
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCOP 4 May 1969
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After Action Report (RCS: MACJ3-32) (k-1)
TO: Commanding General
United States Army, Vietnam
APO San Francisco 96375
1. (U) NAME OR IDENTITY AND/OR TYPE OF OPERATION: PB Frontier City (Offensive - Defense)
2. (U) DATES OF OPERATIONS: 240800 April - 260630 April 69.
3. (C) LOCATION: Hieu Thien Province, RVN (XT203288) (See Annex A)
4. (C) CONTROL HEADQUARTERS: 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
5. (U) REPORTING OFICER: G3, 25th Infantry Division
6. (U) TASK ORGANIZATION: Co C, 4-9 Inf Bn with 1 plat, Btry B, 7-11 Arty (105mm Howitzers)
7. (C) SUPORTING FORCES: The supporting forces for this operation consisted of the normal combat support forces of the 25th Inf Div: Artillery, Army Aircraft and US Air Force Aircraft. The support committed to the battle was not specifically planned for exclusive support of PB Frontier City, rather the general disposition of division supporting forces had been planned in advance to support multiple contingencies. Only the mission had to be given to shift the fires of the supporting units into the area of contact.
a. US Artillery:
(1) Indirect fire: Listed below are the artillery units which provided indirect fire support to PB Frontier City. The mission of the unit is indicated.
(a) Btry B, 2-77 Arty (105mm) attached to 7-11 Arty Bn.
Mission: Direct Support, 1st Brigade, 25th Inf Div.
Location: FSB Seigwick (XT248308).
(b) Btry B, 1-27 Arty (155mm) II FFORCEV Arty.
Mission: General Support - Reinforcing , 25th Inf Div Arty.
Location: FSB Stoneman (XT301372).
(c) Section, Btry D, 3-13 Arty (8 in.)
Mission: General Support Reinforcing, 7 - 11 Arty Bn.
Location: FSB Stoneman.
(d) Btry B, 2-32 Arty (175mm). II FFORCEV Arty.
Mission: General Support - Reinforcing 25th Inf Div Arty.
Location: Tay Ninh Base Camp (XT165515)
(2) Direct Fire - 1 platoon, Btry, 7-11 Arty was positioned at PB Frontier City. Mission Direct fire support of the Patrol Base employing “Killer Jr”: time fused rounds, fired with minimum charge set to burst close in to defending areas.
b. US Army Aircraft - Eleven (11) Light Fire Teams (Two AH-1G Cobra aircraft) flew in support of the operation.
c. US Air Force Aircraft:
(1) Spooky Aircraft - Three were committed to the battle.
(2) Shadow Aircraft - One aircraft was committed.
(3) Fighter Aircraft - 2 F4C5 and 2 F-1005 were employed.
8. (C) INTELLIGENCE: The general status and disposition of enemy forces in the vicinity of Patrol Base Frontier City (vic XT203288) prior to the 25 - 26 April attack on the base was believed to have been as follows:
UNIT LOCATION STRENGTH SOURCE OF INFORMATION
271 VC/NVA Regt Cambodia opposite 1300 prisoners, agent reports & other
Straight Edge Woods sources.
272 VC/NVA Regt Angel's Wing 800 Prisoners, agent reports & other
D1 VC/NVA Bn Dispersed vic XT1627 300 Rallier, agent reports
D1 VC/NVA Bn Dispersed vic XT1627 400 Prisoners, agent reports
1 Co SSE of Tay Ninh City
The attack on Patrol Base Frontier City was executed by an estimated two battalion size force which approached the base form the southeast, south and southwest. The enemy used standard tactics in the attack which consisted of a preparation with heavy artillery fire using 107mm rockets, RPG's, 60mm and 82mm mortars and .51 cal machine-gun fire. The artillery attack was followed by an attempted sapper penetration and ground assault. Enemy losses in the action were 214 KIA and 6 PWS. Interrogation of five of the prisoners and translation of captured documents identified the 2nd and 3rd Battalion of the 271st VC/NVA Regiment. Four of the PWs indicated that they had been with the 9th Division for less than a month. Three of the prisoners had infiltrated from North Vietnam during the December - April time frame. Two of the new North Vietnamese arrivals stated that once their infiltration battalion arrived at the 9th Division, the cadre personnel at company level and higher returned to North Vietnam with South Vietnamese cadre taking their places. Morale within the prisoner's units ranged from poor to good.
The strength of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions was at lest 200 each prior to the attack at Frontier City. One of the PWs said that the 3rd Battalion left its base camp near the Cambodian border on 23 April where it had been serving as a security force for the 271 Regiment headquarters, and began moving toward its objective, Patrol Base Frontier City. Statements from the prisoners regarding future intentions of their units were vague and generally negative. However, one of the PWs did state that an attack was to be launched on Saigon and Gia Dinh in May 69 in order to “Resolve the battle in SVN”. The infantry elements were supported by the 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine-gun company and the 75mm recoilless rifle support company of the 271st Regiment which were identified from documents. Codes found on one document were associated with the 69th Artillery Command, thus suggesting that COSVN artillery support elements augmented the 9VC/NVA Division for the attack.
b. Patrol Base Frontier City was situated in a flat open area approximately three kilometers to the north of the Cambodian border. The terrain surrounding the base was generally open with small wooded areas 300m southwest and 150m southwest of the base. Cover and concealment was provided along avenues of approach to the base from the southwest and the southeast by these wooded areas. Visual observation from the base was good over long distances except for the two small wooded areas. Fields of fire were clear and observation was good in the areas immediately adjacent to the patrol base. Dense brushwood lined a northeast - southeast stream which passed within 450 meters of the base to the southeast. Shortened avenues of approach to the base from the south, southeast and east were provided from positions located in the vegetated areas along this stream.
c. Weather was clear and visibility good during the evening and early morning of 25 - 26 April.
d. Patrol Base Frontier City was located in the Long Khanh Village area, Hieu Thien District, of Tay Ninh Province. The Long Khanh area encompasses the southeast portion of the Straight Edge Woods. Its southern boundary is the Vietnamese - Cambodian border. Long Khanh Village was given a “C” rating in the most recent MACV Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) Report. Pro-GVN sentiment of the local populace is marginal and enemy elements, when in tha area, are believed receive significant support from the people.
9 (U) MISSION: To provide pacification and security means, interdict VC/NVA lines of communication; find and destroy base areas and chaches, and elements of the 272nd Regt, D1 and D16 Bns.
10 (C) CONCEPT OF OPERATION: 4 - 9 Inf established a patrol base 24 April 1969 vic XT203288 utilizing one rifle company, reinforced by two 105mm Howitzers. Platoon sized sweeps were conducted' out of this abase during the day.
11 (C) EXECUTION: (See ANNEX B - sketch) PB Frontier City was one of a series of PBs which had been established along the Cambodian Border by the 25th Infantry Division. The specific order for the establishment of Patrol Base Frontier City was issued to the 1st Brigade on 21 April 1969. The base was to be established 24 April 1969.
Company C, 4 - 9 Inf was given the mission to establish and occupy PB Frontier City. Company A, 4 - 9 Inf was designated the support Company. The need for a support company was dictated by the requirement that the PB defenses be completed prior to dark of the first night. On 24 April 1969 Company C walked overland to the location of PB Frontier City. Company A was airlifted into the area. One D5 bulldozer was moved to the area by Flying Crane (CH-54) and a D7 dozer was floated down the Vam Co Dong on a raft, and then floated down the Rach Bao Canal. It was moved the remainder of the distance overland. With these assets in the area, the construction of PB Frontier City was begun. Previous experience had shown that the circular perimeter defense was most effective for patrol bases.
The capability to locate and build a hardened company fighting position with overhead cover in 9 hours is critical to the success of this operation.
The position of the patrol base was selected and an engineer stake was driven at the center. A rope 40 meters long was attached to the stake and stretched out from the center - this formed the radius of the circular trace of the bunker line. Next, an aiming circle was positioned at the center of the circle, and an initial engineer stake was driven at 0 degrees to mark the position of the first bunker. Additional stakes were driven every 15 degrees around the perimeter to mark the locations of all 24 bunkers. Outside the bunkerline, another circle was marked 75 meters out. This established the location of the perimeter defensive wire barrier.
After the bunker positions had been marked, a standard package was dropped at each of the 24 stakes. This package consisted of one 15 pound shaped demolition charge, 2 sheets of pierced steel planking, and a bundle of sand bags. The shaped charges were placed next to the engineer stakes and the initial hole for the bunker was blown. A standard 9' bunker was then built using the PSP and sandbags and squaring up the blown crater.
At the same time that Company C was building their bunkers, Company A, the support company, was establishing the wire barrier. This consisted of one row of triple concertina wire. Three hundred claymores were emplaced in two concentric circles between the bunkers and the wire (15 per bunker).
As the bunkers were completed the bulldozers pushed up berms between each bunker establishing a 360 degree wall around the position. Further, the bulldozers worked inside the perimeter establishing pits for storage of ammunition. These pits were then covered with two layers of sandbags for overhead cover.
A standard 20' observation tower was flown in, fully assembled, by a CH-47 and positioned in the center of the patrol base. The top was sandbagged and the AN/PPS-4 radar and starlight scope were positioned on top of the tower for night operation.
Finally, the two 105mm howitzers were moved into position behind prepared interior berms and laid to fire direct fire, principal direction of fire to the south.
The fields of fire were cleared by the bulldozers, including the leveling of all rice paddy dikes to a distance of 100 meters beyond the wire. By 241700 April 69, the position was ready. Company A was airlifted out, and Company C took up their fighting positions for the night.
The night of 24 April was quiet. There was a radar sighting of movement shortly before midnight, apparently a small reconnaissance party. The remainder of the night passed without event.
During the daylight hours of 25 April, Company A continued to improve the Patrol Base and conducted local security reconnaissance patrols. No enemy contact was made. The two bulldozers were moved out of the area by air and rafts.
At 251945 Apr the PPS-4 radar mounted atop the tower, picked up movement on an azimuth of 4200 mils of an estimated company sized unit. This target was not immediately engaged. Both the radar and starlight scope continued to observe to permit the situation to develop further. This delay in engaging was probably a contributing factor to the high body count. At 2100 hours, the starlight scope observed movement of a platoon sized element at 1000 meters. This unit was positioning RPG weapons and ammunition along a rice paddy dike to be picked up and used by other elements that would be committed to the attack. At 2200 hours the radar was picking up heavy movement throughout the sector form 4200 to 6000 mils. Additionally, one platoon was sighted in the starlight scope.
At this time a Night Hawk (1 UH-1 Flare Ship and 2 AK-1G Cobras) was circling on station to the north of Patrol Base Frontier City. The perimeter was marked utilizing smudge pots and railroad flares. The 81mm mortars fired a Section 2 rounds into the target area to mark. Next, the mortars fire Section 1 round of illumination over the enemy target. With the target well defined and the friendly position well marked, the battalion S3 called in Night Hawk to engage the enemy force. The gunships from B Co, 25th Aviation Battalion “rolled in” and killed 25 VC/NVA soldiers. At 2230 hours, 8”, 155mm and 105mm artillery fired the first of two Firecracker TOTs in the area of contact. At 2300 hours the artillery completed the second TOT and the secondary Light Fire Team had expended its ordnance.
Immediately, the battalion S3, the senior officer at the position, directed the two direct fire 105mm Howitzers to fire a pattern of Killer Junior. The area to be covered was a 360 degree sweep, ranging from 500-1000 meters from the wire. This mission was fired, and at 2330 hours all was momentarily quiet at PB Frontier City. However, radar sightings were still very heavy. Starlight observation was continued.
At 260035 April the silence was broken by the initial impacting rounds of a heavy mortar and rocket barrage. This shelling continued without interruption, and at 0100 hours the VC/NVA launched a battalion sized attack from the south in an attempt to breach the wire. The wire was blown by a bangalore torpedo, and 11 VC/NVA penetrated the barrier. Immediately the claymores were blown in the penetration area, and the attack was blunted. A; 90mm recoilless rifle crew and two M-60 machine gun crews engaged the enemy attempting to breach the barrier. Two Light Fire Teams that were orbiting in the area were ordered to make 40mm passes from West to East, dropping the rounds along the outer wire in the midst of the attacking enemy battalion. This was the beginning of the rout, and destruction of the enemy force. They had been stopped in their attempt to penetrate the wire, and they broke and fled towards the wood line to the south.
By this point in the battle the pattern for fire support had been established by the Battalion S3. 105mm Artillery fire was being placed to the south and the southeast of the position. 175mm Artillery fire was being placed south of the position. Light Fire Teams were covering the west and east sides of the perimeter, and Spooky was also firing to the south where the main attack had occurred. No fire was being placed on the north side of the position as there were no enemy activity in that area. At 260135 a USAF FAC was on station overhead in anOOV-10. He directed two airstrikes (2F4C and 2 F100s) on targets to the west of the positions, including two .51 caliber anti-aircraft weapons positions.
The enemy suppressive fires continued heavy until 0230. Many of the weapons and firing positions had been eliminated by air strikes, Light Fire Teams and artillery which was placed to the rear of the attacking force. Those positions were destroyed or silenced by friendly fires.
By 0330 hours, heavy enemy fire had terminated, and only sporadic weapons fire was received for the remainder of the night. The combat forces continued to place fire on enemy targets of opportunity until 0630 hours. At that time the battle terminated.
(1) Friendly expenditure - An inventory after the battle indicated that the following amounts of ordnance were expended by US Forces.
a. 11 Light Fire Teams (22 Cobras - AH - 1C
b. 3 Spooky aircraft (16,000 rds 7.62mm each)
c. 1 Shadow aircraft (31,000 rds 7.62mm)
d. 2000 rounds Artillery (mixed calibers)
e. 10 - 500lb bombs and 10 napalm cannisters (2F4C & 2 F100 AC)
f. 800 8mm mortar rounds
g. 150 claymores
h. 200 90mm Heat rounds
i. 1500 M79 rounds
j. 200 frag. Grenades
k. 50,000 rounds of 7.62 (LNG)
k. 70,000 rounds of 5.56 (M16)
(2) Enemy ordnance expended (Suppressive Fire):
(a) 15 107mm rockets
(b) 180 RPG rounds
(c) 275 82mm and 60mm mortar rounds
(3) Communications: The complete battle was controlled by the normal PM Command
Net authorized by TO&E supplemented by phone communications within the base. The Battalion S3, who was the senior officer on the scene, utilized an AN/PRC-25 radio to control the total action. Some enemy jamming was experienced just before the assault started. However, it was strong enough to affect only the Company Command Net at Patrol Base Frontier City. None of the other US units in the vicinity experienced any radio jamming.
(4) Initial Engagement - Enemy forces were initially engaged by direct fire weapons at a range of 950 meters.
(5) Enemy Penetration - The VC/NVA forces penetrated the wire barrier at one location. This was stopped as discussed in the narrative. No bunkers were penetrated.
12 (C) RESULTS:
a. Friendly: 1 US WIA.
b. Enemy Losses:
Captured: 214 KIA (Body Count)
27 AK - 47's
27 RPG Launchers
4 60mm Mortars
1 .51 caliber Machine-gun
5 Light Machine-guns
10 SKS Rifles
1 75mm Recoilless Rifle
1 107mm Rocket Launcher
1 82mm Mortar
Destroyed: 102 Hand Grenades
30 RPG Rounds
17 60mm Mortar Rounds
1 82mm Mortar Rouns
4 57mm Recoilless Rifle Rounds
4 Bangalore Torpedoes
8700 Small Arms Rounds
100 Lbs Web Gear
The area round the patrol base was swept by US Forces.
13. ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:
a. Supply: The patrol base concept developed by this division includes an initial build up of supplies to allow the base to be self supporting in case of a sustained ground attack. This is necessary since the patrol base concept anticipates that the enemy will attack the position. We select the fighting ground.
Twenty-one CH-47 Supply Sorties were flown the first day to establish Patrol Base Frontier City. This included a basic load of rations, although the hot meals (breakfast and supper) would be fed when possible.
The following amounts of ammunition were on hand:
900 rounds 105mm HE (Killer Junior)
800 rounds 8mm HE and Illumination
300 rounds Claymore Mines (15 per bunker)
6 cases Trip Flares
70,000 rounds 7.62mm (M60)
100,000 rounds 5.56mm (M16)
After the heavy firing ceased, a 9 ship lift of UH-1 helicopters brought in an assorted load of ammunition resupply.
b. Maintenance - Only first echelon maintenance was performed in the area of Patrol Base Frontier City. This was done by individuals and crews of crew-served weapons.
(1) Helicopters were the principal means of transportation.
(2) Rafts - See “Special equipment and techniques” below (par. 14)
d. Medical evacuation - None required during the contact.
14. Special Equipment and Techniques:
a. Rapid defense Construction: The techniques of establishing a hardened company fighting position in 9 hours (discussed under “Execution” above) is considered unique in itself. Under the operating conditions which existed in the area of PB Frontier City, it was imperative that adequate defenses be complete by night fall the first day. This was accomplished.
b. Rafting of D7 Bulldozer: An M4T6, 5 float reinforced raft was used to move a D7 Bulldozer to the site. The route of movement utilized the Vam Co Dong and Rach Bao Canal. The final portion of the trip was made “walking” the bulldozer overland with an infantry escort. This method eliminated the need for a lowboy, mechanized escort and a long and tedious road opening operation. The mine threat was essentially by-passed.
c. Position Marking: Smudge pots and railroad flares were used to mark clearly friendly positions from the air. This facilitated control of airstrikes and gunships.
d. Specific Firing Areas: Specific firing areas were established for each of the supporting weapons being employed in the area. The specific areas designated were discussed under “Execution”.
e. Command and Control: The battalion S3 conducted the integrated air-ground defense from atop the 20 foot radar tower located in the center of the Patrol Base. This location had certain unique advantages over a command and control aircraft. It was located at the center of the action. It reduced the number of aircraft over the area allowing light fire teams and tactical aircraft more freedom of action. The personal presence of a field grade officer would influence the action if necessary, and there was no fuel limitation to preclude remaining over the action at all times.
The battalion S3 had anticipated using the tower as a command post in the event of an attack and ran direct telephone lines to the rifle company commanders OP, the 105mm Howitzer and the 81mm mortar firing positions. Two AN/PRC-25s were employed: one on the battalion command net, and one on the brigade command net. During the conduct of the defense, with the rifle company commander on the ground, the battalion S-3 on a twenty foot observation tower and the brigade commander overhead in a UH-1 command and control helicopter, a totem pole command structure was obtained physically as well as militarily.
15. (U) CONCLUSIONS: Patrol Base Frontier City was the fifth base of this type to be established along the Cambodian Frontier. Although the battle at PB Frontier City was fought as a defense of a strong point, the basic concept is one of preemption. By meeting the enemy on carefully selected and prepared ground of our choosing, we were able to deliver a crippling defeat to major enemy maneuver elements.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
S/ Robert L. Fair
T/ ROBERT L. FAIR
Chief of Staff
MICHAEL D. KEATING