Quarterly Report Ending 31 Oct 67
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
HEADQUARTERS 25TH INFANTRY DIVISION
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCDH 14 November 1967
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 October 1967
(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 Howard C. Hanning, CO, 18th Military History Detachment
1. (C) Significant Organizational Activities.
(1)General. There were three major operations (battalion size or larger) and 1,198
small unit actions conducted by the 25th Infantry Division during the quarter. All major operations and 191 of the small unit actions resulted in enemy contact.
(2) The 25th Infantry Division Monsoon Campaign which began in May, continued throughout the reporting period. The mission of the division in the Monsoon Campaign remained the same: to conduct offensive operations with emphasis in populated areas, 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. An added mission was to provide distant security and a reaction force when called upon to aid the security of the Vietnamese National Elections. The three operations of KOLEKOLE, BARKING SANDS and DIAMOND HEAD continued within the division's Tactical Area of Interest (TAOI).
(a) KOLEKOLE (14 May 1967 - Continuing). This operation continued as a search and destroy operation conducted by the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, in HAU NGHIA and TAY NINH Provinces. During the month of August the operation employed only two of the 2nd Brigade's battalions, the third being away from the area while operating under the operational control of the 9th Infantry Division for Operation UNIONTOWN. Increased ARVN participation in Operation KOLEKOLE served to lessen the effect of the US battalion's absence. A significant action took place when the Combined Reconnaissance Intelligence Platoon (CRIP), consisting of the Reconnaissance Platoon, 1st Bn, 27th Inf, and the HAU NGHIA Province Intelligence Platoon (of Regional Forces) supported by gunships, reacted to intelligence and engaged a VC reconnaissance element from LONG AN Province, resulting in 27 VC Killed in Action (KIA), verified by body count (BC). A significant loss to the VC occurred during the period from 5 - 8 August, when the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry located extensive ammunition caches and factories around LOC GIANG (XT428155) along the ORIENTAL River. Items recovered included a metal lathe, 1000 unfinished anti-personnel (AP) mines, over 100 artillery, mortar and recoilless rifle rounds, sufficient material to make 500 grenades and several hundred pounds of tools. Much of this equipment was found in large earthenware crocks buried in the mud along the shores of the ORIENTAL River and was detectable only at low tide.
During September, Operation KOLEKOLE shifted to northern HAU NGHIA and southwestern TAY NINH Provinces, while ARVN operations in southern HAU NGHIA Province increased. The 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry conducted extensive dismounted night ambush patrols around LOC GIANG, and along the ORIENTAL River, resulting in the capture of a VC Prisoner of War (PW) who revealed the location of the 269th VC Battalion. The 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry conducted airmobile assaults in reaction to this intelligence. Throughout this operation VC PW and HOI CHANH (ralliers under the CHIEU HOI or OPEN ARMS Program) have provided the 2nd Brigade with much information.
Operation KOLEKOLE continued through October with emphasis on search and destroy operations, supplemented with pacification operations in HAU NGHIA, TAY NINH and BINH DUONG Provinces. Search and destroy operations were characterized by rapid response to intelligence reports in widely separated areas in the division's TAOR. Contact during the month was with small and scattered VC units. Two significant contacts occurred on 21 and 31 October. On 21 October an estimated VC platoon was observed from the air moving from a base camp south of TAY NINH at XT194318. The VC were fixed in place by gunships until A and B Companies of 1st Bn, 27th Infantry were airlifted to the area to engage them. The results of this engagement was 18 VC KIA (BC) and numerous ammunition, weapons and documents captured. On 31 October the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry conducted airmobile contact assaults north of the RACH TRA stream (XT7908) and made contact with the 2nd GO MON Battalion (VC). Results of this contact were 28 VC KIA (BC), 2 VC PW.
Results of Operation KOLEKOLE to date are: Personnel losses - 679 VC KIA (BC), 425 VC KIA (poss), 142 VC PWs, 1047 detainees and 34 HOI CHANH. Material captured: - 364 lbs of documents, 279 individual weapons, 5 crew served weapons. Material and installations destroyed: - 4829 bunkers, 503 military structures, 425 tunnels, 387 sampans, 4703 artillery rounds, mortar rounds, RPG-2 rounds, recoilless rifle rounds, mines and other explosive devices. 27.75 tons of rice and 40,684 small arms rounds.
(b) BARKING SANDS (18 May 1967 - Continuing). This operation continued as a pacification operation of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division of CU CHI and TRANG BANG Districts of HAU NGHIA Province and PHU HOA District of BINH DUONG Provinces. Numerous small unit actions which included Bushmaster (extensive company size patrols), Cordon and Search of suspected VC hamlets, Roadrunner (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, search and destroy missions employing airmobile combat assaults into the IRON TRIANGLE, and along the west side of the SAIGON River south of the IRON TRIANGLE were conducted, when intelligence reports located VC units in the area. On 30 August the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry conducted airmobile assaults against an entrenched VC battalion in the IRON TRIANGLE at XT735193. Small arms (SA), automatic weapons (AW), artillery and airstrikes were directed against the VC resulting in 4 VC KIA (BC) and 43 US WIA.
Operation WAIMEA, a part of Operation BARKING SANDS, was conducted from 22 through 26 August. In addition to an organic battalion of the 1st Brigade, WAIMEA included the 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry placed under 1st Brigade's operational control from the 199th Light Infantry Brigade (Separate), and the 2nd and 4th Battalions of the 7th Regiment (ARVN). The operation was conducted along the RACH TRA, from XT7507 to the Saigon River at XY814079 and along the opposite bank of the SAIGON River from XT8109 to XT8208. The area of operation was known to be a VC haven because of the thick terrain and extensive canals flowing from the SAIGON River. The operation was designed to drive the VC from the area and to destroy their base camps and fortifications. Contact throughout the operation was limited, however, to engagement of VC in sampans and destruction of fortifications, many of which were booby trapped. Civic action operations were taken to assist the RD cadre and population at nearby TAN THAN DONG (XT7511) and to provide medical assistance at BAO TRAM (XT722156). For further details and results of this operations see Combat Operation After Action Report for Operation WAIMEA, attached as Appendix 4.
Operation BARKING SANDS was continued throughout September as a pacification operation, to which was added the security of jungle clearing operations. During 1 - 5 September primary emphasis was placed on platoon and company size patrols to deny VC units access to populated areas during the National Elections (held on Sunday 3 September). After the elections were held, jungle clearing operations were begun in the RACH TRA area where Operation WAIMEA was conducted in August. The purpose of this clearing was to eliminate foliage used by VC units for concealment when moving along the water-ways flowing from the SAIGON River.
Clearing operations intensified when Operation KUNIA, a part of Operation BARKING SANDS, was completed 6 September. The brigade moved with four battalion (2nd---14th---atc Bn, 9th Inf; 4th Bn (M), 23rd Inf and 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf) into the HO BO Woods by land and airmobile combat assaults. Search and destroy operations were conducted in preparation for the arrival of a land clearing team of thirty Rome Plows (a bulldozer with a sharpened blade set at an angle, constructed to be used in jungle clearing operations), the 27th Land Clearing Team, 168th Engr Bn, placed in Direct Support of the 25th Division to clear the HO BO Woods. Land clearing was begun on 20 September. The objective of Operation KUNIA is to eliminate the HO BO Woods as a safe haven for the VC through extensive clearing operations and destruction of VC base camps and forces.
Jungle clearing operations were continued through October as part of Operation KUNIA. Operation BARKING SANDS was continued as a search and destroy operation and security for jungle clearing operations. Jungle clearing was completed in the northern and western parts of the HO BO Woods and continues in the east and south. By the end of October 9, 645 acres of the Ho Bo Woods had been cleared by Rome Plows and by using Bangalore torpedoes in areas inaccessible to the Rome Plows.
Results of Operation BARKING SANDS to date are: Personnel losses - 320 VC KIA (BC), 769 VC KIA (poss), 38 VC PW's, 35,801 detainees and 9 HOI CHANH. Material captured: - 531 lbs of documents, 222 individual weapons, 18 crew-served weapons. Material and installations destroyed: - 5169 bunkers, 670 military structures, 855 tunnels, 120 sampans, 3929 artillery rounds, mortar rounds, RPG-2 rounds, recoilless rifle rounds, mines, bombs and other explosive devices, 133.75 tons of rice, 102,714 small arms rounds.
(c) DIAMONDHEAD (18 May 1967 - Continuing). This operation was continued by the 3rd Brigade from its base camps at TAY NINH and DAU TIENG. On 1 August 1967 the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division was re-designated the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division by USARPAC General Order Number 144, dated 27 July 1967. Authority cited therein was DA Message 824266, dated 19 July 1967. No movement of troops or units was involved in this re-designation. Operation DIAMOND HEAD was conducted by the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division throughout the reporting period. Search and destroy operations and security missions were conducted in TAY NINH and BINH DUONG Provinces. In addition, the brigade was responsible for the security of two base camps and to secure engineer repair work conducted on the road network in its area of operations (AO). The improvement of the roads in the TAY NINH (XY2350), DAU TIENG (XT5047), SUOI DA (XT2357) area will increase the reaction capabilities of the brigade, and make better roads available for civilian use. Due to the security requirements which involved two battalions throughout August, other operations were battalion size or smaller. A significant action occurred on 15 August when an airmobile cordon and search of THANH AN (XT536378) was conducted by the 3RD Battalion, 22nd Infantry, in conjunction with Vietnamese National Police. Results of the operation were 6 VC KIA (BC), 12 VC PW, 30 detainees of whom 15 were classed as civil defendants, and 1 HOI CHANH. Subsequent information from this action brought about the capture of an additional PW in DAU TIENG.
In September the brigade conducted numerous small unit actions to provide security for the elections held for the Vietnamese presidency and parliament. The addition of the 2nd Battalion, ;34th Armor (-) to the brigade on 22 September enabled the brigade to resume multi-battalion size operations. The first phase of an extensive project to prevent the use of the MICHELIN Plantation located next to DAU TIENG (XT5047) by VC forces. The population southeast of the plantation was relocated to a refugee center at LAU THIEU (XT8605), thereby eliminating sources of support for the VC. Seventy-four families were relocated by use of CH-47 aircraft. Extensive psychological operations (PSYOPS) exploited this relocation, which was accomplished by US and ARVN troop units. Other workers living on the plantation and more villagers living south of the plantation will be relocated.
In October, the brigade employed multi-battalion operations and smaller size operations down to platoon size ambush patrols. Company size patrol bases were placed to interdict VC troop movements and supply routes. Continued battalion size search and destroy operations were conducted in, and to the northeast of the MICHELIN Plantation to prevent its use as a VC/NVA haven. Bushmaster (company size patrolling operations) were conducted in the area known as the Crescent, 8 kilometers northwest of DAU TIENG. Battalion size search and destroy operations were conducted in and south of BEN CUI (XT4444), and in the northern portion of the Trapezoid, which extends 15 kilometers to the southeast of DAU TIENG. All operations were marked by extremely light contact. Many deserted base camps, food and medical caches were found and destroyed. These search and destroy operations were conducted using a perfected checkerboard technique (see Appendix 2). By deploying in this manner, unrestricted fire can be placed around the various elements within the checkerboard to provide support, and to insure a detailed search of the area.
Results of Operation DIAMOND HEAD to date are: Personnel losses - 159 VC KIA (BC), 568 VC KIA (poss), 37 VC PW's, 383 DETAINEES, 4 HOI CHIANH. Material captured - 142 lbs of documents, 79 individual weapons, 2 crew-served weapons. Material and installations destroyed - 3448 bunkers, 452 military structures, 69 tunnels, 39 sampans, 826 artillery mortar, RPG-2 recoilless rifle rounds, mines and bombs. Additionally, 20,928 small arms rounds and 123.7 tons of rice were destroyed
(d) NIGHT THRUST and related operations of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry: See Appendix 5
b. Artillery Support: During the quarter Division Artillery fired 144,498 rounds in support and 124,424 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 2,917 sorties during the quarter in support of 1,361 missions with the following results: 69 VC killed by Air Force (KBAF) (BC), 478 VC KBAF (poss). In addition, 264 VC structures, 2,373 bunkers, 25 sampans, 37 tunnels, 12 caches and three bridges were destroyed. There were 47 secondary explosions and 96 secondary fires. There were five B-52 strikes in 36 sorties flown in support of the Monsoon Campaign during the quarter.
d. Army Aviation: There were 20,705 sorties, 2,252 combat missions and 8,270 hours flown, 40,232 passengers and 818.1 tons of cargo carried. Thirty-four aircraft were hit by enemy fire on 19 separate occasions. Armed helicopters expended 1,229,000 rounds of 7.62 machine gun ammunition, 885 rounds of .50-caliber machine gun ammunition, 5,195 rounds of 40mm grenades and 5,329 - 2.75-inch aerial rockets in support of combat operations. Results of Army Aviation support were: 34 VC killed by Army Aviation (KBAA) (BC)(, 229 VC KBAA (poss), 3 VC PW, 47 sampans destroyed, 19 sampans damaged, 17 VC structures destroyed, 34 structures damaged and 2 oxcarts destroyed.
(1) VC Activity.
(a) General: VC activity consisted primarily of efforts to delay allied clearing operations and incidents with the purpose of countering the GVN elections. No significant contact was made with NVA units during the period. During the latter part of the reporting period VC activity increased. These increased operations may be due to the expected VC Winter-Spring offensive. Guerrillas have found it increasingly difficult to muster civilian support.
(b) VC Tactics.
1. VC activity in the HO BO Woods attempted to delay allied search and clear operations. The primary techniques used were to employ mines and booby traps against the Rome Plow operations, and snipers and booby traps against the searching elements. Field CPs were mortared frequently at night and occasionally during the day. These attacks by fire were significant both in that they were against field locations of down to company size units, and that they occurred with such frequency, sometimes three or four times a night. This tactic was started shortly after the HO BO operation was begun in mid-September, and continued into the second week of October when it slacked off.
2. The election periods were marked by increased terrorist activity by the VC. Numerous craters and several culverts appeared along Highway #1 and 9A during the last few days preceding the presidential elections. Three bridges were blown during the early morning hours of 3 September, and there were many incidents of PF and RF outposts receiving harassing attacks by fire that night.
3. There were two significant VC attacks between the Vietnamese Presidential elections of 3 September and; those of the Lower House on 22 October.
a. On 12 October at 0450 the 34th ARVN Rangers received a ground attack while in a night position in the LOC GIANG area (XT4416). They received small arms, automatic weapon, heavy machine gun, RPG-2, 57mm RR, and mortar fire from an estimated VC battalion tentatively identified as the 269th Battalion. Results: 28 ARVN, 10 Vietnamese laborers, and 1 US wounded in action; 3 ARVN and 2 Vietnamese laborers killed in action; and 2 APCs were destroyed. VC losses are unknown.
b. At 0345; on 16 October DUC HOA started receiving small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire. Shortly afterward BAO TRAI reported receiving the same. The results were: 12 ARVN, 5 PF, 13 CIDG, 8 US and 3 PRU wounded in action; 4 CIDG and 2 US killed in action; 9 civilians were wounded and 1 civilian was killed at DUC HOA. At BAO TRAI, 3 National Policemen and 4 PF were wounded in action. VC losses are unknown. The significance of the action at BAO TRAI is that it occurred nearly simultaneously with the attack at DUC HOA and at the outset appeared to be of the same magnitude. This has the effect of diverting full attention from the DUC HOA attack…
4. Following the lower House elections, the VC employed a tactic of attacking numerous PF, RF and ARVN compounds in a particular area on the same night. This had the effect of over-loading the immediate reaction capability of the Vietnamese forces, and made assistance by the Allies very difficult due to the limited channels for coordination and control with the Vietnamese elements on the ground. This in some cases resulted in air assets having to return to their base camps without having an opportunity to expend their ordnance against the enemy simply because there were not sufficient personnel on the ground or in the area to direct them.
(2) Conclusions: It is felt that the VC have two motives in mind when using these tactics. Number one, to prove to the people that they, the VC, and not the government still control the area. Second, that activity of this type could prevent an allied offensive against Main Force units in War Zone “C”, and other base areas by forcing them to secure the population and agricultural centers. Failing this, they use delaying tactics against operations in their base areas in order to provide maximum time for units and supplies to be withdrawn from the area, and to cause the most casualties to the allies.
(1) Class I Supply - (25th Supply and Transport Battalion)
(a) Status: (p10)
“A” Rations “C” Rations
1. Stockage objective (days) CU CHI - 5 10
DAU TIENG 5 10
2. On Hand CU CHI - 3 10
DAU TIENG 3 8
(b) Fresh fruits and vegetables were received from Class I Issue Point SAIGON.
(c) Ice cream:
1. Cycle of issue - four times per week.
2. Gallons per week from SAIGON - 1200
3. Gallons per week from CU CHI - 832
4. Gallons per week from DAU TIENG 523
(d) Average amount of ice issued daily:
1. Potable - CU CHI 118,491
DAU TIENG 27,000
2. Non-potable None
(2) Class II & IV (25th Supply & Transport Battalion)
(a) Additions to ASL during quarter - CU CHI 244
DAU TIENG 153
(b) Total lines on ASL CU CHI 1300
DAU TIENG 153
(3) Class III (25th Supply & Transport Battalion) (Consumption Rates)
(a) MOGAS (gals) CU CHI 17,660 1,624,344
DAU TIENG 4,550 240,130
(b) DIESAL (gals) CU CHI 18,740 1,724,031
DAU TIENG 5,000 217,420
(c) JP/A (gals) CU CHI 26,550 2,443,300
DAU TIENG 8,400 359,300
(d) AVGAS (gals) CU CHI 1,800 173,150
DAU TIENG 700 32,955
(4) Services: (p11)
(a) Contract Laundry CU CHI 8,625 bundles
DAU TIENG 16,125 bundles
(b) QM bath unit:
1. Total showers for quarter 9,009
2. Average number of showers daily 117
(c) Graves Registration:
1. Deceased US personnel processed during the quarter:
CU CHI 143
DAU TIENG 27
2. Deceased RVN personnel processed during the quarter: 44
(d) Division water resupply - average daily - 30,000 gals.
(e) DUC HOA Helicopter Rearm / Refuel Facility: This battalion took over
the operational control and manning responsibilities for the helicopter rearm / refuel facility at DUC HOA on 15 October 1967. Complete rebuilding and relocation of the refueling facility has been undertaken, along with the construction of personnel bunkers, berms for bulk class III and ammunition storage.
(a) Mileage driven:
1. Total CU CHI 204,237
DAU TIENG 27,928
2. Average Daily - CU CHI 2,219.9
DAU TIENG 465
(b) Tonnage Moved:
1. Total CU CHI 7,603
DAU TIENG 2,698
2. Average Daily CU CHI 86.6
DAU TIENG 45
(c) Troops Moved by Convoy: (p11)
1. Total 8,042
2. Average Daily 84.7
(e) Troops moved by pass truck:
1. Total 4,953
2. Average Dao;u 54.2
(f) Operation Night Thrust (31 Aug - 31 Oct 1967)
1. Total 1,944
2. Average Daily 62.7
(a) The following jobs were completed by the 725th Maintenance Battalion during the reporting period:
ITEM AUG SEP OCT TOTAL
Wheel Vehicles 403 296 283 988
Track Vehicles 133 101 144 378
Small Arms 768 1107 1057 2960
Artillery 183 189 156 528
Chemical 56 46 40 142
Refrigeration 1 32 20 53
Engineer 268 246 320 853
Signal 2516 2724 2612 7852
Fire Control 410 455 320 1185
Office Machine 190 173 189 552
Aircraft 203 201 212 616
(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 (weather and terrain during this period has proved to be an influential factor due to extensive operations in mud.)
3, Lack of sufficient maintenance at the organizational level.
(7) Medical Support: (p12)
The 25th Medical Battalion supported Division units with medical service and supplies. Non-division units were supported with medical supplies.
(a) Medical totals:
1. Patients seen - 9,167
a. Disease 7,347
b. Non-battle injuries 1,331
c. IRHA 489
2. Lab tests 5,387
3. Immunizations 7,705
4. Prescriptions filled 6,682
(b) Dental patients seen - 6,590
1. Dental Examinations 6,207
2. Other (extractions, etc.) 283
(c) Supply and Service
1. Line items issued 5,154
2. Short tonnage total 15.3
3. MEDCAP line items issued - 2,250
4, Short tonnage total 7.23
5. Bulk pharmacy items issued 2,452
6. Prescriptions filled N/A
7. Eyeglasses ordered (pairs) 562
8. Maintenance work orders received - 156
(8) 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 breakout of regular resupply convoys operated in the division area:
1. CU CHI - SAIGON convoys
a. Total convoys 180
b. Number of convoys per day - 2
c. Total vehicles 8,505
d. Number of vehicles involved in unit distribution - 2,860
2. On 1 May, Rte 1 between SAIGON and CU CHI was re-classified GREEN. During the period 1 August - 30 September, 11,008 vehicles moved over the MSR individually in groups smaller than convoy size.
3. Convoy from SAIGON / CU CHI to TAY NINH.
a. Total convoys 177
b. Number of convoys per day 2
c. Total vehicles 17,891
d. Vehicles by unit
1. 1st Log Cmd 10,004
2. 25th Di0v & atch units 6,109
3. 4th Inf Div 208
4. PHILCAG 1,383
4. During this reporting period, 1,487 vehicles from the 25th Infantry Division moved over the MSR to TRANG BANG and GO DAU HA in support of operations north of CU CHI.
5. TAY NINH - DAU TIENG convoys
a. Total convoys 158
b. Number of convoys per day 2
c. Total vehicles 7,755 (p14)
(b) Special airlift data for the quarter is as follows:
ACFT MISSIONS PRIORITIES SORTIES FAX CARGO lbs
C-130 7 1 15 1,173 89,900
6 CE 11 7 352,642
C-123 30 1 71 3,01 202,983
7 CE 24 74 135,850
C - 7A 12 1 22 412 47,300
(c) During October the CU CHI airfield was closed for repair which caused units using aircraft for retrograde movements to move by highway. Replacements and R&R personnel were moved by bus and truck. The using of bus and trucks allowed a set schedule to be established for movement of personnel. The only inconvenience encountered by this method was the personnel exposed to the elements.
(d) The volume of business in the Division Baggage Section sharply increased this quarter due to an increase in the number of personnel rotating to CONUS. The section served 1,628 customers and shipped 2,422 pieces of personnel baggage, weighing a total of 206,225 pounds.
(9) Ammunition Office (25th DISCOM)
(a) Stockage Objective:
1. Status at end of quarter 806
2. On hand - 1024
PERIOD AMOUNT (TONS / DAY)
16 July - 15 August 114.63
16 August - 15 September 154.93
16 September - 15 October 183.50
(c) Average for quarter (tons / day) 151.02
(1) Personnel: During the past quarter the personnel posture of the Division has
been generally good. The assigned strength dropped to approximately 100% of authorized strength during the quarter, but was up to 105% of authorized strength by the end of the quarter. A shortage of Infantry Captains has been a problem during the quarter. At the end of the quarter the Division had a critical shortage of two Infantry Captains. (Critical is defined as anything less than 86% of authorized strength). There continues to be a shortage of Infantry NCO's. Emphasis on maximizing promotion opportunities has improved the situation with Infantry E6's, but there is still a critical shortage of 309 E5's. Other MOS shortages that this headquarters places in the critically short category are 31K, 35B, 52A, 63G, 91G, 95D, 26W, 45F, 71C, and 31M. There was a serious shortage of Artillery MOS's during the quarter, but the situation improved somewhat by the end of the quarter. There was a marked improvement in the number of ARVN Interpreters available to the Division with the number available rising from 41 to 90 by the end of the quarter.
(2) Key Gain / Losses
(a) 2 Aug 67 - LTC Stanley P Converse assumed command of 4th Battalion,
(b) 4 Aug 67 - LTC Henry B. Murphy Jr. appointed G-4; LTC Thomas O. Harrold assumed command of 3rd Battalion, 22nd Infantry.
(c) 6 Aug 67 -MG Fillmore K. Mearns assumed command of the 25th Infantry Division; MG John C.F. Tillson III departed..
(d) 8 Aug 67 -LTC Kenneth D. Cowan appointed Executive Officer, 25th Division Support Command.
(e) 10 Aug 67 - LTC Fremont B. Hodson appointed Executive Officer, 2nd
Brigade, 25th Infantry Division; LTC Ted E. Gordinier appointed Deputy
Chief of Staff.
(f) 16 Aug 67 - LTC Glenn K. Otis appointed G-1; LTC Dennis V. Gentry Jr.
(g) 16 Aug 67 - BG William T. Gleason (then Colonel) appointed Assistant
(h) 1 Sep 67 - LTC John R. Thurman III assumed command of 25th Infantry Division Artillery; Col David E. Ott departed.
(i) 2 Sep 67 -LTC Forney appointed Executive Officer, 25th Infantry Division: Artillery; LTC John W. Vessey departed.
(j) 9 Sep 67 - Col Edwin H. Marks Jr. assumed command ;of 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division; Col Doniphan Carter departed.
(k) 15 Sep 67 - LTC Awbrey G. Norris assumed command of 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry; LTC Ralph W. Julian departed.
(l) 18 Sep 67 - LTC Walter E. Adams assumed command 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry; LTC Edward C. Peter departed.
(m) 19 Sep 67 - 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor assigned to 25th Infantry Division with LTC Hal B Rhyne commanding.
(n) 1 Pct 67 - LTC William McClain appointed Provost Marshall; LTC Robert E. Stromfors departed.
(o) 10 (ct 67 - LTC Carroll W. Smith Jr. assumed command of he 25th Aviation Battalion; LTC William A. Bearden departed.
(p) 18 Oct 67 - Col Donald D. Dunlop appointed Assistant Division Commander
(q) 20 Oct 67 - LTC John M. Henchman assumed command of 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry; LTC Stanley P. Converse departed.
(r) 21 Oct 67 - LTC Fremont B. Hodson assumed command of 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry; LTC Goodnow appointed Executive Officer of 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.
(3) The Division PX at CU CHI remained in operation during the quarter. In addition the Division assumed responsibility for the PX's at DAU TIENG and TAY NINH. The following quarterly statistical data is furnished:
PX FLOOR SPACE STORAGE SPACE SALES
CU CHI 8,000 Sq Ft. 7,700 Sq Ft. $2,941,826.71
DAU TIENG 6,000 Sq Ft 2,500 Sq Ft $ 665,588.85
TAY NINH 5,000 Sq.Ft 3,300 Sq Ft $ 625,204.85
(in 5 GP medium tents)
(4) Strengths as of 31 Oct 67.
(a) Assigned Units OFF WD EM AGG
AUTH 1,042 135 15,795 16,972
ASGD 1,100 148 16,541 17,789
PDY 1,090 136 16,398 17,624
(b) Attached Units
AUTH 51 3 593 647
ASGD 46 3 567 616
PDY 43 3 551 597
(5) Losses(1 Aug - 31 Oct 67)
OFF WO EM ACG
KHA 6 0 148 154
WHA 98 3 1,493 1,594
MHA 0 0 0 0
DOW 1 0 20 21
NED 2 0 8 10
NB 3 0 309 312
(6) Gains (1 Aug - 31 Oct 67) 387 40 5,023 5,450
(7) Provost Marshall Activities:
(a) On 22 August 1967, the 2nd Platoon, 25th MP Company provided military police support to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in Operation WAIMEA. The platoon was responsible ;for convoy escort of resupply and Air Force radar vehicles, reconnaissance and clearing of Highway 8A, and internal security of the TOC and brigade headquarters. During the platoon reconnaissance of Highway 8A they were subject to sniper fire on several occasions. The platoon completed its last assignment of convoy escort and returned to base camp on 27 August 1967.
(b) From 16 September 1967 to 26 October 1967 the 1st Platoon, 25th MP Company was attached to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division in support of Operation KUNIA. The platoon responsibilities included: (1) manning four listening posts outside the perimeter, (2) manning two bunkers on the perimeter, (3) providing security for the TOC and brigade headquarters, and (4) providing security for the road between TRUNG LAP and Highway #1 on order. During the 41 day operation, 20 PWs were processed. The platoon on several occasions engaged VC with automatic and semi-automatic fire in defense of the perimeter. On 24 October one squad was attached to the 4th Bn, 9th Inf at their forward base camp until the end of the reporting period.
(c) On 22 September 1967, the 25th MP Company provided one NCO and eight enlisted men to work with Vietnamese National Police (NP) and Vietnamese Military Police (QUAN CAN or QC) in the operation of a Joint Police Patrol. This patrol is divided into two teams of three vehicle mounted elements. One MP, one NP, and one QC comprise an element. These teams work throughout HAU NGHIA Province in control of population and resources. The team sets up a check point, stops and checks all vehicles and individuals passing that location, and then moves to another location. This operation will continue on an indefinite basis and another Joint Police Patrol will be organized in TAY NINH Province.
h. Revolutionary Development Support.
(1) Three additional Revolutionary Development (RD) teams became operational in TAY NINH Province bringing the total operating there to twelve. Six teams, continued to operate in HAU NGHIA Province and one in PHU HOA District of BINH DUONG Province. A total of nineteen teams are currently working throughout the division TAOI. Overall, the RD programs in the designated hamlets are behind the projected time schedule. Various reasons exist for the time lag which include: non-availability of supplies, improper training and motivation of RD team members, and the initial forecasting of unrealistic goals. Adjustments in the schedule for next year will take into consideration the time lag. Several teams have completed the required projects and attained the required level of development in the hamlets. These teams have moved into the second semester location on schedule. The majority of the moves were short in distance, usually to another hamlet in the same village.
(2) Five Mobile Advisory Teams (MAT) became operational during the last quarter. The MAT program is designed to bolster the RF / PF units through US military assistance and provide increased security to RD cadre. The teams were formed from divisional personnel and equipment authorizations. The teams have been placed under the control of the Senior Province Advisor for placement and use. One team in TAY NINH is assuming the role of a district advisor. The present team locations appear below:
TEAM LOCATION PROVINCE
Team A TAN PHU TRUNG (XT702084) HAU NGHIA
Team B SUOI CAO (XT453289) TAY NINH
Team C CAO XA (XT126503) TAY NINH
Team D CHA LA (XT294501) TAY NINH
Team E HIEP HOA (XT430071) HAU NGHIA
The team organizational structure is as follows::
U.S. PERSONNEL ARVN PERSONNEL
1 Officer 1 Officer
1 Light Weapons NCO (Inf) 1 Interpreter
1 Radio Operator
(3) Changes in the hamlet status. (p20)
The MACV Hamlet Evaluation System (HES) continues to be a valuable tool for
This headquarters. Definite progress is reflected throughout the TAOI only the monthly reports. The most graphic improvements have been in HAU NGHIA Province. The primary reasons for the improvement have been the emphasis through the GVN on National Priority area, and the effective and extensive US military operations conducted in HAU NGHIA Province during the Monsoon Campaign. Listed below is a breakdown by province of the changes in population and hamlet status for the quarter as extracted from the HES (30 June - 30 September). The HES is received at the earliest one month after rating has been completed…In some cases the time has been in excess of 1 ½ months after the reporting period. This lessens the value of the report with the exception of providing general trends and changes. The HES can assist the tactical commander by providing relatively accurate information concerning population location and density. It can also provide information as the status of security development in specific areas.
HAU NGHIA JUNE CHANGES
Category of Hamlets Population of Hamlets Population Hamlet Population
A 0 0 0 0 0 0
B 14 29,678 17 37,831 +3 +8,153
C 42 59,468 37 52,289 -5 -7,179
D 11 15,890 24 28,9 +13 +13,013
E 2 1,227 7 6,050 +5 +4,823
VC 81 90,203 67 63,899 -14 -26,304
TOTAL 150 196,466 152 188,972 +2 - 7,494
TAY NINH JUNE CHANGES
Category of Hamlets Population of Hamlets Population Hamlet Population
A 0 0 0 0 0 0
B 46 114,678 44 117,740 -2 +3,062
C 72 167,705 73 178,689 +1 +10,984
D 2 1,619 4 4,467 +2 + 2,848
E 2 700 0 0 -2 - 700
VC 19 5,762 13 5,474 -6 -288
TOTAL 141 290,464 134 306,370 - 7 +15,906
BINH DUONG (TRI TAM, PHU HOA Districts)
A 0 0 0 0 0 0
B 3 7,844 3 7,844 0 0
C 10 13,733 9 15,705 -1 +1,972
D 4 3,022 8 6,310 +4 +3,288
E 0 0 0 0 0 0
VC 27 21,881 25 18,750 -2 -3,131
TOTAL 44 46,480 45 38,609 + 1 +2,129
(i) Civic Action. (p21)
(1) The 25th Infantry Division has five AA Platoons from the 2nd Civil Affairs
Company attached to conduct civic action in the Division TAOI. The five AA Platoons are further sub-attached to the major subordinate commands with the exception of Div Ary. The 1st and 2nd Bdes and DISCOM have one platoon each, and the 3rd Bde has two platoons.
(2) Statistical Summary:
Helping Hand Recipients 37,965
MEDCAP Patients 66,723
Health and Sanitation Projects 87
(3) Beginning in September the division implemented the scheduled Medical Civic Action (MEDCAP) program. Advantages of the scheduled MEDCAP program include the training of Vietnamese medical personnel, improvement of the GVN dispensaries and hospitals, continued treatment of patients until they are cured, and improvement of the image of Vietnamese medical personnel in the eyes of the Vietnamese people. Although a definite pattern was established, there have been no VC incidents at any of the scheduled MEDCAPS.
(4) Through a joint effort by the GVN and US forces, 300 refugees were moved from TRI TAM District to LAI THIEU District, BINH DUONG Province. The refugee relocation involved a total of 13 sorties by CH-47 (Chinook) aircraft to transport about 300 VC refugees, their animals and belongings. The refugees were provided sleeping mats, food commodities and family refugee kits from Helping Hand.
(5) National elections for president, senate and the house of representatives were held during this reporting period. The turn-out for the election was extremely high. Averaging over 70% of the registered voters going to the polls. There were relatively few VC incidents in the TAOI. Although many people were intimidated by the VC prior to the election, few stayed away from the polls and the VC threats proved meaningless.
(6) During the past three months the remainder of the Helping Hand items has been distributed with the exception of some clothing and limited amounts of soap. The original quantity of 380 tons of Helping Hand items was distributed over a 22 month period from January 1966 to October 1967 to some 250,000 Vietnamese recipients. Helping Hand will continue its operations, but it will be limited in scope. Only those items that are available from CARE, Catholic Relief Service (CRS) and salvage items will be available from Helping Hand. The entire Helping Hand concept was extremely worthwhile and has gone a long way toward winning the “other war” in Viet Nam. The following is a summary of Helping Hand issues during the quarter::: (p21)
Candy 1,400 lbs
Clothing 39,947 lbs
Canned Foods 100,385 lbs
Family Refugee Kits 1
Ind. Refugee Kits 18
Midwife kits 4
Paint 162 gal.
School kits 2,107
Sewing machines 2
Soap 19,745 bars
Toothpaste 1,650 tubes
Pick Axes 10
Tin 8 2 ½ ton truck loads (salv)
Cooking Oil 227 gal
Baby foods 170 jars
Flour (non-edible) 12,000 lbs
Lumber (scrap) 342 2 ½ ton truck loads
Brick machines 6
Friendship kits 905
Instructor kits 20
Textile kits 337
Television sets 1
Physical Education kits 45
Rice 32,525 lbs
(7) A numerical summary of civic action construction / repair projects over the quarter is listed below:
(a) Bridges 8
(b) Churches / Temples / Pagodas 2
(c) Culverts 17
(d) Dispensaries 9
(e) Dwelling 941 (families)
(f) Fences 1405 meters
(g) Hospitals 16
(h) Leveling / Grading 20 meters
(i) Irrigation Systems 1
(j) Market places 8
(k) Playgrounds 32
(l) Roads 119.8 km.
(m) Schools / Classrooms 37
(n) Public Showers 11
(o) Public Toilets 11
(p) Wells 10
(8) RF / PF Assistance: RF / PF assistance has continued throughout the TAOI. More emphasis has been placed on self-help projects by the RF / PF and this has met with excellent results. Tons of salvage lumber from Helping Hand has been given to RF / PF in the TAOI and has enabled them to build homes and furnishings for their homes. Additional construction material to include cement, tin, cement blocks, tile, sand and gravel has been provided for RF / PF housing projects in the TAOI.
(9) Friendship Council and Community Relations Meetings have proven to be an effective medium to resolve problems that arise between the Vietnamese people and the US forces in CU CHI, DAU TIENG and TAY NINH base camp areas. These meetings have been credited with maintaining a harmonious relationship between the Vietnamese people and US troops.
(10) The Monsoon Campaign was in effect for the entire reporting period. Most units conducted CA in their previously assigned areas. The 1st Bde did not continue CA efforts in the BAO DON area of KHIEM HAN District TAY NINH Province because of a tactical mission in the BOI LOI and HO BO Woods. The 1st Brigade has since diverted this effort into the TAN HOA area in PHU HOA District. The Monsoon Campaign has established new highs in CA activity for the division. Since the Monsoon Campaign began, there has been a general increase in CA activity. Most units have been located in heavily populated areas and have remained there for a considerable length of time, thus enabling the units to establish worthwhile CA programs and to contribute to the overall RD effort of the GVN.
j. Psychological Operations (PSYOPS).
(1) PSYOP activities were in support of operations conducted in TAY NINH and HAU NGHIA Provinces, and TRI TAM and PHU HOA Districts, and the Iron Triangle area of BINH DUONG Province. The number of leaflets dropped and hours of loudspeaker broadcasting continues to increase. The number of HOI CHANH received has begun to decrease. This is due to fewer small scale saturation operations within the TAOI. Based on past years CHIEU HOI figures, this is the slowest season for HOI CHANH. The CHIEU HOI Offensive was designed to increase the returnee rate, but did not appear to have a significant effect on the number of returnees received.
(2) A total of 37,489,053 leaflets were air-dropped and hand disseminated by the 25th Inf Div. There were 115,797,000 leaflets air-dropped in the TAOI by C47 (excluding 25th Div drops), in support of the CHIEU HOI Offensive. Sixty-nine leaflets were originated by G5 PSYOPS, and produced by the 246th PSYOP Co. to exploit PSYOP opportunities.
(3) Loudspeaker broadcasts during the quarter totaled 312 hours. Increased use was made of the UH1D loudspeaker set and more emphasis is placed on increased use of U10's for loudspeaker broadcasts, and less emphasis on leaflet drops.
(4) PSYOPS during the quarter was in support of the following division operations:
(a) Operation DIAMOND HEAD
(b) Operation BARKING SANDS
(c) Operation KOLEKOLE
(d) Operation WAIMEA
(e) CHIEU HOI Offensive (DOI MOI)
(5) One ARVN PSYWAR team from the 30th Political Warfare (POLWAR)
Battalion was placed in direct support of the 25th Inf Div on 2 October 1967. This team was used by the 2nd Brigade. During operations with the 1st Bn, 27th Inf on 4 Oct 67, the team had one man killed by a mine and another injured by a sniper. The team was recalled, per direction of the CO, 30th POLWAR Bn, on 5 Oct 67 and reassigned in support of the 25th ARVN Div, DUC HOA.
(6) One HE team (Audio Visual) from the 246th PSYOP Co was placed in support of the 25th Inf Div on 5 Sep 67. The mission of this team is to conduct audio visual PSYOPS, ground loudspeaker broadcasts, and hand disseminate leaflets. Due to a shortage of equipment, this team does not presently have a loudspeaker capability. The necessary equipment is due on 5 Nov 67. The team has been used during MEDCAPS and in support of other civic action projects to show movies and disseminate leaflets.
(7) The 25th Inf Div participated in the month long CHIEU HOI Offensive, 25 Sep 67 - 22 Oct 67.
(8) Authorization has been received from IIFFORCEV to requisition PSYOP equipment (polaroid cameras and tape recorders) as mission essential equipment. This is based on the fact that this equipment is necessary for the conduct of successful psychological operations.
(a) The Division is up to strength in all AMEDS officers except for the
Aviation Medical Officer, and one Medical Company Commander. Aviation Medical Officers are in demand Viet Nam wide.
(b) The Division Surgeon's Office is up to full strength in enlisted strength and has the attachment of one preventive medicine specialist. A Veterinarian and two enlisted veterinarian specialists are attached to headquarters and Headquarters Company, 25th Infantry Division. They perform their duties under the general supervision of the Division Surgeon. The Veterinarian and his staff provide immunization service for pets of the Division, inspect meat and food supplies, perform Veterinary Civic Action Program (VDTCAP) missions, and other various duties dictated by operations within the area.
(2) Equipment. In accordance with USARV Message 64171 Subject: Medical Service (U), dated 29 September 1967, Division level ground ambulances and associated personnel spaces will be reduced fifty per cent (50%).
(3) Training: There has been no formal training program during this quarter. Forecast for next quarter is a one week program in Field Sanitation Team training. Unit surgeons are encouraged to continuously up-grade the training and knowledge of medical enlisted personnel.
1. Signal: See separate ORLL from 125th Signal Battalion attached as Appendix 3.
(1) During the period of August, September and October 1967 the following number of personnel attended the division schools listed below:
Small Arms Inspection 43 Mess Management 54
Generator Operator 130 Mines and Booby Traps 4,867
Projectionist 15 Tunnel Destruction 27
Explosives and Demolitions 536 CRYPTO 29
Forward Observer Procedures 23 Military Justice 10
Radar Set, AN/TPS-33 18 TSEC/KY-7 23
TSEC / KY-8 109
(2) Instruction was also given at non-divisional schools during the reporting period to the following personnel:
COURSE INSTRUCTOR ATTENDED
UH1C, UH 1D 34th Gen Spt Gp 9
Anti-Mine Operations Seminar Army Concept Team in
Vietnam USARV 5
Supply 34th Gen Spt Sp 4
Eiffle Bridge Classification and
Repair 554th Engr Bn 2 (p25)
Cable Splicing 40th Signal Bn 1
Jungle Environmental Survival Fleet Airborne Electronic
Training Unit Pacific (Philippines) 4
PLL Management 29th Gen Spt Gp 34
Recondo USARV 26
Recordaks Microfilm Reader 246th Spt & Svcs Bn 2
Turbine Engine Maintenance 34th Gen Spt Gp 3
2, (C) Commanders Observations and Recommendations:
ITEM: Personnel Packets.
DISCUSSION: When a packet is formed to be sent to an existing unit, it would expedite matters greatly if the receiving unit knew the make-up of the packet by grade and MOS prior to its arrival.
OBSERVATION: A liaison officer should be sent ahead of the packet with a roster to coordinate with the receiving unit.
ITEM: Preventive Medicine Specialists are required in the Office of the Division Surgeon.
DISCUSSION: In RVN, there is a greater requirement for sanitation inspections, surveys, and counseling. The workload is often too much for the preventive medicine officer to handle alone. The surgeon's office has been fortunate in that at one time it had two Preventive Medicine Specialists, and at present has one. These men have done an outstanding job of insuring the sanitation and health of the troops.
OBSERVATION: Preventive Medicine Specialists are an outstanding source of help in the overall sanitation of the Division. They should augment each division sized unit in areas of necessity; i.e., South Vietnam.
ITEM: The Chief Medical Non-Commissioned Officer would be better equipped to perform his duties if he were a Sergeant Major.
DISCUSSION: This NCO has to coordinate with senior NCO's of other Special and General Staff. These senior NCO's are normally Sergeants Major (E-9). In order to fully perform his duties in coordination with these other staff sections, lower, higher, and adjacent units and headquarters, the rank of Sergeant Major is highly desirable and necessary.
OBSERVATION: A more efficient and smoother functioning office will result from the up-grading of this vital NCO position.
ITEM: Night helicopter operations using radar assistance.
DISCUSSION: During recent night airmobile operations, radar assistance from Paris control at TAN SON NHUT was used. A normal operation would require a flare aircraft, one command and control (C&C) aircraft, and five UH-1B helicopters (Slicks). The flare ship takes-off, orbits CU CHI and establishes contact with Paris. When all aircraft are in position ready for take off, the flare aircraft departs CU CHI on a radar vector. Two minutes later the C&C aircraft departs CU CHI and the five UH-1B helicopters (Slicks) maintain a one minute interval on the C&C aircraft. The flare aircraft is vectored to an initial point and turned inbound to the flare drop point over the LZ following the lights of the flare aircraft.
When the flare is ignited over the LZ, the C&C should be in a descent two (2) minutes behind. The C&C aircraft accelerates, makes visual identification of the LZ and marks the desired point of touchdown for the lead ship.
OBSERVATION: Due to the heavy air traffic using Paris radar, prior coordination and a special frequency are highly desirable. For positive radar identification, the flare aircraft must be equipped with an APX-44 transponder. The first flare is released over the drop point as directed by Paris Radar. The flare ship should immediately verify his position, locate the LZ and position the aircraft for additional flares as required.
The C&C aircraft verifies the LZ as soon as possible after flare illumination and makes a low level pass to mark the LZ. Thermite or incendiary grenades are very effective for marking the LZ. One disadvantage is the short burning time (30 - 45 seconds) of these grenades. This makes it necessary to mark the LZ with smoke. When the incendiary grenade burns out, the flight leader should be near the LZ and able to see the smoke under the light of the flares.
If a steep formation turn is required to avoid hostile areas, it should be accomplished under flare illumination.
ITEM: Night heliborne operations without illumination.
DISCUSSION: Company A, 25th Aviation Battalion conducted a night operation, inserting troops into three LZ's without the aid of artificial illumination. Due to the nature of the mission the ground force commander requested no flares be dropped. The mission was accomplished in three lifts, each lift going into one false LZ before or after dropping the troops in the actual LZ
OBSERVATION: On a dimly lighted night, terrain detail can be seen at altitudes above 1000 feet. However, as the flight descends toward the LZ, terrain features become invisible. A command and control aircraft orbiting the LZ is effective in talking the flight leader into the LZ. It is necessary for the C&C aircraft to furnish altitudes and headings since the flight leader is unable to determine the distance to the LZ.
The flight leader should turn on his search light as he descends below 200 feet. Other aircraft in the flight turn on their landing lights at this point. These lights should be set at the proper angle while on the ground prior to departure.
ITEM: Night Operations (VIKING STRIKE).
DISCUSSION: This type operation has proven successful on its initial mission. The concept of using a medium range night observation device mounted on a UH-1D helicopter was developed by members of the S-3 office of the 1st Bde. The device is mounted beside the door gunner and is used primarily to search stream and trail networks. Upon locating the target, the door gunner may engage or the supporting light ship with a fire team can attack the target.
OBSERVATION: Continued use of this concept along the SAIGON River would deny the VC free access to fast transportation by main waterways.
ITEM: Improved Tunnel Destruction Methods.
DISCUSSION: The accepted method of tunnel destruction with explosives can be improved upon through a newly developed hydraulic process implemented by the 2lnd Bn, 14th Infantry.
OBSRVATION: Complete tunnel destruction can be accomplished by pumping water into all levels of the tunnel and allowing the water to stand for an extended period of time. Once the sub-terrain structures have softened, artillery and airstrikes can neutralize the area. Implementation of this method can only be accomplished when a source of water is readily available.
ITEM: Reduction of Mortar Attacks.
DISCUSSION: Mortar attacks on battalion and company patrol bases by small teams of VC with 60 and 82mm mortars occur when units fail to patrol aggressively.
OBSERVATION: Local patrolling around base positions is not adequate to prevent mortar attacks. Aerial and map studies must be made of surrounding areas to determine possible mortar positions within effective range. Ambushing these areas will reduce mortar attacks.
ITEM: Stay Behind Ambush Patrol.
DISCUSSION: The; most effective method of ambush in the HO BO WOODS has proven to be the stay behind ambush patrol. The VC will move into an area recently vacated by US forces to police up; any ammo, food, etc. discarded.
OBSERVATION: Units should train and use stay behind ambush patrols.
ITEM: Types of clearing operation in dense foliage.
DISCUSSION: Standard sweeps in dense foliage are very costly in casualties. Due to noise inherent in movement, VC sniper teams are able to obtain a fix on units direction of movement..
OBSERVATION: Sweep patterns should be varied daily to prevent ambush by VC forces and to provide detailed S&D of areas.
ITEM: Small Unit Night Airmobile Operation (TORNADO).
DISCUSSION: The need for small units to be inserted by airmobile assets has developed the theory of TORNADO operations.
OBSERVATION: During the conduct of dummy insertions of combat patrols that are characteristic of TORNADOS, actual touch downs should be made on all LZs both fake and real. Aircraft should keep landing light on for minimum periods. Each aircraft commander should have some means to indicate to patrol members when the aircraft is on the ground,.
ITEM: Use of sharpened bamboo stakes or metal rods from 105mm ammo boxes as probes during S&D operations.
DISCUSSION: In recent S&D operations, numerous VC weapons and tool caches are located just inches under the surface of the ground. Because of the excellent use of camouflage, many of these caches are over-looked.
OBSERVATION: By using these probes, caches are easily located due to their proximity to the surface.
ITEM: When probing hedge rows for booby traps, use grappling hooks.
DISCUSSION: By using a grappling hook, a soldier can be out of the effective range of most booby traps, and in a covered position, should such a booby trap be discovered and detonated.
OBSERVATION: Ropes, grappling ;hooks, or field expedients similar to these items, should always be used when penetrating a suspected booby-trapped area.
ITEM: Tunnels with Covers:
DISCUSSION: When a tunnel is discovered with a wooden or cement cover, insure the tunnel or hole is covered by small arms fire or grenade before the cover is completely removed.
OBSERVATION: There may be a VC inside just waiting for the lid to be removed.
ITEM: Friendly Casualties from Air Strikes.
DISCUSSION: All personnel within 2,000 meters of an airstrike should take cover and wear steel helmets for the duration of the strike.
OBSERVATION: Shrapnel from exploding bombs can hit friendly personnel 2,000 meters from the site of the airstrike. In addition, the possibility of erratic rounds must be taken into account.
ITEM: Claymore Mines.
DISCUSSION: Static electricity from sources ranging from raios to thunderstorms may detonate blasting caps used to set off claymore mines.
OBSERVATION: Blasting caps should be carried separately from the mines themselves. Care must be taken, however, to insure the caps are well secured - the mine is inoperable without the blasting cap.
ITEM: Storing of ammunition and equipment in the field.
DISCUSSION: Recently, a bag containing Claymore Mines, trip flares and ammunition was stored in one bag located near the company command post while the company was out on operation for the day.
OBSERVATION: All highly explosive ammunition, weapons or demolition should be kept separated by type to prevent: Detonation by one type of explosive by another, such as a claymore by a trip flare; or secondary explosions and increased casualties.
ITEM: Troop Dispersion.
DISCUSSION: Recently, six persons were injured by the explosion of a single hand grenade located in a hedgerow. All the men had bunched together waiting for the first to break through the hedgerow. Three were wounded seriously, and the others wounded enough to be evacuated.
OBSERVATION: Troops must be reminded of the need to maintain dispersion when crossing areas which canalize movement. Such supervision must be a continuous process whenever in the field.
ITEM: Radar Positions.
DISCUSSION: Radar sets located in isolated positions are endangered by close-in probes by Viet Cong.
OBSERVATION: Radar positions should be protected by at least two men of the unit to whom they are attached, with the additional protection of Claymore mines, grenades and trip flares. The radar position should be incorporated into a regular line position.
ITEM: Night Bags and B Bags.
DISCUSSION: Night Bags and B Bags are brought in with the evening resuply. They contain: Air mattresses, ponchos, liners and ponchos used for sheltering. Two squads put their equipment in a well marked duffle bag. Only 50% of a squad's equipment is included, as 50% will be awake at all times. The company's duffle bags are then slung loaded for extraction.
OBSERVATION: The troops are not loaded down with heavy unnecessary equipment which enables them to perform their mission more effectively.
ITEM: Employment of Separate Company Routes of Travel.
DUSCUSSION: By giving each company a separate route of travel in search and destroy operations, a greater area of the AO can be covered. The company puts two or three platoons on line with squads abreast. The company travels along the assigned route and clover-leafs approximately every 300 meters. They find it takes a little longer to travel through jungle in this formation, but the area covered is well worth this time.
ITEM: M-72 LAW.
DISCUSSION: The LAW has replaced the 90mm RR because of the 90's weight.
OBSERVATION: The LAW's can be carried because of the light weight of the weapon. It greatly increases the fire power of the element.
ITEM: Emphasis on Greater Security for LZ.
DISCUSSION: Many units in the field are not placing enough emphasis on early warning elements around landing zones.
OBSERVATION: When resupply in the field is accomplished by helicopter, it is necessary to insure that the LZ is secure. This is especially true when VC/NVA forces are known to be operating in the area. Enemy forces have been known to close within fifteen (15) meters of a LZ, and effect damaging fire on aircraft and personnel. As a preventive measure against such action, listening posts must be established far enough forward of the main position to serve as early warning against the advance of hostile forces. H&I artillery fires may be used to assure that the VC/NVA forces are not infiltrating the area.
ITEM: Use of 81mm Mortars in Wet Areas.
DISCUSSION: Topographical conditions in wet areas hamper the stability and effectiveness of the 81mm mortar.
OBSERVATION: When placing the 81mm mortar in areas where the ground is wet and soft, the base plate will have a tendency to shift or sink. This will cause continuous deviations from settings on the weapon. To alleviate this problem, dig a hole and place sandbags filled with the driest dirt possible on the bottom of the hole. If engineer stakes are available, place them flat on the ground under the sandbags. The more layers of sandbag the better. Due to poor trafficability in wet areas of operation, 81mm mortar should be flown into position as opposed to carrying it manually.
ITEM: Probing the sides of abandoned enemy foxholes.
DISCUSSION: Many units fail to make an extensive search of abandoned enemy foxholes and prone emplacements.
OBSERVATION: Probing the sides of Viet Cong foxholes has yielded false walls. Partitions made of wood covered with reeds and mud have been used to conceal caches of weapons, ammunitions, documents, and even entrances to tunnel complexes. A specific incident of this nature occurred when an element of D Company, 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf was conducting Search and Destroy operations in AO MILLER, BINH DUONG Province, north of the MICHELIN Plantation. Erosion around the edge of the foxhole revealed a small portion of wood planking. Further examination yielded a cache containing 15,000 - 20,000 rounds of mixed .50 caliber and 7.62 ammunition. Also fifty-five (55) rolls of communication wire were discovered. The soil excavated to construct the cache was piled a short distance from the foxhole. The dirt however, had been piled in such a manner, that it gave the impression of an ant hill.
ITEM: Proper Security for Tank Sections:
DISCUSSION: During this reporting period, Co C, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor, was given the mission of securing bridges during hours of darkness. Two tanks were used to secure the bridge. It was found that the only way to properly secure the bridge and to insure that the VC did not use depressions or other dead space areas to approach the bridge, was to use crew members as outposts. This necessitated all eight members of the crew remaining awake at all times which greatly impeded their capabilities for the next day operations. Dismounting all crew members greatly reduces the capabilities of the tank. If tanks are used in this manner, a minimum of one Infantry Squad should be attached to allow for proper security. Extensive use of trip flares and other early warning devices should be planned for proper security of both the tanks and bridges.
OBSERVATION: Infantry troops and early warning devices should supplement tanks used for security of bridges.
ITEM: Benefits gained by the use of M-79 Grenade Launcher in Tank Company Operations..
DISCUSSION:: Tank Companies use the M-79 Grenade Launcher in the following ways::
1. When operating in dense jungle or built up areas, it is often necessary to make reconnaissance by fire at ranges between 75 to 200 meters. During operations with friendly troops, canister rounds or the tank machine gun cannot be used without danger to the ground troops. A M-79 fired by the loader or tank commander, greatly enhances the capabilities of reconnaissance by fire with a minimum danger to friendly personnel.
2. The VC have made extensive use of trenches or berms which give them cover against the tank's weapons. The tank would not be able to use its direct fire weapons until it was within twenty to thirty yards from the ditch. At this range it was difficult to get the full benefits of the weapons. An M-79 fired by the loader would give the tank the capability of clearing a ditch or berm without unduly exposing the tank.
3. The M-79 is very beneficial for supplementing the H&I fires from a night defensive position. Many larger positions are found to have depressions surrounding them which could be used as an access route to the larger position. This dead space could very easily be covered by the M-79. Artillery would also be planned for the larger depressions, but the M-79 would give the tank company the capability of rapid reaction to any eventuality.
OBSERVATION:: M-79 Grenade Launcher can be effectively used by tank companies…
ITEM: Actions taken by tanks when working with Mechanized Infantry.
DISCUSSION: When moving through thick vegetation, APC's should lead the element and the tanks used as a reaction force. The APC's are better able to pick their way through the trees and wet areas. Should the APC come in contact with the enemy, the tanks would be able to rapidly react in any direction. The usual configuration is one Mechanized Platoon leading the tank platoon, followed by the rest of the mechanized company.
OBSERVATION::: APCs should proceed thanks traveling through thick vegetation.
ITEM: Intra-Platoon Recovery Operation.
DISCUSSION: All platoon members should be thoroughly versed in proper recovery operations and field expedients. Every effort to recover a vehicle with other platoon vehicles should be made prior to calling in the maintenance section. Tanks have also been recovered several times in this reporting period by connecting four APCs and pulling the tank out.
OBSERVATION: Attempt to recover stuck vehicles should be made first by the unit concerned.
ITEM: Clearing of Booby-traps:::
DISCUSSION: When operating with Infantry units, a tank crew member should not dismount his tank unless absolutely necessary. The tank, once a crew member dismounts, loses a certain amount of its efficiency. The Infantry, who are already on the ground, should be used to clear the area and to disarm booby traps. The tank is then fully manned having the capability of providing a great deal of cover for the Infantry in cases such as this.
OBSERVATION: In Tank - Infantry operations, dismounted infantry should clear or disarm all booby traps.
ITEM: Deploying forces without the proper development of a situation.
DISCUSSION: While some enemy base camps are completely deserted, many of them have small caretaker units ranging from 3 to 20 men depending of course on the size of the base camp. Normally these are not elite troops, but they do have a thorough knowledge of that particular area, and do have the capabilities of inflicting casualties by detonating pre-arranged mines and booby traps. In addition, they have numerous tunnels and escape routes which usually allow them to escape after they have inflicted casualties. (p34)
OBSERVATION: Air strikes, Artillery, or organic weapons such as the LAW, the M-79 and the machine-gun should be brought to bear on the camp before troops are allowed to enter. If these actions are taken, there is a good possibility that many of the enemy mines and booby traps will either be detonated or rendered ineffective by friendly fires. In addition, any enemy personnel in the base camp may be killed or wounded or forced to leave the vicinity before troops enter, resulting in a reduction in casualties.
ITEM : Anti-RPG Defense.
DISCUSSION: At TRUNG LAP on 17 September 1967, RPG rounds used in indirect fire damaged bunkers and a M109 howitzer. The RPG warhead is a shaped charge and causes extensive damage only when the round impacts and detonates against the target.
OBSERVATION: If the RPG round could be detonated on some object of little value before hitting the intended target, the damage to the target would be minimized. A single sandbag wall around an installation would suffice, or as in the case of one unit, chain linked fencing was placed around the M109 howitzer and FDC to establish this additional protection.
ITEM: External loads for airmobile operations.
DISCUSSION: Time is critical in all airmobile operations. An artillery unit can save a considerable amount of time by externally loading as much of its equipment and cargo as possible.
OBSERVATION: By using A-22 bags, cargo nets and sling rigged trailers, a majority of the equipment and supplies of an artillery can be loaded externally.
ITEM: Use of separate personnel sorties on airmobile operations.
DISCUSSION: A great amount of time can be saved during airmobile operations if all gun crews can be lifted in separate personnel sorties. This alleviates the necessity of landing each howitzer section sortie to unload the crew. However, the time saved has to be carefully weighed against the risk of operational loss if one or more of the personnel sorties is lost. On short moves over a relatively secure area, the danger of loss is minimal.
OBSERVATION: When the tactical situation permits, a considerable amount of time can be saved during an airmobile operation, if a majority of the personnel of the unit are moved by consolidated personnel sorties.
ITEM: Adjustment of close-in defensive fires.
DISCUSSION: Accuracy and safety are of the utmost importance when adjusting close-in defensive fires.
OBSERVATION: When selecting the adjusting piece for close-in defensive fires, select the howitzer nearest the friendly element. In this way, when the battery is fired, all rounds will tend to impact on the safe side of the adjusting piece.
ITEM: Reduction of Casualties.
DISCUSSION: Many casualties are caused from mortar and RPG attacks. These attacks usually occur from the hours of early evening through late morning. Protective vests and steel helmets are issued to all individual, also all units construct personnel shelters in all positions.
OBSERVATIONS: Although it cannot be predicted when mortar and RPG attacks will occur, the exposure of personnel to these attacks are adversely reduced if they are required to be in their protective shelters, or be required to wear their protective vests and steel helmets during the hours of darkness.
ITEM: Fire Support Patrol Bases.
DISCUSSION: Due to the lack of firm ground during the monsoon season in some areas, it is extremely difficult to construct howitzer firing positions in fire support patrol bases.
OBSERVATION: In constructing a firing position for a howitzer in wet terrain, a rectangular stand of sand bags covered with Pierced Steel Planking (PSP) will provide a solid platform in a minimum amount of time.
ITEM: Mobile Fire Direction Center (FDC).
DISCUSSION: During the displacement of any artillery headquarters, it is necessary to maintain communications with lower, higher and adjacent, headquarters. Also upon arrival in a new position, it is necessary to establish communications immediately and place the FDC in operation as soon as possible.
OBSERVATION: A compact FDC for both a battalion or battery can be built into a ¾ ton truck and trailer. By judicious selection of equipment and careful loading, this installation is available for road or airmobile movement and can be emplaced with minimum time and effort.
ITEM: Pre-planned Artillery and Air Strike Coordination.
DISCUSSION: The simultaneous employment of artillery and air strikes requires detailed coordination. A simple, effective tool for pre-planned employment is an AIR/ARTY Coordination Line, more often than not, a line independent or normal Fire Coordination Lines (FCLS). All commanders, FAC's and FDC's are made aware of one or more well defined terrain features which are identified in the operation order as AIR/ARTY Coordination Lines. The line(s) is used to check fire artillery during air strikes in a specified area - aircraft pilots are instructed and controlled by the Brigade FAC to restrict their flight pattern so as not to fly beyond the designated coordination line during a strike; hence, artillery is permitted to continue firing in all but a small portion of the AO.
OBSERVATION: A procedure is necessary whereby artillery and airstrikes can be conducted simultaneously - AIR/ARTY Coordination Line is one effective method.
ITEM: Artillery and Army Aviation Coordination.
DISCUSSION: While supporting large scale combat assaults with multiple lifts and/or multiple LZs extremely detailed coordination is required between the artillery battalion and the Air Mobile Commander, in order to:
1. Insure that all rounds have impacted on the LZ before the first aircraft come in, and that the pilot of the lead aircraft knows this.
2. Have a minimum time gap between the end of the artillery preparation and the first helicopter touch down.
3. To accomplish this, the artillery battalion has had in its FDC an aviation battalion LNO on two operations, equipped with radio in order to speak directly to the Air Mobile Commander. It has worked perfectly and has aided immensely in eliminating a critical problem.
OBSERVATION: On any large scale airmobile operation, an Army Aviator from the supporting unit should be present at the direct support artillery FDC
ITEM: Check Fires.
DISCUSSION: For a long while, indiscriminate imposition of check fires drastically affected combat operations by halting all artillery/mortar fires throughout large areas of operations when actually only a small portion of it required free aircraft access. 1st Brigade and 7th Battalion, 11th Artillery now use a policy whereby an aircraft entering its AO requests a check fire - the senior ground commander then decides which support he needs most, artillery or aviation, and approves or disapproves the request.
OBSERVATION: When an aircraft enters an AO and requests a check fire, the artillery headquarters should offer the request to the ground commander's headquarters for the decision.
ITEM: Jungle Clearing with Demolition.
DISCUSSION: During the last three months the 65th Engineer Battalion has been heavily committed to clearing dense jungle and hedgerows in inaccessible areas. Most of the work has been accomplished by the massive use of demolitions, primarily the bangalore torpedo. These clearing operations took place in widely scattered areas within the 25th Infantry Division TAOR and involved clearing isolated canals and stream lines as well as areas of poor trafficability on the fringes of conventionally cleared areas.
The bangalore torpedo is a demolition charge designed primarily to rapidly breach mine field and barbed wire entanglements. The bangalore torpedoes used on these operations were made between 1943 - 1944, they had a main charge of amotol and a booster of TNT. The bangalore torpedo is effective for clearing dense brush because of the fragmentation as well as the blast effect. Since it is a linear charge, it is particularly effective against bamboo thickets.
The first operation employing bangalores took place in the canal systems along the West bank of the SAIGON River from coordinates XT809100 TO XT799070, in August 1967. Nine major canals were cleared on this operation. The canals were cleared for an average length of fifteen-hundred meters. In addition, thousands of meters of interconnecting hedgerows were eliminated. Bangalore torpedoes were used to remove most of them.
The banks were covered with trees averaging about eight inches in diameter and dense thickets of brush and bamboo. The brush was thickest close to the river. All trees over four inches in diameter were charged with C-4. Any thicket too dense to be easily removed by machette were charged with bangalores. Close to the river the brush extended out into the canal as much as 5 meters. In those areas, bangalores were placed perpendicular to the canal. On the banks they were placed parallel with its axis. Frequently the banglores were placed under-water among the roots of the larger and denser clumps of brush. This was found to be very effective at low tide.
The normal procedure however, was to place the bangalores about a foot off the ground and as close as possible to the heavier brush. All charges were tied with a ring main. In some areas of very dense vegetation, it was necessary to use bangalores to remove the under-growth before the larger trees could be charged. Demolition resupply was by helicopter. Bangalores were brought by Chinook to a central location and then carried to the site on foot or by rubber boat. Other demo was supplied directly to the site by UH-1D. Squads in this terrain cleared up to 500 meters per day. Demolition expenditures was from 200 - 300 lb of C-4 per hundred meters of canal (both sides) and up to 10 bangalore kits and 1500 feet of detonating cord per hundred meters.
On canals between XT799020 and XT777616 terrain was similar to the previous operation, but local flooding made logistics more difficult. Experiments were made in resupplying bangalores by UH-1D instead of a by Chinook. This took longer, but got the demolition close to the area where it was to be used. Pneumatic Assault Boats were used to a greater extent for both placing and transporting demolitions. In some cases the brush was so dense that all work had to be done from the boats and line-main run down the center of the canal. Bangalores were placed perpendicular to the stream when placed directly from the boat.
In general there were less trees and more brush in this area and therefore less C-4 and detonating cord were used. Bangalores were used at the rate of 10 to 20 per hundred meters. With the greater need for bangalores, and the poor working conditions, squads often did not do better than 200 meters a day.
Somewhat different problems were encountered in the THAI MY area. There, monsoon flooding and poor soil conditions combined to make clearing with Rome Plows in the fringe areas impossible. Most of the dense brush grew in hedgerows 1 to 3 meters wide. Most of this was dense bamboo. In many cases the hedgerows also had trees of significant size. Bangalores were placed down the center of the hedgerows. In the dense thickets they were placed perpendicular to the axis of the hedgerow. They were elevated about a foot off the ground in most cases to make more effective use of the fragmentation from the bangalores. When the bangalores were placed at right angles, care was taken to make sure that the boosters were touching. When this was impossible, the charges were individually mined. Trees larger than 4 inches were charged with C-4. All charges were tied to a line-main.
Logistics were much less of a problem in this area. Bangalores were brought in by helicopter and by truck. They were hauled to the site on pole trailers after the cases had been broken down and the bangalores assembled in sections of two. Armored personnel carriers towed the trailers to the site. The APC's drove along the hedgerows and the bangalores were pulled off in whatever quantity necessary. In this manner a squad could clear up to 1000 meters a day when properly supported.
Bangalores were expended at the rate of 10 - 12 per hundred meters. Eighty pounds of C-4 and 800 feet of detonating cord were also used every hundred meters.
During clearing operations conducted in the HO BO WOODS, from XT588310 to XT565325, difficulty was encountered near the SAIGON River. Here ditches and trenches as well as swamp and rice paddies made the river banks inaccessible to dozers and Rome Plows. This inaccessible strip of jungle averaged about 15 meters wide. It was destroyed by placing banglores the width of the strip on 4 meter centers, perpendicular to the river. In most cases the bangalores were brought to the site on pole trailers, but placing them was difficult, especially in the flooded area. In this terrain a squad could place about 250 meters of charge per day.
Up to 24 bangalore kits and about 600 feet of detonating cord were used per hundred meters. No attempt was made to blow the trees, therefore, no C-4 was used.
OBSERVATION: Experience with bangalore torpedoes in these operations proves that bangalore torpedoes are effective for rapidly removing hedgerows and dense thickets in inaccessible areas. They are easy to place and prime, but are difficult to transport. When bangalores had to be carried on foot through rough terrain for more than a few hundred meters, the advantage over hand clearing is marginal at best. They are, however, more effective than any other type of demolition for removing dense vegetation.
ITEM: Tactical Bridging, Air-lifting:
DISCUSSION: During the last five months, Co E, 65th Engr Bn, has airlifted 40 - 38'4” T6 dry spans, 16 - M4T6 five float rafts, 7- four float LTR and 12 - bridge erection boats.
1. All tactical bridging authorized to this unit can be airlifted and emplaced by CH-47 or CH-54 helicopters.
2. This unit can handle twice as much bridging as authorized due to airlift capability.
3. M4T6 dry spans (38'4” & 45') can be used extensively for quick MSR repairs requiring the minimum of time and personnel.
4. During the monsoon season when large portions of roadway are washed away or under water, dry spans can be used as a corduroy by cribbing under each stiffener and tying them together.
5. Airlifting capability has also made it possible to install bridges and rafts in inaccessible areas cranes and bridge trucks are unable to go.
6. Reaction time for any bridge mission has been cut down to a minimum by having various configurations pre-assembled.
7. By airlifting all bridging, the unit has assumed the added mission capability of hauling engineer materials, primarily rock for road construction.
ITEM: Tunnel Destruction in the HO BO WOODS.
DISCUSSION: During October, Co B, 65th Engr Bn, was given the mission to set up a pumping station and construct a pipeline from the tidal flats of the SAIGON River to a known tunnel complex located at XT615302, in the HO BO WOODS.
Due to the need of positioning of the first pump in water approximately 4 feet deep, a platform was constructed from light timbers and placed on six fifty five gallon barrels to allow it to float. Three pumps used were rated 1120 GPM with a 130 foot heat. Piping used was steel assault piping, 6” diameter. Both 20' and 30' sections of pipe were used.
The first 800 meters of pipe had to be laid in water varying from 2 feet to 4 feet deep. To assist in stringing the pipe through this area, a UH1D was used. Four hooks were fabricated from 3/8” steel plate, and fastened to the ends of a 40,000 lb sling. Pipe was flown in by CH-47's, un-slung, and then moved in twos to the desired location by the UH1D. The use of the UH1D speeds the laying of this pipe considerably and requires fewer personnel on the job site. Several thousand meters of pipe were used.
To string pipe on the high ground, pipe was loaded on pole trailers and flown to the area by CH-47's and the trailer hooked to M113 APC. Two personnel can drop the pipe off of the trailer at desired intervals.
Various problems were encountered in this operation that were unforeseen and caused considerable down time. The pumps, although new, had two major problems. The first and most serious, was the breaking of coupling between the motor and pump head. After several pumps had failed the same way, it was thought that the weight of the pipe coming to and from the pump was putting too great a strain on it. Flexible hose was then used to join the pipe to the pump thereby relieving this weight, and allowing the pump to vibrate freely. After this installation, no more breakdowns of this nature occurred. The second problem was over heating. A solution to the problem was to pump at night during the cooler hours, and to then pump at intervals during the day.
Various results were expected from this flooding. Originally, it was planned to use CS Gas in a crystal form to contaminate the tunnels. By using the water as a carrier, the soil would be saturated with the gas rendering it unusable for a long period of time. This plan was dropped as it would have required the security element and the Engineer personnel to live in a contaminated area, as much of the gas would work its way out of the entrances.
Another plan was to use dye in the water. This would allow an aerial observer to see additional entrances and also whether or not the water was draining back into the river. The dye bring quite hard to procure, it was determined that a 50 lb bag would be used every 30 minutes of pumping. This system was never given a good test, as dye was not available during most of the operation.
Some positive results were obtained from the pumping as large sections of ground did sink and much of the tunnel complex could be traced. It can be assumed that these tunnels were destroyed. Due to maintenance problems and type of pipe used, demolition probably would have been faster. With the background now gained and the recent procurement of large quantities of flexible pipe, the time required to set a pipeline will be reduced to a matter of several hours rather than two days. This addition will speed the operation considerably and require far less personnel.
Another consideration would be to place explosives throughout the complex. After the tunnel has been flooded, it could then be detonated. The water tamping would greatly increase the effectiveness of the explosive, and should cause total destruction.
OBSERVATION: Tunnel destruction can be accomplished with water. With more practice and recent addition of flexible hose, the operation can be accomplished quickly. For total destruction, it is recommended that a small quantity of demolition be used with the water. Selection of the tunnels to be destroyed in this fashion must be carefully made so as to be near a large water source, and be within the range of the pump's capability.
(3) Training and Organization. None
ITEM: Reproducing Overlays on Acetate.
DISCUSSION: Frequently the 25th MI Detachment Imagery Interpretation Section must produce overlays on clear acetate. To reproduce this product on acetate, best results are obtained when frosty acetate and ink are used on the negative. Regular overlay paper will work, however, the marking must be in ink and it takes considerably longer to mark overlay paper with ink than frosty acetate. Combined Intelligence Center, Viet Nam (CICV) can reproduce overlays on clear acetate from these negatives using an ozilid machine. Engineers also have access to this type of machine. The Bruning Machine located in the G2 and G3 Sections can also be used to produce overlays on clear acetate.
OBSERVATION: When enough lead time is available, the Imagery Interpretation Section should produce a frosty acetate negative and the facilities at CICV should be used to produce a clear acetate copy.
ITEM: Knowledge of VC Infrastructure.
DISCUSSION: It is important that a simple definition of the infrastructure be employed within agencies targeted against the infrastructure. Basic publications should be produced to allow the individuals working against the infrastructure to learn how to conduct their operations.
OBSERVATION: There must be a single definition of VC infrastructure.
ITEM: The VC have had considerable success recruiting former US detainees.
DISCUSSION: VCPW LE LVAN DO stated that although the VC were having considerable difficulty recruiting in CU CHI District, it was relatively easy to recruit people who were former US detainees. He claimed that these people were generally disenchanted and irritated by their long detention by US authorities.
OBSERVATION: Efforts should be made to insure that only valid suspects are detained and also to insure that the interrogation and release of Innocent Civilians and Civil Defendants is accomplished as rapidly as possible.
ITEM: Capture Tags.
DISCUSSION: In many instances, detainees are evacuated without a capture tag or with one which contains fragmentary, incomplete, or erroneous information. It is almost impossible to gain the upper hand during the initial interrogation when this occurs. It is therefore essential that capturing units complete individual capture tags in the field providing complete details of the capture of each detainee. In some cases, personnel of the capturing unit's headquarters have attempted to complete tags after the arrival of the detainee at the Division PW Collecting Point. The lack of first hand information concerning the circumstances of the capture of the individual leads to serious omissions of vital information.
OBSERVATION: Every soldier assigned to combat units should carry and know how to complete capture tags of detained persons.
ITEM: VC Booby Traps:
DISCUSSION: During Operation KUNIA, the 65th Engr Bn discovered two VC booby traps rigged in the following manner: A hand grenade with the pin pulled was placed below the surface of the ground and covered with several scraps of tin or other metal objects which would be picked up by a detector, however, were not alone heavy enough to prevent the hand grenade handle from being released. This was accomplished by covering the booby trap (BBT) with dirt. (example, on a road) thus adding weight to the metal. The desired results were for a mine detector to sense the metal, the soldiers probe and locate the suspected mine, remove the dirt which prevented the handle from being released, and the hand grenade would detonate.
OBSERVATION: By probing around the suspected mine or BBT, the engineers determined the size of the booby trap, removed the dirt surrounding it to determine the type mine found prior to attempting to destroy it.. (p44)
ITEM: VC /NVA Trail Markings.
DISCUSSION: VC/NVA forces have devised a method for marking major trails.
OBSERVATION: While conducting recent search and destroy operations in AO MILLER, in BINH DUONG Province, against VC/NVA forces and installations north of the MICHELIN Plantation, it was observed by 3rd Bn, 22nd Inf, 25th Inf Div, that enemy forces were using a particular method to mark specific trails. The area was crisscrossed with trails. To mark the major supply routes through the area, notches were cut in a specific specie of hardwood tree. In these notches was placed flammable materials. When conducting resupply during the hours of darkness, the substance in the notches was ignited along the route, much in the same manner as small street lamps. The trees notched were approximately fifty (50) meters apart. The notches were cut approximately (5) feet from the ground. Due to the dense vegetation and high jungle canopy, this method of trail marking is difficult to detect.
ITEM: Enemy Employment of Pressure Detonated Anti-Vehicular Mines.
DISCUSSION; While providing work party security on Highway 4 north of NUI BA DEN in northern TAY NINH Province, the Recon Platoon and Mortar Platoon, 2nd Bn, 34th Armor, tracks hit 3 anti-vehicular mines resulting in combat loss of 3 APCs. The road had been swept with mine-sweepers prior to the vehicles moving over the area. On two of the three occasions more than 7 vehicles passed over the mines before detonation. Two of the three holes examined were free of metallic debris while the other had very small pieces of metal. The road was well packed leaving no indication of recently emplaced mines. It was also noted that at each mine location, there was a large tree on the side of the road. There were no other indications. The mines were either non-metallic or buried too deep for the mine sweeper to detect.
OBSERVATION: The use of deeper probing devices or heavy rollers on the front of tanks would be an effective means of countering this type of mine warfare.
ITEM: Power Cables for Generators.
DISCUSSION: Power cables from generators to equipment were initially laid underground and with the advent of the Monsoon Season excessive problems with electrical short-circuiting hampered the operation. The exact location of the power loss could not be determined.
OBSERVATION: Power Cables were strung above ground using “A” frames or other substantial support as a temporary measure, as the situation dictated. The short circuiting of power cables from contact with excessive water was eliminated resulting in more efficient operations of generator, less power shortages, and decrease in extra labor in determining the location of short circuits.
ITEM: Sling, 4 legged, 10,000 lb Capacity.
DISCUSSION; Recent operations within this division have resulted in an increase in resupply by helicopter. The vast majority of this supply is being accomplished by sling loads. Several sling loads have been dropped when the sling broke two feet below the donut ring. Some of the loads were destroyed upon impact, other supplies and equipment were recovered intact. An investigation was initiated. All personnel concerned with sling load operations were assembled and the problem of checking slings, nets, donuts, maximum weight capability, etc., were discussed. It was determined that all slings, webbing, donuts, etc., should be given a very careful inspection (by qualified inspectors with test equipment) to determine serviceability. Coordination with HQ, 1st Log Comd revealed that there is no equipment available in-country to test lift equipment, and that the best way to check this equipment is by visual inspection by qualified personnel..
OBSERVATION: The use of helicopters for resupply can be expected to increase for most combat and combat support units in Vietnam. More emphasis on instruction on sling load techniques is needed at branch schools and training centers, as well as within units presently stationed in Vietnam to adequately procure a sufficient number of qualified personnel to properly rig and inspect slings and rig sling loads.
ITEM: Aero-medical Evacuation.
DISCUSSION: The medic on the ground must render adequate information to the aircraft crew about the medical status of the patient. A priority classification of the patient along with a brief diagnosis of his injury or illness is required. When feasible, a physician should make this classification. When this is not possible, medics should conscientiously use their training by adequately classifying the patient and by relaying to the MEDEVAC an accurate diagnosis. Severely wounded personnel can be saved by rapid evacuation. However, slightly wounded personnel, and the aircraft crew also, can be lost if significant risks are taken because a slightly wounded patient has been up-graded to a higher priority.
OBSERVATION: All medical personnel should be constantly aware of the inherent dangers both to the patient and to the aircraft crew of up-grading the classification (urgent, priority, land routine) of a casualty.
ITEM: MEDEVAC Aircraft on standby with the medical battalion provides efficient and timely evacuation of casualties from the battle field.
DISCUSSION: During this quarter MEDEVAC aircraft were attached to the medical battalion on a standby basis. This procedure worked very well in that casualties were extracted from the battlefield in a minimum amount of time, and were receiving treatment in a medical facility within a short time.
OBSERVATION: MEDEVAC Aircraft will and do provide a great asset to all medical battalions.
ITEM: Clutch Release Bearings.
DISCUSSION: Many clutch release bearings were ruined due to the fact that improper free travel was not maintained in the clutch linkage, or drivers were riding the clutch pedal..
OBSERVATION: Drivers are not aware of the damage that can be caused by improper clutch adjustment or riding the clutch pedal. This problem has been brought up at this month's maintenance meeting for correction. Free travel adjustment is the responsibility of organizational mechanics.
ITEM: Engine Cooling Fan Drive Coupling.
DISCUSSION: Excessive wearing of the coupling mating splines contributes in some case to shearing of the splines, causing engine over-heating.
OBSERVATION: It should be stressed that personnel read the applicable Technical Manuals for their equipment and understand the contents. The excessive spline wear in this case was due to the use of incorrect type grease.
ITEM: Transportation of Office Machines.
DISCUSSION: Office machines are being damaged to the point of salvage by what appear to be improper transportation. Units have stacked equipment into the rear of trucks making no effort to secure them from damage during transportation.
OBSERVATION: Commanders must be made aware of such neglect at the earliest opportunity.
ITEM: Maintenance of Generators.
DISCUSSION: Generator operators apparently are not adequately maintaining their generators. The maintenance appears to be pulled at irregular intervals rather than on a scheduled basis. This can cause many breakdowns.
OBSERVATION: Generators run in pairs have less trouble than those running alone. This allows more time for maintenance.
ITEM: Clogged Bore Evacuator.
DISCUSSION; Continuous heavy firing of the M109 self propelled howitzer causes the bore evacuator to become clogged with carbon. In some cases buildup has become so acute as to prevent the removal of the evacuator..
OBSERVATION: To avoid the necessity of cutting of bore evacuators, units must insure that the evacuators are cleaned at regular intervals.
ITEM: Improper Oil Level.
DISCUSSION: A total of four engines were caused to become unserviceable due to what appeared to be improper oil level and / or the lack of changing oil and filters.
OBSERVATION: Oil levels must be watched closely. Added attention is required on continuous operation of engines such as generators. The oil should be changed at least as often as required by the applicable LO and when operating in extremely dusty conditions as often as required to insure efficient lubrication.
ITEM: Short Supply of Antenna AT- 892 / PRC- 25
DISCUSSION: To alleviate the shortage of short antenna for the AN /PRC -25 and AN /PRC -10 antennas, AT -272 antennas were able to be easily re-threaded. Field reports indicated no loss in range or reliability.
OBSERVATION: Substitutes are available for the AT -892 / PRC -25 antenna.
ITEM: Proper Sling Loading of Armored Personnel Carriers (APC).
DISCUSSION: The engine of the M -113 APC must be removed before slinging an APC. Consequently the engine top cover must be removed. The right front tie down point for sling loading is on this engine top cover.
OBSERVATION: Often after removing the engine, the top cover is not bolted back, giving no attachment point. Be sure the engine top cover is securely bolted down before attempting to sling load an M -113
ITEM: UH -1 Helicopter Lubrication Oil.
DISCUSSION: A substitute turbine engine oil #23699A is in the supply system. This oil is for engines only, and will not be mixed with 7808. Both oil containers look alike.
OBSERVATION: Due to a number of transmission input quill seals failing, it is believed some oils have already been mixed. Only 7808 and 7808F oil should be used..
ITEM: Tow Cables.
DISCUSSION: The OVE tow cables on both the tanks and APCs are too short for recovery work. A locally fabricated tow cable of about 40 feet has worked best for recovering vehicles stuck in mud. The 40 foot cables have enabled the Scout Section and the Tank Section to recover their own vehicles on many occasions where they would have had to call for VTR (M88).
OBSERVATION: Longer tow cables are needed to recover track vehicles.
ITEM: Vehicle, Track, Recovery, M88 (VTR M88)
DISCUSSION: The main winch cable is not long enough for most recovery operations. A 400 foot cable would greatly increase the recovery capability of the M88. The full length could be used for APCs with a 1:1 ratio. The extra length would enable a 2.1 ratio to be used when pulling out tanks (often at 1 ½ to 2 times vehicle weight). The main winch cables have a very short useable life because of the frequent inability to get close enough to rig a 2:1 mechanical advantage.
OBSERVATION: Longer tow cables are needed to recover track vehicles.
(6) Civic Action and PSYOPS.
ITEM: Distribution of Us Clothing and Commodities.
DISCUSSION: In many instances there is a tendency for US Civic Action personnel to make themselves popular through the distribution of US clothing and commodities. This is an activity which should be accompanied by the Vietnamese officials and only monitored by US personnel. A system of distribution whereby the Vietnamese officials actually conduct the distribution will greatly enhance their image in the eyes of the Vietnamese people.
OBSERVATION: All distribution of US food and commodities should be conducted by Vietnamese officials so as to enhance their image with the Vietnamese people. The US personnel should not play an active part in the distribution, but should monitor and insure that all items reach the intended recipients hands.
ITEM: CA Projects should satisfy the “needs and desires”: of the people.
DISCUSSION: The projects in any Civic Action program should satisfy the needs and desires of the Vietnamese people. Vietnamese participation is difficult and often times impossible to obtain unless the people desire a particular CA project. The S-5 can determine the needs and desires of the Vietnamese people in his area from discussions with the MACV advisor, local officials, and from the people of the village and hamlet. Frequently a conflict arises between what the people desire and what others feel is needed. If the problem does arise, a compromise may be in order. A desired type project might be completed before a need type project is started. This will of course involve a delay in the project needed, but will gain the support and confidence of the people so that the needed project will be supported by the people. An example would be to show films on the need for casing and capping wells so that the people will then desire better wells.
OBSERVATION: It is important that CA projects satisfy the need as well as the desires of the people. An approach would be to educate the people so as to created the desire in order to complete the need type project.
ITEM: Permanent Civic Action Areas of Responsibility.
DISCUSSION: Once a unit has been assigned an area to conduct CA, it is imperative that this area remain permanent until the area is pacified. If continuity does not exist, the people in a given area will be hesitant to cooperate, fearful of Viet Cong reprisals, and generally apprehensive about the overall pacification program.
OBSERVATION: All efforts should be made to assign permanent CA areas of responsibility so that there will be continuity and thus enable pacification of an area to be accomplished.
ITEM: Scheduled MEDCAPS.
DISCUSSION: Past procedure has been to select a hamlet at random and go into the hamlet unannounced, set up the MEDCAP, and then treat the people. The obvious deficiency in the program was that when the MEDCAP ended for that day, the patients were either never seen again, or else they were not see again until many weeks later when the MEDCAP team again visited the hamlet. Scheduled MEDCAPS will overcome this deficiency and produce other advantageous results. Vietnamese medical personnel can be trained, permanent facilities improved, and better equipped medical records maintained on each patient treated, and the overall image of the Vietnamese medical personnel improved in the eyes of their own people.
OBSERVATION: Greater emphasis should be placed on scheduled MEDCAPS whenever security permits. Unannounced MEDCAPS should continue as in the past in unsecure areas, and with tactical deployed units.
ITEM: Aerial Broadcasts.
DISCUSSION: Due to the stringent regulations in VC/NVA units and the low literacy rate, leaflet drops are not an effective means of conducting PSYOPS in certain areas. During interviews with HOI CHANH, it has been found that more VC/NVA have been made aware of the Chieu Hoi Program as a result of hearing loudspeaker broadcasts than through reading leaflets.
OBSERVATION: Loudspeaker broad-casts are the most effective means of disseminating propaganda.
ITEM: Communication During Aerial Loudspeaker Operations.
DISCUSSION: Aerial loudspeaker broadcasts are affected by weather conditions, flight patterns, height and air speed. Due to these variables, it is impossible for the people in the aircraft to insure that the broadcast is being heard on the ground. Communications must be maintained with personnel on the ground to pre-test the loudspeaker message prior to flying the target area.
OBSERVATION: An extra radio tuned to nearby ground forces for comments on loudspeaker broadcasts can help insure that an audible message gets to the target audience.
ITEM: Increased Inducements to Returnees.
DISCUSSION: Based on interviews with returnees during the Chieu Hoi Offensive, monetary inducements to rally were not a major motivating factor. Primary reasons for returning were desire to be with family and fear of artillery and air-strikes. The primary factor which determined whether or not the individual rallied was the opportunity to get away from his unit and get to a safe area to rally.
OBSERVATION: Emphasis should be placed on family Chieu Hoi appeals and allied power themes. Rally points should be set up and widely publicized to provide increased opportunity for the VC/NVA to rally.
ITEM: Coordination of Civic Affairs at District Level.
DISCUSSION: All civic affairs activities should be cleared through the district chief and should be carried out with assistance by him if possible. It has been found that working directly with a hamlet or village chief often leads to the misuse of distributed items.
OBSERVATION: A good working relationship with the Vietnamese people, especially the local official is mandatory for a successful civic action program in any area.
(a) That two (2) preventive medicine specialists be made a part of the Division Surgeon's Office.
(b) That the Chief Medical Non-Commissioned Officer's TOE position in the Office of the Division Surgeon be authorized a Sergeant Major (E-9) instead of Mast Sergeant (E-8).
(a) That the medical Platoons within Infantry, Artillery and battalions be used in field operations in Vietnam.
(b) That organic MEDEVAC aircraft be authorized each Division Medical Battalion.
(c) That units overcome the effective VC tactic of exposing small forces as bait by aggressive reconnaissance by fire and by using all supporting fires available to probe suspected VC positions.
(d) That units avoid entering what appears to be deserted enemy base camps without first employing artillery and/or air-strikes
(e) That units initiate the use of a “Checkerboard” pattern in search and destroy operations, which permits unlimited fire support between elements and provides for a detailed search of an area. (See Appendix 2)
(f) That artillery and Air Force ordnance with “daisy cutter” fuses be used to saturate heavily wooded areas to trigger mines and booby traps and discourage VC ambushes prior to conducting Rome Plow clearing operations.
(g) That units conduct frequent night operations on an irregular schedule and train newly assigned personnel in night tactics.
(h) That increased use be made of stay-behind patrols after the departure of a company or battalion from a base camp.
3. (C) DA Survey Information: Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) as required by
USARV Message, #80483, Subject: Operational Report Lessons Learned (ORLL) for the period ending 31 October 1967).
a. Organization and Training;
(1) Organization: The Division General Order organizing the Long Range
Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) Detachment is GO 3631. The LRRP is attached to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry. Employment of the LRRP is directed by the Division Intelligence Section (G-2) and /or on order of the Cavalry Squadron Commander. Teams may be employed by Brigades of the Division in either an attached or Operational Control (OPCON) status. The LRRP Detachment has the following structure:
(a) Strength: 4 Officers, 36 NCOs and 78 EM
(b) Headquarters Section
(c) Mess Section
(d) Communications Section
(e) Two (2) Patrol Platoon Headquarters
(f) 15 Patrols (6 men each)
(2) Training: Training was planned and organized by the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry.
The training program was supported by personnel assigned to the LRRP Detachment, the Squadron's Artillery Forward Observer and Air Liaison Officer, and the Squadron's Communication and Medical Platoons. Instructor and aircraft support has been provided by the Squadron's Air Cavalry Troop. Initial training for the LRRP Detachment consisted of three, one week phases:
(a) Phase I: One week of intensive classroom and practical applications. The
following subjects were covered:
1. First Aid
2. Map Reading
5. Forward Observer (FO) and Forward Air Controller (FAC) procedures (Artillery Adjustments.)
6. Aerial Reconnaissance
7. Loading and unloading helicopters
8. Water-borne Operations
9. LZ Selections
10. Weapons Familiarizations
11. Physical Training
(b) Phase II: One week of refresher and advanced training. This phase was
climaxed with a water-borne assault into a specified area of operations. A three day tactical operation was also conducted during this phase. The following subjects were covered:
1. Map and Compass Reading
2. Intelligence Gathering and Reporting
3. Waterborne Training
(c) Phase III: One week of training / tactical employment (Night Ambushes
and Operations). Maximum use of air lift was stressed.
(d) A sustained training schedule has been initiated. This schedule supplements the operational requirements and maintains a high standard of training within the Detachment. Subjects covered are those requiring emphasis beyond the initial training phases (i.e., LZ procedures, waterborne operations, artillery adjustment).
b. Techniques of Tactical Employment.
(1) The LRRP Teams may be employed in several capacities. To form an Ambush Patrol, two teams are combined to function as a single ambush unit, thus providing a stronger fighting force. When employed as a Stay Behind Force, normally 4 Teams are combined, prepared to engage the
enemy until reinforced or extracted, as the situation requires. The primary method of employment is as a Reconnaissance Patrol consisting of one five man team. The patrol functions, not as a fighting force, but as a means of gaining intelligence prior to a larger unit entering the area for operations, or for determining enemy unit location and / or identity.
(2)Means of insertion, which are often determined by the type of mission, are as follows:
(a) Helicopter Insertion: Generally the most desired method of employment. May be accomplished in a minimum amount of time. The area of insertion can be pin-pointed, and the team placed without having to commit ground elements in the area.
(b) Tail Gating: This method is accomplished by ground elements conducting a sweep / search and destroy. At the insertion site the team is dropped out of the rear of Armored Personnel Carriers. The ground force continues with the seep and is simultaneously located in a favorable position to react, if the requirement arises.
(c) Stay Behind: When a ground force leaves an area of operations, a team is left, concealed in the area of operations. This is a desirable means of insertion as the team is initially secured by the ground force and has a quick reaction capability.
(d) Walk Out: Frequently used for areas that are accessible by foot and not at too great a distance from the start point. The advantage of this means of employment is that no additional force is required to assist with the insertion.
(e) Water-borne Assault: The least desirable method, due to hazards involved while deployed on rafts, especially when the personnel are heavily equipped. There is also the problem of concealing the rafts once the crossing has been accomplished. The route of ex-filtration is also limited when employing this technique of insertion.
c. Lessons Learned:
(1) A minimum of 48 hours is necessary to accomplish the planning, preparation and organization which should be accomplished prior to team insertion. The gathering of data relevant to an area, briefings, and the establishment of Mission `Support Sites (MSS) are all activities which should be accomplished prior to the first selection of the initial observation point. The rapid placement of a team(s) in an area which has not been fully developed in the planning and preparation process is a waste of manpower and material, and places the team in undue jeopardy. Conversely time spent in area development and planning lead to the placement of teams in more productive areas. The physical placement of a team on the ground should not be an end in itself. It should, in fact, be the beginning of a well planned and organized intelligence effort. (p53)
(2) A clearly defined mission to include Essential Elements of Information should
be the keystone to the planning and preparation phase. The issuance of missions which simply direct attention to a broad geographic area should be avoided.
(3) The point of insertion should be minimum of 300 meters from the initial point of observation. Upon insertion the team should move to their initial point of observation as rapidly as conditions permit.
(4) Patrol members should remain in a team configuration: Individuals, particularly leaders should not leave the observation point, for the purpose of reconnaissance and/or surveillance. If it is necessary to move to a new location, the entire team should displace to the new site.
(5) Food and water available to the patrol must be strictly controlled. Consumption of individual items must be planned prior to insertion. The plan must be adhered to during the patrol's operation. This will insure adequate food stocks to support the patrol's stay. During periods of rainfall water stocks must be replenished. As a planning guide, food and water stocks to support operations for a 24 hours period in excess of the planned stay time should be carried into the operating area.
(6) Pre-planned checks to insure the adequacy and presence of all items of equipment, and supplies must be made. Inspection will be scheduled in the team's preparation program. Check lists to support the preparation must be available to assist in insuring the presence of items required to support the teams operations.
(7) Once inserted, teams should not displace from one location to another without
first clearing the move with their control headquarters. Fire planning, extraction, and reaction personnel must be aware of team's move, to include the route to be employed. This will permit reaction elements to up-grade their readiness posture during a period when the teams vulnerability is increased.
(8) Periodic checks: i.e. Just after Beginning Morning Nautical Twilight (BMNT) and just prior to End of Evening Nautical Twilight (EENT) should be made to ascertain the exact location of the team. This check can be made by a helicopter over flight of the area with team personnel signaling by use of mirror. This technique of position fix cannot be employed in all operations circumstances, however, when the terrain and situation permit, it should be accomplished.
(9) A minimum of two hand microphones should be available for each radio taken into the operating area. This will reduce the possibility of communications failure due to problems with the microphones.
(10) Each Mission Support Site must be prepared to assist directly in the control and coordination of the team(s) activities. In order to accomplish this, they must have available maps posted with the scheme of maneuver, journal and spot report forms. In addition to the materials that must be available, all Mission Support Site (MSS) personnel must have knowledge of the scheme of maneuver, team location, insertion times and the report schedule that is to be complied with by the teams.
(11) Prior to commencing each operation a time schedule for reporting by each team(s) is established. The failure of a team to report to the control headquarters is a signal that all conditions with the patrol are not normal. It is then incumbent upon the control headquarters to initiate action to regain communications with the team that failed to report on time. The action initiated by the control headquarters, (alert of a reaction force, placing of aircraft airborne in attempts to regain direct communications) are activities which complicate control and coordination of the entire operation, thereby jeopardizing the team and the operation.
(12) Immediately upon extraction, a team should be transported to the major maneuver headquarters under whose control it has been involved. This will permit immediate debriefing and utilization of intelligence information gained by the team. Representatives of the Division G2 Section should be present at the initial debriefing. Upon conclusion of the initial debriefing, the team should be returned to their base area where more detailed debriefing can take place.
(13) As a means towards insuring communications between inserted teams and their control elements, tests of communications utilizing “Squad Radio” and a helicopter mounted receiver will be conducted.
(14) Further training in the techniques of air extraction is required. Close coordination and timing between team members and the extraction aircraft is mandatory. It is essential that the team's location, route to the pickup zone, and the pickup zone be known by all participants in the operation. The placing of timely and accurate suppressive fires can be the key to a successful extraction. To minimize the possibility of friendly fires being placed on the team to be extracted, the routes and location to include marking techniques must be known and used.
(15) During helicopter borne extraction operations where enemy personnel are in the vicinity of the selected pick up zone, fire discipline is essential. The LRRP personnel moving to the aircraft must be trained and controlled to fire suppressive fires in areas that will not jeopardize the extraction aircraft. Upon boarding the extraction aircraft, the team must be trained to immediately clear all weapons. One member of the aircraft crew must be trained to insure that weapons of the team being extracted are in fact cleared once the team has boarded the helicopter.
(16) During a helicopter borne extraction, the employment of an individual near the door of the helicopter to assist LRRP team members in boarding the aircraft will greatly facilitate the extraction. The team members are carrying large quantities of equipment and as a result, their ability to board the aircraft is reduced. In addition to assisting personnel in boarding the aircraft, this individual is readily available to react to team members that may become, or are wounded and require assistance in reaching the aircraft. This individual should be in addition to the organic door-gunners assigned to the aircraft since suppressive fires can be the key to a successful extraction, the full potential of all aircraft to fire should be maintained at all times.
(17) The Mission Support Site(s) (MSS) are essential to assist in maintaining communication and control of LRRP Teams. The site(s) should, whenever possible, be located within areas such as fire support bases, supported unit command posts, and with US Advisory personnel in ARVN Compounds. Within the Division's current TAOI, the radio relay complex on NUI BA DEN has proven particularly effective. By locating these stations within already operational sites, support and security requirements are reduced. Whenever possible Mission Support Operations Centers should be co-located with the headquarters that is responsible for the control of the operation. The co-location will facilitate the exchange of information, support requirements, and simplify command control arrangements. Due to the nature of control exercised by the MSS it should be established in a location apart from other facilities. The erection of a CP tent in the vicinity of a battalion or brigade command post has proven to be a satisfactory solution to the location of an MSS. Direct phone lines between the MSS and the supported unit will expedite the exchange of information and will facilitate the control and coordination of the operation.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
6 Appendices Incl: JASPER J. WILSON
1. Task Organization Colonel, GS
2. Checkerboard Technique Chief of Staff
of Search & Destroy Operations
3. ORLL, 125th Sig Bn
4. COAAR, WAIMEA (Withdrawn) Hqs, DA; CAAR #67X182
5. ORRL, Feeder, 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav
6. Pictures (Withdrawn) Hqs, DA (p56)
1 - ACSFOR, DA (Thru CG, IIFFORCEV and CG, USARV)
2 - ACSFOR, DA (Thru CG, IIFFORCIV)
2 - CG, USARPAC, ATTN: GPOP - OT
3 - CG, USARV, ATTN: AVHGC (DST)
1 - CG, US Army Inf Sch, Ft Benning, Ga
1 - CG, US Army Armor Sch, Ft Knox, Ky.
1 - CG, US Army Human Rech Unit, Ft Benning, Ga
1 - CG, USAAMS, Ft Sill, Okla
1 - CG, C&GSC, Ft Leavenworth, Kan
1 - US Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996
PLUS: Special 30 copies
AVFBC-RE-H (14 Nov 67) 1st Ind
SUBJECT: Operational Report - Lessons Learned for Quarterly Period Ending
31 October 1967 (RCS CSFOR - 65) (UIC - WDFU TO) (U)
DA HQ II FFORCEV, APO San Francisco 96266 13 Dec 1967
THRU: Commanding General, USARV, ATTN: AVHGC - DH, APO 96375
Commander-In-Chief, US Army Pacific, ATTN: GPOP - OT, APO 96558
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development,
Department of the Army, Washington, D.C. 20310
1. Subject report is forwarded.
2. This command has reviewed the attached report and concurs with the comments and recommendations with the following exceptions:
P(25): Non-concur with the opinion that the Chief Medical Non-commissioned Officer in the
Office of the Division Surgeon should be up-graded to Sergeant Major (E-9). The genesis of this opinion appears to be more the relative rank of other NCO's in the headquarters rather than the actual duties performed by the Chief Medical Non-commissioned Officer.
P(25) - P(27), para 2a (2): Night heliborne operation without illumination. In order to preclude the use of aircraft search lights with possible compromise of the LZ and the operation, consideration should be given to the use of pathfinders whenever possible during night air-mobile operations. Pathfinders with special devices such as obstruction lights, landing lights, glide-slope lights and light guns can provide the necessary terminal guidance with a minimum of external illumination.
P(43), para 2a (2), Item MEDEVAC, under the discussion the report states that: MEDEVAC aircraft were “attached” to the medical battalion on a stand-by basis. These aircraft were not attached as defined by AR 320-5, but rather located with the 25th Inf Div and providing area support.
FOR THE COMMANDER
AVHGC-DST (14 Nov 67) 2nd Ind (C)
SUBJECT: Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 October 1967
(RCS CSFOR - 65)
HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES ARMY VIETNAM, APO San Francisco 96375
TO: Commander in Chief, United States Army, Pacific ATTN: GPOP - DT
1. (U) This headquarters has reviewed the Operational Report - Lessons Learned for the quarterly period ending 31 October 1967 from Headquarters, 25th Infantry Division (ALXA) as endorsed.
2. (C) Pertinent comments follow:
a. Reference item concerning personnel packets, page 25, paragraph 2a (1):
(1) This headquarters recognizes the desirability of having grade / MOS breakout for augmentation packets prior to deployment. Direct correspondence between sponsor and deploying unit is authorized and encouraged by USARV Regulation 220-10
(2) DA policy is to deploy advance liaison parties only for brigades and divisions, or in those instances where there are peculiar problems related to deployment of a particular unit. An augmentation packet cannot be considered to be in either category.
(3) Recommend that information of this nature be obtained by the sponsor directly from the deploying unit.
b. Reference item concerning Preventive Medicine Specialists, page 25, paragraph 2a (1): and page 48, paragraph b(1) (a): Concur. The division surgeon has been informed that MTOE action should be initiated to effect this change.
c. Reference item concerning MEDEVAC aircraft, page 43; and page 48, paragraph b(2) (b): Nonconcur. In order to make maximum use of air ambulance resources, they should be controlled at army rather than division level. When these aircraft are controlled at the army level, they may be used to evacuate patients within the division, between divisions, and out of divisions to U.S. Army hospitals. Aircraft organic to a division would be more restricted and not allow for the shifting of resources to meet the requirements, especially between divisions.
3. (U) A copy of this endorsement will be furnished to the reporting unit through channels.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
Assistant Adjutant General
HQ. II FFORCEV
HQ, 25th Inf Div
GPOP - DT 14 Nov 67
SUBJECT: Operational Report - Lessons Learned for Quarterly Period Ending 31 Oct 67
(RCS CSFOR - 65) (UIC: WALXAA)
HQ, US ARMY, PACIFIC, APO San Francisco 96558
TO: Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development,
Department of the Army, Washington, D.C. 20310
This headquarters has evaluated subject report and forwarding endorsements and concurs in the report as endorsed.
FOR THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF:
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.
4th Bn, (M), 23rd Inf 2nd Bn, 27th Inf
7th Bn, 11th Arty (DS) 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 Armor (-)
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
25th Military Intelligence Det (Atch)
372nd Radio Research Co (Atch) 25th Division Artillery (-)
15th Public Information Det (Atch)
20th Public Information Det (Atch) HHB, Div Arty
7th Team AA, Plt HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch) 3rd Bn, 13th Arty
8th Team AA, Plt HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch) 6th Bn, 77th Arty (Atch)
9th Team AA, Plt HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch) Btry B, 5th Bn, 2nd Arty
10th Team AA, Plt HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch) Btry D, 5th Bn, 2nd Arty (GS)
15th Team AA, Plt HQ, 2nd CA Co (Atch)
Appendix 1 (Task Organization) to Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 October 1967
“CHECKERBOARD” TECHNIQUE OF SEARCH AND DESTROY OPERATIONS
Four company battalion search
Three company battalion search
Companies conduct detailed S&D in 1000 meter grid squares, and on order rotate
All clockwise or all counter-clockwise.
Appendix 2: (Checkerboard technique of search and destroy operations) to
Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 October 1967