Logistic Support of U.S. Advisors and Special Forces, Vietnam Armed and Pacification Forces, and Free World Military Assistance Forces
Logistic Support of U. S. Advisors
The logistic system available to supply the advisers assigned to Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, prior to the buildup was based on the concept of a small group of advisors centrally supported from Saigon. When an adviser arrived in-country, he reported to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, in Saigon, received a brief orientation, was issued the bare essentials of personal and field clothing, a weapon, a couple of magazines of ammunition, a mosquito net with bars, and eating utensils. He was then flown to his destination via Air Vietnam. Resupply of the adviser was the responsibility of the Vietnamese Army for ammunition, vehicles, and petroleum, oils, and lubricants, but such support was minimal. Since an adviser was required to either eat on the economy or buy his rations at the commissary or PX in Saigon, he was provided a cost of living allowance. He was provided an imprest fund to pay for equipment maintenance. However, in the early years of the Vietnam conflict, Saigon remained the umbilical cord of life for the adviser.
In April 1962, the Army established the United States Army Support Group, Vietnam, later designated United States Army Support Command, Vietnam.
Upon activation, this organization assumed some of the logistic functions previously performed by the Army section, Military Assistance Advisory Group Vietnam, but not the support of up-country compounds.
On 1 July 1962, the Headquarters Support Activity Saigon was established under a chain of command descending from the Commander-In-Chief of the Pacific Fleet but under the operational control of Commander U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. After this change adviser support improved. Under various
interservice support agreements Headquarters Support Activity Saigon performed common item supply and service support functions for all U.S. advisers including such things as subsistence, clothing, PX supplies, and billeting services. From its inception, it was envisioned that Headquarters Support Activity Saigon responsibilities would be limited to peacetime functions or at the most to the situation that existed in South Vietnam during the 1962-1964 period.
In addition to Headquarters Support Activity Saigon, the U.S. Navy had its own logistic system in South Vietnam for the support of U.S. Navy personnel such as U.S. Navy advisers under the Naval Advisory Group, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. The U.S. Marine Corps had a semi-separate logistics establishment for support of the U.S. Marine Corps. Also the U.S. Air Force vested most of its logistic responsibilities in its Headquarters, 2d Air Division.
At the beginning of 1965, the combined U.S. logistic support effort in South Vietnam was capable of supporting about 20,000 U.S. personnel. A small highly fragmented portion of this effort supported the U.S. advisory personnel. No one organization had full responsibility for logistic support. For example, the Headquarters Support Activity, Saigon and the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Headquarters Commandant operated parallel supply lines for different commodities in support of U.S. Advisers Four different systems furnished repairs, and each of the Services had its own medical supply system operating on a "stovepipe" basis to Continental U.S. As the advisory effort increased in keeping with the expansion of the Vietnamese forces, and as the logistic system to support U.S. combat forces took shape, a logistic system for support of the advisors evolved whereby supply support was furnished from three basic sources: Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; the Vietnamese Army; and U.S. Army Vietnam. The type of support drawn from each of these sources was as follows: organizational clothing and equipment and individual weapons with a basic load of ammunition were issued by the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Headquarters Commandant. Compound defense weapons and ammunition were obtained from the Vietnamese Army Administrative and Direct Support Logistics company in each province. In cases where weapons were not common to the Vietnamese Army, such as the M16 rifle and M60 machine guns, the weapons and ammunition were drawn from U.S. Army Vietnam. Subsistence was also drawn from U.S. Army Vietnam. Field ration messes were established where there were
fifty or more men and a mess association was authorized where there were less than fifty men.
However, the expansion of the adviser effort often required the deployment, on short notice, of numerous seven or eight man detachments at district level. These small detachments were in many cases located in isolated positions, miles from the nearest support facility, and had to rely primarily on periodic air resupply. The formation and deployment of mobile advisory teams of four or five members also presented unique support problems. In the IV Corps Delta area, for example, where many of these teams were employed, small water craft were about the only satisfactory means of travel. Sampans and other small Vietnamese vessels were too slow to escape sniper fire and too small to carry the five man teams with the supplies and equipment necessary to support their mission. A decision was made to acquire commercial type U.S. manufactured boats known as "Boston Whalers." Approximately 200 of them were obtained. They were purchased through the ENSURE program (discussed in Chapter III). Three fourths of these boats were used by mobile advisory teams and through their use team mobility was greatly improved.
Logistic Support of U.S. 5th Special Forces Group
The mission of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and its predecessor (U.S. Army Special Forces (Vietnam) ) was to advise and assist the Vietnamese government in the organization, training, equipping, and employment of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group Forces.
The first Civilian Irregular Defense Group camp had been built near Ban Me Thuot in 1961. At the beginning of 1964, there were 25 of these border camps, a figure which would double by the end of the year. This network of strategically located fortified camps, each with an airstrip, proved to be invaluable reconnaissance and fire support bases for Vietnamese forces fighting the enemy main forces in the border areas.
Because of the sensitive nature of the 5th Special Forces Group missions and operations, many aspects of its logistic support were also sensitive. The distinguishing feature of the 5th Special Forces Group logistic support was the reliance upon a Quick Reacting Procurement System for certain special forces equipment. The Army Materiel Command expeditiously purchased and shipped commercial or other service materiel not available in the Army inventory but needed to support special warfare programs. The bulk of the 5th Special Forces Group everyday support, however,
came from the U.S. Army Vietnam logistic system. Because of the limited organic maintenance capability of operating detachments and the volume of nonstandard items in the 5th Special Forces Group, maintenance of equipment was based on repair by replacement. Unserviceable items were evacuated, either in or out of country, to the appropriate level of a supporting maintenance activity.
An S-4 section of the 5th Special Force Group headquarters headed the internal logistic organization of the 5th Special Forces Group. Additionally, 5th Special Forces Group Logistical Support Centers (organic in-country support elements) provided operational logistic support to deployed Special Forces detachments and to the counterinsurgency program. The Logistic Support Center organization provided a cross section of logistic functions and capabilities with necessary interfaces enabling it to draw upon a broad range of non-organic support capabilities both from within and without Vietnam.
Logistic Support of Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces
U. S. Military Assistance to the Vietnamese Armed Forces commenced on 23 December 1950, while the French Indochina War was still in progress. With the end of that war and the departure of the French, the United States continued to supply the fledgling Republic of Vietnam with military materiel and equipment. President Eisenhower's commitment for their support was put into effect through the establishment of a Military Assistance Advisory Group.
In 1955 the mission of the Military Assistance Advisory Group was expanded to include organizing and training the South Vietnamese Armed Forces as well as providing them with equipment and other materiel. Then in 1961 President Kennedy approved requests for additional aid. Increased communist pressure continued to generate larger military requirements, and in February 1962, the Military Assistance Command was created for the purpose of improving command, control, and the support of the adviser program. The advisers, of course, advised the South Vietnamese Armed Forces in organizing and training their personnel and assisted them in acquiring necessary equipment.
The South Vietnamese Armed Forces increased in manpower from approximately 435,000 in 1964 to 623,000 by the end of 1966 and to over 1,000,000 by the end of 19'70. The logistic adviser effort increased as the South Vietnamese Armed Forces personnel strength increased. On 20 July 1965, U.S. Army Vietnam
was established to provide a control element for the U.S. Army Forces in Vietnam. On 1 September 1965, the logistic adviser functions and support of the field advisory program were transferred to U.S. Army Vietnam, with the exception of the staff advisory functions of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, staff. Effective 15 March 1968, the operational control of the logistic advisory effort for the South Vietnamese Army was transferred from U.S. Army Vietnam back to Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Within Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics, J-4, served as the principal advisor to Commander U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, on all matters relating to the logistic systems which supported the counterinsurgency operations in South Vietnam and provided advice to the South Vietnamese Armed Forces on logistics, including materiel systems development, organization, plans, policies, and operations.
The Director of the Logistics Advisory Directorate (J-46) was the principal adviser to the Assistant Chief of Staff, J-4, on all matters relating to the South Vietnamese Armed Forces logistics system and advised and assisted logistics elements of the South Vietnamese Armed Forces in providing effective, responsive, and economical logistic support. To accomplish this mission, the J-46 directed the logistic advisory organization shown in Chart 17. In addition to the advisory effort provided by the Logistics Advisory Directorate, the advisors listed below also assisted the South Vietnamese Army in logistics at various levels:
|Advisor Positions||Responsible Organization or Agency|
|Corps G-4 Advisors||Corps Senior Advisor|
|Division G-4 Advisors||Division Senior Advisor|
|Division Logistical Support Battalion Advisors||Division Senior Advisor|
|Sector S-1 and S-4 Advisors||Province (Sector) Senior Advisor|
|Sector Administrative & Direct Support Logistic Advisors||Province(Sector) Senior Advisor|
|Medical Advisors||MACV Command Surgeon|
Improvisations were often required in order to accomplish the advisory effort in a timely fashion, within the available resources. The following are two examples of improvisation in organizational concepts that were employed:
1. Due to the need for a sizeable increase in adviser strength and since considerable delay was expected in acquiring fill from Continental U.S. sources, an experimental concept using Mobile Advisory Teams was tried in IV Corps in October 1967. Nineteen teams, consisting of five U. S. personnel, and one Vietnamese
CHART 17 - LOGISTICS ADVISORY DIRECTORATE
interpreter, were deployed. One team was assigned to each province and one to each South Vietnamese Army division.
2. Based on results experienced by the Mobile Advisory Teams, Mobile Advisory Logistic Teams were designed. They were structured along much the same lines as the Mobile Advisory Teams. The teams were allocated one to each Area Logistical Command; except in the III and IV Corps, where, due to higher troop density, one additional team was allocated. The Mobile Advisory Logistic Teams mission was to provide on-the-spot administrative, supply and logistic training and assistance to depots, administrative and direct support logistic companies, and Regional and Popular Force units.
The U. S. advisory elements, though predominantly U. S. Army, included members from the other Services. These elements received common support from the component commander in whose area they were located.
All logistic advisers were carefully selected to assure that each one was fully qualified. The outstanding accomplishments of the advisers is evidence that this selectivity has paid off. Logistic advisers made a major contribution to bringing the South Viet-
namese Armed Forces to the level where Vietnamization could begin.
Until 24 March 1966, the South Vietnamese Armed Forces was generally equipped with U. S. equipment and materiel through the Military Assistance Program (Grant Aid). At that time the funding system was changed to a Military Assistance Service Funded program. Military Assistance Program type requisitioning and programming techniques, however, continued to be employed. For secondary items and consumables, the South Vietnamese Armed Forces submitted requisitions through Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, to the U.S. Army Materiel Command International Logistical Center at New Cumberland, Pennsylvania for Continental U.S. items, or to the U. S. Army Depot, Japan for off-shore procurement, and Military Assistance Program peculiar items. (Chart 18) There was an exception for medical items. Requisitions were placed on the Medical Depot in Okinawa for these items. Major items were "pushed" in accordance with delivery schedules furnished by Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Ammunition was controlled by Commander in Chief U.S. Army Pacific. This supply system remained in effect until 1970. After this time, South Vietnamese Armed Forces Base Depots forwarded requisitions for secondary items and consumables to the 2d Logistical Command in Okinawa. If the 2d Logistical Command was unable to fill the requisitions from their on-hand assets, they forwarded the requisitions to the appropriate Continental U.S. supply source.
An additional source of equipment became available to the South Vietnamese Armed Forces when the phase down of U. S. Forces began in 1969. At this time U.S. Army Vietnam began publishing listings of items of equipment that became surplus to its needs and that it could therefore make available to the South Vietnamese Armed Forces. After this, if South Vietnamese Armed Forces base depots received requisitions for items that they did not have on hand, they would check the U.S. Army Vietnam surplus listings. If the item was available from this source, they would request the item from U.S. Army Vietnam instead of the 2d Logistical Command in Okinawa. The system was later automated, and by 30 June 1971 more than $70 million in U.S. Army Vietnam excess consumables and more than $50 million in major items had been transferred.
A constant effort was made to upgrade weapons and equipment used by the South Vietnamese Armed Forces. The matter of weapons was particularly critical, because the enemy had begun
introducing modern communist-bloc weapons, including the highly effective AK47 automatic rifle as early as 1964. By 1967, all enemy units were equipped with this weapon, which had a much higher rate of fire than any of the U.S. World War II weapons with which South Vietnamese troops were armed.
The M16 automatic rifles, long sought for issue to the South Vietnamese forces, began to arrive in April 1967, but in quantities that would equip only the airborne and Marine battalions of the General Reserve. After strong recommendations on the part of General Westmoreland, an accelerated schedule of M16 shipments was approved in the fall of 1967, and by mid-1968 all regular infantry maneuver battalions had received the new weapon.
The United States Military Assistance Command established a Distribution and Allocations Committee in the fall of 1968. The committee was established to allocate, and control the distribution of critical materiel that was either in South Vietnam or due in country in an effort to accelerate the approved South Vietnamese Armed Forces improvement and modernization programs. The committee reviewed the mission requirements and asset positions of the United States Forces, South Vietnamese Armed Forces and Free World Military Assistance Forces and recommended allocation and distribution actions in support of the military effort in South Vietnam. Items considered by the committee were in actual or potential short supply. It included items managed under the Closed Loop Program, U.S. Marine Corp Rebuild and Evacuation Program, and the U.S. Air Force Repairable Asset Management System. A data base was established for each item to include amount on hand, depot assets, and maintenance float.
The continued improvement in the South Vietnamese Armed Forces modernization program led to the termination of the committee in June 1970, at the request of Commander in Chief Pacific.
In 1967 Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, and the Vietnamese Joint General Staff took action to expand the South Vietnamese Armed Forces commissary system in order to improve the diet of Vietnamese servicemen and their dependents while reducing the prices they had to pay for subsistence items. The U.S. contributed a one-time grant of $42 million for food items, which when sold provided self-regenerating funds from which stocks could be replenished. Sales of the new items began in September 1967. By the end of the year, revenues exceeded a million dollars, covering the cost of overhead, construction equipment, and further expansion. By the end of June 1968, 201
retail outlets were in operation serving troops and dependents throughout Vietnam.
During June 1969, Presidents Nixon and Thieu met at Midway Island. They discussed, among other subjects, increased logistical support to the South Vietnamese Armed Forces. Subsequently the "MACV Morale Study" recommended Military Assistance Service Funded support of canned meats and shortening for 1.1 million South Vietnamese servicemen during a two year period at an estimated cost of $42.7 million. A plan was prepared incorporating these recommendations. The U.S. Agency for International Development representative reviewed the plan in March 1970 and recommended that the plan be lengthened to a three year period with no increase in Military Assistance Service Funded support. This latter plan proposed 100 percent of the necessary Military Assistance Service Funded subsistence supplement support be furnished during the first year, 70 percent the second year and 30 percent during the final year. The plan envisioned a projected three year expansion of South Vietnam's farm and garden program and canning industry coupled with a rising economy permitting the government of Vietnam to attain self-sufficiency in furnishing adequate subsistence to its armed forces. In April 1970, General Abrams, Commander, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam approved the plan for submission to the Department of Defense.
The Secretary of Defense approved the plan with certain stipulations including: a fund limitation of $42.7 million, that Department of the Army not release funds until Commander U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, approved a distribution plan, and that Commander U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, review and concur in a South Vietnamese Armed Forces distribution plan prior to submission of requisitions. The distribution plan was approved by General Abrams on 8 September 1970. It required both units and depots to stock subsistence supplements. Each troop unit and organization would draw an initial issue based on the payroll strength plus a safety level. The safety level was 10 percent for hospitals, training centers, and military schools and 3 percent for all other units. The depots were authorized to stock the ration supplements with a forty-five day operating and fifteen day safety level. The ration supplement included canned fish (mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardines) , meats (beef chunks, beef and gravy, luncheon meat, ham chunks, port sausage) , poultry (chicken, turkey) and shortening. The items were issued to authorized personnel at fixed rates per individual.
The South Vietnamese Armed Forces logistic organization
(Chart 18) had a system that worked moderately well, but required improvements throughout the entire spectrum before attaining complete logistic self-sufficiency. Changes in the conduct of the war increased South Vietnamese Armed Forces logistic support requirements at an accelerated rate. The Vietnamization program intensified the efforts of improving and modernizing the South Vietnamese Armed Forces logistics system toward self-sufficiency. Major factors which affected the South Vietnamese Armed Forces logistic capabilities were as follows:
1. Rapid increases in the South Vietnamese Armed Forces combat force structure required commensurate increases in the logistics support base.
2. The introduction of modern sophisticated weapons and support equipment in significant densities into the South Vietnam Armed Forces inventory enlarged the scope and complexity of the logistics support requirements. Large inventories of aircraft, helicopters, boats, vehicles, weapons, and communication assets required extensive supply storage, distribution, maintenance, evacuation, and disposition systems to support them. Basic to those systems were the requirements for technically-trained military and civilian personnel and modern depot facilities. Although additional logistic personnel were subsequently authorized, efforts to fill authorizations with trained qualified personnel were slow to achieve desired results. Competition for civilian labor between U.S. Forces, civilian firms, and the South Vietnamese Armed Forces left the latter short of technically trained and skilled civilians. Depot repair capabilities and physical facilities also were inadequate to support requirements generated by the Improvement and Modernization Program. The rapid expansion of territorial forces placed a tremendous burden on the Administrative and Direct Support Logistical companies.
To accelerate the development of South Vietnamese Armed Forces logistics self-sufficiency, a Logistics Master Plan concept was prepared which combined several individual logistic plans, programs, projects, and studies, each designed to improve the South Vietnamese Armed Forces logistical system. The elements of the Logistic Master, Plan were as follows:
1. The Combined Logistics Offensive Plan was basically a short range plan designed to foster a positive aggressive logistic offensive spirit in the conduct of logistic operations. The plan identified problems, designated agencies responsible for solving the problems, and established the completion date for each problem outlined in the plan.
CHART 18 - SOUTH VIETNAMESE ARMED FORCES ORGANIZATION FOR LOGISTICS
2. The Country Logistics Improvement Plan was a long range program which listed major objectives for improving the logistic operations of the South Vietnamese Armed Forces. The plan was composed of specified projects. Each project identified Government of Vietnam and U.S. agencies responsible and assigned a completion date for each project. The Combined Logistic Offensive Plan and the Country Logistic Improvement Plan were similar in format, the basic difference being that the former was a short range plan and the latter a long range plan.
3. The Base Depot Upgrade Plan was intended to upgrade the South Vietnamese Armed Forces Engineer, Signal, and Ordnance rebuild depots by improving the depot structure through the improvement of facilities, utilities, technical skills and depot machine tools.
4. The Plans for Turnover of Facilities and Functions Program
was to provide for the orderly transfer of United States facilities and logistic functions to South Vietnamese Armed Forces, as U.S. elements withdrew.
5. Budgeting and Funding Concept Improvement Program
was to identify master plan programs which required special emphasis on funding requirements and designate responsible agencies to insure that programming budgeting, and funding aspects received appropriate attention.
6. The Administrative and Direct Support Logistical Company Study identified problems and their causes, recommended solutions and designated action agencies responsible for corrective actions. The objective of this study was to improve logistic operations and support capabilities of the Administrative and Direct Support Logistical companies.
7. The South Vietnamese Armed Forces Automated Materiel Management System outlined the objectives and general provisions for an Automated Logistic System Development and the sequence of events for implementation and assigned responsibilities to applicable agencies. This program was designed to provide the South Vietnamese Armed Forces with an automated capability to manage assets at the national level.
8. The On-The-Job Training Program "PROJECT BUDDY." In 1968, it was recognized that the time was rapidly approaching when, depending on the ability of the Vietnamese forces to take over the job of policing and defending their own nation, our U.S. strength in Vietnam would be withdrawn.
In January 1969, the 1st Logistical Command piloted a program called Project BUDDY with the approval of Headquarters
U.S. Army Vietnam and Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Project BUDDY was designed to teach the South Vietnamese Army to assume responsibilities in the logistics area by providing on-the-job training in logistics skills and management. While such training had been going on for years, there was no previous requirement for a formal on-the-job training program.
On 13 October 1969, a Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, directive was published for on-the-job training which was applicable to all of its subordinate and component commands. It established a combined effort by Military Assistance Command, Vietnam and the South Vietnamese Armed Forces to identify skills in need of improvement and to provide South Vietnamese Armed Forces personnel with on-the-job training in these skills. On-the-job training consisted of numerous programs, varying in length from a few days to six months, and in scope from an upgrade of an individual's current skill to a qualification in a new Military Occupation Speciality. This training was conducted for both South Vietnamese Armed Forces officers and enlisted personnel.
Operation BUDDY was a good program but after October 1969 was not used to its full advantage. The middle management people at Military Assistance Command, Vietnam were more concerned with the prerogatives of their advisers and not enough with training the South Vietnamese Armed Forces. As a result, only 9,300 had been trained under this program by the end of fiscal year 1970.
9. South Vietnamese Army Ammunition Improvement Plan.
This plan provided for the improvements necessary to give the South Vietnamese Armed Forces a capability to completely support their current and anticipated ammunition storage, inventory management, surveillance and maintenance requirements.
Logistic Support of South Vietnamese Pacification Program
Pacification is the process of establishing or reestablishing effective local self-government within the political framework of the legitimate central government and its constitution. It includes the provision of sustained and credible territorial security and the genuine, voluntary involvement of the people as well as the initiation of self-sustaining and expanding economic and social activity. Some obvious areas where military forces can assist the pacification effort are the opening of roads and waterways and the maintaining of lines of communication, important to both economic and military activity.
The objectives of pacification are not difficult to describe but the attainment of those objectives involves cultural and social forces not so easy to understand and certainly not easy to manage. Some of the means and organizations through which the U.S. Logistic system assisted the pacification program of the Republic of Vietnam were as follows:
Logistic support of the Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces was included in the U.S. Military Assistance Service Funded program. Supplies were issued to these forces by South Vietnamese Army Sector Management and Direct Support Logistic Centers.
The Peoples Self Defense Forces were provided certain designated items of supply through the same channels as were the Regional and Popular Forces above.
Logistic support of the Rural Development Cadre was generally funded through the U.S. Agency for International Development system in accordance with the Agency for International Development and Department of Defense Realignment Program. Except for ammunition, petroleum, oils, and lubricants and maintenance support which was provided by the South Vietnamese Army, support was generally provided through provincial warehouses operated by the Agency for International Development. However, at times U.S. Army Vietnam provided requested support on a reimbursable basis.
Supply support and funding for the Civilian Irregular Defense Group was provided through the U.S. 5th Special Forces Group Counterinsurgency Support Office. The 5th Special Forces Group placed the necessary requisitions on the U.S. Army Vietnam depots. The Civilian Irregular Defense Group has since been phased out and its activities absorbed by the South Vietnamese Army Regional and Popular Forces organization with support being provided through the South Vietnamese Army supply system.
Support of refugees has been provided by the Government of Vietnam, U.S. and other voluntary agencies. U.S. Agency for International Development was the basic administrator of this program for the U.S.; however, U.S. troop support was provided on an as required basis, and included building temporary shelters, latrines and other utility items. Support normally provided under the U.S. And Government of Vietnam programs included an immediate rice allowance for 7 days of 500 grams per day per person and 3 cans of condensed milk per family. The rice allowance could be extended for up to 30 days. Resettlement or return to village assistance was provided next, and included a rice allowance of 15 kilograms per person per month. A housing
construction allowance of 7,500 Vietnamese dollars and ten sheets of metal roofing was also provided after the enemy's Tet and May offensives of 1968. Together these offensives left 13,000 civilians dead and 27,000 wounded, created over one million refugees and destroyed or damaged over 170,000 houses.
On 2 February 1968, at the height of the Tet crisis, President Thieu announced the formation of a Central Recovery Committee to direct and coordinate the activities of all government agencies both civilian and military, in expediting civil recovery. This force received full and immediate support from all U.S. Agencies, civil and military. The resulting project was known as Project Recovery.
Fortunately when the enemy struck again in May 1968, the Central Recovery Committee was still organized and again served as the catalyst for Government of Vietnam and U.S. action. By mid-May Project Recovery could point to a record of considerable achievement. The Central Recovery Committee provided care for a peak number of 750,831 evacuees that had been made homeless as a result of the Tet Offensive. By mid-May, only 286,000 Tet refugees remained and 140,000 of these had been created after 5 May 1968. Over 33,000 metric tons of food, 66,000 tons of construction materials, and 5,000 tons of miscellaneous clothing, blankets, and other items were released from Saigon and regional warehouses. Relief and resettlement allowances amounting to over 483 million Vietnamese dollars were paid to nearly 60,000 families. Almost 580,000 bags of cement and 634,000 sheets of roofing were distributed to approximately 64,000 families.
Another support program was introducing refugees to techniques for improving yields of agricultural crops, particularly vegetables. Handicraft projects were also organized and small industries were developed. Food-for-work projects were also started, utilizing food made available under Public Law 480, Title II.
The lines of communication program has directly benefited civilians and local economies by providing improved roads for transportation of people and goods. The total Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Lines of Communication improvement program called for the upgrade of 4,075 km of road. As of 15 May 1971, over 60 percent of this work had been completed. More than 1,700 km of the work was done by U. S. Army troop effort and the remainder by the U.S. Navy, South Vietnamese Army, or by contractor personnel.
Another program that benefited the Vietnamese people was the assistance by U. S. agencies in restoring the Vietnamese Rail-
way System. This program had a dual goal objective. The first was to provide transportation assets that would move great tonnages at low cost, and the second was to renew an economical means of travel for the Vietnamese people between their homes and the larger market areas. Overall planning for railway restoration began in June 1966. It was a joint effort by the Government of Vietnam and U. S. agencies. All reconstruction efforts were co-ordinated through three standing committees, composed of members of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Government of Vietnam, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Joint General Staff, with primary responsibility resting with the joint Committee on Rail Restoration.
The rail system suffered extensive damage during World War II and the French Indochina War; but, with U.S. Agency for International Development assistance, it was rebuilt between 1954 and 1959. Then in 1960, the system came under attack again when the Viet Cong began a concerted and continuing campaign towards its destruction.
Evidence of the accomplishments of the restoration program is witnessed by the fact that the system entered 1968 with only 475 km of operational railroad, but early in 1970 the system consisted of 1,109.3 km of meter gauge main line from Saigon to Dong Ha in I Corps and approximately 130 km of branch line trackage.
A Medical Civic Action Program was conducted by Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, through the use of U.S. Forces and directed toward improving the local health environment, to include treatment and education of civilians in basic sanitation methods and other preventive health measures. This program was funded through US Military Service channels, with subsequent charge made to the Agency for International Development and Department of Defense realignment program based on a flat charge per treatment rendered.
A Military Provincial Hospital Assistance Program was created to furnish expendable medical supplies in support of the Ministry of Health hospitals and health service facilities. Medical care under this program included care to the population in general, paramilitary personnel, and civilian war casualties. The U.S. Army provided personnel as augmentation teams to assist the Government of Vietnam Ministry of Health in various hospital facilities. In addition, the U.S. Army provided half of the funding support for this program.
Requisitions to obtain supply support of this program were
forwarded to the U.S. Army Medical Depot in Okinawa. Supplies were shipped to the Ministry of Health Medical Logistic Center, Phy Tho, Saigon, and issued through the Ministry of Health logistics system.
The Government of Vietnam National Police Field Forces were provided supplies and equipment through U.S. Army channels. Army funds were utilized and requisitions were submitted through U.S. Army channels by Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Civil Operations Revolutionary Development Command, Vietnam.
Commodity support was provided to upgrade in-country port and waterway facilities. The program was funded by U.S. Agency for International Development with subsequent reimbursement from Army funds. Supplies were basically obtained through Agency for International Development channels with the U.S. Army providing technical assistance as well as supplies on an as required and as available basis.
Logistic Support of Other Free World Military Assistance Forces
Upon the introduction of Free World combat forces into Vietnam in 1965, the U.S. assumed the preponderance of logistic support for the Free World Military Assistance Force units. These units came from the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Republic of the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand.
With the exception of Australian and New Zealand forces, the other Free World Military Assistance Forces had been Military Assistance Program supported. Thus, many items of their equipment had to be replaced by items normally issued to U.S. Forces to make them supportable by the U.S. Logistic system.
The role of these units upon deployment to Vietnam was generally not determined until the eve of deployment, thus delaying until the last moment a determination of their specific equipment requirements. Of particular significance in alleviating equipment and supply shortages earlier than would have been otherwise possible was the conversion of Free World Military Assistance Force support from Military Assistance Program to Military Assistance Service Funded Program. In this connection Military Assistance Service Funded has application only to local forces in Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand and third country forces in Vietnam. It should be noted, however, that the funding for the support of Australian and New Zealand forces has been accomplished by financial agreement involving no appreciable cost to the U.S.
Generally Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved the Free World Military Assistance Forces force structures to be supported by the United States. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam approved the Table of Organization and Equipment and Table of Distribution and Allowances in co-ordination with the Allied governments concerned. U.S. Army Regulation 795-10, "U.S. Army Materiel and Service Support for RVNAF/FWMAF," governs the funding and requisition procedures for the Free World Military Assistance Force. Major item losses suffered by U.S. And Free World forces were reported to U.S. Army Major Item Data Agency through the AR 711-5 Army Equipment Status Reporting System. This agency then developed loss factors for replacement planning for the preparation of Army Materiel Plans and for use by the staff planners in developing and executing the Procurement of Equipment and Missiles Army portion of the Army budget.
General supplies (Classes II, IV, VII and IX except missile peculiar items) , ammunition, petroleum, medical supplies, memorial services (mortuary, cremation, etc) , laundry and bath services, procurement services, and terminal and water transportation services were normally provided to Free World Military Assistance Forces through U.S. Army Vietnam or U.S. Navy logistic system in the same manner as the supplies and services were provided to U.S. Forces. Two areas where exceptions existed were maintenance and subsistence. The U.S. system provided limited maintenance support to the Free World Military Assistance Forces. This support was furnished for selected items only and was to provide a back-up support to the allied maintenance system. Aviation maintenance support was provided to Australian, Thai, and Korean Forces. Reports were furnished to U.S. Army Pacific on aviation maintenance for funding and data collection purposes.
The Directorate of Food, Headquarters, 1st Logistical Command, monitored the four U.S. Army Support Commands who requisitioned, received, accounted for, issued, and supervised the Class I support for all Free World Military Assistance Forces in South Vietnam. The Directorate of Food was responsible for funding and monitoring local procurement and contract services support of dairy products, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, and ice.
Initially, the U.S. government agreed to provide subsistence support to the Republic of Korea forces in Vietnam but did not specify a "Kimchi Ration." The Republic of Korea forces in
Vietnam received either the MCI or the A ration. The agreement was amended in 1967 to provide one meal of the Korean Combat Ration daily. This special ration was developed in Vietnam, with assistance from a U.S. country team and the U.S. Army Natick Laboratories. The majority of the items in the ration (including the Kimchi) were indigenous to Korea. Thus the Republic of Korea Forces in Vietnam were provided one meal of the A ration, one meal of the MCI and one meal of the Korean Combat Ration. Australian and New Zealand forces were furnished the standard A ration supplemented with marmalade and local purchase items. The Philippine forces were furnished the standard A ration with additional rice in lieu of some of the potatoes. The Thailand forces were furnished components of the standard A ration supplemented by local purchase. They were also supplied with coconuts, morning grass, lemon grass and ginger root. (The South Vietnamese Armed Forces were provided with components of the A ration supplemented with indigenous items. They were also provided the MCI and the Long Range Patrol Packet).
The 32d Medical Depot was responsible for the medical supply support of the Free World Military Assistance Forces.
The U.S. Army provided limited maintenance support to the Free World Military Assistance Forces except in I Corps, where the U.S. Navy provided the service until mid-1970, when the Army also assumed the responsibility for that area. This support was furnished for selected items to provide back-up support to the allied maintenance system.
Agreements were made to provide aviation maintenance support to Australian, Thai, and Korean forces operating in Vietnam. This worked smoothly with reports furnished to U.S. Army Pacific for funding and data collection purposes. Standardized and simplified reporting reduced confusion and administrative workload in the field. Support of the Free World Military Assistance Forces was excellent.
A mission of the U.S. Army memorial activities in the Republic of Vietnam was to receive, process, identify and evacuate the remains of deceased Free World Military Assistance Forces. As part of the 1st Logistical Command's mission of providing this mortuary service cremation facilities were established for the Republic of Korea Forces. Initially, cremation services were provided by contract with Tobia Mortuary of Saigon. Two crematory units of the type used in civilian funeral homes in Continental U.S. were procured and became operational in June 1967. Remains of other Free World Military Assistance Forces forces were proc-
essed through the mortuaries in the same manner as U.S. Personnel and then evacuated to their countries.
The U.S. Army provided laundry and bath service support to Free World Military Assistance Forces in II, III, and IV Corps from the time of their arrival; service to I Corps began in 1970. Laundry service was supplemented by contract laundries where requirements exceeded organic Army capability.
The mission of the terminal and water transportation system was to operate deep and shallow draft ports, and logistics over the shore sites in South Vietnam and to provide intra-coastal and inland waterway lighterage services. The mission also included receiving, documenting, loading, discharging, and transhipping Free World Military Assistance Force and Agency for International Development cargo as it moved through the water terminals.
The U.S. Army Procurement Activity also provided procurement support to the combat support elements of the Free World Military Assistance Forces along with Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; U.S. Army Vietnam; and elements of the other U.S. military services.
Free World Military Assistance Forces were trained primarily by sending small numbers of selected personnel to schools in the Continental U.S. And by our military assistance advisory personnel in their own countries. In South Vietnam, the Free World Military Assistance Forces received informal training as required. U.S. units providing combat service support to these forces instructed their key personnel on the use of U.S. Materiel and systems, and in turn received orientation on the supported Free World Military Assistance Forces procedures. This cycle was repeated as necessary when new replacements arrived in either unit.
Vietnamese Rebuiding Home With Lumber Donated Through TARP Program In Bien Hoa, Above; Dam Built To Improve Irrigation System In The Village Rice Fields In Thuy Phu, Vietnam, Below.
MALT Team Head Confers With American Advisor And Local S-4 Of A Vietnamese Supply Maintenance District Support Logistical Company.
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