Headquarter, 11th Infantry Brigade, 23d Infantry Division

APO San Francisco 96217


AVDF-BAOP                                                                                      28 April 1971


SUBJECT: 11th Brigade combat Operations after Action Report


TO: Commanding General

        23d Infantry Division


        APO 96374




2. (C) DATES OF OPERATION: 282400 Feb 1969 to 282400 Feb 1971.


3.  (C) LOCATION: Quang Ngai Province from the Song Tra Khuc River South to the MR I/ MR II boundary, 1:50,000, series L7014, sheets 6638, I; 6639, II; 6739, II, III; 6738, I, II, III, IV; and 6838, III, IV.


4. (C) COMMAND HEADQUARTERS: 11th Infantry Brigade, APO San Francisco 96217


5.      (C) REPORTING HEADQUARTERS: Col Warner S. Goodwin JR, Commanding Officer, 11th Infantry Brigade, APO San Francisco 96217. Brigade Commanders During Reporting Period:

Col. John Donaldson                                  to 27 Mar 69

Col. Jack L Treadwell        28 Mar 69        to 17 Sept 69

Col. Hugh F. T. Hoffman 18 Sept 69          to 27 Mar 70

Col. Kendrick B. Barlow    27 Mar 70        to 11 Sept 70

Col. John L. Insani  11 Sept 70       to 1 Mar 71




Phase I (28 Feb 69 to 10 Aug 69)


11th Inf Bde Con.

HHC, 11th Inf Bde                                                        3-1 Inf

6-11 Arty (DS)                                                                        A/3-1

C-26th Engr (DS)                                                                     B/3-1

1- 23d MP Co                                                                         C/3-1

3/B-523d Signal Bn                                                                  D/3-1

            Det 1 328th RR                                                             E/3-1

            TM 1 635th MI Det                                                                  1/E-1-1 Cav

90th Chem Det                                                                          Sqd/C-26th Engr (DS)

A-23d S&T Bn                                                                        D/6-11 Arty (DS)

B/723D Maint Bn

59th Inf Plt (Scout Dog)

B-23d Med Bn


4-3 Inf                                                                                      4-21 Inf

            A/4-3                                                                                       A/4-21

            B/4-3                                                                                       B/4-21

            C/4-3                                                                                       C/4-21

            D/4-3                                                                                       D/4-21

            E/4-3                                                                                       E/4-21

            D/6-11 Arty (DS)                                                                     3/E-1-1 Cav

                                                                                                            Sqd/C/26th  Engr (DS)

1-20 Inf                                                                                                A/6-11 Arty (DS)


            B/1-20                                                                         1-1 Cav (23 Aug 69- Sept 69)

            C/1-20                                                                                     A/1-1

            D/1-20                                                                                     C/1-1

            E/1-20                                                                                     D/1-1

            Sqd/c-26th Engr (DS)                                                               C/4-3 (OPCON)

            C/6-11 Arty (DS)


Phase II (11 Aug 69 to 01 May 70)


11th Inf BDE Con                                                                     1-20 Inf

            HHC 11th Inf Bde                                                                     A/1-20

            6-11 Arty (DS)                                                                        B/1-20

            C-26th Engr (DS)                                                                     C/1-20

            1-26d MP Co                                                                          D/1-20

            3/B-523d Signal Bn                                                                  E/1-20

            Det 1, 328th RR                                                                        Sqd/C-26th Engr (DS)

            TM 1, 635th MI Det                                                                 C/6-11 Arty

            90th Chem Det

            A-23d S&T Bn                                                            4-21Inf

            B-723d Maint Bn                                                                     A/4-21

            59th Inf Plt (Scout Dog)                                                            B/4-21

            B-23d Med Bn                                                             C/4-21


3-1 Inf                                                                                                  E/4-21

            A/3-1                                                                                       3/E-1-1 Cav

            B/3-1                                                                                       Sqd/C-26th Engr (DS)

            C/3-1                                                                                       A/6-11 Arty (DS)

            D/3-1                                                                                       A/1-1 Cav (OPCON)

            E/3-1                                                                                       E/1st Cav (OPCON)

            1/E-1-1 Cav                                                                             A/3-1 (OPCON)

            Sqd/C-26th Engr (DS)                                                 

            D/6-11 Arty (DS)                                                         1-1 Cav 9 23 Aug 69-9 Sep 69 )


4-3 Inf                                                                                                  C/1-1

            A/4-3                                                                                       D/1-1

            B/4-3                                                                                       C/4-3 (OPCON)




            B/6-11 Arty ( DS)


Phase III (02 May 70 to 26 Feb 71)


11th Inf Bde Con                                                                      1-20 Inf

            HHC, 11th Inf Bde                                                                    A/1-20

            6-11 Arty (DS)                                                                        B/1-20

            C/26th Engr (DS)                                                                      C/1-20

            1-23 MP Co                                                                            D/1-20

            3/B-523d Signal Bn                                                                  E/1-20

            Det 1, 328th RR                                                                        Sqd/c-26th Engr (DS)

            Tm 1, 635th MI Det                                                                  C/6-11 Arty (DS)

            90th Chem Det                                                                                                 

            A/23d S&T Bn                                                 4-21 Inf

            B-723d Maint Bn                                                                     A/4-21

            59th Inf Plt (Scout Dog )                                                           B/4-21

            B-23d Med Bn                                                             C/4-21


3-1 Inf                                                                                                  E/4-21

            A/3-1                                                                                       3/E-1-1 Cav

            B/3-1                                                                                       Sqd/C-26th Engr (DS)

            C/3-1                                                                                       A/6-11 Arty (DS)

            D/3-1                                                                                       E/1-1 Cav (OPCON)


            Sqd/C-26th Engr (DS)                                      1-1 Cav (23 Aug 69 to 9 Sept 69)

            D/6-11 Arty (DS)                                                                     A/1-1

            B/1-1 Cav (OPCON)                                                              C/1-1

            E/1-1 Cav (OPCON)                                                               D/1-1

            C/4-3 (OPCON)


4-3 Inf






            B/6-11 Arty (DS)



Phase I (28 Feb 69 to 10 Aug 69)


B/1-82 Arty (155mm)                                      14th Avn Bn

C/1-82 Arty (155mm)                                      B-123 Avn Co (Aero Scouts)

C/3-18 Arty (8 in SP)                                       20th Tactical Aerial Support Squadron

A/1-82 Arty (155mm)                                                                          (Helix)

D/1-14 Arty (105mm)                                      7th Air Force

1-11 Arty (GS-R)                                                        7th Psychological Operations Bn

                                                                                    9th Special Operations Squadron


Phase II (11 Aug 69 to 01 May 70)


B/1-82 Arty (155mm)

C/1-82 Arty (155mm)

C/3-18 Arty (8 In SP)

A/1-82 Arty (155mm)

D/1-14 Arty (105)

1-11 Arty (GS-R)

14th Avn Bn

B-123d Avn (Aerial Scouts)

20th Tactical Aerial Support Squadron (Helix)

7th Air Force

7th Psychological Operations Bn

9th Special Operations Squadron

B-9th Engr Bn (USMC), (Land Clearing Operations)

G-55 Arty (Quad  .50)

3/G-29th Arty (Xenon searchlight sections attached to Quad 50 sections)

271t FA Det (Ground Surveillance, An/TPS-25)

251st FA Det (Countermortar, AN/MP Q-4)

Div Arty Radar section (AN/TPS-25)

Metro section 2-11th Arty, 101st Airborne Division (AMBL) (OPCON)


Phase III (02 May 70 to 22 Feb 71)


B/1-82 Arty (155mm)

C/1-82 Arty (155mm)

C/3-18 Arty (8 in SP)

A/1-82 Arty (155mm)

D/1-14 Arty (105mm)

1-11 Arty (GS-R)

14th Avn Bn

D-123d Avn Co (Aero Scouts)

20th Tactical Aerial Support Squadron (Helix)

7th Air Force

7th Psychological Operations Bn

9th Special Operation Squadron

B-9th Engr Bn (USMC), (Land Clearing Operations)

G-55 Arty (Quad .50)

271st FA Det (Ground Surveillance, (AN/TPS-25)

251st FA Det (Countermortar, AN/MP Q-4)

Div Arty Radar Section (AN/TPS-25)

Metro section, 2-11 Arty, 101st Airborne Division (AMBL) (OPCON


8.      (C) INTELLIGENCE: See Annex A, (Includes S-5 After Action Report).


9.      (C) MISSION: To conduct unilateral and combined operations with ARVN and provincial forces to find, fix and destroy enemy main force and local force units in the 11th Bde TAOR and TAOI and to interdict enemy supply and communication lines. The 11th Inf Bde also actively supported the GVN Pacification and Revolutionary Development Program.




  1. Maneuver: the concept of the operation for Iron Mountain remained essentially the same for each ground combat element. Normally, each battalion was to maintain one rifle company on its fire support base and three rifle companies operating in the battalion’s AO. The rifle companies, through saturation patrols and ambushes, were to find and destroy the enemy in his base areas and to deny him access to populated areas. This was accomplished by combination of combat air assaults and foot movements. Other missions included the rice denial program, which meant cordons of areas by companies and search and sweep by platoons and squads, and upgrading the paramilitary forces. This last mission was accomplished by assisting in guarding pacification hamlet, outposts, bridges and other key installations, and through join operations.
  2. FIRE SUPPORT: Inf battalions was supported by 105-mm battery in direct support and a155 mm battery in general support. In addition, the ground elements have supported by 175mm and 8-inch artillery. When necessary, both direct support and general support, was moved by road or air to an area where they could better support the operation. Both tactical air support and helicopter gunships were available to all ground units upon request from the Brigade.


11.  ( C ) EXECUTION:


Phase I (highlights):


15 Mar 69:


C/3-1 at BS795428 engaged an unknown size enemy force resulting in 2 US KIA, 14 US WIA, 31 NVA KIA, CIA 9  AK-47’S, 1 m-72 Law, 1 M-16 rifle, 2 RPG’s, and 2 RPD machine guns.


29 Mar 69: 


C/3-1 made contact at BS794483 with a company size NVA force resulting in 3 US, KIA, 7 US WIA, and 11 NVA KIA.


12 May 69:


At 1000hrs C/3-1 made contact with a battalion size NVA force at BS8314** with 1/E/1-1 Cav, B/3-1, and D/3-1 brought in to assist, the contact was maintained throughout the day. Results: 10 US KIA, 43 US WIA, 61 NVA KIA, CIA 3 AK-47’s, 2 RPD light machine guns, and 1 7.92mm Heavy Machine gun.


31 May 69:


C/1-20 made contact with an unknown size enemy force in a fortified complex. Reinforced by D/1-20, Recon 1-20, and E/1-1 Cav, the company pushed the enemy force from his positions and killed 29 NVA and captured 1 82mm mortar, 1 .30caliber machine gun, and 5  AK-47’s. There were 4 US KIA, and 13 US WIA.


3 June 69:


D/1-20 made contact with an NVA force firing RPG’s and automatic weapons. C/1-20, 1/E/1-1 Cav and D/4-3 were brought in to assist company D in fighting which lasted until just after dark. Results were 8 US KIA, 24 US WIA, 12 NVA KIA, CIA 1 57mm recoilless rifle, 1 30-caliber machine gun, and 5 AK-47’s.


4 June 69:


While on patrol vicinity BS900303, 1/D/3-1 and 1/E/1-1 Cav made contact with an estimated enemy platoon. Results: 2 US KIA, 2 US WIA, 12 NVA KIA, CIA 3 AK-47’s, and 1 RPG Launcher.


7 June 69:


During the evening of 7 June and early morning on 8 June a sapper force attacked LZ LIZ. The defenders killed 12 NVA and captured 1 NVA, also capturing 2 RPG’s, 2 AK-47’s, 6 B-40 rockets, 60 Chicom hand grenades, and 3 bangalore torpedoes. There was 1 US KIA, and 5 US WIA.


9-10-11 June 69:


Recon 1-20 and A/1-20 made heavy contact with an unknown size enemy force on 9 June. It continued until dark when the NVA broke contact. D/1-20 was brought in to assist in the search for the withdrawing enemy. A/1-20 continued to make scattered contact with the enemy throughout the day and a helicopter was shot down in the late afternoon while trying to extract company A. D/1-20, securing the downed aircraft was subjected to continual attacks throughout the night, but held its position. The final results showed 6 US KIA, 13 US WIA, 68 NVA KIA, 9 crew-served weapons CIA, and 9 individual weapons CIA.


11 June 69:


Sappers attacked LZ LIZ again and the enemy penetrated the perimeter, but was thrown back by a reaction force. US losses were 1 US KIA, 7 US WIA, there were 14 NVA KIA, 1 NVA/CIA/WIA, and 3 AK-47’s, and 1 RPG captured.


13 June 69:


A /4-3 engaged an unknown size enemy force, resulting in 1 US KIA, 4 US WIA, 16 NVA KIA, CIA 4 AK-47’s and 1 M-79.


2 July 69:


A (-)/3-1 at BS834289 engaged an estimated NVA company resulting in 22 NVA KIA, CIA 4 AK-47’s and 3 RPG launchers.


19 July 69:


D/3-1 made contact with an unknown size enemy force. Reinforced by B/3-1 they had 14 NVA KIA, CIA 1 RPG, 1 RPD machine gun, and 3 AK-47’s. There were 4 US KIA and 16 US WIA.


3 Jan 70:


D/4-3 (OPCON 4-21) on the hill 285 at BS821286 came under a heavy mortar and ground attack from a battalion size force.  Results were 7 US KIA, and 11 US WIA. Enemy results were 39 NVA KIA, CIS 10 AK-47’s, 1RPG, 75 chicom grenades, 1 9mm pistol, and 1 M-16 rifle.


21 April 70:


Recon 1-20 ran a cordon and search operation on 20-21 April with several contacts resulting. There were 15 VC KIA, 10 VC CIA, 3 AK-47’s, 3 SKS rifles, 1 M-1 carbine, 20 assorted Hand grenades, 1 VC flag, and several documents. The platoon also reported 5 VC KIA by Primo 4 and Shark 11, plus 1 VC WIA, 3 AK-47’s, 1 M-1 carbine, 1 M-16 rifle, 1 M-3 caliber .45 sub-machine gun, 7 M-26 hand grenades, 2 blue uniforms, medical supplies and documents were CIA.  



8 May 70:


On the night of 7 May and early morning of 8 May, FSB 411 (3-1 Inf) was attacked by an unknown size enemy sapper force resulting in 10 VC KIA, 2 VC CIA, 54 homemade grenades, 42 chicom grenades, 11 B-40 rockets, 5 bangalore torpedoes, 5 satchel charges, 2 AK-47’s, 1 AK-50, and a 9mm pistol CIA. There were no friendly casualties.


3 Sept 70:


C/3-1 assisted by D/3-1 and E/1-1 Cav, engaged an unknown size enemy force resulting in 11 enemy KIA, 13 AK-47’s, 16 RPG’s, 1 pistol CIA. This occurred at BS561634.


22 Feb 71:


Reacting to an IOS sighting called in by C/1-20, Saber 40 (nighthawk gunship from D/1-1 Cav) engaged an unknown size enemy force resulting in 14 NVA KIA and 2 more NVA KBA. (Credit to C/6-11 Arty which fired artillery in the area). C/1-20 swept the area and found 8 AK-47’s, 1 RPG launcher, and other assorted equipment.




The 11th Infantry Brigade’s combat operations during the Iron Mountain operational period were generally characterized by small unit contacts. As can be easily ascertained from the time periods for the major contacts during Iron Mountain, large-unit contacts grew increasingly rare after mid-1969. There were 10 such incidents during the period 28 February 69 to August 69, and only 5 from August 69 until the termination of the operation. Most enemy initiated incidents were either sniper or harassing in nature, or short attacks by fire. The enemy usually broke contact as quickly as possible.


12.  ( C ) RESULTS:


Phase I (28 Feb 69 to 10 Aug 69)

ENEMY KIA              1,269

ENEMY CIA                  322

HOI CHANH                  45


Phase II ( 11 Aug 69 to 01 May 70 )


ENEMY KIA              1,130

ENEMY CIA                  598

HOI CHANH                  14






Phase III ( 02 May 70 to 28 Feb 71 )


EMENY KIA              1,152

ENEMY CIA                  598

 HOI CHANH                 21




Phase I ( 28 Feb 69 to 10 Aug 69 )


IWC                            284

CSWC                           39


Phase II ( 11Aug 69 to 01 May 70 )


IWC                            433

CSWC                           21


Phase III ( May 70 to 28 Feb 71 )


IWC                            445

CSWC                           12




  1. Supply: Logistical support to units in the field and forward fire support bases was accomplished by vehicle convoy and helicopter, UH0-H helicopters were the primary aircraft used for re-supplying units in the field. However, forward fire support bases received the bulk of their re-supply through vehicle convoy. The exception was in those areas where a forward fire base, could not be reached by road. The CH-47 (chinook) was utilized for the re-supply of such bases, in addition to providing heavy lift capability to all units.  The majority of re-supply of troop units was taken to the field locations by UH-1H from the forward fire base. CH-47’s principally handle Class I and Class V items as well as Class II and Class IV materials, which were used for building or repair of permanent installations. A/23d Supply and transportation Bn. coordinated with the Brigade S-4 to establish distribution for Class I,II, III, IV, V and VI items.C/26th  Engineers provided engineer support to all 11th Brigade units as required or directed by the Brigade Commander


  1. Maintenance: B/723d Maintenance Battalion was in direct support of all 11th Infantry Brigade units. It’s primary maintenance missions involved vehicles and weapons, Vehicle maintenance was of primary importance because of the necessity of hauling almost all supplies to the Brigade fire support bases by vehicle, as well as supplying battalion fire bases.


  1. Treatment and Evacuation of Casualties: All combat casualties were treated in the field, and evacuated to B/23d Medical Battalion at LZ Bronco (Brigade fire base). If necessary, they were taken to either 27th Surgical Hospital or 91st Evacuation Hospital in Chu Lai. Complete helicopter facilities were available at LZ Bronco and could be reach directly by the battalion forward tactical operations centers. Under emergence conditions, evacuation helicopters could be obtained from Chu Lai Dust-off.


  1. Transportation: A/23d Supply and Transportation Battalion was responsible for direct support of the 11th Infantry Brigade units. The unit provided 21/2-ton and 5-ton trucks and POL tankers. Units under 11th Brigade control also had organic transportation, which generally sufficed for missions within the units. However, the Brigade S-4 could generally sufficed for missions within the units. However, the Brigade S-4 could coordinate with A/23d S&T and the units to establish requirements for major convoys. The 7th Air Force had daily flights into Duc Pho Airfield (LZ Bronco) with c-123 and c-130 aircraft from Chu Lai and Da Nang carrying personnel, mail, and limited amounts of freight.


  1. Communications: The principal method of communications from company to battalions, battalions to brigade. And brigade to division was by FM radio; both clear net and secure. A VHF system also provided landline capability throughout the brigade and to division. An additional method of communication was through a SSB (single side band) RTT net using the AN/GRC-142. The major problem with the RTT net was maintenance difficulties and power supply problems. Overall, the Teletype system was beneficial, especially on messages from division to Brigade. Field units used the AN/PRC-25 for basic FM communication and the AN/PRC 77 and KY-38 for FM secure communications. Both radios proved to be highly successful in field communications.




  1. During the period of Iron Mountain, the 11th Infantry Brigade used special equipment and techniques on many occasions. All battalions made extensive use of war dogs, particularly scout and tracker dog teams. The units reported these teams to be generally useful, except during the monsoon season when the conditions either prohibited their use or negated their effectiveness. The brigade also made use of the Deacon transponder System, a method introduced by the U.S. Marines for directing air strikes by remote control from fixed locations. Beacon strikes, combat sky- spots, and night owl air strikes were used with the same effect.  Primarily in the mountainous portions of the AO where targets could be more easily isolated and clearance were quickly obtainable.


  1. The battalion’s field tested and put through soldier usage with several items of equipment during the Iron Mountain operations with significant items was the hand-held sight for the 81mm mortar and the M-203 with grenade launcher. Both were tested with favorable results and was found to be useful assets to ground combat troops.


15.  (C) Commander Analysis:


a.         Operation by the 11th Infantry Brigade Maneuver Battalions during Iron Mountain were characterized by widely dispersed units utilizing saturation patrols and ambushes. Eagle flights were particularly effective in the low lands, especially when made with blocking forces on Key terrain. Another favorite tactic, which met with great success, was the block and sweep operations with U.S. and ARVN or provincial forces working together in combined effort. This was primarily effective, in flushing local VC and VCS from heavily populated areas. In addition, the employment of mechanical ambushes and snipers teams greatly extended the coverage of the AO along with squad saturation patrols and manned ambushes.


b.        Another important facet of the 11th Brigade operations in it’s AO. Was rice denial and denial activities during periods of rice harvest. By denying the enemy his most important food source, the brigade forced him to either shorten his line of supply by withdrawal from forward areas, or to openly fight for food. These denial operations also aided the pacification program by providing protection to local villages from harassment during the rice harvest.


c.         The weather had no effect on operations during the dry season. However from October through January, heavy rainfall and limit visibility hindered movement and restricted the use of war dogs and radar. Air Support with tactical and logistical, was also curtailed to a great extent by the monsoon rains and frequent ground fog.


d.        Overall, the 11th Infantry Brigade’s mission changed little during the two years period of the Iron Mountain Operation. However, the success of the units operations during that period are demonstrated by the greatly reduced number of large-unit contacts and the success of the Pacification Program.




  1. Further operations should be curtailed after a shorter time period in order to facilitate the preparation of a thorough after action Report.




Annex (Intelligence) to after Action Report Iron Mountain (Phase I, II, and III).




  1. Weather: The weather in the 11th Infantry Brigade has often caused military operations to by planned around the current weather conditions. Heavy rains, fog and cloud cover characterizes the monsoon during the period of mid-October through March. The period is marked by almost unpredicted and sudden thunderstorms. These storms are usually localized and generally create heavy air turbulence. This greatly hampers re-supply operations and troop movement. Streams rise considerably and become quite hazardous and sometimes impossible to ford. The major portion of the coastal lowlands become flooded and has often forced the evacuation of hamlets by the population. From April until June there is a gradual clearing with temperature increases. Rainfall averages 20-25 inches per month.  June through mid-September is the hottest months with a mean temperature of 90 degrees during the day. This has an adverse effect on prolonged foot operations both on the enemy and allied forces.
  2. Terrain: The 11th Infantry Brigade AO, is bounded on the east by the coastal lowlands. This consists of a sandy plain, extending inland from one to five miles. Rice paddies, farming areas, and small patches of bamboo, dotted with an endless amount of hedgerows and intersected by numerous streams and rivers are the chief characteristics of the coastal lowlands. It is this area which contains the much sought-after prize the NVA have been seeking to gain for years. Also this is the most heavily populated area of the AO. Turning now to the mountains, which are intermittently broken, by small valleys and streams.  The small valleys offer the enemy some crop producing areas. However, he must rely heavily on what he can produce in the lowlands. As the mountains are quite steep and densely vegetated, troop movement in is rather difficult and slow. There are no friendly populace living in these areas. The area is used by the VC-NVA as a base area due to the remoteness, cover and concealment, which this region affords them.
  3.  Effects on Enemy Courses of Action: The monsoons greatly hamper the enemy’s activities. The enemy units are widely dispersed and move continually to avoid detection.  For the most part the enemy operates in small groups to avoid detection in the coastal areas. He uses the terrain to maximum advantage when moving in daylight hours. The mountainous terrain affords the enemy both defensive and evasive capabilities. It is in the mountains that he has most of his base camps. It also affords him good protection from artillery due to the dense foliage.
  4. Effects on Our Courses of Action: As the majority of the population is located on the coastal lowlands, it has been necessary to keep a few units operating in the coastal lowlands. This has a two-fold purpose: guard the people’s crops and help train the RF-PF troops. The emplacement of ground Sensors had greatly helped decrease the enemy infiltration routes from the mountains. This, combined with aggressive patrolling has greatly cut down the majority of the enemy’s combat operations in the AO. The enemy generally seeks to avoid contact due to the superior firepower and the superior air power we possess. When the enemy chooses to attack it is usually a small unit he outnumbers. He lacks logistical support to tackle a large unit for an extended period of time.


  1. Enemy Operations: Enemy units seek to avoid contact with U.S. Troops, preferring to attack the ARVN and Regional forces. The enemy is extremely proficient at conducting delaying actions; this is done by the employment of sniper teams, mines and booby traps. The enemy is greatly hampered by the air power of the U.S. forces. He has to be constantly on the alert so he will not be spotted from the air. This prevents his massing in large numbers for any type of attack. He is forced to operate in small groups and often forced to stay underground so he will not be spotted. The enemy usually picks the time and the place to attack, so he inflicts maximum casualties while avoiding decisive combat.
  2. Enemy Logistics: the enemy has extreme problems with logistics. Due to the great distance from NVN he has to rely almost entirely on the land and taxes imposed on the local populace for his food. As for arms and ammunition he is lacking sufficient quantities of conducting a major campaign. A general lack of communications greatly effects the enemy’s ability to coordinate with other forces for upcoming attacks. Due to the problems he faces, he has to use a large percentage of his troops for food production and procurement. This lessens his combat effectiveness and put him on the defensive most of the time. All supplies are brought without vehicular transportation, which is extremely slow and cuts down on quantity.
  3. Viet Cong: The VC is quite numerous in the lowlands and the mountains bordering the lowlands. The VC are masters of deception and adept to almost every allied tactics used against him. They are organized into Local force companies and each are assigned an AO by the Quang Ngai Provincial unit. The VC, like the NVA has a logistical problem. They have become very resourceful and use everything the U.S. and ARVN soldiers discard. On of their faults are weapons and ammunitions, and encounter the same logistical problems as the NVA forces in this area. 

2.      ( C) ORDER OF BATTLE:

a.        General:  The Quang Ngai Provincial Unit controls the enemy disposition in the 11th Brigade AO. The only NVA units that are subordinate to it are the 107th Heavy Weapons Battalion and the 40th Sapper Battalion. The other NVA units are working in conjunction with the unit but are not subordinate to it.

b.        21st Regiment: This unit has been a traditionally aggressive and hard fighting unit. It has attacked U.S. units in company and battalion size. They have been very active in the Nghia Hanh area, and have been in company and battalion size elements when engaged. The estimated strength is approximately one thousand men. The regiment has three battalions and each one is responsible for a particular AO.  The regimental CP usually rotates between its tree battalions so it can keep abreast of the problems of its battalions and keep its location secret.

c.        403d NVA Sapper Battalion: the 403d Sapper Battalion is composed of three sapper companies and four support platoons. The 403d had been responsible for attacks on some U.S. and ARVN Out Posts in the AO. More recently the 403d Sapper Battalion. They are also engaged in rice gathering and a small amount of food production.

d.        406th Sapper Battalion: The 406th Sapper Battalion is located in the northwestern part of Quang Ngai Province. They have an estimated strength of two hundred and fifty men. They are targeted against ARVN out posts although they are believed to have taken part in attacks on the Out Post Warrier and other U.S. fire bases in early February 1971.

e.        40th Sapper Battalion: The 40th Sapper Battalion is a newly organized unit in comparison with the other units in the AO. It was formerly part of the 22d NVA Regiment and was reorganized in September 1970. They have been in a training mission with the 403d Sapper Battalion. They are believed to have taken part in the attack on Out Post Max in early February 1971.

f.          38th Battalion: The 38th Battalion is one of the oldest battalions in the 11th Brigade AO, and is one of the best. It has been a consistently aggressive unit. When it was formed it was only thirty percent NVA, it has risen to ninety percent. It was one of the units which overran Out Post Max in early February. Lately it has taken heavy casualties from the 4th ARVN Recon Company in two engagements.

g.         48th Battalion: The 48th Battalion has been operating in the northwestern part of the 11th Brigade AO. It is composed of three infantry companies. It has usually sought to avoid contact with U.S. forces and engaged the ARVN. However, it is believed to have assisted in the attack on U.S. Out Posts in early February 1971. It has been reported that it is now in a training phase and will soon begin new operations.


  1. Leaflet drops: Leaflet drops were increased, as contacts with the enemy grew more sporadic. Development of the pacification program provided an opportunity for the creation of new themes in both leaflets and psychological broadcasts. Leaflet theses were oriented toward the area of operations; for example, the mountainous areas with small populations were saturated with “Chieu Hoi, Fair Treatment of Prisoners, and Demoralization” leaflets, all in the area. In the heavily populated lowlands, leaflet messages were primarily “Rice Denial, Family Re-union, Pro-GVN”, and those targeted against a specific local force VC element. The Volunteer Informant Program (VIP), a plan whereby persons turning in weapons or ammunition or providing information leading to the capture of military hardware would be paid, was also a major theme of the leaflet drops. 
  2. Broadcasts: “Earlyweed” broadcasts, featuring tapes emphasizing themes similar to those used in leaflet drops were flown by helicopters and fixed wing aircraft throughout the 11th Brigade AO. As with the leaflets, their themes were varied according to the area in which the mission was flown. Whenever possible, a recent rallier was recruited to make a broadcast tape targeted against his old unit. He was usually asked to fly with the fly with the psyops helicopter to pinpoint the location of his unit.
  3. Medcaps:  Normally Med-caps were conducted by the battalion medical personnel and coordinated by the battalion S-5. When a unit was working on the Pacification Program, it often held Med-caps several times weekly, usually employing its organic medical personnel, with the battalion S-5 responsible for support with medical supplies, food, clothing, or any other items to be handed out. Units operating in mountain areas coordinated Med-caps with pacification program by training Vietnamese medical personnel and giving the civilians confidence in their native medical people.
  4. VIP Program: the Brigade S-5 was responsible for using that the battalion S-5’s received a monthly quote of piaster with which to pay Vietnamese civilians who brought in military hardware or gave information leading to the capture of such materials. This program proved to be highly successful, and large amounts of ammunition and booby traps were obtained. However, few weapons or ammunition caches were found on a result of VIP.
  5. Building Assistance: The battalions, with frequent help from the Army’s Engineers, often aided the local population by building structures, created better sanitation conditions and help improving the economy, Drainage and irrigation ditches, schools, military outposts, roads development, and bridges were among the structures built. Most of the construction was initiated and completed during pacification efforts.


Transcript by Charles S. Seketa   Date January 17, 2004

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