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USAF Checo report #115 - Herbicide operations in Southeast Asia (1967)

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USAF Checo report #115

Herbicide operations in Southeast Asia

Charles V. Collins

11 October 1967

US Air Force – PACAF

Airborne herbicide operations in the Republic of Vietnam were considered to be very effective as a tactical weapon. Basically, two types of missions are conducted: defoliation of jungle foliage and destruction of crops in areas controlled by the Viet Cong (VC). Many factors have served to motivate these operations. Some of the more important considerations are the desire to eliminate enemy camps and secure areas (safe havens), to obtain better vertical visibility in heavily canopied jungle for the purposes of reconnaissance and interdiction, to minimize cover along transportation routes to prevent VC ambush, and to destroy trees and vegetation surrounding special forces bases and communication routes to aid in base security measures and to preclude sabotage of communication facilities. Crop destruction operations were undertaken with the hope of denying the Viet Cong valuable foodstuffs by destroying crops and food resources in the immediate area. This would force the enemy to move from place to place to obtain food and would not allow him time to perfect his camp defences or to develop long-range offensive programs. With these ideas in mind, the concept of using herbicides was proposed, tested, and put into operation in Southeast Asia.

EARLY OPERATIONAL HISTORY : Deployment and Testing - Early Defoliation Operations - Early Crop Destruction

EXPANDED HERBICIDE OPERATIONS: Project Sherwood Forest - Increased Fighter Support - Operations in Laos - Operations in the RVN - 1966 - Project Pink Rose

CURRENT CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS -Types of Equipment -Command and Control - Missions and Tactics - Characteristics and Availability of Herbicides

RESULTS AND EFFECTS - The VC Propaganda - Crop Destruction Effectiveness - Result of Defoliation - Effects on VC Morale - Effects on Civilian Populace

101 pages – in english