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After Action Reports 29
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVD CDH 14 February 1968
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 January 1968
(RCS CSFOR-65) (BC)
TO: SEE DISTRIBUTION
Location: Vicinity CU CHI, CU CHI Base Camp (XT647153), RVN
Reporting Officer: Major General F. K. Mearns
Prepared by: Captain Sidney P. Stone, CO, 18th Military History
1. (C) Significant Organizational Activities.
(1) General: There were seven major operations (battalion size or larger) and 716 small unit actions conducted by the 25th Infantry Division during the quarter. All major operations and 219 of the small unit actions resulted in enemy contact.
(2) The 25th Infantry Division Monsoon Campaign which began in May, continued into this reported period until the beginning of the 1967-68 Dry Season Campaign in December. The mission of the division in the Dry Season Campaign: to conduct offensive operations with emphasis in War Zone C, to destroy VC/NVA forces and installations, to secure lines of communications (LOC's), to support the Government of Viet Nam (GVN) Revolutionary Development Program and to reinforce Free World Military Assistance Forces and GVN forces as directed, and to prevent VC rice taxation, harvesting or transportation within the Division's Tactical Area of Interest (TAOI). Within the Division's TAOI during the reporting period, operations KOLEKOLE, BARKING SANDS, DIAMOND HEAD, ATLANTA, and CAMDEN were concluded, and operations SARATOGA and YELLOWSTONE are presently being conducted.
(a) YELLOWSTONE (8 December, 1967-Continuing). This is a multi-brigade operation involving the 1st and 3rd Brigades, 25th Infantry Division and is taking place in War Zone “C” located in the northern part of TAY NINH Province. The purpose of YELLOWSTONE is to destroy VC/NVA forces and installations and complete several engineering projects of rebuilding or constructing road networks, United States Special Forces (USSF)/Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) Camps, and KATUM (XT3389) airfield.
The 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division established a base camp at KATUM with its TAOI in the northern part of War Zone “C”. The brigade's operation was characterized by daily multiple company sized airmobile combat assaults which were exploited by extensive S&D operations. Another base camp was established at BO TUC (XT 3885) on 19 December 1967 when the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry and two batteries of the 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery were airlifted into fire support patrol base (FSPB), BEAUREGARD. During the early hours of 20 December 1967, NVA forces conducted a joint ground-mortar attack against FSPB BEAUREGARD which resulted in 40 KIA's (BC) to the enemy force.
The 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division airmobiled into SUOI TRE (XT 4169) in order to establish a base in its TAOI encompassing the central portion of War Zone “C”. No significant contacts were made before the 3rd Brigade was extracted to participate in Operation CAMDEN.
After completion of CAMDEN, the 3rd Brigade established FXPB BURT in the northern part of its TAOI at SUOI CUT (XT 5079) on 30 December 1967. During the New Years Truce (1-2 January 1968), NVA forces started the battle of SUOI CUT with a coordinated mortar attack on FSPB's BEAUREGARD and BURT. The mortar attack against FSPB BURT was followed by a massive ground attack by two NVA regiments. The NVA charge was repulsed resulting in approximately 400 KIA's by body count and nine prisoners of war (POW's).
Results of Operation YELLOWSTONE to date are: VC personnel losses - 907 KIA (BC) and 137 detainees. VC equipment losses - 134 individual weapons, 59 crew serve weapons, 25 pounds of documents, 42,645 SA rounds, 557.6 tons of rice, 249 mines, 7 radios, and 12 telephones.
(b) SARATOGA (8 December 1967 - Continuing). This operation's first phase ended on 31 January 1968 and corresponds with operation YELLOWSTONE and the last two months of the rice harvest. In conjunction with GVN forces and province officials, 25th Infantry Division (minus YELLOWSTONE forces) conducted operations in the TAOI portions of LONG AN, BINH DUONG, and HAU NNGHIA Provinces; to pacify 25th Infantry Division's TAOI in the provinces; to secure that portion of the allied base area in the Division TAOI: to prevent VC rice taxation, harvesting, or transportation within the Division TAOI; and to destroy VC/NVA forces within the Division TAOI> The execution of SARATOGA was principally effected by the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry.
During the month of December, 1967, the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division's Operation SARATOGA was restricted because of the holiday truces and operations ATLANTA and CAMDEN. In January the operation got into full swing. During the period of 4-10 January 1968, there were two significant contacts in the vicinity of AP AN HOA (XT 7416) with one contact resulting in 74 VC KIA (BC). Multi-battalion combat assaults, search and destroy missions, and joint operations with ARVN units were conducted in the vicinity of TRUNG BAP (XT 5921) between 11 January and the end of January. Rome Plow operations were conducted in the FILHOL PLANTAION and HOBO WOODS during January. Before moving the clearing operation from the FILHOL, a total of 4,325 acres had been cleared. By the end of January nearly 4,000 acres had been cleared in the HOBO. In conjunction with attacks on allied facilities in the SAIGON - TAN SON NHUT area during the period of 3-31 January 1968, the VC posed a threat to the 25th Infantry Division base camp at CU CHI, resulting in the 2nd Brigade encountering sizable VC forces east and south of the CU CHI Base Camp (XT 6515). During the first two months of SARATOGA, the kill ratio has been ten to one in favor of US forces.
(c) KOLEKOLE (13 May - 7 December 1967). This operation was a rainy season operation which took place in HAU NGHIA and TAY NINH Provinces. During this quarter, the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry division continued on KOLEKOLE. The mission of KOLEKOLE was to conduct offensive operations against VC units along the Oriental River from TAY NINH to DUC HOA; provide security for engineer activities; deny the VC use of lines of communications in the TAOI; and reinforce Vietnamese operations in the TAOI.
In November and December, 1967, the most significant activity of the 2nd Brigade in Operation KOLEKOLE was centered around security of the engineer operation of rebuilding route 10 from LOC THANH (XT4316) to BAO TRAI (XT 5204) and Rome Plow operations near THAI MY (XT 5415). Two of the 2nd Brigade's battalions were OPCON to the 1st Brigade in an operation near SONG BE (YU139074) during early November, and this accounted for the small amount of activity.
When KOLEKOLE ended on 7 December 1967, much of the operation's TAOI which was previously under South Vietnamese Government and US control remained “status quo” during this period of reduced ground mobility. Statistically, US casualties were 144 KIA, 14 died of wounds (DOW), and 876 WIA opposed to the VC losses of KIA (BC) 797, 150 PW, and 34 HOI CHANHS. The enemy also suffered the loss of supply caches and the interruption of lines of communications in the MY QUI (XT 3913) area.
(d) BARKING SANDS (18 May - 7 December 1967). This operation was a pacification and jungle clearing operation of the first Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in CU CHI and TRANG BANG Districts of HAU NGHIA Province and PHU HOA District of BINH DUONG Province. Numerous small unit actions, which included Bushmaster (extensive company size patrols), C&S of suspected VC hamlets, Roadrunners (mine sweeping of roads) and checkmate (road blocks in unannounced locations to check for VC personnel or supplies being moved by surface transportation), enabled the brigade to reduce VC capability to move freely. In addition, S&D missions employing airmobile combat assaults into the IRON TRIANGLE were conducted when intelligence reports located VC units in the area.
Artillery support for Operation BARKING SANDS envisioned many new concepts which proved to be highly successful in a jungle war against guerilla forces. BARKING SANDS, as never before, utilized the concept of airlift of light artillery batteries to exploit important intelligence data. Further, it was in Operation BARKING SANDS that the concept of a minimum of one artillery battalion equivalent would be used to support any maneuver force larger than a platoon. The results of these new ideas were a greater kill ratio per artillery round fired and most certainly added a confusion factor to the enemy as to the size force which was opposing him.
Jungle clearing operations were continued in the FILHOL PLANTATION in BINH DUONG Province as Operation KUNIA which had begun on 16 September as a jungle clearing operation in the HOBO WOODS. “Roadrunners” were conducted between PHU HOA DONG (XT 7119) and CU CHI Base Camp in order to keep the line of communications open. Contact with the enemy was very light during this operation which was part of Operation BARKING SANDS. The objective of Operation KUNIA was to eliminate the HOBO WOODS and the FILHOL PLANTATION as safe havens for the VC through extensive clearing and destruction of VC base camps and forces.
KAWELA, AKUMU, AND WAIMEA are other operations which were conducted as part of BARKING SANDS, but were completed before this reporting period. Overall, BARKING SANDS had a kill ratio of 1/2.77 in favor of US forces.
(e) DIAMOND HEAD (18 May - 7 December 1967). This operation consisting of S&D operations and security missions was conducted by the 3rd Brigade from base camps at TAY NINH and DAU TIENG. Also, the 3rd Brigade had the mission to secure engineer repair work conducted on the road network in his area of operation (AO).
As the operation continued in November, the 3rd Brigade conducted S&D and C&S operations in the upper BOI LOI WOODS, BEN CUI PLANTATION and along the eastern bank of the SAIGON RIVER south of DAU TIENG. During the first part of November, operations were curtailed due to two battalions being OPCON to the other brigades. While conducting S&D operations near the MUSHROOM bend on the SAIGON RIVER during the period 24-25 November, the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry encountered a company size VC force resulting in a VC body count of 20 plus another 25 more possible KIA's. Contact with enemy forces was light during the remainder of November with December contact being very similar.
Results of Operation DIAMOND HEAD were: Personnel losses - 237 VC KIA (BC), 496 detainees, 4 HOI CHANHS; Material captured and destroyed - 103 individual weapons, 2 crew service weapons, 170 tons of rice, and 34,000 SA rounds.
(f) ATLANTA (18 November - 23 December 1967). This operation was conducted in the IRON TRIANGLE of BINH DUONG Province in order to destroy the VC haven which had not seen any friendly operations since the termination of CEDAR FALLS in January, 1967. Enemy contact was made during the early stages of the operation in the southwestern sector of the IRON TRIANGLE where the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division had airmobile assaulted some of their units and other elements with the Rome Plows moved by land. The majority of the contacts consisted of mechanized Infantry attacks of fortified enemy positions from which the enemy initially fought fiercely and then departed. The repeated discovery of documents as well as the discover of 178.5 tons of rice in the AN THUAN and PHU AN (XT 7222) areas indicated a transfer of large quantities of rice from PHU HO DONG village (XT7120) to storage areas within the IRON TRIANGLE. With the assistance from a BEN CAT District Popular Force unit, the location, exploitation, and subsequent destruction of approximately 10,000 meters of interconnecting tunnels was accomplished. During ATLANTA, Rome Plows cleared a total of 10,995 acres in the IRON TRIANGLE.
The 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division conducted an airmobile combat assault of one battalion into the southeastern portion of the TRAPEZOID to support operation ATLANTA. From 18 November to 25 November, this battalion conducted S&D operations to interdict and deny VC use of lines of communications from the IRON TRIANGLE.
From an intelligence standpoint, operation ATLANTA was a great success. The location and destruction of a large percentage of the major tunnel complexes along with the extensive land clearing by the Rome Plows will hamper the enemies' ability to move and live in the TRIANGLE. ATLANTA should affect the VC's operations in the PHU HOA DONG area for some time.
(g) CAMDEN (17 December - 31 December 1967). This operation was conducted by the 2nd and 3rd Brigades, 25th Infantry Division, in HAU NGHIA, TAY NINH, and BINH DUONG Provinces to locate and destroy the 101st North Vietnamese Army (NVA) Regiment which was reported to be located in the HOBO - BOI LOI WOODS and TRAPEZOID areas. The unexpected presence of a main force unit operating near CU CHI is partially explained by the fact that a rich rice harvest was in progress and the 101st NVA Regiment was present to secure and oversee the transportation of the rice to the North. Numerous small unit actions, which included armor-infantry S&D operations, combined reconnaissance intelligence platoon (CRIP), aerial combat assaults on Landing Zones (LZ's) based on intelligence reports, and multi-battalion airmobile combat assaults were conducted during CAMDEN. The 3rd Brigade, who was operating in the TRAPEZOID area, used mostly company size airmobile combat assaults for interdictory purposes to stop the VC forces exfiltrating in front of the mechanized infantry S&D operations. The 2nd Brigade operating in the HOBO - BOI LOI WOODS, used tank-infantry teams and multi-battalion airmobile combat assaults for S&D operations. VC losses in personnel were 109 KIA (BC) and 4 POW's. The VC also suffered the destruction of several base camp areas and the loss of nearly 33 tons of rice. US forces experienced 27 KIA, 1 died of wounds (DOW) and 118 WIA. Also noteworthy was the massing of combat power from operation YELLOWSTONE for this operation when the 3rd Brigade and several artillery batteries joined with the 2nd Brigade for operation CAMDEN.
b. Artillery Support. During the quarter, Division Artillery fired 51,557 rounds in support and 26,002 rounds for Harassment and Interdiction (H&I) missions. Included in the totals were rounds fired in support of ARVN operations and/or ARVN outposts under attack.
c. Air Support. There were 2,954 sorties during the quarter in support of 1,361 missions with the following results: 52 VC Killed by Air Force (KBAF) (BC), 234 VC KBAF (poss). In addition, 168 VC structures, 1,795 bunkers, 3 sampans, 1 oxcart, 1 bridge, 2 caches, 1 truck, and 5 tunnels were destroyed. There were 44 secondary explosions and 47 secondary fires. There were 32 B-52 strikes in 201 sorties flown in support of combat operations.
d. Army Aviation. There were 18,313 sorties, 3,217 combat missions, 8,933 hours flown, and 32,592 passengers carried. The armed helicopter section expended 1,036,040 rounds of 7.62mm machine gun ammunition, 890 rounds of 5.62mm rifle ammunition, 14,142 rounds of 40mm grenades, and 4,075 aerial rockets in support of combat operations. These missions resulted in the destruction of 17 structures, 22 sampans, 49 VC Killed by Army Aviation (KBAA) (BC), and 106 VC KBAA (poss).
(1) VC Activity
(a) General: During November and December, VC efforts consisted primarily of efforts to delay allied clearing operations, counter sweep operations, and harassing activities along Main Supply Routes (MSR) and vicinity of base camps and field locations. During the last month of the reporting period, VC offensive activity increased. This increased activity was a result of the VC Winter - Spring campaign which began approximately 1 January 68.
(b) VC Tactics: VC activity during November was directed at countering allied sweep operations in HAU NGHIA, Southern TAY NINH and Western BINH DUONG Provinces. In December, simultaneous with the beginning of Operation YELLOWSTONE, counter-sweep operations were conducted primarily in War Zone “C”. At the beginning of January, the VC reverted from a defensive to an offensive posture, with the most notable attacks those at FSB Burt on 1-2 January and the attacks in the SAIGON area on 31 January. In addition to the ground attacks, there was a notable increase in attacks by fire. These attacks, beginning immediately after YELLOWSTONE was initiated, were directed at Base Camps and field CP's. 122mm rockets were employed on several occasions in attacks at KATUM, DAU TIENG, and CU CHI Base Camps.
(2) Significant Contacts.
(a) On 20 December at 0140 the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry received an attack of approximately 250 rounds of 60mm and 82mm mortar fire and an unknown number of small arms at FSPB BEAUREGARD (XT3885). They returned fire with small arms, automatic weapons, artillery, light fire teams, and air strikes. Documents captured indicated that elements of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 141st NVA Regiment conducted the attack. Results: 6 US KIA and 22 US WIA. VC losses were 40 VC KIA (BC), 33 VC KIA (poss). Also 15 AK-47 rifles, 4 Russian machine guns, 1 CHI COM rifle, 1 RPG-2 launcher, 1 RPG-7 launcher, 1 M-1 rifle, 1 unknown light machine gun, 2 9mm pistols, and 1 PRC-10 radio.
(b) At 2334 on 1 January 1968, elements of the 271st and 272nd VC Regiments initiated an all-out assault on the 3rd Brigade's FSFB, Burt, vicinity XT499806. Contact lasted until 0530 the next morning. Results: 21 US KIA and 152 US WIA. VC losses were 355 KIA (BC), 5 VC PW's, 75 AK-47 rifles, 16 RPG-2 and 12 RPG-7 launchers, 11 CHI COM LMG, 1 caliber .45 pistol, and scores of ammunition destroyed.
(c) On 29 January at 1625, just prior to the start of the 1968 TET Holiday Truce period, the Aero Rifles from Troop D, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry vicinity XT 954305 came into heavy contact with an estimated BC Bn force consisting of a recon unit from 272nd NVA Regiment and possibly elements from the local main force Battalions. Fire was returned with all available organic weapons, artillery, LFT, and Spooky. The 2nd Battalion, 27 Infantry conducted a night combat assault to reinforce the Aero Rifles. Results: 9 US KIA and 14 US WIA. VC losses: 64 VC KIA (BC), 1 VC PO WIA, 4 AK-47 rifles, one 82mm mortar tube, and 1 RPG-2 rocket launcher.
(d) On 31 January, the VC launched a large scale offensive in the SAIGON area. Troops B and C of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry while moving to reinforce the Capital Military District area vicinity XS 90950 came into heavy contact with elements of the D-14 and the D-16 VC Battalions at 0708 hours. After an all day fight, contact was broken at 1530 hours. Results: 15 US KIA, 23 US WIA, 3 APC's and 1 tank destroyed. VC losses: 162 VC KIA (BC), 24 VC PW's, and numerous weapons, web gear, and documents.
(3) Conclusion: The tactics employed by the VC during the first two months of the reporting period were devised to delay the US sweep and clearing operations. Tactics during January were employed to complement the Winter-Spring Campaign. The large number of attacks by fire are believed to have been conducted to cover the movement of VC forces to the SAIGON area and to cause as many casualties and as much damage as possible. By creating a threat on Base Camps, the VC hoped to restrict allied reinforcing capabilities to the populated areas and political installations where their man ground efforts were directed.
(1) Class I Supply - (25th Supply and Transport Battalion)
“A” Rations “C” Rations
1 Stockage objective CU CHI 5 10
(days) DAU TIENG 5 10
2 On Hand (days) CU CHI 3 10
DAU TIENG 4 12.5
(b) Fresh fruits and vegetables were received from Class I Issue Point SAIGON.
(c) Ice Cream:
1 Cycle of issue - three times a week.
2 Gallons per week from SAIGON - 1,950
3 Gallons per week from CU CHI - 329
4 Gallons per week from DAU TIENG - 450
(d) Average amount of ice issued daily:
1 Potable - CU CHI - 120,000
- DAU TIENG - 25,000
2 Non-potable - None
(2) Class II & IV (29th Supply & Transport Battalion)
(a) Additions to ASL during quarter - CU CHI - 158
- DAU TIENG - 0
(b) Total lines on ASL - CU CHI - 1,437
- DAU TIENG - 153
(3) Class III (25th Supply & Transport Battalion)
(a) MOGAS (gals) CU CHI 10,022 902,009
DAU TIENG 4,493 361,200
(b) Diesel (gals) CU CHI 19,375 1,743,580
DAU TIENG 12,664 591,805
(c) JP/4 (gals) CU CHI 1,420 127,775
DAU TIENG 760 62,700
(a) Contract Laundry - CU CHI - 8,187 bundles
DAU TIENG - 590-485 bundles
(b) QM bath units:
1 Total showers - CU CHI 18,078
Daily average - CU CHI 213
2 Total showers - DAU TIENG 7,900
Daily average - DAU TIENG 263
3 Total showers - Field CU CHI 5,101
Daily average - Field CU CHI 60
4 Total showers - Field DAU TIENG 7,640
Daily average - Field DAU TIENG 86
5 Total showers for quarter 38,719
Daily average 311
(c) Graves Registration:
Deceased US personnel processed during the quarter - CU CHI - 180; DAU TIENG - 61
Deceased RVN personnel processed during the quarter - CU CHI - 68, DAU TIENG - 61
(d) Division water resupply - average daily to CU CHI base camp users - 36,000 gals.
(e) DUC HOA Helicopter Rearm/Refuel Facility - 25th S&T Battalion has completed all construction at facility. Refuel point consists of 5 refueling points for JP-4, tank storage capacity 30,000 gals. AVGAS storage facility consists of M-49C Tanker and collapsible pods with capacity of 2,200 gals. Bunker and protected storage facilities are complete for storage and issue of ammunition and pyrotechnics.
1 TAY NINH - Facility consists of steel storage tanks for 252,000 gals of JP-4 and 20,000 gals of AVGAS with 16 operational refuel points. Berms and bunkers are built for storage and issue of ammunition and pyrotechnics.
2 DAU TIENG - Facility has 24 operational refueling points with JP-4 capacity of 70,000 gals and AVAGAS with capacity of 12,000 gals. Bunkers and berms are provided for storage and issue of ammunition and pyrotechnics.
3 KATUM - Facility opened for operation YELLOWSTONE for providing ammunition and pyrotechnics for operation in the area. Bunkers have been built for protection.
(a) Mileage driven:
1 Total - CU CHI 193,000
- DAU TIENG 83,599
2 Average daily - CU CHI 2,098
- DAU TIENG 925
(b) Tonnage moved:
1 Total - CU CHI 9,500
2 Average daily - CU CHI 103.3
- DAU TIENG 64.9
(c) Troops moved by convoy:
1 Total - CU CHI 11,500
- DAU TIENG 220
2 Average daily - CU CHI 125
- DAU TIENG 2.3
(d) Troops moved locally (replacement)
1 Total - CU CHI 18,400
2 Average daily - CU CHI 200.3
(e) Troops hauled (pass truck - CU CHI)
1 Total - 5,000
2 Average daily - 54.3
(6) Operation YELLOWSTONE
During Operation YELLOWSTONE the 25th S & T Battalion was tasked with the mission of providing both personnel and equipment to assist in the timely flow of supplies and equipment through the four established DISCOM Forward Elements.
DISCOM Forward, TAY NINH was under the command of the Battalion S-3, Major Malo. This was the focal point for supply activities for the entire operation.
DISCOM Forward, KATUM under the command of the Battalion XO, Major Pinkston, initially was responsible for the close monitoring and coordination of requisitions submitted and supplies handled through the 1st Logistical Command FSA. This facility was the most forward supply point for all operations in War Zone C. All classes of supplies were handled with initial resupply convoys augmenting the aircraft resupply effort. It was the function of the 25th S & T Bn personnel to insure that these resupply efforts were expeditiously handled and prompt discharge performed. In addition, continuous liaison was effected and up to date records and status reports were maintained on all supply actions.
The 25th S&T Company (Provisional) at DAU TIENG, under the operational control of DISCOM Forward, DAU TIENG, was responsible for the close and continuous processing of requisitions and providing all supplies and services requested by units operating in its area of responsibility.
DISCOM Forward, SOUI DAU included an FSE organized, manned, stocked, and operated by the 25th S&T Bn in conjunction with Operation YELLOWSTONE. Complete storage facilities were established for all classes of supplies, MHE service provided, refrigerated storage and van service provided for perishable Class I supplies and a bath point provided.
(a) The following jobs were completed by the 725th Maintenance Battalion during the reporting period.
ITEM NOV DEC JAN TOTAL
Wheel Vehicles 273 319 300 892
Track Vehicles 137 130 157 424
Small Arms 989 719 717 2,425
Artillery 161 136 141 438
Chemical 269 123 76 468
Refrigeration 22 26 40 88
Engineer 237 181 212 630
Signal 3,122 2,149 2,305 7,576
Fire Control 289 183 176 648
Office Machines 100 158 176 648
Aircraft 247 227 268 742
Total 5,846 4,351 4,567 14,764
(b) During this reporting period, the maintenance and supply mission of this battalion has been influenced by the following factors:
1 Repair parts availability
2 Geographical location (high temperature and dust).
3 Lack of sufficient maintenance at organizational level.
(8) Medical Support.
The 25th Medical Battalion supported Division units with medical service and supplies. Non-division units were support with medical supplies.
(a) Medical totals:
1 Patients seen - 11,913
a Disease - 8,399
b Non-battle injuries - 2,364
c IRHA - 1,450
2 Lab tests - 8,968
3 Immunizations - 5,555
4 Prescriptions filled - 7,938
(b) Dental patients seen - 9,186
1 Dental examinations - 7,916
2 Other (extractions, etc.) - 1,270
(c) Supply and Service
1 Line items issued - 6,629
2 Short tonnage total - 26.5
3 MED CAP line items issued - 1,525
4 Short tonnage total - 5.5
5 Bulk pharmacy items issued - 2,880
6 Eyeglasses ordered (pairs) - 455
7 Maintenance work orders received - 104
a Work orders completed - 84
b Work orders remaining at - 20 end of report period
(9) Transportation Office.
(a) Highway continues to be the primary mode of transportation for the resupply of CU CHI, TAY NINH, and DAU TIENG base camps. Following is a breakdown of regular resupply convoys operated in the division area:
1 CU CHI - SAIGON convoys
a Total Convoys - 182
b Number of convoys per day - 2
c Total vehicles - 9,025
d Number of vehicles involved in unit distribution
2 SAIGON/CU CHI - TAY NINH convoys
a Total convoys - 179
b Number of convoys per day - 2
c Total vehicles - 21,405
d Vehicles by unit
1st Log Comd 12,336
25th Div and attached units 10,222
3 TAY NINH - DAU TIENG convoys
a Total Convoys - 178
b Number of convoys per day - 2
c Total vehicles - 8,543
4 TAY NINH - KATUM convoys
a Total convoys - 48
b Number of convoys per day - 2
c Total vehicles - 4,091
5 TAY NINH - SUOI convoys
a Total convoys - 61
b Number of convoys per day - 2
c Total vehicles - 1,038
6 TAY NINH - HOC MON convoys
a Total convoys - 46
b Number of convoys per day - 1
c Total vehicles - 1,517
(b) Special airlift data for the quarter is as follows:
ACFT MISSIONS PRIORITIES SORTIES PAX CARGO (lbs)
C-130 2 TE 17 1,146 221,400
27 CE 175 2,782 3,577,933
14 I 21 60 405,839
C-123 1 ER 1 12,700
20 CE 133 1,318 1,358,169
46 I 60 1,466 310,126
C-7A 1 CE 1 4,034
90 I 643 15,467 376,469
(c) The Division Baggage Section steadily increased its volume of business this quarter due to the large number of rotating personnel. The section served 3,078 personnel and shipped 3,990 pieces of baggage weighing a total of 345,680 pounds.
(1) Personnel. During the past quarter the personnel posture of the Division has been good. The assigned strength dropped from 105% to 100% of authorized strength early in the quarter and remained at that level during most of the quarter. The shortage of Infantry Captains and NCO's continued to be a problem. In addition, there has been a shortage of engineer NCO's and a shortage in certain key maintenance areas. There was a critical shortage of artillerymen early in the quarter, but sufficient replacements have now been received and this no longer appears to be a problem area.
(2) Key Gains/Losses
(a) 1 Nov 67 - LTS Homer W. Keifer, Jr. assumed command of 3rd Bn, 13th Arty; LTC Thomas H. Ball transferred to II FFORCEV.
(b) 1 Nov 67 - LTC John M Henchman assumed command of 4th Bn, 9th Inf; LTC Thomas G. Banks appointed XO 1st Bde.
(c) 3 Nov 67 - LTC Billy J. Leathers assumed command of 7th Bn, 11th Arty LTC Alvin C. Hutchins transferred to MACV.
(d) 8 Nov 67 - LTC Alfred M. Bracy assumed command of 2nd Bn, 14th Inf; LTC James V. Ladd departed.
(e) 11 Nov 67 - LTC John G. Pappageorge appointed XO, 3rd Bde; LTC James F. Greer departed.
(f) 15 Nov 67 - BG Donnelly P. Bolton transferred to MACV.
(g) 15 Nov 67 - LTC Eldin D. Pulsipher appointed XO DISCOM; LTC Ted E. Gordiner departed.
(h) 30 Nov 67 - LTC Glenn H. Otis assumed command of 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav; LTC Richard R. Simpson appointed G-1; LTC John M. Shea departed.
(i) 4 Dec 67 - COL James R. Brownell assumed command of DISCOM; COL Leonard Daems assumed command of 3rd Bde; COL Kenneth E. Buell departed.
(j) 7 Dec 67 - LTC James B. Speer appointed Division Chemical Officer; LTC Noel L. Bergeron departed.
(k) 8 Dec 67 - LTC Ernest F. Condina assumed command of 1st Bn, 27th Inf; LTC David R. Hughes transferred to II FFORCEV.
(l) 10 Dec 67 - LTC Henry A. Flertzheim assumed command of 6th Engr Bn; LTC Avery S. Fullerton assumed command of 4th Bn, 23rd Inf; LTC Thomas A. Ware appointed XO 3rd Bde; LTC Richard C. Rogers departed.
(m) 10 Dec 67 - LTC William L. Albright assumed command of 2nd Bn, 77th Arty; LTC Allen T. Lindholm evacuated due to injury.
(n) 18 Dec 67 - LTC Chandler Goodnow appointed G3; COL Robert M. Ward departed.
(o) 20 Dec 67 - LTC Fremont B. Hodson assumed command of 1st Bde; COL Edwin H. Mark Jr. departed on emergency leave and remained in CONUS due to injury.
(p) 2 Jan 68 - LTC Henry B. Murphy, Jr. assumed command of 1st Bn, 5th Inf; LTC Jere W. Sharp appointed G4.
(q) 10 Jan 68 - LTC Clarence A. Riser appointed AG: LTC Robert S. Young departed.
(r) 15 Jan 68 - LTC Ranier S. Pakusch appointed Division Surgeon; LTC Hugh S. Wiley departed.
(s) 16 Jan 68 - LTC Elliot Schofield assumed command of 25th Bed Bn; MAJ John B. Leary departed.
(3) Post Exchanges within the Division area remained in operation. Following statistical data is furnished:
PX FLOOR SPACE STORAGE SPACE SALES
CU CHI 8,000 Sq. Ft. 14,841 Sq. Ft. $2,756,384.65
DAU TIENG 6,000 Sq. Ft. 2,500 Sq. Ft. $ 738,341.25
TAY NINH 5,000 Sq. Ft. 3,300 Sq. Ft. $ 809,989.77
(4) Strength as of 31 January 1968.
(a) Assigned Units OFF WO EM AOG
AUTH 1,044 13 5 15,894 17,023
ASGD 1,064 152 16,129 17,345
PDY 1,019 148 15,799 16,966
(b) Attached Units OFF WO EM AOG
AUTH 51 3 593 647
ASGD 46 3 567 616
PDY 43 3 551 597
(c) Losses (1 Nov 67 - 31 Jan 68)
OFF WO EM AOG
KHA/DOW 22 2 315 339
WHA 56 6 1197 1259
MHA 0 0 *5 *5
NBD 1 0 16 17
NBI 1 0 167 168
* All losses have been recovered but are awaiting positive identification before listing as KHA.
(6) Gains (1 Nov 67 - 31 Jan 68)
OFF WO EM AOG
353 32 4,845 5,230
(7) Provost Marshal Activities:
(a) Convoys. The 25th Military Police Company assumed the mission for escorting the CU CHI - TAY NINH Convoy from the 3/4 Cav on the 8th of November 1967. The unit's mission includes designating the timing, speed, density, order of march, and action during enemy attacks. The average number of vehicles in the convoy each day during the reporting period was one hundred and thirty-five (135).
(b) Joint Police Patrols. DAU TIENG Patrols were initiated on 6 November 1967 and TAY NINH Patrols were established on 23 November 1967. Joint Molbile Checkpoints consist of U.S. Military Police, ARVN QUAN CANH, and GVN National Police organized for the purpose of controlling population and resources and:
1 Conduct thorough searches of persons and vehicles to interdict VC movement of personnel and supplies.
2 Control traffic to reduce accidents and expedite the flow of traffic.
3 Render whatever services possible to promote the health and welfare of the people.
(c) Operation YELLOWSTONE. One Military Police platoon (-1) was attached to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. Two squads of the security platoon were attached to the 25th Inf Div, HHC to provide security for Div Hqs at the Division Forward in DAU TIENG.
h. Revolutionary Development Support.
(1) Six additional Revolutionary Development (RD) teams became operational in TAY NINH Province, bringing the total operation there to 18. Projected goal in 1968 is to have 25 teams operating in TAY NINH Province. The teams, as they develop an area, are leaving a skeleton 4-5 man rear detachment in each of the villages/hamlets to insure that the area does not deteriorate in the teams' absence. Seven teams are now working in HAU NHGIA Province, an increase of one since last quarter. Additionally, six civil/military teams have been formed from RF/PF, National Police, Youth and sports personnel, District/Village/Hamlet officials and HOI CHANK. These teams appear to be successful in augmenting the RD program. The one RD team in PHU HOA District of BINH DUONG Province continues to work in the PHU HOA DONG area.
(2) The National Priority area has been enlarged as a part of the 1968 RD plan. The area now includes all populated areas in the TAOI.
i. Civic Action
(1) For the Division's Dry Season Campaign (DRYSECAP), Civic Action (CA) areas of responsibility were modified. The 1st Bde of the Division moved permanently from CU CHI Base Camp (XT 6515) to TAY NINH West (XT 1752). To assure continuity, CA platoons were realigned to permit them to remain in the area in which they had been operating. The 1st Bde was assigned civic action responsibility for PHU KHUONG and PHOC NINH Districts, TAY NINH Province. The 3rd Bde continues to work in TRI TAN District, BINH DUONG Province and KHEIM HANH District, TAY NINH Province.
The 2nd Brigade works in HIEU THIEU District, TAY NINH Province and in DUC HUE and DUC HOA Districts in HAU NGHIA Province. Div Arty continues to work in TRANG BANG District, HAU NGHIA Province and DISCOM in CU CHI District, HAU NGHIA Province, and PHU HOA District, BINH DUONG Province. A portion of GIA DINH Province was added to the Division's TAOI on 15 December 1967. It included a part of BINH CHAN and TAN BINH Districts and all of HOC MON and GO VAP Districts. The only civic action conducted in this area by the Division in the past has been support of the 25th ARVN Division dependents in HOC MON. Several other units are conducting civic action in this area and Division civic action responsibilities and relationships with the units conducting civic action in the area are pending clarification by II FFORCEV.
(2) A new high was reached in the number of civic action projects conducted with 431 completed in the last quarter. During the reporting period, many Christmas, New Year and TET activities were conducted with emphasis on winning support for the GVN and goodwill for US Forces. Over 2,425 pounds of candy and 15,885 toys were distributed to 19,635 children during the Christmas-New Year and TET holiday seasons. A total of 302,293$VN from private voluntary contributions, civic action funds, and private association funds was expended in support of these activities.
(3) There were 520 MEDCAPS during the last quarter, the highest number of MEDCAPS ever conducted by the Division and an increase of 256 MEDCAPS over the same period in 1966-1967. During the reporting period, MEDCAPS were conducted at 75 different locations throughout the TAOI. Medical treatment on a regularly scheduled basis was provided at 33 different locations. An inoculation program was instituted in association with MEDCAPS and 2400 children and 1900 adults received smallpox and cholera inoculations during the period. These inoculations were combined efforts by Division medical personnel and District medical teams.
(4) MEDCAPS treated 72,000 patients during the reporting period. 27,894 were treated during the month of January. This is the greatest number of patients treated during any single month since the Division has been in RVN.
(5) Division elements captured 600 tons of rice during the quarter. About 200 tons of this rice was evacuated for use in civic action projects. Approximately 100 tons of rice was given to Province Chief, TAY NINH Province. Care in distribution is exercised to avoid disruption of the local rice market. A total of 10 tons of this rice was donated to orphanages in SAIGON by Division units.
(6) Commodities continue to be supplied by CRS, USAID, and CARE. The CA AIK fund is increasing in importance. Commodities brought to RVN as a part of the Helping Hand Project are nearly exhausted and there are no provisions for replenishment. There will be increased reliance on the CA AIK Fund for CA supplies and commodities in the future.
(7) Assistance was provided to VN civilians and military dependents immediately following the VC attack on BAO TRAI, HAU NGHIA Province on 7 and 9 January 1968. Approximately 700 people were homeless as a result of the attack. Quick reaction by Civil Affairs personnel helped to meet the immediate needs of the people. 211 family and individual refugee kits containing sleeping mats, pots and pans, chop sticks, rice, and soup base were provided by the Division. Additionally, 4 tons of rice and 26 boxes of clothing were supplied.
j. Psychological Operations (PSYOPS).
(1) PSYOP activities were primarily in support of combat operations in HAU NGHIA, TAY NINH, and BINH DUONG Provinces.
(2) A total of 65,260,100 leaflets were airdropped and hand disseminated throughout the division's TAOI. 37 leaflets were originated by G5 PSYOPS and S5's of the Division brigades. The leaflets were produced locally or by the 6th PSYOP Battalion.
(3) Aerial loudspeaker broadcasts conducted during the quarter totaled 280 hours of broadcast time and ground loudspeaker time totaled 72 hours. Three 1,000 watt loudspeaker sets and 3 tape recorders were received by the Division in December. Each 1,000 watt set consist of:
4 amplifiers (250 watts)
4 control boxes
A 500 watt loudspeaker set was issued to each brigade and the Division Cavalry squadron for aerial and ground loudspeaker operations. One tape recorder was issued to the 1st Bde and one to the 3rd Bde. These sets are designed to be mounted on vehicles or the H-23 aircraft. G5 has a 1,000 watt set which can be mounted on a UH-1D/H.
(4) During the month of November 1967, an HE (Audio Visual) team (US) from the 6th PSYOP Bn was placed in support of the 25th Infantry Division. This team consists of one officer, one NCO, and a Jeepster equipped with a movie projector. They conduct PSYOPS by aerial and hand dissemination of leaflets, aerial and ground loudspeaker broadcasts, and showing of educational and propaganda films. The team is presently supporting the 2nd Brigade's Operation SARATOGA.
(5) During the quarter, the 246th PSYOP C o, supporting the III Corps area and the primary source of PSYOP support for the Division, was re-designated as the 6th PSYOP Bn. Its parent unit, which was the 6th PSYOP Bn has been re-designated as the 4th PSYOP Group. More PSYOP field teams from the 6th PSYOP Bn are expected to be made available to support this Division within 4-6 months as a result of the reorganization.
(6) CHIEU HOI program: During the months of November and December, the Division concentrated its effort on hard core VC and NVA units in War Zone “C”. During the quarter, 119 HOI CHANH rallied in the Division's TAOI. A drop in the number of returnees is occurring throughout the III Corps area.
(a) The 25th Infantry Division has authorized and assigned the following Army Medical Service Officers:
Medical Corps 37 37
Medical Service Corps 31 29
Dental Corps 4 3
The authorization for Medical Corps Officers has been reduced by seven (from an initial forty-four to the presently authorized thirty-seven). This reduction was effected under the provisions of unclassified message, AVHSU 64171, Headquarters, United States Army Vietnam, 18 September, 1967, Subject: Medical Service. In summary, this message reduced one Medical Corps Officer space in the Clearing Platoon of each Medical Company of the division's Medical Battalion. The three brigade surgeons were also eliminated by this message. Staff medical advice to the brigade commander is to be furnished by the medical company commander in support of this brigade.
(b) During this quarter, the Division Surgeon's Office has been up to full strength with the exception of the Division Aviation Medical Officer. The Preventive Medicine Specialist previously attached to this section was lost through normal attrition (DEROS). He is not to be replaced. A veterinarian and two enlisted veterinarian specialists are attached to HHC, 25th Infantry Division. They perform their duties under the general and technical supervision of the Division Surgeon. The Veterinarian and his enlisted staff provide immunization of pets of the Division, inspect meat and food supplies, perform Veterinary Civic Action Program (VETCAP) missions, detain animals suspected of rabies, and perform other various and sundry duties dictated by operations within the 25th Infantry Division's Tactical Area of Operations.
(2) Equipment. The reduction of Division level ground ambulances and associated personnel spaces has not yet been reduced fifty percent (50%) as outlined in the message mentioned in paragraph 1K (1) (a) above. The medical units of the Division are not in lack of any of their vital equipment. No medical equipment shortages have been reported to this office during the last quarter.
(a) Field Sanitation. In November 1967, an eight (8) hour block of instruction was given to Field Sanitation Teams of the Division's units. The instruction was presented by representatives from the 20th Preventive Medicine Unit headquartered at Bien Hoa. Areas covered in this instruction were:
Insect and rodent control
Insect borne diseases
(b) Cross Training. Cross training has continued to be stressed within the Office of the Division Surgeon. Special emphasis has been given to training all individuals in medical records and reports and the correct reporting procedures to higher and adjacent headquarters.
l. Signal. See separate ORLL from Signal Battalion, attached as Appendix II.
(1) During the period of November, December 1967 and January 1968, the following number of personnel attended the division schools listed below:
Replacement Training 5500 Generator Maintenance 60
Mines and Booby Trap 5500 Mess Management 50
Demolitions and Explosives 5500 Tunnel Destruction 60
Combat Leaders Course 511 MCID Operator 8
Small Arms Inspection 50 AN/PRC-74 Operator/
(2) Instruction was also given at non-divisional schools during the reporting period to the following personnel:
COURSE TITLE INSTRUCTOR NUMBER ATTENDED
Airframe Maintenance, UH-1B, C 765th Trans Bn 6
Airframe Maintenance, UH-1D 765th Trans Bn 5
Airframe Maintenance, OH-6A 765th Trans Bn 3
Turbine Engine Maint, T-53 765th Trans Bn 2
Turbine Engine Maint, T-53-L-13 765th Trans Bn 1
Engine Maintenance, T-63 765th Trans Bn 1
Avionics Communications Supply 765th Trans Bn 2
LOH (OH-6A) AC Pilot Transition 765th Trans Bn 6
AN/PPS-5 Radar Operator Cadre US Army Spt Comd 11
AN/PPS-5 Radar DS/GS Maintenance US Army Spt Comd 3
MCID DS/GS Maintenance US Army Spt Comd 2
AN/TSQ-43 TIIF Maintenance 1st MI Bn (ARS) 1
XM-27LL Armament Maintenance 765th Trans Bn 3
Key Telephone System Maintenance 1st Signal Bn 4
GH-6A Turbine Engine Maintenance 765th Trans Bn 3
Jungle Environmental Survival Crs Fleet Elect Trng 4
JUSPAO Orientation Course MACV 1
2. (C) Commanders Observations and Recommendations.
a. Observations (Lessons Learned)
ITEM: Identification of Individual Soldiers.
DISCUSSION: Recently a soldier who had died from hostile action arrived at the rear clearing station and could not be identified until dental records were produced and a check made.
OBSERVATIONS: To preclude the above happening, three measures should be taken:
Replacement of lost ID Tags and ID Card would be instituted at Brigade level for speedy replacement.
Individual boots should be marked as per regulation to aid in identification.
Have frequent checks of these items to insure compliance.
ITEM: Awards for Valor.
DISCUSSION: In the past, recommendations for awards for valor have been submitted by persons other than the senior eyewitness, thereby causing additional clerical work and wasted time because of the need for an eyewitness statement.
OBSERVATION: Much time and energy could be saved in the processing of recommendations for awards for valor if the senior eyewitness made the initial recommendation. This would eliminate the extra clerical work of securing an eyewitness report. It is suggested that recommendations still be processed through the Company Commander who can informally attach an Approval/Disapproval to the recommendation for the information of the Battalion Commander.
DISCUSSION: Some difficulty has been encountered when new replacements are received by this unit. Replacements normally arrive on convoy or by fixed wing aircraft from replacement company in CU CHI. In most cases, no one is in charge and many times there is some difficulty in determining the number of replacements for the unit. Often promotion orders are not placed in finance records, therefore payday becomes a complaint period for the unit personnel officer. Distribution of assignment orders to the receiving unit is often slow, and many times non-existent, resulting in late morning report entries and poor accounting for personnel.
OBSERVATION: That the senior replacement be designated as group leader prior to departure from the replacement company. One copy of promotion orders and one copy of assignment orders for each replacement placed in an envelope addressed to the receiving unit and delivered by the group leader to the adjutant would alleviate this problem.
ITEM: The use of Marijuana is hazardous to the health of the Troops.
DISCUSSION: There is reason to believe that the Vietcong may be behind the program to increase the use of marijuana. For example, it is known that up to three “Sticks” are routinely made available, free to US soldiers in some areas. This encourages experimental trial, usage, and endangers both the health and security of our forces.
OBSERVATION: Use of marijuana decreases to some extent alertness, caution, and the ability to detect and respond to sudden danger. Experimental trial of marijuana frequently results in repeated use. “Relaxing” with the use of marijuana can be the first step toward the use of even more potent drugs which have markedly dangerous psychological and physical dependence and complete ruination of the individual. Other diseases such as venereal disease are probably prevalent in the establishments where marijuana is processed and used. The product itself may be dirty. The lack of caution, sharing of a “butt”, etc, can give rise to disease.
ITEM: Troops in the field should be alert to the possibility of parathion (insecticide containing toxins which are harmful to man) being used in the rice paddies and other cultivated agricultural area.
DISCUSSION: Parathion is used in Vietnam as an insecticide, especially in rice paddies. Poisoning may result from agricultural products heavily contaminated by parathion in the following ways: Through the skin, the mucous membranes, the gastrointestinal tract, and the lungs. Toxic signs and symptoms are mainly confined to the effects of the insecticide upon: The eyes, intestines, muscles, lungs, and nervous system.
OBSERVATION: The best treatment and the most effective is the immediate injection of atropine since parathion is akin to nerve gas. The patient is to be considered a medical emergency and must have the care of a medical doctor without delay.
ITEM: Malaria prophylaxis is still very important even in dry season operations.
DISCUSSION: Even though the dry season has begun and water is scarce for the breeding of mosquitoes, malaria prophylaxis has to be continued. As operations expand into the northern regions of the 25th Infantry Division's Tactical Area of Operations, the daily use of dapsone tablets has become necessary in order to protect the troops from falciparum malaria. The weekly use of chloroquine-primaquine tablets are still necessarily taken to prevent vivar malaria.
OBSERVATION: Personal preventive measures must be constantly reemphasized by the surgeon and his commander. Sleeves should be rolled down at night and the tropical head unit should be used properly. Use of insect repellants, insecticide sprays, and the mosquito net will be advantageous.
ITEM: Dermatologic disorders of the feet continue to provide a great number of sick calls and produce considerable non-effectiveness
DISCUSSION: The rotational system of stocking drying developed during the Korean Conflict can be used to great advantage in Vietnam. An extra pair of stockings is used so that one pair may be rotated as needed, being strapped onto one's steel helmet, exposed to sun and air, where they may quickly dry.
OBSERVATION: The rotational system commented on above has been observed in the field here in Vietnam and has been found to be extremely effective. If the stockings are changed daily while in the field and the feet kept as dry as possible, many foot problems will be alleviated.
ITEM: Patients evacuated from the field should be treated as pre-operative in some cases.
DISCUSSION: Many patients whose condition dictates surgical procedures have been arriving at Evacuation, Surgical, and Field Hospitals after being given meals and oral liquids just prior to evacuation. Obviously, feeding a patient precludes any surgical procedure requiring a general anesthetic.
OBSERVATION: The above condition has not been reported in this command. All Army Medical Service personnel within the command have been notified to treat all patients being evacuated for surgical procedures be treated as “Pre-Op”.
ITEM: Air Support for Combat Assaults.
DISCUSSION: It was determined after using TAC as an LZ prep many times, that an LZ cap was more effective, especially when used in conjunction with an LZ unprepped by artillery. On a number of operations, a false LZ was prepped. This proved to be effective in establishing contact.
OBSERVATION: LZ air caps should be used as a method of increasing the chance of contact with the enemy. The FAC, however, must not arrive above the LZ prior to LZ time so as not to give the location of the LZ away.
ITEM: Destruction of Rice.
DISCUSSION: On several occasions, caches of rice were discovered that were not able to be evacuated. The problem arose as to how this rice could effectively be destroyed.
OBSERVATION: It was found that by soaking the rice with diesel fuel, inserting Bangalore torpedos into the rice and blowing it was effective. To insure that all the rice was denied use by the enemy, 55 gal drums of CS agent with detonation devices were dropped from helicopters on the rice.
ITEM: Use of Tracker Dog Teams.
DISCUSSION: The several instances tracker dog teams were used effectively in conjunction with road sweep teams to locate trails used by VC mine laying teams.
OBSERVATION: Tracker dog teams can be used effectively in road sweep operations to detect mine laying activity. They can also be used to react immediately in locating VC setting off command detonated mines.
ITEM: Employment of Bushmasters.
DISCUSSION: On several occasions, Bushmasters were used as a stay behind after a Recon-Inforce operation. The Bushmaster was sent to their overnight location after the two other companies had searched the area and had begun to withdraw.
OBSERVATION: This technique can be used effectively in placing stay behind forces. It provides for more rest for those staying on location and can add the element of surprise.
ITEM: Employment of Aero-Scout Section (Light) as a Team.
DISCUSSION: Employment of the Aero-Scout Section as a team has been found necessary to assure that all elements of that section have constant cover and improved communications.
OBSERVATION: The wing man should always keep the lead ship in sight. The lead ship should, at regular intervals, check the location of the trail ship and should notify the wing man of any sudden turns in orders to allow the trail ship to adjust its route of flight to give constant cover to the lead ship. The high ship should adjust is flight path to facilitate constant visual contact and cover for the low ship. It should also be prepared to relay the position of the team and any radio calls to the trail ship. The low ship should notify the high ship of any sudden changes of course to allow the high ship to adjust his flight pattern to provide cover.
ITEM: Precautions of the Aero Scout Section (Light) for Artillery and Following Flights.
DISCUSSION: Regular communications with artillery elements and following flight elements of the Aero Scout Section (Light) is necessary to prevent accidents resulting from a lack of co-ordination.
OBSERVATION: The lead ship should make regular checks of artillery fire warning nets at least every thirty minutes, even if operating in the same area. Artillery clearance should be obtained prior to entering any new control sector. The lead ship should maintain constant flight following, rendering position reports every thirty minutes. The team leader should inform the flight following of each landing, estimation of ground time, and each takeoff.
ITEM: Aero Scout Section (Light) Receiving Fire.
DISCUSSION: Certain action has proven effective in aiding the Aero Scout Section (Light) in returning more accurate fire upon enemy positions and also minimize the hazards of such an assault.
OBSERVATION: When either ship receives fire, smoke should be thrown immediately. The ship receiving fire should inform his wing man at once of the fire and his method of disengagement from the target, also the origin of fire, location of fire from smoke marker, and volume and caliber of fire should be reported. If the tactical situation permits, a high recon should always be made prior to both ships going low-level into an area. The wing man should never follow the same path over the ground as the lead ship, but should maintain a position from the lead ship that will allow constant coverage with either skip or door gun. When on low level, a crew member in each ship should have a smoke grenade ready at all times to mark targets and to mark reference locations of ground fire. The flight following should be notified as soon as possible, relating as much pertinent information as the situation permits. A full report of an incident should be made as soon as possible. No ship should engage a target without cover from his wing man and no ship should over-fly the target. Extreme caution should be exercised when flying the same route on standard missions because the Viet Cong have been known to take note of such repetition and set up ambushes. Caution should always be used when engaging an easy target because it could be a trap. When receiving fire from one area, do not let your attention become fixed on this area as an adjacent area may contain the more heavily defended emplacements.
ITEM: Dust Off Lighting of Aero Rifle Platoon.
DISCUSSION: A more rapid method for identification and approach of a dust off LZ has been found effective by the Aero Rifle Platoon.
OBSERVATION: An LZ marked with two lights, one flashlight with a red lens cover and a white strobe light, can provide a more rapid method for identification and approach of a Dust Off LZ. The strobe provides a rapid means of identification while the approach is made to the red light.
ITEM: Employment of Aero Rifle Platoon on Search and Destroy.
DISCUSSION: US Troops are frequently called to react to areas where aircraft have received fire and, after sweeping, report that nothing was found. Recent operations, however, by the D Troop Aero Rifles Platoon has shown that many supposedly unoccupied areas were not really what they seemed to other less patient units.
OBSERVATION: With patient probing of an area from which aerial reports of heavy fire have come, many concealed tunnels, bunkers, and spider holes can be found. It may be necessary to spend nearly as much time searching for the enemy positions as the enemy spent constructing them, but the positions are generally there. In recent weeks, D Troop Aero Rifle Platoon has killed or captured 15 VC in this manner. They searched the more obvious places such as wells and stream beds inch by inch. In most cases they were not required to fire a shot and suffered no friendly casualties. Almost without exception, POW's stated that there were more VC hiding in the area being searched. Sometimes as many as 60 VC were in an area where there were three or four killed or captured.
ITEM: Employment of 90mm Recoilless Rifle by Aero Rifle Platoon.
DISCUSSION: The 90mm Recoilless Rifle seems to be an effective counter sniper weapon when sniper fire is received from ranges greater than 100 meters.
OBSERVATION: In recent operations, D Troop Aero Rifles have used the 90mm Recoilless Rifle with considerable success.
ITEM: Aero Rifle Platoon and RF/PF Forces Combined Ambush.
DISCUSSION: RF/PF Forces have been found to be lacking in certain elements necessary to effectively carry out their assigned missions.
OBSERVATION: In recent advisor/training missions with RF/PF Forces, D Troop Aero Rifles have found that RF/PF shortcomings are attributable more to lack of RF/PF command and leadership than lack of training. They appeared reluctant to disrupt the local balance of power and have explicitly voiced fear of retribution if VC are aggressively pursued. This is partially understandable in view of their lack of appropriate weapons and low ammunition supply. Their only indirect fire support comes from 60mm mortars for which they have but a few rounds per weapon. However, capable of planning and executing excellent ambushes, they are also capable of sound tactical maneuvers at squad, platoon, and company level. They lack only the will to kill VC.
ITEM: Artillery Support for LRRP Teams.
DISCUSSION: Since artillery is the primary means of support for LRRP teams, coordination with artillery units must be made prior to insertion of those teams.
OBSERVATION: At least one (1) battery should be scheduled to fire missions for LRRP teams at all times, since artillery is their primary means of support. Coordination should be made prior to insertion and the command to fire and adjust artillery should rest with the LRRP team leader and not the artillery liaison officer. This will facilitate prompt artillery support to the team.
ITEM: Perforated Steel Plate.
DISCUSSION: RPG-2, RPG-7 and other antitank weapons have been used against this unit, causing both personnel casualties and vehicle damage.
OBSERVATION: PSP, mounted on each side of a tank, has proven effective as a stand-off for antitank rounds. The lower portion of the tank hull and portion of the suspension system is covered by PSP. As a test, three RPG-2 rounds were fired at a tank with PSP mounted on it. Although some rounds did penetrate the additional stand off distance afforded by the plate, the number of penetrations were reduced. On two occasions, tanks with PSP were hit with RPG-2 rounds and results were highly satisfactory. The round did not penetrate the hull of the tank, there were no casualties, and only a support roller was damaged on the tank.
ITEM: Use of Popular Forces/Regional Forces/National Police.
DISCUSSION: The RF/PF/NP can be of great assistance when conducting Night Thrust or other tactical operations. However, prior briefing of US personnel and close control of the Vietnamese personnel are necessary.
OBSERVATION: Use of the Vietnamese forces assists both in additional ground strength (since each Armored Cavalry Platoon has a limited number of dismounted personnel), and in identification of suspects. It is necessary to work with a ratio of at least one (1) US to one (1) Vietnamese to properly control movement and expedite the mission.
ITEM: Noise and Light Discipline.
DISCUSSION: Noise and Light Discipline are of primary importance for infantry when in a night laager. Lights flickering on and off throughout the laager, radios turned higher than necessary, generator and vehicle engines running, play directly into enemy hands. As the above situation occurs, the enemy can easily detect the answers he is seeking without exposing himself. The listening posts cannot properly perform the mission of early warning, for the only noise heard comes from the laager. Overall security is placed in a hazardous position.
OBSERVATION: When possible, mechanized infantry units should make it SOP at dusk to have all ramps in the raised position (to avoid running the vehicle engine after dark), cut off all generators and, for power, revert to PRC-258 for the hours of darkness. The leadership of each element must understand the importance of controlling light discipline. This will enable the perimeter and listening posts to properly accomplish the mission of protecting the laager.
ITEM: Boundaries between units on perimeter defenses.
DISCUSSION: When allocating sectors within the perimeter defense of a laager or FSPB, natural or man-made terrain features such as roads, ravines, ditches, and streams are used to readily identify the boundary. Most of the time these same terrain features are major enemy avenues of approach.
OBSERVATION: Enemy avenues of approach should never be split between two units. To do this weakens the defense of that sector. Attempt to establish a boundary in an area not likely to be an avenue of approach.
ITEM: Tactical Air Support.
DISCUSSION: The importance of tactical air support is invaluable to a combat infantry unit. Due to the jungle terrain of Vietnam, it is often difficult to pinpoint enemy targets.
OBSERVATION: Whenever a significant reference point is available, it should be used extensively.
ITEM: Reaction to Mortar/Rocket Attack (Prepared Positions).
DISCUSSION: During attacks there is a tendency to run for available cover in the general vicinity. Due to the characteristic high volume of fire during initial attack and relatively wide spacing of bunkers, numerous casualties are sustained with wounds being received in the upper part of the body.
OBSERVATION: Personnel must repeatedly be reminded that they must immediately hit the ground upon receipt of initial rounds and crawl to cover. Optimum spacing of required bunkers is advisable when the situation permits. Also, as soon as time is available additional emergency bunkers interspersed throughout the position as necessary will provide more readily available cover and reduce casualties.
ITEM: Ground Illumination.
DISCUSSION: A method is needed to provide illumination on perimeters of field positions without revealing friendly positions.
OBSERVATION: Illumination shells can be fired with a low height of burst at a range of between 1000 and 2000 meters, the height and range will depend on terrain. The shells will burn on the ground, illuminating and silhouetting targets between the point of impact and your perimeter.
ITEM: Direct Fire of SP Artillery.
DISCUSSION: When dug in to a depth which provides hull defilade, the M109 SP 155mm Howitzer has a clearance problem for direct fire.
OBSERVATION: Hull defilade of the M109 gives excellent protection against RPG and other flat trajectory firer. However, the lowered tube may be limited in its direct fire role due to friendly perimeter positions. Three steps may be take to ease the problem: (1) A careful orientation of gun crews as to cleared deflections may allow high charge direct fire, (2) higher than normal elevations may be used in order to direct fire in the tops of trees and cause air bursts with good effect on the ground, and (3) charge one may be used to lob projectiles over perimeters with either time or impact fuzes.
ITEM: Daytime H&I's.
DISCUSSION: Daytime H&I fires have proved valuable in reducing mortar attacks of field positions.
OBSERVATION: The tendency is to think of H&I's as primarily a night role for artillery. It has been shown, however, that daytime use of heavy and medium artillery against suspected mortar locations will sharply reduce mortar attacks on field positions. This is even effective against pop-up mortars which fire several rounds and then return to tunnels. The random nature of H&I's and the heavier artillery are apparently extremely discouraging to enemy mortars.
ITEM: Air Mobile Operations - Advance Parties.
DISCUSSION: Advance parties are an extremely important factor in a successful airmobile operation. Units have relied in the past upon infantry sorties to transport Artillery Battery Commanders and advance parties on initial lifts to the LZ. This method has never been 100% successful.
OBSERVATION: Every effort should be made by the artillery battalion to obtain its own aircraft for advance part insertion.
ITEM: Air Mobile Operation - LZ Selection.
DISCUSSION: On a recent battalion size combat assault to establish a FSBP, no reconnaissance was made by an artillery officer. Word was accepted from the supported Infantry unit who “had been there before” with an artillery battery. Upon arrival of the first CH-47, the LZ was determined to be unsuitable and a four hour delay resulted while searching for and securing a new LZ/FSB.
ITEM: Air Mobile Operation - Control.
DISCUSSION: During large scale operations such as Operation YELLOWSTONE Artillery air-lift, organization of the PZ is an extremely critical consideration.
OBSERVATION: There must be a Departure Airfield Control Officer (DACO) in charge, who is responsible for spotting, chalking and checking all loads.
ITEM: Storage area on UH-ID for small mission essential items.
DISCUSSION: An accumulation of numerous mission essential articles placed in the cockpit area and/or the radio compartments of aircraft create a hazard to flight. These articles (C rations, rags, cans of oil, etc.), if not properly secured, could damage communications equipment when bouncing around the radio compartment. A solution to the problem is the construction of a sheet metal partition between the heater compartment and the aft battery compartment. Then the heater compartment may be utilized as a secure storage area which is easily accessible. A lightweight flooring is recommended to prevent items from rubbing against the fuselage.
OBSERVATION: Due to the natural tendency of crew chiefs to collect unnecessary items, the complete solution to this problem lies with the aircraft commander. It is his responsibility to see that unnecessary items are left on the ground.
ITEM: Ammunition feed mechanism for the mounted 9 (UH-ID) (M-60) machine gun.
DISCUSSION: When firing the M-60 machine gun from the UH-ID helicopter, often times the link ammunition will not feed properly. To resolve this problem, place an unopened C ration can (preferably one such as ham and lima beans) in the ammunition feed tray latch. The link 7.62 ammunition slides over the can and is fed into the gun at a 90 degree angle which prevents jamming.
OBSERVATION: Recommend that other aviation units try this inexpensive device for their M-60 machine guns.
ITEM: RPM Loss on Takeoff.
DISCUSSION: RPM loss on takeoff with a heavily loaded aircraft is an everyday occurrence. Due to heat, variable wind conditions, and high density altitude experienced in Viet Nam, RPM loss can be a major cause of accidents. It has been found that a “takeoff from the ground” requires less power, hence less RPM loss.
OBSERVATION: The takeoff from the ground should be employed to prevent accidents due to loss of RPM.
ITEM: Inspection of captured rice prior to distribution in Civic Action.
DISCUSSION: A quantity of captured rice was found to have been treated with a chemical insecticide making it unfit for human consumption. To insure that the captured rice is not contaminated, it should be immediately dispatched through S-2 channels for analysis.
OBSERVATION: Captured rice should be analyzed to determine suitability for human consumption prior to distribution in civic action projects.
ITEM: Hard Core VC and NVA units are not easily influenced by the CHIEU HOI Program.
DISCUSSION: Hard core VC and NVA forces are more thoroughly indoctrinated and more ideologically oriented than the local guerilla. These units usually operate in remote areas, away from civilian and GVN controlled areas. Many individuals don't know where they are or where to go to rally. There is also the physical difficulty of getting to a safe area. Continuous PSYOPS cannot be directed toward a particular unit of this type due to the frequent lack of information on unit locations and conditions.
OBSERVATION: To increase the returnee rate from hard core VC and NVA units, the following actions should be taken:
1. Stress the ideological aspects of both sides, the deficiencies of communism as opposed to the benefits of a democratic government. Point out inhumane actions of the VC in the name of “Liberation”. Explain to the NVA that the people of South Viet Nam look upon them as conquerors, not as liberators.
2. Designate and publicize safe rally points to VC/NVA units whenever possible. This can be done by sketch maps and loudspeaker broadcasts.
3. React quickly to exploit intelligence on VC/NVA locations and conditions.
ITEM: Testing of Projected Charge Demolition Kits M2A1, Demolition Snake and MI “Line Charge”.
The 6th Engr Bn received sufficient parts to assemble a 100 foot section of the Demolition Snake. It was decided to test its possible applications under counter-insurgency conditions.
DISCUSSION: The “Snake” comes in a kit consisting of a metal casing, explosive, assembly for attachment to a tank, a nose piece to assist in pushing the snake through entanglements, and various nuts and bolts, and firing devices. It is designed to be assembled near an antitank minefield, hooked to a tank, pushed directly forward and detonated. The explosion opens a lane through the minefield.
To date no antitank minefields have been encountered in the 25th Division's TAOI. Thus, the available Demolition Kit was tested mainly as a device for hedgerow, jungle and booby trap clearing.
Twenty-five and fifteen feet sections were assembled and towed to the test site. Assembly time, about 2 feet/hour for a squad, makes on-site assembly highly undesirable. At the site, the shorter section was placed into and near the center of a 15 meter wide hedgerow, consisting predominantly of small trees up to six inches in diameter. The blast cleared the hedgerow of all trees, leaving a progression of stumps 18 inches high at the center and 40 inches at the edge. A crater 3 feet deep and 4 feet wide was created. The 25 feet section of snake was placed at the edge of a thickly grown hedgerows, 15 meters wide. The detonation completely cleared the hedgerow of all vegetation.
Another test, with a sixty feet section of snake was conducted to investigate its effectiveness against mines and booby traps. Fifteen pound AT mines were detonated up to 8 meters from the charge. This distance cannot be considered a limit; mines were placed at no greater distance.
OBSERVATION: The effectiveness of the M2A1 Demolition Kit against hedgerows and mines is impressive. Its two main drawbacks, bulk and assembly time, greatly limit the uses of the “Snake”. It is the conclusion of the 65th Engr Bn that other demolitions presently on hand, i.e., Bangalore torpedoes can more quickly and efficiently perform the desired demolition requirements.
ITEM: Testing of Projected Charge Demolition Kits M2A1, Demolition Snake and MI “Line Charge”.
Another demolition tested was the “Line Charge”, M1. Tests were conducted to determine its uses and possible applications in a counter-insurgency situation.
DISCUSSION: The “Line Charge” consists of six major components. At the head is a small “U” shaped rocket, used to propel the line. Attached is 170 feet of nylon covered detonating cable composed of 19 strands of special detonating cord. There is also a fuse lighter, delay detonator, anchor stake and metal container from which the line is unraveled.
The charge was tested against AT and AP mines at various distances, trip, spring and pressure activated booby traps, hedgerows, jungle and concertina wire.
Hedgerow: The line charge will not clear hedgerow or brush. It will remove small branches and leaves within one or two meters, greatly improving visibility and ease of travel. The blast will also clear the hedgerow of booby traps, strung below or within the branches.
Concertina: When the line is in direct contact with the concertina, the wire is cut. If the charge is not directly on the wire, the concertina was leveled, commensurate with the distance from the charge. Generally, the charge will facilitate a crossing.
Mines and Booby Traps: The line charge will not detonate the firing mechanism on AT or AP mines, or on trip type booby traps with an consistency. Explosives are detonated by sympathetic detonation up to a distance of 12 inches. Trip wires and command wires are cut if fairly close to the surface.
OBSERVATION: Although a good concept, and possibly useful under certain conditions, it is not recommended for general use. Packed, the item is bulky. It takes several minutes to emplace, fire, and detonate. Its length and destructive capabilities are not sufficient to overcome these disadvantages. There is no practical application for this device in this area of operations.
ITEM: Tunnel Destruction.
DISCUSSION: During the past quarter, various methods of tunnel destruction have been tested. Of the numerous methods attempted, given sufficient time, personnel and equipment, the following is recommended as an efficient and complete technique for tunnel destruction.
OBSERVATION: Two teams are established, one to go into the tunnel, the other above. Both teams are equipped with radios or telephones, both have a compass man and a “Pacer”. Pace is kept by counting knots on a string, or markers placed on a communications wire. The team going into the tunnel has several security personnel, while the team on the surface has a man to unroll engineer tape. Both teams start at the entrance, the compass man in the tunnel dictating the azimuth, the man on top following. At sharp turns, new azimuth and distances are called to the surface. At these locations, the engineer tape is tacked down to allow turns.
Every 100-150 meters, a bulldozer is used to cut a slot perpendicular to the line of the tunnel. This insures that the “Tunnel Rats' need never go too far from a exit, and that mistakes in tracking are quickly noticed and, eventually, aids in the rapid destruction of the tunnel by demolitions.
After the entire length of the tunnel is explored, cratering charges are placed, three per open segment, and blown.
This method, although time consuming, assures that the entire tunnel, including trap doors and side entrances, is discovered and destroyed.
ITEM: Construction of Bunkers.
DISCUSSION: Bunkers must afford protection from enemy fire and allow effective fire on the enemy.
OBSERVATION: Commanders must insure that all bunkers are mutually supporting by having firing ports to the front and both flanks, and that the overhead cover is constructed of at least three layers of sand bags, to provide protection from indirect fire weapons of 82mm or less.
ITEM: Construction of bunkers when co-located with artillery.
DISCUSSION: When artillery pieces are located within a perimeter, the howitzers can be used to fire directly over the defensive positions.
OBSERVATION: Bunkers should be constructed with a side entrance and sufficient cover to the rear of the bunker to prevent casualties from the direct fired artillery.
ITEM: Orientation of Listening Posts.
DISCUSSION: Listening posts are frequently ineffective due to their incorrect or uncertain location.
OBSERVATION: During daylight, in conjunction with another operation, at least one man from the proposed listening post should move to the site over the planned route, thus insuring familiarity with the area to be occupied at night.
ITEM: Wearing of the Armored Vest.
DISCUSSION: Armored Vests can be worn during the hours of darkness and periods of reduced activity without increasing the frequency of heat casualties.
OBSERVATION: Personnel in night location, on listening posts, and on night ambush patrols should be required to wear the Armored Vest.
ITEM: LRRP Teams used in an Aggressive Role.
DISCUSSION: In order for LRRP teams to carry out a mission in which they play the aggressor (i.e., targets of opportunity killer teams or prisoner catch teams). They should have additional training and the support to carry out such missions.
OBSERVATION: LRRP teams should have training in the aggressive role to facilitate their successful execution of this type of mission. Extensive training should be given in ambush technique, fire control discipline, immediate reaction drills and escape and evasion. Also, these items would require the tactical support that is required to reinforce or extract the teams in an emergency.
Company F, 50th Infantry (LRRP) continued constant training of all personnel. The Squadron received a training/maintenance period from 27 December 1967 - 2 January 1968. The Squadron performed battle drill (emphasis on Platoon Maneuver), Range Firing (bore sighting) and firing all weapons, and conducted maintenance at 1st and 2nd echelons. The Squadron had 3 hours of Emergency First Aid during the period.
ITEM: Rebuilding Destroyed Fortifications.
DISCUSSION: The NVA, like the VC, rebuild fortified areas after US Forces have destroyed them.
OBSERVATION: Fortified areas should be re-entered and searched by US Forces even though they have previously been destroyed.
ITEM: Enemy use of Claymores.
DISCUSSION: The NVA on one occasion used claymores on the flank of advancing US troops to commence fire. They followed this with a heavy volume of SA fire and attempted to pinch off the lead element of a rifle company.
OBSERVATION: Commanders should be aware of this tactic and be prepared to maneuver so as to reunite his lead element with the rest of the company.
ITEM: Use of Mines.
DISCUSSION: The NVA did not attempt to camouflage AT mines placed in the roadway of Route 4.
OBSERVATION: They generally placed the mines only a few inches from the surface and were of a pressure detonation type.
ITEM: Tank Killer Teams.
DISCUSSION: During the reporting period, Armored Columns operating along Highways 1 and 22 at night have been subjected to many attacks by RPG fire which is often accompanied by small arms and/or automatic weapons fire. It appears that the enemy is operating in 2 to 5 man teams, engaging their targets and quickly withdrawing. The activity has been concentrated in and around built up areas that provide good concealment for approach and withdrawals.
OBSERVATION: Emphasis has been placed on conducting a detailed search prior to and during movement through a built up area. In addition, the local district provides ARVN personnel to accompany US Forces. These personnel are in radio contact with ARVN outposts located along the route and provide timely information concerning anything unusual in their area. Another technique employed is for US personnel to conduct ambushes along known routes of movement into hamlets along the route. An Armored Cavalry Platoon is employed as reaction to the ambush and, if contact is made, it can be quickly exploited.
ITEM: Cordon and Search Operations.
DISCUSSION: During Cordon and Search operations in the MICHELIN Rubber Plantation, this unit was provided with names of known VC located in particular villages. The search was accomplished by sealing off the village with one company and searching with another company. Each identification card was checked out against known list of VC.
OBSERVATION: The village lists should be cross checked during the search of each village. VC names which did not appear on the list furnished for the village being searched at the particular time often appeared on other village lists. Also, interrogation of captured VC often produced valuable information on other local VC.
ITEM: Mines and Booby Traps.
DISCUSSION: During this period, elements of the 3rd Bde had numerous contacts and suffered many casualties from command detonated mines and booby traps. It was learned while working the MICHELIN Rubber Plantation that normally mines were placed in the ground in the center of the path between the trees. It was also noted that wires leading to command detonated mines were also booby trapped to explode when being investigated by the personnel discovering the wire.
OBSERVATION: While US Troops are moving through the MICHELIN Rubber Plantation it is recommended they walk as close to the trees as possible. Also, that extreme caution be exercised when checking out wires which are believed to be coming from command detonated mines.
ITEM: Imitative Deception.
DISCUSSION: During action on 5 Jan 68 near the Fish Hook, vic XT 5390, the 4th Bn Inf command net was entered by an unidentified station that spoke English with and Australian accent. The authenticity of the accent has been established by a native Australian and the fluency with English suggests the radio operator was not speaking his second language. During the course of the action, the imitator stated that he was a member of an Australian airborne unit just south of the locations of the contact and he requested a check fire in the vicinity of his location. A check through FWMAF channels determined no friendly units other than the 4th Bn 9th Inf were operating in the area of contact. This enemy station, however, entered a US net and temporarily confused the situation.
OBSERVATION: The quality of Communist supplied communications equipment and the availability of captured US radios gives the enemy an ever present ability to monitor US/FWMAF nets. Now, more than ever, authentication tables and periodic changing of frequencies and call signs is necessary to increase communications security. All personnel operating radios must be made aware that the enemy is always listening.
ITEM: SAEDA Orientation.
DISCUSSION: Subversion efforts are being directed against US servicemen in Vietnam at this time. Efforts of organized groups based in the United States and foreign countries to subvert US Military Personnel have been limited to “Unsolicited Correspondence” in the form of periodicals and letters. The most common periodicals have been two newspapers, The Bond and the Stripes for Peace.
OBSERVATION: Due to the recent defection of US Military Personnel, Commanders at all levels should stress their SAEDA Program. Commanders who have knowledge of derogatory “Unsolicited Correspondence” should report this fact immediately through ACofS, G2 Channels.
ITEM: Tactical Exploitation of Returnees.
DISCUSSION: Experience has shown that the willingness of Returnees to lead US Forces to Viet Cong troop locations and caches decreases as they are exposed to the re-education techniques and security of a GVN CHIEU HOI Center. As he feels more secure, the Returnee is less willing to take the risks involved in leading US Forces to the VC locations and caches. An example of this problem recently occurred in the 25th Inf Div. A Returnee who had located many VC caches, base camps, etc., on an operation shortly after his return to GVN control was hired as a Kit Carson Scout by the 25th Inf Div. During his tenure as a Kit Carson, he was of limited value to his assigned unit and eventually deserted the unit.
OBSERVATION: A Returnee's knowledge of VC caches, base camps, etc. should be exploited as soon as possible after his return.
ITEM: Separation of Prisoners.
DISCUSSION: Recent experience has shown that if detainees are not kept separated during tactical interrogations in the field and during the evacuation process, they will often fabricate a common story concerning their activities at the time of capture. This makes later interrogation extremely difficult and, in some instances, may actually cause the release of a VC as an innocent civilian. Even in cases where the suspect is classified a prisoner of war, it may keep the interrogator from uncovering valuable intelligence information.
OBSERVATION: Detainees should be kept apart at all times after their capture. The capturing unit should insure that there is no conversation between the prisoners and that any interrogation of a prisoner takes place out of the range of the hearing of all other prisoners.
ITEM: Collecting and Analysis of Intelligence Information in the Field.
DISCUSSION: It has been brought to the attention of the Order of Battle Section that the OB Handbook is an invaluable asset when used properly. Unit Commanders, S2's and PW Interrogators are sometimes able to identify enemy units while still in contact.
Captured documents are probably the best sources for identifying an enemy unit; especially those taken from a body of a prisoner. These documents usually include personal history statements, self-critiques, certificates of achievements or awards, and promotion orders. The individual's unit and most likely his commander or political officer are mentioned on these documents. Letter box numbers (LBN's) are an excellent means of identification. These sets of numbers, usually prefixed by HT are similar to our APO numbers and appear on all VC correspondence. The VC also assign code designations to their units. Some units are known to have as many as 5 code names and are changed when believed compromised. Also, different VC units are known by the same code designator to add to the confusion. It has been found that LBN's are more reliable than codes when used to identify enemy units because they are not changed as frequently and no two LBN's are the same. When identifying personalities, one should be aware that the VC use as many as 4 aliases for one person. Many of the VC only know their comrades by the VC name.
OBSERVATION: The best means of identifying an enemy unit is to be aware of the area of operation of VC units; local force units usually have defined boundaries and rarely operate outside of them. Circumstances of capture of prisoners and documents are of extreme importance when determining the identification of units. This information, along with a single code designator or a personality, may make identification possible. Order of Battle Holdings can then provide an estimate of the strength, weapons, probable tactics and capabilities of the enemy unit identified.
It is recommended that new S2's, upon assuming their duties, visit the Order of Battle Section in order to receive a general briefing on the enemy situation and become familiar with the overall intelligence collection plan. Timely visits by the S2's to the Order of Battle Section have proved valuable in the past to both parties.
ITEM: Exploitation of Inflight SLAR Readouts.
DISCUSSION: SLAR is effective primarily in detecting sampan movement along LOC's. The inflight readout capabilities cannot be effectively exploited by the employment of indirect fire. The time required to read out the imagery and pass the information on to the firing battery is too great to bring effective unobserved fire on a pinpoint target.
OBSERVATION: A Firefly and gun team following the SLAR ship at a sufficient distance to receive reports and react to them, provides the most effective means for exploitation of sensings.
ITEM: Inflight Spot Report Net.
DISCUSSION: During Operation YELLOWSTONE, the G2 Air Section established an inflight spot report not consisting of an AN/VRC 46 radio and a RC 292 antenna. The purpose of the net was to collect information of VR sightings from all army aircraft flying within the Division's TAOI.
OBSERVATION: The inflight spot report net was extremely efficient in controlling O1 and OV1 aircraft supporting the Division and in collection of information from their sightings. With proper administration and additional support, this system could be expanded to service the intelligence collection effort of all flying agencies, Too, it would enable maneuver elements to deliver appropriate ordnance on perishable targets in a timely manner.
ITEM: Resupply of Ammunition.
DISCUSSION: At the recent battle of SOUI CUT, ammunition resupply was delayed to a dangerous point because aircraft were not released to transport it. Although aircraft were available at the site of the ammo, they could not be used as they were under control of II Field Force. Aircraft that finally lifted the ammo to the battle site were routed from BIEN HOA to DAU TIENG then to FSB BURT.
OBSERVATION: In situations where emergency action is required, authority should be delegated to Brigade level to utilize existing aircraft for the purpose at hand.
ITEM: Use of “Caribou” between forward support base and DAU TIENG.
DISCUSSION: This means of transportation of men and supplies was found to be totally unsatisfactory due to the plane's unreliability. The aircraft was requested each day between 29 Dec 1967 and 22 Jan 1968. It failed to arrive half of these days. In addition, it was impossible to determine beforehand what time of day the aircraft was to arrive, therefore, many man-hours were lost by personnel having to wait at the airstrip the entire day.
OBSERVATION: One CH-47 sortie with backhaul or three “Slicks” sorties with backhauls are required daily for movement of supplies and personnel between DAU TIENG and a forward supply base.
ITEM: Inspection of Resupply Slings.
DISCUSSION: Nylon resupply slings are easily cut or abraded, greatly decreasing their load capability.
OBSERVATION: To prevent possible sling failure and loss of material, the sling should be inspected after each use for points of excessive wear.
ITEM: Engine Output Shaft Seal Leaks, L-11 Engine.
DISCUSSION: It has been our experience that on rebuilt L-11 engines used in our UH-IC Gunships, all engine output shaft seals start leaking between the 400 and 500 hour levels. This appears to be caused by the high dust and dirt conditions experienced in this area. By checking the engine intake during the daily inspection, we hope to eliminate this situation.
OBSERVATION: Cleaning of the engine intake daily may prolong the life of these seals.
ITEM: M-109 Howitzer.
DISCUSSION: Engines are overheating to the point of causing damage to the engine. A large number of heads are being cracked.
OBSERVATION: Cleanliness of radiators and water level must be watched very closely on this vehicle. The expedient of running engines at a higher than idle RPM during periods of static operation is an aid to avoid overheating.
ITEM: Howitzer 105mm M101A1.
DISCUSSION: Age and the dusty conditions that are encountered are affecting the wear rate of bushings, seats, and gears of the Howitzer, 105mm M101A1.
OBSERVATION: This weapon should be continually scrutinized to insure that organizational maintenance is performed and to determine as soon as possible when a mount, bearing, sleeve, or bushing becomes worn. By immediate replacement, tightening or cleaning, further damage may be prevented.
(5) Civic Actions and PSYOPS.
ITEM: Volunteer Relief Agencies, (CARE, CRS) require photographs to document distribution of supplies.
DISCUSSION: Photographs of the distribution of the supplies from volunteer relief agencies are required in order to requisition replacement stacks. Many S-5's have not been taking photographs of the distribution of these items.
OBSERVATION: All distribution of volunteer relief agencies' materials must be properly photographed and documented so the Division account will remain open and supplies can continually be drawn from these resources.
ITEM: Stockage Level of Relief Supplies must be maintained.
DISCUSSION: A recent VC attack on BAO TRAI left a large number of people homeless and without food. It was important to provide emergency provisions to alleviate their immediate needs.
OBSERVATION: Refugee Kits, food and clothing should be stockpiled at a determined level to provide emergency reaction capability to situations.
(a) Commanders should insure that all personnel within their respective commands understand the effects of Marijuana.
(b) Units in the field should be ever alert to the dangers of parathion and other insecticides being used in cultivated areas.
(c) A continuing education of the troops in malaria prophylaxis should be instituted in all units.
(d) Surgeons should supervise the rotational system of stockings of troops in the field.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
s/ Clarence A. Riser
4 Appendices Incl CLARENCE A. RISER
1. Task Organization LTC, AOG
2. 125th Sig Bn's ORLL Adjutant General
3. OOAAR, CAMDEN (Pub as 67X201 and 671204)
4. Pictures (Withdrawn Hqs DA)
AVFBC-RE-1 (14 Feb 68) 1st Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 January 1968
(RCS CSFOR-65) (BC)
DA, HQ II FFORCEV, APO San Francisco 96266
(illegible): Commanding General, US Army Vietnam, ATT: (illegible)
Commander, US Army Pacific, ATTN: GPOP-OT, APO 96558
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the
Army, Washington, D.C. 230310
1. Subject report is forwarded.
2. This command has reviewed the attached (illegible) of the 25th Infantry division and concurs with the comments and recommendations except as noted below.
a. p27, Item: Employment of Aero-Scout Section (Light) as a Team. This is not a new technique. This has been doctrine for several years and is an accepted tactic as described in FA 17-36 and 1st Aviation Brigade Operations Manual dated 1 February 1967.
b. p 28, Item: Aero-Scout Section (Light) Receiving Fire.
This should not be considered a new technique. The described procedure has been SOP in aviation units in Vietnam for years.
c. p 33, Item: Storage area on UH-1D for small mission essential items. Non-concur. Regardless of where the small items are stored, a carefully thought out loading plan is essential to insure that they do not become excessive. Constant command supervision of the loading plan is essential to insure compliance.
d. p 33, Item: Ammunition feed mechanism for the mounted (UH-1D) (M60) machine gun. This was standard practice for years by aviation units in Vietnam. With the introduction of the XH23 system the practice was no longer required. With proper cleaning and maintenance, the XH23 functions satisfactorily without the can.
e. p 42, Item: Inflight Spot Report Net. IIFFORCEV REGULATION 381-1 (C) established VR procedures in AO's, TAOR's. It also describes the procedure and requirement for establishing a spot report net.
f. p 42, Item: Resupply of Ammunition. Non-concur. Proper utilization of available air assets precludes the delegation of the requested authority. Air assets are limited and when emergencies warrant diversion, such action will be taken by the controlling headquarters.
g. p 42, Item: Use of “Caribou between forward support base and Dau Tieng. Non-concur. During the period 1-22 January 1968 a “Caribou” was made available to 25th Infantry Division as requested. The aircraft was non-available on 10 January due to required maintenance. The Caribou averaged 12.7 sorties each day for this period. The problem involves utilization of available assets rather than unreliability of the Caribou.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
s/ E. W. McCrath
E. W. McGRATH
AVHGC-DST (14 Feb 68) 2nd Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 January 1968
(RCS CSFOR-65) (BC)
HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY VIETNAM, APO San Francisco 96375
TO: Commander in Chief, United States Army, Pacific, ATTN: GPOP-DT,
1. This headquarters has reviewed the Operational Report-Lessons Learned for the quarterly period ending 31 January 1968 from Headquarters, 25th Infantry Division (WALXAA) as indorsed.
2. Concur with report as indorsed. Report is considered adequate.
3. A copy of this indorsement will be furnished to the reporting unit through channels.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
/s/ C. S. Nakatsukasa
C. S. NAKATSUKASA
Assistant Adjutant General
HK, II FFORCEV
HQ, 25th Inf Div
GPOP-DT (14 Feb 68) (U) 3rd Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report of HQ, 25th Inf Div for Period Ending
31 January 1968, RCS CSFOR-65 (RI)
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 indorsements and concurs in the report as indorsed.
FOR THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF:
s/ C. L. Shortt
C. L. SHORTT
Appendix 1 (Task Organization) to Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending
31 January 1968
1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
HHC, 1st Bde HHC, 2nd Bde
4th Bn, 9th Inf 1st Bn (M), 5th Inf
2nd Bn, 14th Inf 1st Bn, 27th Inf
7th Bn, 11th Arty (DS) 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
4th Bn, 23rd Inf
1st Bn, 8th Arty (DS)
3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division 25th Division Support Command
HHC, 3rd Bde HHC and Band
2nd Bn, 12th Inf DISCOM FWD (Provisional)
2nd Bn, (M), 22nd Inf 25th Med Bn
3rd Bn, 22nd Inf 25th S & T Bn
2nd Bn, 77th Arty (DS) 725th Maint Bn
HHC, 25th Inf Div 2nd Bn, 34th A;rmor (-)
3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry 65th Engr Bn
25th Avn Bn 125th Sig Bn
25th MP Co 25th Admin Co
44th Scout Dog Plt 38th Scout Dog Plt
9th Chem Det (Atch) 18th Mil Hist Det
3rd Squadron, 17th Cav (Atch)
25th Military Intelligence Det (Atch) 25th Division Artillery (-)
372nd Radio Research Co (Atch)
15th Public Information Det (Atch) HHB, Div Arty
20th Public Information Det (Atch) 3rd Bn, 13th Arty (GS)
7th Team AA, Plat HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch) 6th Bn, 77th Arty (Atch)
8th Team AA, Plat HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch) Btry B, 5th Bn, 2nd Arty (Atch)
9th Team AA, Plat HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch) Btry D, 5th Bn, 2nd Arty (Atch)
Btry C, 7th Bn, 8th Arty (Atch)
OPERATIONAL REPORT - LESSONS LEARNED
1 November 1967 - 31 January 1968
125th Signal Battalion, 25th Infantry Division
The 125th Signal Battalion continued to support the 25th Infantry Division in all operations during the period 1 November 1967 - 31 January 1968. Common user and sole user telephone and teletype circuits over multi-channel VHF systems continued to provide the major portion of communications for the Division. Battalion Forward Field Positions and Fire Support Bases were interconnected into the overall Division system through use of VHF means (Typical VHF Systems Diagram Tab A). The primary means of back-up for existing VHF systems remains the VRC-12 series radio. A secure FM Command Net provided communications for rapid response between major maneuver elements and the Division Headquarters. Traffic of a less sensitive nature was passed over a Division Clear FM Command Net. Other communications support means employed during the period were AM radio nets, a radio-wire integration capability, and FM radio retransmission facilities for both clear and secure modes.
2. BIRD DOG PROJECTS:
Reference Lessons Learned submitted for period 1 May - 31 July 1967, para 7f. The “split headset” installation described in these Lessons Learned has been abandoned. Further investigation toward a solution has come up with a system of removing the ARC-44 from the aircraft completely and substituting the PRC-25 alleviating the split headset problem. The pin connectors for FM on the 34 pin connector were identified and the PRC-25 was connected to them. Thus, the PRC-25 is not completely integrated into the aircraft's electrical system (See Tab B). The PRC-25 battery (BA-386) is being used to provide power for the FM presently. However, plans are now in progress to build a voltage dividing network which would drop the operating voltage of the aircraft to the operating voltage of the PRC-25. The advantages derived from using the PRC-25 radio are:
a. The transmission bandwidth is reduced from the ARC-44 100 KC bandwidth per channel to the current standard of 50 KC's per channel. This eliminates possible interference and overlap with other working frequencies.
b. Four times as many channels are available for use which increases the flexibility of the radio set and permits the FAC to contact directly any ground supported unit.
c. The use of new squelch is made possible on a Division wide basis. Old squelch is presently used in the Division in order to accommodate the ARC-44. Interference received from VC and ARVN stations would be significantly reduced by the use of new squelch and would result in improved transmissions quality. Until the Air Force outfits the OA1's with more modern equipment, the PRC-25 can be utilized in place of the AN/ARC-44 to provide the vital air-ground communications required.
3. INTERFERENCE ON SECURE FM:
The use of secure FM transmission for the Division Command Net has proven to be a very valuable asset in rapidly passing sensitive information between operating elements. However, the sensitivity to outside interference when operating in the secure mode requires a completely “discrete” frequency for optimum efficiency and effectiveness. The great number of FM radios operating in the close environment of a counter-insurgency action zone requires extremely tight control over authorized frequencies and increased monitoring of unassigned frequencies to permit the best possible frequency assignment. A unique and totally unsuspected interference problem on secure FM was discovered when a counter mortar radar in close proximity to the receiving end of a secure FM system caused sufficient interference to disrupt reception. In order to receive a secure transmission, the counter-mortar had to be turned off. The FM station located in proximity to the radar AN/MPQ-4 had sufficient strength to transmit a secure transmission through the radar interference; however, the weakened received signal could not get through the interference. It is suspected that the placement of the radar in relation to the direction of FM transmission has a bearing on the problem. At another location where similar counter-mortar radar and secure FM were co-located, no interference was detected. At this location, however, the counter-mortar radar was located behind the FM direction of transmission. It is therefore important for signal officers to coordinate the placement of secure FM equipment in relationship to the counter-mortar radar to insure that the counter-mortar is not placed between the FM station and the distant station.
4. POWER REQUIREMENTS - VHF:
In past operations the 125th Signal Battalion was dependent upon power being supplied from air-cooled and water-cooled 10 KW generators. Although a very useful unit and considered a workhorse in tactical communications units, the 10KW does lose its stability with age. Power fluctuations have been responsible for increased system and circuit outage time and a reduction of component life. A solution to this problem in areas of high density of communication equipment has been to install 100 KW and 45 KW generators at the more permanent sites such as Cu Chi, Dau Tieng, Tay Ninh and Nui Ba Den, providing a central power facility servicing the entire communications complex. This highly dependable power source provides a much more constant voltage and results in greatly reduced downtime on VHF systems. Also, the occasions of blown power tubes, defective tuning heads, and erroneous readings on carrier equipment (conditions attributable to fluctuating power) have been decreased significantly. The communication success of Operation Yellowstone thus far can be attributed in great part to the constant voltage supplied by the 100 KW and 45 KW generators. It has been learned that, wherever possible, these large more stable power sources should be installed.
5. B BAND VHF EQUIPMENT:
During Operation Yellowstone, it was determined that “B” Band characteristics lended favorably to the terrain features in the “tall tree” country of Tay Ninh Province. Installation of systems of extended length or one using obstacle gain principles were more effective using “B” band equipment than either “C” band or “D” band. “C” band systems were found to be the most ineffective due to FM interference from helicopter and airport control towers. The lesson learned is that in systems over high dense foliage, “B” band equipment produces the best results.
6. AB-216 TOWERS AND CRANK-UP AB-577's:
a. The ability to establish high quality VHF systems in the division TAOI during Operation Yellowstone has been greatly enhanced by the use of AB-216 towers at Dau Tieng, Cu Chi and Tay Ninh. The added height of up to 120 feet has extended transmission ranges and alleviated high noise levels experienced when the TRC-24 antenna masts were utilized. At Dau Tieng, for example, even 60' masts still resulted in the antenna pointing directly into the 50-80 feet tall rubber trees.
b. Additional flexibility has been gained by the 125th Signal Battalion by employing AB-577 crank-up antennas at fire support bases and forward sites. These sites move frequently and timeliness of communications support is of great importance. Crank-up antennas considerably reduce set-up time and provide the capability to keep systems on the air until the last possible minute before breakdown. They also afford the capability of rapidly adjusting the antenna to the desired height during system installation. The important lesson learned here is that for dependability and flexibility the AB-216 and AB-577 should be utilized wherever applicable and practical.
7. GROUND RODS:
Six foot ground rods have been found to be inadequate for proper grounding in many areas. It has been found that welding two together forming a 12 foot rod produces much better results. Further improvement can be obtained by hooking all grounding rods together with heavy duty electrical cable and spot-welding the cable to each rod. This forms a common ground and is much more effective. The lesson re-learned is that the higher moisture content you have, the better the ground. During the dry season, approximately the top three feet of soil is dry laterite.
/s/ Louis G. Methern
LOUIS G. MATHERN
(Typical VHF Systems Diagram Tab A)