Overview Chinook 66-70
05/01/66 to 07/31/66
12th Combat Aviation Group
Civic Action: During the reporting period, the 12th Combat Aviation maintained a second place standing in civic action projects among like size units in Vietnam. The Group coordinated and contributed to the rebuilding of a new compound atop NUI BA DEN Mountain for Cambodian families residing there, after a CH47 crash caused major property damage and loss of life.
A CH47 Mobile Training Team has been formed in the 11th Combat Aviation Battalion to train ground personnel in rigging and loading of external loads for the CH47 aircraft. During past operations there have been excessive delays in getting resupply missions airborne due to lack of this knowledge by ground personnel.
Availability rate of CH47 aircraft was low during the latter part of the quarter. This was caused by directed grounding inspections of engine, transmissions and combining transmissions, resulting in numerous EDP parts, not stocked in country. Cracked bulkheads at station 482 and 534 resulted in six aircraft being grounded for a month awaiting local manufacture and installation of parts.
CH47 cargo slings Item: A22 containers, cargo slings and related equipment for CH47 cargo movement are in critical short supply.
Discussion: Shortage of A22 containers, straps, devices, and nylon doughnuts is a problem in transporting heavy equipment by CH47's. Unit proficiency in the rigging and loading of artillery and ammo in these containers is low. During combat operations, considerable time is lost, particularly in artillery displacement. An in country team from this group is conducting orientations for new units. The resulting knowledge is continually diluted by rotation of experienced personnel, thus putting a continuous burden on CH47 qualified instructors.
Observation: Ground units are not proficient in rigging and loading heavy equipment by CH47's. A shortage of A22 containers and cargo slings exist in most units.
Aerial Gunnery Item: Accuracy of Aerial Fires:
Discussion: Cases of "hosing down" targets with airborne weapons have been observed in many armed helicopter units. Inadequate gunnery training and training facilities have been the primary cause of poor gunnery techniques.
Definite targets, good range estimation, bore sighting, zeroing, knowledge of the functioning of weapons, and a knowledge of where the rounds hit so that gunners can correct their errors, are the fundamentals of good gunnery training. Wide use of suppressive fire and the practice of "hosing down the area" have led to acceptance of inaccurate fires. Several cases of firing on friendly positions can be attributed to these poor techniques.
Item: In two recent CH47 accidents, all survival equipment was destroyed in the post crash fire.
Discussion: Survival kits and aircraft first aid packets are located in the cargo compartment. This area was engulfed by the post crash fire. Survivors exited the aircraft without this equipment since they are primarily concerned with their own safety and their fear of fire.
Observation: Kits and packets should be in fireproof wrapping. Follow on aircraft designs might have kits stored in fuselage wells and ejected a safe distance from the aircraft by a unit that senses crash impact forces.
08/01/66 to 10/31/66
12th Combat Aviation Group
The Group headquarters has completed the project atop NUI BA DEN Mountain in which man hours, air transport and materials were donated for the rebuilding of the village. This was a joint project with the 1st US Infantry Division.
Cargo Handling Equipment: The tremendous increase in the use of cargo aircraft to carry bulk cargo has not been matched by development, issue, and use of ground cargo handling equipment which is compatible with either the aircraft capabilities or with the field environment. A few years ago, it was possible to hand load up to one ton of cargo into a U1A Otter with little requirement for mechanical equipment. It is not of vital importance to provide mechanical methods of cargo handling with C130, CV2 and CH47 aircraft. There are not enough cargo aircraft available to permit the aircraft to park while vast
amounts of time and troop labor are consumed in loading and off loading cargo by hand. Cargo conveyor transporters, rough terrain fork lifts, and light weight pallets must be provided to reduce the present waste of assets. Progress had been make in moving cargo suspended from the hook of CH47 helicopters. In the past six months, external loading procedures have improved to such an extent that CH47 helicopters of this command now average 50 tons of cargo per aircraft per day in comparison to less then 20 tons using antiquated internal loading procedures in use eight months ago. Ground units continue to arrive in Vietnam without cargo slings, straps, nets, and clevises. Units which have been in country for over a year still do not have enough of this airmobile loading equipment to sustain efficient airmobile operations. Equipment lists have been furnished to ground units but evidently command action is required to expedite delivery.
Air mobility Training, CH47A: Inefficiency in utilizing the lift capabilities of the CH47A "Chinook" helicopter has at times degraded tactical operations. Our units have learned a great deal about preparation of loads for external carry. Rigging procedures have been refined and new methods developed to reduce
wasteful ground time due to delays in loading. A mobile training team was established in July, 1966 to instruct ground troops in loading and rigging procedures for the CH47A helicopter. This team regularly visits all light artillery units, brigade headquarters, and other units on request to present a four hour course of instruction. In addition, a handbook, "Guide to Chinook Operations", was locally reproduced. Suggested items of airmobile equipment are listed according to type, Federal Stock Number, and recommended quantity per type tactical unit. Lesson plans and color slides have been prepared and forwarded to United States Army Aviation School and United States Artillery and Missile School. The results of instructional effort in this reporting period are truly impressive. Of particular note is the sharp reduction in dropped CH47 loads.
Use of the mobile training team remains a continuous requirement due to arrival in Vietnam of new units and the rotation of individuals.
CH47 availability improved form 39.3% the previous quarter to 70% in August and 72% in September. This marked improvement was due to a significant EDP decline and the implementation of the operational and maintenance management policy of committing 6 aircraft daily per unit. This has reduced EDM time and allowed time for completion of the deferred maintenance backlog.
This type of control provides a consistently higher number of mission ready aircraft to support tactical operations.
Item: CH47 availability.
Discussion: CH47 availability is directly influenced by two major factors. These factors are availability of parts and hours flown. During the early part of the quarter, aircraft were committed without due consideration for maintenance management requirements. This resulted in a sharp drop in availability. A system of scheduling was developed to commit 6 aircraft per unit per day. This allowed maintenance programming with improvement in availability from 39% in the last quarter to 70% in August and 72% in September. This made in possible to commit a large number in case of emergency.
11/01/66 to 01/31/67
A 11th Combat Aviation Battalion
Operation Attleboro II was conducted from 4 November thru 20 November in the Tay Ninh, Dau Tieng, Suoi Da area known as War Zone C. This operation was the largest and most demanding aviation requirement ever placed upon the 11th Combat Aviation Battalion. Attleboro began with a tactical emergency in the Dau Tieng area requiring all available aircraft from the Battalion and from that time on there was never a letup. Elements of the 1st Inf Div, 25th Inf Div, 173rd Abn Bde and 196th Inf Bde relentlessly pursued the VC 273rd Regiment with one airmobile operation after another. Of particular note was the 8th of November which saw US forces moving eight Infantry Battalions by helicopters in lightning moves that sent the Viet Cong reeling. The "Big Red One" alone accounted for 325 VC KIA (body count) on this day. As Attleboro progressed it became obvious that this was to become the most successful effort to date against the elusive Viet Cong. The final tally included 1106 enemy killed, 44 captured and 2384 tons of rice seized. The 11th Combat Aviation Battalion contributed a substantial portion of the aviation effort with their four airmobile companies and one assault support helicopter company. Some of the more significant statistics compiled by the Battalion during this operation are shown below:
Hours flown 7,224
Tons of cargo 4,635
Aircraft hit 19
Air craft recovered by CH47 20
Of these figures the airmobile companies transported 89% of the personnel and the CH47s moved 73% of the cargo, The aircraft recovered included both those that were shot down and those that were forced to land by mechanical malfunctions.
Mobile Training Team (MTT): The Battalion Mobile Training Team from the 178th Aslt Spt Hel Co continued their training program of all supported units. The classes on rigging and loading equipment for movement by CH47 have been presented to all 1st Infantry Division Artillery Battalions, 25th Infantry Division Artillery Battalions, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the 196th Infantry Brigade (Lt) (Sep), and the 3rd Bde, 9th Inf Div. The first day of Operation Cedar Falls, 8 January 1967, served as a testimonial to the effectiveness of the MTT program; the 178th Aslt Spt Hel Co (Boxcars) established an all time record by lifting 377.5 tons of artillery, ammunition, and equipment plus 781 personnel. Another indicator of the effectiveness of the MTT program is the everªincreasing ratio of tons carried per hour flown. This ratio has shown a continuing improvement since the beginning of the program. The ratio for the last calendar quarter was 4.3 tons per hour flown compared to 3.3 tons the previous quarter. Having trained all supported units has reduced the frequency of instruction required. The main effort now is directed at refresher type training and training for units experiencing a high personnel turnover.
a. The self help program continues to be the primary method of constructing cantonment areas.
b. Construction of aviation facilities is a difficult area. Some units receive contractor assistance and others receive practically no assistance. Provisions should be made to program type facilities for each aviation unit. CH47 units should receive a high priority for the construction of indoor facilities. The cost of construction os easily offset by a reduction in parts usage and increased aircraft availability.
The battalion's CH47 rotor blades were xrated by the General Support Company in order to extend service life. This was accomplished with minimum down time on aircraft.
Committed Aircraft vs Required Aircraft for Helicopter Operations
Item: Daily Aircraft Commitments
Discussion: Experience has shown that total aircraft flying hours are increased and crew rest is enhanced by programming the number of aircraft to be committed on a daily basis. Six CH47 "Chinooks" are presently scheduled for mission commitment on a daily basis. Normally from 9 to 11 Chinooks must be flown each day in order to maintain six mission ready aircraft throughout the day.
Observation: The actual number of aircraft flown during any one day is many more than the number committed on a mission basis. The actual number of aircraft flown during the day should be included on the Commanders Operational Report (OPREP 5) to give the commanders a more concise picture of actual aircraft required.
Item: Aviation Facilities
Discussion: Aviation units are expected to achieve similar flying hour programs. However, facilities differ substantially from unit to unit.
Observation: Emphasis should be placed in standardizing aviation facilities and Ch47 units should receive a priority commensurate with their complexity.
Effects of Dust on Aircraft Maintenance
Item: Dusty unit Parking and Maintenance Areas
Discussion: Operation of aircraft in dusty areas causes many maintenance problems. One unit alone has had six aircraft damaged due to pilot disorientation while landing in the unit parking area.Operations in dusty areas away form the home station has caused far fewer aircraft accidents. While performing internal maintenance on engines and transmissions it is imperative that all dirt and contamination be eliminated from the work area. The present dusty maintenance areas make this most difficult and on occasion has required replacement of components. The cost of dust suppressant is far less that the cost of one helicopter. The damage and loss of helicopters because of dust already amounts to several hundred thousand dollars.
Thousands of dollars could be saved and efficiency of operations enhanced if all unit maintenance and parking areas were free of dust. Command emphasis is needed in order for the dust suppressant program to receive the priority it needs.
Prerequisites for Aircraft Maintenance Courses
Item: CH47 Aircraft Maintenance Technical Assistance Program AMTAP
Discussion: The prerequisites for CH47 AMTAP Courses are: (1) CH47 airframe course 1 and 2: Student must have minimum of one year experience on CH47 aircraft. (2) CH47 airframe course 4: Student must be a graduate of a C47 school or have a minimum of 6 months experience on P/W aircraft of which a minimum of two months must have been on the Ch47. (3) All students attending the AMTAP school must have 6 months in RVN after completion of course.
In view of the fact that the tour of duty in RVN is only 12 months it is often difficult if not impossible to fill quotas for AMTAP courses. These courses are of a great benefit to all units. Maintenance personnel with very little CH47 or rotary wing maintenance experience are arriving in RVN as replacements and need additional training before they can be effectively utilized.
The prerequisites for the CH47 AMTAP courses are too stringent.11/01/66 to 01/31/67
12th Combat Aviation Group
Item: Airlifting the 155 mm Howitzer by CH47A Helicopter
Discussion: Prior to the introduction of the CH47A "Chinook" helicopter in the Republic of Vietnam, it was rarely possible to provide artillery support to our infantrymen during airmobile operations. The only supporting tube weapons that could be carried by the helicopters were mortars and recoilless rifles. As CH47's become available in theater, moving light (105mm) artillery became a standard practice. The requirement existed for medium (155mm) artillery to be available to the ground commander to provide added fire power at a range greater than that of the 105mm howitzer. Until December 1966, it was considered that the 155mm howitzer could not accompany the airmobile assaults. A recent breakthrough in helicopter operations has changed this. Units of the 12th Combat Aviation Group have proved it is feasible to airlift the towed 155mm howitzer by CH47A Helicopter.
The CH47A helicopter can lift the 155mm howitzer for short distances if certain items are removed from both the weapon and the aircraft and it the aircraft carries minimum fuel. Reducing the weight of both weapon and the aircraft is necessary to remain within the maximum allowable gross weight of the CH47A which is 33,000 pounds. Removing equipment from the howitzer as shown in the mission profile will enable a radius of action of either 25 km's or 45 km's depending on whether or not a lightweight skid brace support device is substituted for the wheel assembles. Leaving the wheels installed, a radius of 25 km is possible with fuel available at PZ only or the radius of action may be extended to 90 km with fuel available at both PZ and LZ. Sorties required to move a 155mm battery are estimated to be 26. AT the completion of the lift, the entire battery and 1000 rounds of 155mm ammunition will be in position. Sorties are shown below:
Sortie Number, Type Load
Crew, equipment, & 40 rounds
1/4 ton truck, 3/4 ton trailer
14 3/4 ton truck, 1/4 ton trailer 1500 lbs equip.
15 64 rounds 155mm ammunition per load.
Observation: The capability of the CH47A to airlift a 155 mm howitzer gives the ground commander an additional means to influence the battlion
a. Fuel consumption of the CH47A approximated 2100 pounds of fuel per hour at maximum gross weight (33,000 pounds) condition. Maximum forward airspeed at maximum gross weight is 70/80 knots with an external sling load and flying at low altitudes.
b. The stripped CH47A will require UH1C gun ship escort since guns and gunners are removed for the 155mm howitzer lift mission. Other items removed include tool boxes, ammunition, spare parts, extra oil, rations, survival gear, roller conveyors, and cargo tie downs for a savings of approximately 1000 pounds. Installed items not essential to the mission which can be removed are troop seats (102 lbs), heater-blower system (64 lbs) and ARC 102 radio (64 lbs) for a saving in installed weight to 230 pounds.
c. The wheels of the howitzer (1230 lbs) can be replaced by a locally manufactured skid brace assembly constructed of pierced steel plank and angle iron. The skid is attached at the axles and provides stability until the weapon is jacked up into the firing position. The skid assembly has an estimated weight of 200 pounds. One has been fabricated and tested by the 1st Infantry Division Artillery.
d. Rigging equipment consists of two 9 foot slings, two 16 foot slings (all 13,500 lb capacity) and 1 40,000 lb capacity endless sling (doughnut). Ammunition, howitzer components, and section equipment can be carried using standard A22 cargo bags with slings. Lifted units should requisition theses slings and A22 cargo bags as is done for 105mm batteries. Supporting CH47A companies can provide the airlift equipment until the requisitions are filled.
e. The airlift of 155mm howitzer by CH47A presents the following limitations
(1) Radius of action is either 25km, howitzer w/wheels or 45km. howitzer w/o wheels and with skids.
(2) Time for preparation of the howitzer for lift from the PZ and to fire after arrival in the LZ is approximately 15 minutes per tube in each area.
(3) Preparation of the CH47A requires approximately twenty minutes to lighten ship.
(4) a refueling point must be established at PZ or LZ or both, depending on the range required.
a. That 155mm howitzer batteries can be airlifted by CH47A helicopters subject to the stated limitations.
b. That training and detailed planning is required by both artillery and aviation units.
02/01/67 to 04/30/67
11th Combat Aviation Battalion
On 22 February 1967 the 11th Combat Aviation Battalion conducted the largest airmobile combat assault in the history of modern warfare. 73 UH1Ds and 13 CH47s escorted by 23 armed UH1Bs and UH1Cs airlifted and resupplied two Brigades (5 Infantry Battalions, and two Batteries of Artillery) over a 77 Km distance in 9 hours and 5 minutes. Operation Junction City I and II 22 February 1967 to 15 April 1967 and Operation Manhattan 23 April 1967 required sustained extra effort from every member of the 11th Combat Aviation Battalion.
Mobile Training Teams (MTT): The Battalion Mobile Training Team from the 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company prepared a handbook on CH47 (Chinook) Employment and Utilization in Vietnam and distributed copies to each supported unit. A Mobile Training Team (MTT) from the 213th Assault Support Helicopter Company was formed and trained by the 178th and has assumed the Battalion MTT responsibility upon departure of the 178th for Chu Lai. All supported units receive initial and refresher training on request. The tons per hour ratio for the reporting period was 5.1 compared to 4.3 tons per hour of the previous reporting period. The 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company established a new Battalion record to 507.6 tons of cargo moved in one day (22 March 1967). This record and new tons per hour ratio are a direct result of the training conducted by the 11th Combat Aviation Battalion Mobile Training Team for the units supported on Operation Junction City. One CH47 on hand receipt as a float aircraft was assigned as a replacement to the 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company.
Item: Combat Assault utilizing CH47 helicopters.
Discussion: There has been an increasing trend during this reporting period to consider airmobile combat assaults utilizing CH47 helicopters. This type of combat assault should receive very careful consideration before adoption. A CH47 can carry an Infantry Platoon into a landing zone, however, utilizing CH47s on initial assaults into insecure landing zones could prove very expensive in men and material. CH47s have been utilized very effectively to move combat troops into secure landing zones. Should a CH47 receive extensive damage on an initial assault into an insecure landing zone, repair or recovery of the aircraft, plus the deposition of the passengers and crew would present very complex technical problems.
Observation: The CH47 is a very valuable asset. Using CH47s on combat assaults to insecure landing zones presents a higher degree of exposure risk than present CH47 utilization. All factors influencing the decision to use CH47s for combat assaults into insecure landing zones should be very carefully evaluated.
Item: Planning heliports in fire support bases (Artillery positions in the field).
Discussion: It is essential that specific areas be designated as heliports is all fire support bases. Most fire support bass are resupplied by CH47 and must be kept clear of vehicular traffic and radio antennas. In addition, CH47 helicopters produce a great deal of downwash and wind. Dust and loose objects are easily picked up by CH47 winds and become very serious hazards to sustained operations in both the operational and maintenance areas of these aircraft. Approach and departure routes should remain unobstructed. Fire support bases habitually grow in population during field operations. The available space for the heliport diminishes as population increases. Unfortunately, as the population of a fire support base increases so does the demand for CH47 resupply.
Observation: Specific areas within the fire support base must be maintained with dust suppressant, kept clear of vehicular traffic and approach and departure routes must remain unobstructed if continuous resupply is to be accomplished.
Item: Liaison requirements for CH47 resupply missions.
Discussion: To achieve the fully resupply potential of one CH47 helicopter it has been determined that each resupply mission be coordinated prior to the arrival of the CH47. If the loads are broken down, packaged correctly and properly rigged before the CH47 arrives resupply can begin immediately. If however, loads are not broken down, or incorrectly packaged, or improperly rigged, valuable time is unnecessarily wasted. One CH47 can support many different units in one day if all the units are prepared to receive the CH47 and are ready to begin resupply. One unit not prepared for the arrival of a CH47 can penalize all the other supported units. The only effective means to achieve the full resupply potential of a CH47 is to effect liaison with the supported units and precisely plan the resupply mission. If the supported unit needs assistance to properly prepare for CH47 resupply, pathfinders or a mobile training team can be
furnished to provide the necessary assistance.
Observation: The full potential of the CH47 has not been achieved. Until all supported units adequately prepare to efficiently use CH47s, the full potential will not be achieved. It is the policy of the 11th Combat Aviation Battalion to get out and visit the supported units, find out what their problems are, and assist them in every way to help them overcome their problem areas. This is the only effective way we can approach maximum utilization of CH47s.
02/01/67 to 04/30/67
12th Combat Aviation Group
The 12th Combat Aviation Group continued to provide non divisional Army Aviation support to the ground units in the III Corps Tactical Zone. As the number of ground tactical units increased a proportionate number of supporting aviation units arrived inªcountry to continue the effective aviation
support. During this reporting period the largest multi brigade tactical exercise was conducted to date. All aviation assets were diverted to Operation JUNCTION CITY on D-Day 23 February 1967, to assist in the delivery of personnel and supplies to the many landing zones used. A total of 5,173 combat loaded troops were inserted into the different landing zones. To support the ground units CH47 Chinooks sling loaded three complete artillery battalions into forward areas in addition to lifting hundreds of tons of resupply.
Centralized Control of CH47's: During Phase 1, Operation JUNCTION CITY, 22 February through 6 March 1967, all CH©47 (Chinook) support was consolidated under the control of the 222nd Combat Support Aviation Battalion. During this period operational control was exercised over four Assault Support Helicopter Companies. This was a new concept for the employment of CH47's in a large scale tactical operation. The effectiveness of the centralized organization of CH47 (Chinook) operation was considered to be excellent. However, there were disadvantages which can be overcome in future operations. For the After Action Report, CH47
Operations, Operations JUNCTION CITY, Phase I.
Airmobility Training, CH47:
The 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company, 11th Combat Aviation Battalion, prepared a handbook on CH47 (Chinook) Employment and Utilization in Vietnam and distributed copies to the supported units in III Corps. All Supported units of III Corps receive initial and refresher CH47 employment training on request. As a direct result of both the outstanding handbook on CH47 (Employment and Utilization) and the training conducted bythe 12th Group Air Mobile Training Teams CH47 for III Corps units, there has been a significant decrease in sling load incidents and an increase in daily tonnage capability.
Issue of helmets has been good. Requirements are now approximately 70% filled. Problems are being experienced with sizes in that the medium helmet cannot be worn by many individuals who wore medium APH5 helmets. Requirements were adjusted with 1st Log Command and more of the large size are being requested.
Air Traffic Control and Navigation Aids:
Six control tower teams were requested and employed during Operation JUNCTION CITY at Tay Ninh (W), Dau Tieng, Trai Bi, Minh Thanh, Quan Loi, and Soui Da Airfields. The USAF provided five non directional beacons for the operation. This marked the first time that ATC facilities were made available in this quantity for tactical operations.
05/01/67 to 07/31/67
14th Combat Aviation Battalion
Weather had a negligible impact on operations during this quarter. The 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company evacuated 22 UH1D's, 1 UH1B, 2 CH13's, 4 CH23's and 1 01 during this three month period. Training of replacement crew members continued to require an extensive OJT program for gunners and crew chiefs and a closely coordinated standardization program for new aviators. Bothprograms progressed smoothly throughout the quarter.
05/08/67 JP4 refueling area completed and operational in Duc Pho Area. This facility has 7 UH1 refuel points and 1 CH47 refuel point. It was installed by POL personnel of 1st Log Comd at Duc Pho using their equipment. Nine UH1 helicopters or seven UH1's and one CH©47 can refuel simultaneously at this facility.
Approximately 15 buildings (formally occupied by Marine units) were assigned to each the 178th and the 71st Aviation Companies. The remainder of each company is housed in floored tents without frames. A letter request was submitted to secure lumber, screen wire, nails and fixtures to construct frames on the existing tent floors for both companies prior to monsoon season. The request in under study at this time.
Item: External loads. CH47
Discussion: Movement of cargo by external sling on the CH47 greatly reduces the time required to complete a resupply mission. Many supported units do not have or fail to maintain adequate sling equipment.
Observation: Commanders must be made aware of this time saving procedure and insure that necessary equipment is on hand and in good condition. Aviation units can easily teach rigging procedures and inspect equipment on request.
Item: One of the most significant problems encountered during this period was the lack of planning by the user units prior to air movement by the CH47 helicopter.
Discussion: Many times the loads were improperly rigged, the load exceeded the 7000 lb. ACL or the loads were better suited to the UHl aircraft. Additionally, sling equipment required for external loads was in short supply or in such poor condition that it was unusable. PZ and LZ radio frequencies were different from those on the mission sheets and many times radios were unmonitored. During one artillery insertion the engineers were blasting craters while the CH47's were on approach. One CH47 sustained moderate skin damage because of the blast. This is an extremely hazardous condition that should be monitored by the LZ control officer.
Observation: Most of the problems encountered when moving by the CH47 can be resolved by the supported units placing emphasis on planning and preparation prior to movement. Blasting or cratering should be strictly controlled by the LZ/PZ Control Officer and performed only when helicopters are not in danger of being struck by flying debris. The 178th ASHC is prepared to assist the supported unit with technical advice on CH47 operations by means of liaison visits or a mobile training team. A booklet on CH47 Employment and Utilization is also available from the 178th ASHC, and will be furnished on request.
Item: Gunship support for CH47 operations.
Gunship escorts for CH47 helicopters during the early stages of the reporting period presented a definite problem. Battalion gunship resources were usually committed in support of other operations and not readily available for CH47 escort. Most C47 missions are single ship, which compounds the burden of furnishing gunship escort. It has been found through operational experience that a greater number of hits are taken at twilight than during any other period of the day. Gunship escort during this time period is desirable and planning for twilight operations should be based on gunship availability.
More thought should be given in the planning of gunship assets when CH47's are being utilized in extremely hot areas or during twilight operations. The most efficient method for gunship escort is obtained when the gunships orbit either the PZ or LZ and wait for the CH47's to arrive. The gunships, one on each side, make the approach with the CH47 and then continue to orbit while the CH47 loads or unloads. When ready to depart the gunships escort the CH47 to altitude then wait for the arrival of the next CH47.
Troop extractions or insertions during twilight.
Although positioning of troops is tactical in nature, the 178th ASHC becomes involved as the prime means of transport for the maneuver units. As mentioned in paragraph above, enemy activity increases during the twilight hours. If a CH47 aircraft should be forced down at dusk, extra troops would be necessary to secure the area. Inserting a security force at night is quite involved and much more hazardous when compared to a daylight operation. Whether or not these factors are taken into consideration by the tactical units in unknown however, it should be part of the contingency plan.
Insertion or extraction of troops should be accomplished at least one hour prior to darkness and appropriate plans should be made for area security should a CH47 be forced down.
Item: Separation of CH47 and UH1 resupply areas.
Because of the terrific winds generated by the CH47, it is desirable to have a separate area from which the CH47 can perform its resupply mission. The UH1's, when working the same area as the CH47, are subjected to hazards such as turbulence, blown debris and blown sand. Two incidents of blade flexes against UH1 tail booms came as a result of CH©47's using the same resupply area as the UH1's.
Separate areas are of vital necessity for both safe and efficient operation of all helicopters performing resupply missions.
There still exists a shortage of serviceable rigging equipment in many of the supported units.
On several occasions, external loads have been dropped because of faulty sling equipment or improper utilization of rigging equipment. This valuable war material could have been effectively utilized if a periodic inspection and sling replacement program had been in effect. Rigging equipment requires proper care, cleaning and frequent inspections. There are no hard and fast rules governing how many times a sling can be utilized for an external load, therefore it is imperative that the equipment be inspected prior to each lift. When frays or burns appear, the sling should be rendered unserviceable by some distinctive mark or by cutting.
Temporary authority for requisitioning slings and cargo nets is granted by USARV Message AVHGDSP 34750 dated 100832Z November 1966. Sling equipment and replacement slings should be requisitioned well in advance of anticipated air movement. Command emphasis should be placed on the care, cleaning and inspection of the unit's rigging equipment.
Replacement of CH47's with 1000 hours flying time with new or overhauled aircraft.
Experience within the battalion revealed that CH47 aircraft with a total of 1000 flying hours or more, require excessive maintenance man hours. Approximately 85 percent of the flying hours are conducted under maximum load conditions. The flying hours to maintenance man hours ratio becomes excessive and continues to rise unporportionally beyond the 1000 flying hour mark, thus creating a maintenance backlog. In order to reduce the backlog, extended work hours or personnel augmentation is required. Under combat conditions neither is readily available.
A program to replace CH47's that accumulate 1000 combat flying hours with new/overhauled aircraft would significantly contribute to material readiness of CH47 units.
Positioning of aircraft repair parts for Task Force or similar type operations.
This battalion was selected as an element of Task Force Oregon in April 67. Prior to selection and move to the Task Force Oregon Area of Operations, the battalion received transportation air supply support from a Transportation Company (DS) located in the old location. This Transportation Company had supported the battalion for a year or more, consequently supply support was adequate. Upon arriving in the Task Force area of operations, another Transportation Company (DS) provided aviation supply support. During the first four weeks of operation, experience revealed that the Transportation Company's ASL was inadequate to support the battalion units. The support company's ASL did not contain repair parts for the CH47 Aviation Company nor sufficient repair parts to sustain battalion UH1 Units. During the first four weeks battalion units almost depleted their PLL's and ASL's in order to maintain a moderate aircraft availability status. Emergency command action and Air Force resupply was required to establish and replenish the nearly exhausted PLL's and ASL's.
Upon selection of aviation units for Task Force Operations, ASL's for all Aviation Companies within the battalion should be screened by the 34th General Support Group. All repair parts appearing on the battalion unit's ASL should be incorporated into the Task Force Transportation Company's ASL. Depot stock could be pulled and shipped to arrive in the area of operation simultaneously with the Task Force supporting units. This action would preclude critical supply shortages during initial weeks of operation.
Non compatibility of CH47 Rotor Blades
Sever lateral vibration problems encountered in the unit's helicopters have been traced to dissimilar blade wear between installed rotor blades. On several occasions a single rotor blade has been rendered unserviceable as a result of enemy ground fire. Replacement of this blade with a new like item resulted in severe lateral vibrations. The cause has been traced to variances in weight , due to blade wear, between the newly installed blade and the remaining two blades. This problem, in itself, has not been insurmountable but it has raised the question among the unit's maintenance personnel and pilots as to the effect this apparent high degree of wear has or will have on the structural strength and integrity of the rotor blades.
Practical experience has shown this unit that rotor blade time must be within 100 hours for compatibility. This locally established guide has, on occasion, necessitated change of all 3 rotor blades when one is declared unserviceable. The serviceable blades are retained in stock and used when the established time spread permits. It is believed that the unit's geographical location and operational areas have contributed to the accelerated blade wear situation. Heavy sand concentrations characterize a majority of the unit's "working" areas. Shipment has been made of a worn rotor blade to the factory for examination and evaluation. This should answer the unit's questions regarding structural strength and integrity.
08/01/67 to 10/31/67
14th Combat Aviation Battalion
Weather has had an impact on operations during this quarter particularly during the latter half of September and early October. Although relatively few missions have been cancelled, there have been frequent mission delays especially in the early morning hours. The most serious impact has been that low ceiling have forced all aircraft to fly at low altitudes thus increasing exposure time to enemy ground fire.
On 13 August 1967, the Battalion committed 52 UH1D's 13 UH1C (gunships), and 10 CH47's to start Operation Benton. This massive operation involved moving 2 Infantry Battalions, two artillery batteries and support elements for a total of more that 1,500 combat troops. The combat assault was conducted in a morning and afternoon phase, however there was no break in pace as indicated by a new Battalion high of 637 hours flown in one day. Nine aircraft of the Battalion were hit by enemy ground fire, however there were no crew member casualties. The 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company evacuated 34 UH1D's, 2 UH1B's, 2 UH1C's, 9 OH23's, 1 OH13 and 1 01 during this three month period.
The Battalion prepared a program of instruction to be presented to the 198th Light Infantry Brigade and its subordinate units as a part of that Brigade's in country orientation and training in the planning for and utilization of available aviation support. Instruction was presented on the 21st, 24th, 25th, and 27th of October. Training subjects included battalion level lift planning, small unit lift planning, resupply operations with the UH1D, gunship employment and CH47 utilization and planning. A mobile training team from the 178th Aviation Company visited numerous ground units of the Americal Division to assist using units in planning for and utilizing the CH47. Particular emphasis was placed on rigging techniques for external loads.
Training for replacement crew members continued to require an extensive OJT program for gunners and crew chief and a closely coordinated standardization program for new aviators.
On 15 September 1967 cargo sling equipment was obtained form the 221st depot and reissued to units of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade and 101st Airborne in support logistical projects.
The aircraft revetment program for all units except the 176th Aviation Company was completed on 1 September 1967. Americal Division, exempted the 176th from this requirement, due to instability of unit.
During a period of exceptionally rainy weather in October the lack of hangar space hindered maintenance efforts. No hangar facilities exist for CH47 aircraft and it is anticipated that the problem will intensify in the upcoming monsoon season.
Despite many combat damaged aircraft during this period, maintenance reaction has been excellent. Aircraft repair parts continued to flow well but transportation difficulties from Saigon sometimes delayed shipment of EDP parts for several days.
During this period units of the Battalion have continued to haul many tons of rice and salt from field location to storage areas from which it is later distributed to refugees throughout the Americal AO.
Hundreds of refugees have been moved from major contact areas to refugee centers.
Shortage of CH47 aviators.
The 178th has been operating with as few as 55% of assigned aviators and at present has only about 71% assigned.
As of September 1967 there are 14 CH47 companies assigned to USARV. To maintain a 90% strength level would require a minimum of 476 replacements each year not including staff officer requirements at the various levels of command. Present pilot output from transition courses is not adequate and does not consider the authorized grade structure of the TO&E.
Misutilization of CH47 helicopters.
Units continue to request and receive CH47 aircraft to support lift requirements that could be accomplished by fixed wing aircraft or be moved all or part of the way be road convoy. In addition too much cargo is still being carried internally when in cases it would be feasible to rig for external lift.
Better utilization of the CH47 could be achieved by emphasis on advance planning. Too often it appears that units request CH47 support because it is more convenient and requires less effort than obtaining other modes of transport. Sling equipment is generally available and aviation personnel are ready and willing to assist ground unit in learning external rigging techniques.
That all units carefully consider the various modes available to accomplish a transportation requirement and select the mode that is best suited to that requirement. The 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company has organized a mobile training team for the specific purpose of assisting ground units in load planning and rigging techniques. All units should make regular use of this team to insure the best utilization of CH47 aircraft.
Coordination between rigging and evacuation crews when recovering downed aircraft.
On several occasions a maintenance crew has responded to a call to evaluate and rig a downed aircraft for aerial recovery by CH47 and then have had to wait in excess of an hour for the CH47. In all cases radio contact was maintained with an airborne coordinator to keep him informed of the progress of the rigging crew.
The exposure of a rigging crew and aircraft for excessive time in a known hostile environment is a needless risk. Positive coordination should be made between the rigging crew and the crew of the evacuation aircraft or through a third party to insure that the evacuation aircraft can closely follow the rigging team into the recovery site.
Inspection of rigging on disabled aircraft prior to evacuation by CH47.
During this reporting period two UH1's were dropped because of improper rigging or unserviceable sling equipment.
When the situation permits the pilot should personally inspect the disabled aircraft. The controls must be locked, rotor blades tied down, rigging equipment serviceable and properly fastened, and two doughnuts used.
Debris in the pickup zone.
Discarded packing and crating material strewn about the PZ creates a hazard to both the people working in the area and to the helicopter. Winds generated by a CH47 reach gale force and objects carelessly placed become deadly missiles. Tar paper, steel bands, etc have been ingested into aircraft engines necessitating a costly engine change. Flying debris has also caused damage to rotor blades.
Police of pick©up zones requires continuous command emphasis to preclude injury to personnel and unnecessary aircraft maintenance.
Item: Hazards to flight.
Discussion: Aircraft flying through some tactical AO's are required to contact each firing battery on an individual basis to ascertain hazards. At times this necessitates changing frequencies as many as five times in a relatively short period of time. Excessive time spent tuning radios adds to the hazards by detracting from the pilots capability to watch for other aircraft.
An artillery advisory service with centralized control within well defined geographical areas would be of great benefit. The system presently in use in the III Corps is a good example.
Unserviceable rigging equipment and improperly rigged loads.
This item continues to be a problem area within many of the units supported by the 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company. During the reporting period five (5) external loads were lost as a result of faulty rigging equipment and one (1) because it was improperly rigged.
User units are not properly maintaining the rigging equipment designed for externally carried loads. This equipment requires proper care, cleaning and, above all, frequent inspections. Oil soaked, frayed or friction burned slings should not be used when air transporting supplies. The art of rigging, although not complicated is best accomplished when a few basic principles are adhered to. Technical assistance can be obtained by requesting liaison visits or by means of a mobile training team which is available.
That all units establish inspection and storage criteria for rigging equipment to insure availability and serviceability. Technical assistance may be obtained from aviation personnel of the 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company.
11/01/68 TO 01/31/69
14th Combat Aviation Battalion
The weather had no major effect on operations during this quarter. There were some missions delayed in the early morning hours because of low visibility.The 174th and 178th Aviation Companies set up a training program for the newly arrived 11th Light Infantry Brigade. This training included aviation planning and utilization, UH1 combat assaults, and CH47 sling loading. With the arrival of the CH47B, the 178th Aviation Company has initiated a program of training to qualify aviators and maintenance personnel on this model aircraft. This program is progressing on schedule. No significant problems encountered during the quarter except fire fighting an crash rescue equipment for units of the Battalion. 174th, 176th and 178th Aviation Companies still have requirements for fire trucks. Requirements for this equipment have been placed on the supporting agency.29 Nov 1 Dec 67: 1st Aviation Brigade, CMMI inspection team consisting of 1 Officer a 7 Enlisted men conducted the annual CMMI inspection. The 174th, 178th and 71st Aviation Companies were inspected all units were found to be satisfactory.
The 178th Aviation Company converted 17 tent frames into strong backs through a strongback program. Approval was also obtained to construct 19 more strong backs. A crew of Seabees from MCB6 assisted the unit in the construction of these buildings. Two 16x32 strongbacks were combined into a 16x64 building.
Eight CH47A's came due for #12 PE during the quarter. Two of the 12th PE's were accomplished locally by the 540th and 400th Trans Det. Three of the CH47's requiring 12th PE were turned into field maintenance and replaced with float aircraft. Two CH47's are awaiting 12th PE and one is presently undergoing 12th PE by 400th Tans. Det. One CH47B was received, but problems caused by extensive downtime and lack of "floats" during #12 PE's cannot be, minimized. Expected input of CH47B aircraft will solve much of the problem that existed during this quarter.
The constant change of supported units recreates the problem of CH47 (Chinook) misutilization.
Discussion: Froward supply points are not placed in the proper location on the major network, resulting in excess turn around time for delivery of cargo by Chinook. The problem can be almost entirely eliminated by utilizing present installations during the day light hours and returning the convoy to secure areas prior to darkness. Cargo rigged for sling loads may be left on the vehicles or off loaded by Chinook to release vehicles for other tasks.
Observation: The end result obtained by utilizing FSP's is faster response to the needs of the supported unit and less flying time per mission. This is especially necessary during the monsoon season during short periods of flyable weather.
Item: This unit now has one CH47B Chinook Aircraft.
Discussion: Field data is presently being accumulated by this unit to determine type loads. Three 155mm Howitzers have been carried to or from areas varying in elevation from 40 feet to 1,500 feet above sea level. The howitzer weight at pickup is 12,500 pounds. This weight requires from 800 - 860 foot pounds of torque for take off.
Observation: Increased density altitude will require early morning movement of loads in this weight category. These size loads have to be the exception rather than the rule. Each move has resulted in a high frequency vibration due to broken lordmounts on the rotor system drive train.
02/01/68 to 04/30/68
14th Combat Aviation Battalion
The weather had no major effects on operations during this quarter, although some missions were delayed in the early morning hours due to low visibility and intermittent rain showers.
This reporting period saw the conversion of the 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company from CH47A to CH47B models. Supported units were briefed on the increased capabilities of the B model; however, training must continue in this area, especially with the Artillery units.
Aviation companies of this battalion have encountered problems in obtaining sufficient amounts of ballistic helmets, flight suits, 100 GPM pumps and armor for crew personnel. Fire fighting equipment and crash rescue equipment was also unavailable during this last quarter.
Number Twelve Periodic Inspections continued to be a severe problem entering this quarter. Only 3 CH47B's were received in February and CH47B peculiar parts and special tools were not available. Immediate close liaison was established with 1st Aviation Brigade and 34th General Support Group and resulted in immediate transfer of all 12th PE's to GS companies. One 12th PE was retained and due to non availability of 13 EDP items, has not been completed. The 12 CH47B's to complete the assignment for the 178th were received in March. To achieve this assignment, it was necessary to send assembly crews from the 178th ASHC and its supporting 400th TC Detachment to the 56th TC Company at Tan Son Nhut, to the 388th TC Company at Vung Tau, to the 14th TC Battalion at Nha Trang and to the 610th TC Company at Red Beach, Da Nang. During this same period, 6 each 6th PE's were completed and all CH47A's were transferred to other units, with the exception of one (1) CH47A.
Plans are being made for the addition of another CH47 company to arrive during May 1968. (132d Assault Support Helicopter Company, 16 CH47B with the L7C engine).
The Battalion's present location is in a sandy environment, the fine dust particles require added precautions and man hours to keep sand and dust from penetration helicopter bearings, fitting and close tolerance parts.
Tents (Maintenance, Frame) have been set up to act as maintenance and shop buildings; however, permanent type dust free work areas are needed for the best utilization of men and equipment. Dust inhibitors such as Peneprime are beneficial, however, the results are temporary. The 14th CAB has submitted work orders for permanent type maintenance buildings, with construction programmed to begin in July 1968.
Sand and dust proof shelters and a more permanent type of dust retardant are considered necessary.
The practice of having CH47 Chinooks and UH1 type aircraft operation in the same resupply pad is creating an undue hazard, and a loss of time on both aircraft. Normally, resupply pads are single ship pads, and it is impractical and dangerous for a Chinook to operate around UH1 aircraft in this type of area. Since UH1 aircraft have to land on the pad to pick up their loads internally, the CH47 must wait until the UH1 has cleared the area before it can pick up the load. In cases where the UH1 load is varied and must be loaded one piece at a time (i.e., ammunition, C rations) this delay can be and has been as long as 15 minutes. A letter has been forwarded to supported units outlining the above disadvantages and suggesting the following.
Whenever possible, separate resupply pads should be utilized for CH47's and UH1. Due to the CH47 carrying mostly sling loads, it spends approximately 2 minutes in a PZ picking up the load. This would represent a total time of 13 minutes saved and would eliminate the danger present when the CH47, with is destructive rotor wash, worked around smaller aircraft.
Dusty pick up zones and landing zones are becoming increasingly hazardous.
Due to the dry weather, dust is becoming an ever increasing problem with the CH47B Chinook. Units in FSB's and landing zones tend to utilize dirt areas for resupply. In many cases, dust created by the high winds from the CH47B Chinook causes the pilot to lose all references outside the aircraft. Often the dust has become so bad that the pilot has had to leave the pick up zone and wait for the dust to settle, then try to pick up the load again. This results in a loss time, and creates a very hazardous condition for the aircraft and the crew, and endangers the lives of ground personnel working in the immediate vicinity. A letter has been forwarded to supported units outlining the above disadvantages and suggesting the following.
When practical, using units should try to use areas that have been Peneprimed or areas that have grass on them. If either of the above mentioned areas are not available, burnt motor oil can and should be used as a satisfactory substitute.
Poorly policed PZ's and LZ's endanger lives, equipment, and waste valuable time.
Loose debris continues to present extremely hazardous situations in and around PZ's and LZ's of supported units. Furthermore, the perpetuation of potential foreign object damage (FOD) in these resupply areas implies a basic lack of understanding among supported units with reference to hazards inherent in CH47 operations. Resupply areas are continually littered with pieces of lumber, unsecured sandbags, mermite cans, wooden boxes, shell casing and fibers and other miscellaneous equipment. A CH47B hovering with a normal load is capable of generating hurricane force winds of up to 100/120 knots. These winds can and do propel large objects into the hovering aircraft, other material, and, most importantly, towards personnel within a radius of 50 feet to 300 feet from the aircraft depending upon prevailing wind conditions. The FOD to one blade and one engine of one aircraft amounts to approximately $85,000. Potential personnel injuries and fatalities caused by flying debris render the continual poor state of police in resupply areas inexcusable. A letter has been forwarded to supported units outlining the above disadvantages and suggesting the following.
Units must realize the severe consequences involved in loose debris allowed to remain near operation CH47 aircraft. The state of police in all resupply areas must be constantly monitored and improved. It must be mentioned here that the air inlet screens in use by this organization have proved to be insufficient on two occasions to prohibit the ingestion of small rocks and bolts, necessitating engine changes in both cases.
Protective clothing for ground personnel is mandatory safety precaution.
It is a matter of great concern to this organization that hookup air ground coordination personnel of supported units fail to wear proper protection clothing while working near operation CH47B aircraft. The hazard to these personnel involving blowing sand, rocks and heavier debris are great. Concussion, loss of eyesight and severe lacerations are common probabilities especially for hook up personnel in most resupply areas. A letter has been forwarded to supported units outlining the above disadvantages and suggesting the following.
Hook©up personnel and other personnel in the immediate area must wear, as a minimum, fatigue trousers, shirts with sleeves rolled down, combat boots, gloves, steel helmets and protective masks. Protective masks are recommended in lieu of goggles due to the added advantages of full face protection and the prevention of dust induction. At 0400 hours, 30 Jan 68, the Chu Lai Airfield complex was attacked by a hostile force utilizing 82mm mortars and 120mm rockets. The only 14th CAB unit subjected to incoming fire was HHD, 14th CAB which received 8-10 rounds of 82mm mortar and 4 rounds of 120mm rocket. All defensive bunkers were manned prior to the attack with each bunker on a 50% alert status. Consecutive to the first incoming round, all positions were put on 100% alert status and all other personnel occupied their assigned security bunker. Personnel remained on 100% alert till released shortly after dawn. The attack on the entire Chu Lai complex lasted 20-35 minutes and started a fire in the ammunition dump located one quarter mile from 14th CAB. the resultant blast, from exploding 500 pound bombs, damaged every building in the Battalion Headquarters area. Bomb fragments fell on the area causing considerable damage to the tentsand tin roofs. No injuries were sustained during the attack.
A UH1D flareship and two UH1C gunships were dispatched to seek out the firing sight. The area was pinpointed and the gunships expended with unknown results. No attempt by the enemy was made to penetrate the perimeter.The defense of the battalion area and the airborne reaction team were directed by LTC Carroll C. Issacs, Commanding Officer, 14th CAB. At 0315 hours, 7 Feb 68, the Chu Lai airfield was attached by enemy forces utilizing 120mm rockets, Thirteen rockets landed in the vicinity of the 71st AHC and 178th ASHC ramps. The Chu Lai East runway, a Marine responsibility, was cratered and the only damage sustained by 14th CAB units was light skin damage to one CH47. All units came up to 100% alert and remained so until approximately 0430. The attack which only lasted 2-5 minutes caused no friendly casualties. No gunships were used in reaction and no attempt to penetrate the perimeter was made by the enemy. The defense of the respective company areas was the responsibility of Major Robert D. Fitzgerald, Commanding Officer, 71st AHC and Major Ernest M. Wood Jr., Commanding Officer, 178th ASHC.
02/01/68 to 04/30/68
16th Combat Aviation Group
During periods of increased tension, alert conditions often vary numerous times during the night.
It is a common occurrence for the alert condition to change numerous times during the night. This creates unnecessary movement of troops to and from the bunkers. Consequently, this creates increased fatigue of individual soldiers, increased confusion and an increased vulnerability to hostile attack. Bunkers at fixed locations should be constructed so that off duty personnel will have space in which to rest.
When troops are sent to bunkers where conditions permit sleeping, they should remain there for the remainder of the night.
05/01/68 to 07/31/68
14th Combat Aviation Battalion
The weather had little or no effect on aircraft operations during this reporting period. The average daily weather for this period found cumulus cloud build up in the morning hours with thunderstorms in the late afternoons. The thunderstorms were localized and at times curtailed operations for one (1) or two (2) hours into a specific landing zone or fire base.During this reporting period the 132nd Assault Support Helicopter Company was assigned to the 14th Combat Aviation Battalion becoming fully operational 15 June 1968. Of particular note during this reporting period was the evacuation, under fire, of the Special Forces Camp located at Kham Duc. The Kham Duc evacuation was a preplanned operation; in addition to Kham Duc, contingency plans for a number of SF camps have been prepared and are ready for implementation on call.
Due to the combat environment in which the 14th Combat Aviation Battalion operates, a formalized training schedule is difficult to administer. The 14th Combat Aviation Battalion policy is that each day is regarded as a training day with OJT principles fully applied. The Americal Division has developed a highly satisfactory basic orientation course for newly arrived personnel. The battalion has initiated a program which permits the enlisted personnel to receive a week of intensified Infantry type training. Results to this date have been highly satisfactory. A rifle range has been developed and constructed within the battalion area (BT 570 040) to permit all personnel to fire assigned weapons for battle field zero.
The 14th Combat Aviation Battalion received "NOMEX" flight suits and APH5 helmets during July 1968. Fire fighting equipment, "NOMEX" flight gloves, air crew armor and ballistic helmets are still not available in sufficient quantities.
The arrival of the 132nd ASHC involved much coordination with supporting units. Repair parts supply is now more critical with less parts available for the CH47's. Special tools required for the 3rd P.E. were requisitioned and only the 178th ASHC received all of their special tools. The 132nd ASHC is still awaiting receipt of two (2) special tools to complete the main rotor hub inspection.Combined efforts and coordination accomplished with the 335th Transportation
Company (ADS) resulted in a more rapid movement of EDT parts for UH1 and CH47 aircraft from Quin Nhon Depot to the 335th TC. CH©47B parts are critical and continue in short supply.
Resupply Pad Locations
Ground commanders usually establish resupply pads inclose proximity to the landing zone center of mass.
The ground commanders place resupply pads as close as possible to the using unit to reduce the ground handling of the delivered equipment. Consequently their pickups and drop offs are in close proximity to radio antennas, personnel living quarters other loose equipment and trash from "C" ration cases. Due to the high winds created by a helicopter, especially the CH47B, this trash and loose equipment is often ingested into the rotor blades or engines.
That ground commanders be required to establish their resupply pads as far from center of mass as tactically possible and that all resupply pads be kept in a high state of police.
Water Resupply Utilizing Water Trailers
Observation: Water resupply to units in the field is generally carried in a 400 gallon water trailer.
Evaluation: Due to the weight, only the water trailer can be carried in one CH47 load. If the water was put in "blivets" (250 or 500 gallon size), 1000 gallons of water could be carried in one load and spillage would be negligible.
That water resupply be conducted using water "blivets" rather than water trailers.
Sling equipment used by units in becoming worn and unserviceable.
Over a period of time, the sling equipment utilized in resupply missions becomes worn excessively and creates a potential hazard to the aircraft involved and to personnel on the ground. Undesirable sling equipment is a primary cause for dropped loads, resulting not only in loss of supplies and equipment, but in possible damage to the aircraft and damage to ground installations and personnel.Recommendation: If possible, each supported unit should be provided with sufficient data to set up a criteria for inspection, down grading and replacement of sling equipment. Personnel from each unit should initiate a program for periodic examination and a spot check should be performed by rigging crews each time the sling equipment is used.
Use of Jungle Boots for Aviators in RVN.
Newly arrived units are unaware of the fact that the 1st Aviation Brigade does not authorize the use of jungle boots for flight crews while participating in aerial flight.
The 132nd ASHC, while being activated and deployed from Fort Benning was directed by a CONARC Logistics LOI that aviation units would be issued jungle boots prior to deployment and that leather boots would not accompany personnel to Vietnam.
That the 1st Aviation Brigade advise the appropriate agency to insure that deployable units in CONUS are advised of the requirements for leather boots in Vietnam for aviation units.
05/01/68 to 07/31/68
16th Combat Aviation Group
The greatest problem with the ballistic helmet seems to be in the sizing which does not correspond with that of the APH5. Few can wear the medium sized ballistic helmet and find it comfortable. This problem has resulted in a near depletion of the stock of large ballistic helmets and abundance of medium and small sizes.
The role of the ballistic helmet in the prevention of head injury seems to have been fairly well established since its introduction into Vietnam. It has been found, however, that many crew members do not wear this helmet, preferring the older APH5. The most common reason given for not wearing the ballistic helmet is discomfort. It has been learned that the helmet can be modified for better fit and better wearability with no decrease in protection. By cutting out a semicircle in the polystyrene liner so the earphone can recess more completely, and removing a coil or two of the earphone springs, a more comfortable fit is possible. It also helps to tie the earphones fully cut and to use the older sizing pads. A block of wood may be placed between the ear guards when the helmet is stored to effect a slight increase in lateral size.
08/01/68 to 10/31/68
14th Combat Aviation Battalion
The weather had a great effect on aircraft operations during the month of October. Due to the NE monsoon, which had penetrated into RVN in late September, weather conditions were characterized by heavy precipitation (an average of 6-18" per month) and ground fog, resulting in poor visibility and low ceilings. The poor weather and increased enemy activity in the area of operations accounted for this increase in aircraft hits.it is always difficult for units operating in a combat environment to adhere to rigid training schedules. Therefore, the majority of the 14th CAB is OJT or skill type training. It is also recognized, however, that a certain amount of classroom or non skill type training is necessary to make each unit completely combat effective. During this reporting period revisions were made to the 14th CAB training program in order to re©emphasize this classroom training and specifically to provide for periodic review of the annual training requirements.
Training schedules are submitted on a monthly basis, affording the units flexibility necessary to conduct this type of training. As reported in previous ORLL's the battalion has a program by which newly arriving enlisted personnel receive an in county orientation and training course from the Americal Division.
This course has recently been shortened from one week to two days for combat support troops. As all our personnel are classified as combat support troops our man hour loss from this training has been significantly reduced. However, there has been no reduction in the effectiveness of the course since all yearly training requirements are covered. This program has proved to be quite beneficial to the 14th CAB training program.
Aircrew proficiency training is conducted as OJT during all operations. Most flight training subjects are integrated into the everyday mission. Emphasis has been placed on instrument subjects with the beginning of the monsoon season. The 14th CAB's continued practice of assigning the most experienced aircraft commanders with the newly arrived aviators has been quite effective. During this reporting period, a program has been instituted whereby each company is assigned one aircraft per day as a training aircraft, when required. This enables each company to keep its flight training current.
Issue of NOMEX flight suits has been completed to the three assault helicopter companies assigned to the 14th CAB. NOMEX flight suits are still not available for crewmembers assigned to the two assault support helicopter companies.
NOMEX flight gloves have not been issued to this battalion. A critical shortage of leather flying gloves exists in all units at the present time. All efforts to obtain flying gloves have been unsuccessful. Critical shortages still exist in firefighting equipment and ballistic helmets.
Repair parts of CH47's remained critical during this period. The rebuild facility of the FAMF ship provided outstanding support and spare parts to complete the majority of 3rd PE's on the assigned CH47B helicopters by accomplishing the vertical hinge pin and bearing rotation inspection on the fore and aft heads.
Cracked formers in three CH47 helicopters of the 178th ASHC and one in the 132nd ASHC were finally repaired by a factory modification. Sheet metal assistance for the repair and installation of the formers was provided by LSI contract personnel on duty with the 335th Transportation Company (ADS).
Mal assignment of experienced aviators
This unit continues to lose experienced CH47 aviators to assignments not in accord with their capabilities.
Evaluation: This unit continues to lose experienced CH47 aviators to duties not involving the CH47. Replacements are arriving at a slow rate and are, for the most part, right out of flight training. This required an extensive training program before they become operationally qualified.
That experienced CH47 aviators not be reassigned to duties not connected with CH47 operations.
Dropped Loads and Sling Load Techniques
The battalion has experienced an excessive number of dropped loads due to faulty rigging equipment and improperly rigged loads.
The use of damaged or old rigging equipment and faulty rigging techniques is becoming a major problem to this battalion. Loads dropped during the quarter numbered 14. Ten were caused by rigging equipment failure. One was dropped due to improper rigging, two were dropped intentionally by aircraft receiving hits from heavy enemy fire, and one was dropped intentionally when an aircraft inadvertently entered IFR conditions at slow airspeed. The primary problem appears to be the lack of adherence to sling time use restrictions and/or lack of replacement equipment when straps and nets become old and unserviceable. In some instances, the lack of training in proper rigging procedures and hook up procedures was readily apparent and were corrected prior to hook up. Time does not permit the aircraft crew to land and inspect all loads prior to picking them up, however. This battalion has formed a mobile training team for the purpose of instructing the proper rigging and hook up techniques. The team also instructs on the maintenance, service life and replacement of rigging equipment. At the present time, the mobile training team is in the process of instructing all the supported units within the Americal Division. In addition, the Americal Division Combat Center is presenting a class on rigging techniques to all replacements coming into the division.
That all supported units be required to adhere to the service life of all rigging equipment and that requisitions for rigging equipment be filled on a priority basis.
Frequency Coordination Problems
Units in the field are continually using alternate radio frequencies without notifying the aviation units.
Evaluation: There have been many instances where the pilots would attempt to contact a unit on their assigned frequency with no results. In most cases, the supported unit had changed to an alternate frequency which was not listed in the pilot's SOI. As a result, many flying hours are wasted when the pilot has to call the next higher headquarters to obtain correct frequencies.
Recommendation: All units should notify the Division Aviation Officer immediately upon implementation of alternate call signs or frequencies. The DAO should, in turn, notify this battalion of the change to facilitate resupply operations.
Helicopter Mechanic Training Deficiency
That newly assigned CH©47 aircraft mechanics are not properly trained before assignment to Vietnam.
Personnel with MOS's of 67U20 (Helicopter Mechanic) and 67A10 (Helicopter Mechanic's Helper) coming directly from Maintenance School (CONUS) were found to be, on the whole, lacking in the desired skill level required of a technician performing maintenance on a complex aircraft such as the CH47B helicopter. It has been found that the average new mechanic has received a "broad brush" introduction to maintenance which has done little more than familiarize him with his tool box. In order to overcome this deficiency, this battalion has established a program designed to provide the replacement with on the job training and maximum supervision by qualified NCO's. With this program, it takes approximately 3 months in country to qualify an individual to perform the duties of the MOS awarded him in CONUS.
05/01/69 to 07/30/69
16th Combat Aviation Group
The weather had no major affect on operations during this quarter. Hangers for the 132nd ASHC and 178th ASHC were completed 6 Jun 69.
Rigging equipment for sling loads.
Lack of rigging equipment available to MACV elements.
Extensive CH47 flying time has been wasted by MACV elements due to lack of sufficient and serviceable sling equipment. Often there has been only enough sling equipment to rig one or two loads forcing the CH47's to wait while loads are rigged and then again waiting for the load to be disassembled to back haul the sling equipment for the next sortie.
Recommendation: Necessary steps be taken to assist MACV elements in obtaining adequate and serviceable sling equipment.
Containers used for transporting water sorties.
500 gallon collapsible containers provide numerous advantages over the M149 water trailer for transporting of water by CH47 aircraft.
Transportation of water using the collapsible container in place of water trailers will significantly increase CH47 productivity of this particular mission. Load per sortie is increased more than 100%. The CH47 can transport two "blivets" or 1,000 gallons per sortie but only one water trailer at 400 gallons per sortie. Additional advantages of the blivets over the water trailers are simplified sling load rigging, greater load stability when airborne, greater operational safety for hookup personnel and greater operational safety for the aircraft.
Sufficient 500 gallon collapsible containers should be obtained to replace the M149 water trailers as the primary container for transporting water by CH47 aircraft. USARN Comments: The 500 gallon collapsible drums were specifically designed for the transport of petroleum fuels, These drums are constructed of a special fuel resistant synthetic rubber and cost $541.00 each. A definite safety hazard exists when using these items to transport potable water because the possibility exists that the drum may have been used for POL service and could very well contain deposits of toxic tetra ethyl lead. It is recommended that the development of a suitable container for helicopter transport of water be considered by DA. The cost of such an item should prove to be significantly less than the cost of the 500 gallon POL drums now being used.
Placement of mines along LZ perimeter
The situations which generate the recommendation involve CH47 helicopters attempting to land at areas secured by other than US friendly forces. The mines detonated were generally grenades installed with trip wires which were actuated by the rotor wash of the CH47 aircraft. The danger of employing trip wired grenades and mines in the vicinity of helicopter landing areas should be pointed out to all allied forces. This item will be forwarded to MACV for information and action as appropriate.
08/01/69 to 10/31/69
16th Combat Aviation Group
On 1 Oct 69, the 178th and 132nd Assault Support Helicopter Companies were attached to the 14th Combat Aviation Battalion (14th CAB) by Americal Division G.O. 10083, dated 29 Sep 69.
The weather had no significant effect on operations during the first half of the quarter. During the second half, operations were handicapped by the beginning of the monsoon season and low cloud cover.
The assignment of the 132nd and 178th Assault Support Helicopter Companies to the 14th CAB on 1 October 1969, increased the responsiveness of these aircraft to follow up combat assaultrequirements. They are frequently used to rapidly build up troop concentrations in LZs after the LZ has been secured and the enemy situation permits the use of CH47 helicopters.The 132nd and 178th Assault Support Helicopter Companies assigned to the 14th CAB will remain in general support of the Division.A briefing team was formed to provide instruction on external load activities and CH47 operations to all units within the Americal Division. It is too early to evaluate the results, however, there should be a notable improvement in the quality and efficiency of sling load operations.Coordinating of the Chu Lai Air Space is a continuing problem. The mix of aircraft; jet, single and multi engine fixed wing, helicopters, and the volume of each has caused many "near miss" situations. The coming monsoons and the decrease in vertical separation will add to the hazards. Also, Chu Lai Air Base uses instrument procedures which are suited primarily for jet aircraftand noncompatible with helicopter procedures. No Nav-Aids are available that are compatible with Army Equipment, although GCA in available. Close and continuous coordination is being maintained with Chu Lai Air Base to resolve these problems.
11/01/69 to 01/31/70
16th Combat Aviation Group
Throughout the reporting period the northeast monsoon and low cloud cover handicapped operations. The 132nd and 178th Assault Support Helicopter Companies remain in general support of the Division.
The 14th Avn Bn (Cbt) stand ready to support the Division on any of several contingency plans with up to 12 UH1H lift ships, six UH1C gunships and four CH47 helicopters. The required reaction time varies from one to twelve hours depending upon the type reaction force required.
A problem has arisen in obtaining a replacement long boon wrecker in the 132nd ASHC for use in aircraft maintenance.USARV Comments: N246 long boom wrecker, is not on requisition. The 16th Aviation Group advised USARV C4 on 17 March 1970 that the 178th Assault Helicopter Company (ASHC) laterally transferred a wrecker to the 132d ASHC on 4 March 1970.
Conex doors open in flight.
Evaluation: While being externally carried by CH47 aircraft, several conex container doors came open in flight resulting in the loss of equipment and supplies.
Recommendation: These units that use conex containers make certain that the doors are secured by a welded hasp or welded chains that can be locked.
Item: Aircraft Corrosion Problem
Units are having a large corrosion problem. Some aircraft sent to DS maintenance are required to be kept several days longer than anticipated due to the necessity of changing corroded parts.
Salt spray corrosion is causing aircraft to remain in maintenance longer thereby denying their use to the units. Some units have set up Corrosion Prevention Teams. The teams check every aircraft while in maintenance and take corrective measures on those found to have corrosion.
That every aircraft be washed with fresh water as often as possible. All known corroded parts should either be replaced or inspected more frequently. All parts that do show signs of corrosion should be lubricated or painted with zinc chromate.
02/01/70 to 04/30/70
16th Combat Aviation Group
During the first half of the reporting period, operations were somewhat hampered by the monsoon season and the resulting low cloud cover. The weather had no significant effect on operation during the last half of the reporting period.
02/12/70: The 71st AHC conducted its largest combat assault of the reporting period. The series of assaults were for the 196th Infantry Brigade and the 5th ARVN Regiment. The combat assaults were executed over a five day period with ten lift ships and gunship support. During the five days of assault operations, 1500 troops were inserted into a five grid square location around coordinate BS 9996.The 71st AHC conducted the complete operation with assistance from the CH47 aircraft organic to the 14th Aviation Battalion. This operation was carried out without incident and combined ARVN American operation was a complete
03/09/70: On 9 March CH47 aircraft propositioned the bulk of the 6th ARVN Regiment and supporting artillery into a staging area near Ha Thanh (BS 3970). On 10 March early morning fog delayed the 176th AHC from making the first assault to establish a fire support base at BS 348594. At 1000 hours security troops were assaulted into the area. CH47 aircraft delivered the necessary artillery and supplies into the fire support base which were used to prestrike the landing areas at BS 305565 and BS345525. Although the aircraft received hostile fire from the two landing areas, none of the aircraft were lost. During the operation the 176th AHC moved 800 ARVN troops and contributed greatly to the success of the operation. A total of 1215 Infantry troops, six 105 howitzers and crews and supporting engineer equipment were moved on 10 March by elements of the 14th Aviation Battalion.
03/13/70: The 174th AHC, assisted by CH47 aircraft, conducted a combat assault to secure and establish a new fire support base. The 174th than airlifted the 3/1 Inf Bn and the 4/3 Inf Bn into their areas of operation northeast of Cia Vuc (BS 3727) to complete the first phase of the operation. The following day the final phase was completed when the 174th AHC assaulted 900 troops of the 4th ARVN Regiment into their area of operation. All of these moves were completed without mishap or incident and greatly contributed to the success or the combined operation.
04/01/70: The 176th AHC supported the 5/46th Infantry Battalion in establishing fire support base Hustler by lifting one company into the area to secure the landing zone at BS 2903 followed by two additional companies. After security was established, CH47 aircraft moved artillery and supplies into the landing zone. This artillery was used to prestrike a landing zone at BS 2603 where one infantry company was subsequently inserted. Light enemy resistance was due, in part, to the support rendered by the gunships. The assault was completed without incident.The maintenance capability for CH47B aircraft was enhanced by the assignment of a Dyna-Electron civilian contract maintenance team. This team was provided by the 34th General Support Group to assist in the performance of 1200 hours preventive maintenance periodic inspections.
Stabilized Personnel Input
Significant number of experienced maintenance personnel are often lost over a relatively short period of time due to rotation.
A large turnover of maintenance personnel adversely affects operational availability, maintenance procedures and on the job training programs throughout the group. This greatly decreases the experience level in the aviation companies which, in turn, has an adverse influence on safe flying
That input personnel with critical MOS skills and the same scheduled departure dates be spread throughout the aviation elements in Vietnam rather than concentrating them within one unit.Americal Division comments: Where a significant personnel "hump" is detected within any MOS field or series, the unit should request an infusion of personnel. This will allow personnel loses of the same MOS within a single unit to be spread out over a year's period. USARV comments: Nonconcur. The flow of replacement aviators into USARV cannot be completely stabilized due to the fact that a large percentage come directly from one of the several COMUS aviator training courses. Availability is therefore keyed on a course graduation date, and not necessarily to a stabilized, or even input. Some stabilization to the replacement flow is realized from the experienced aviators assigned to USARV, but his amounts to less than 25 per cent of the total aviator population. DCSPER policy(s) on involuntary repetitive tours also influence the availability of experienced aviators. USARV will coordinate an aviator infusion program among the several commands when required to provide acceptable DEROS losses within a particular unit.
CH47 Rated Aviators.
The 14th Aviation Battalion (Combat) is critically under strenght in CH47 qualified aviators.
Replacement aviators do not arrive at the same time, or rate, that personnel rotate, thereby taxing requirements of the experienced aviators who are required to perform operational missions as well as train new aviators when they do arrive.
That replacement personnel be scheduled to arrive in sufficient time to allow for an overlap in the unit.Americal Division comments: The requisitioning of all aviators into Vietnam is done by HQ USARV. Aviators are requisitioned based on known losses as reported by the units and on loss experience factor. However, fill of requisitions and assignments of personnel to units is done on an as available and as needed basis respectively. Therefore, neither HQ, USARV nor this headquarter can guarantee either timeliness or quantity of aviator replacements. USARV comments: Nonconcur. Examination of the authorized, PRA (Projected Requisitioning Authority) and assigned strengths during the past five months reveals the following information:
Jan Feb Mar Apr May
It is apparent that the Americal was short 3 CH47 qualified aviators during March and April 1970, however this shortage was in line with overall assets available within USARV and is not considered a "critical under strength in CH47 qualified aviators". Unit has been so advised.
The use of 500 gallon collapsible drums (Blivets) increases payload of water resupply.
One 400 gallon water trailer filled with water and rigged for sling operations weighs approximately 6300 pounds. Two 500 gallon collapsible drums filled with water and rigged for sling load operations weighs approximately 8600 pounds. By using the 500 gallon collapsible drums, approximately 600 more gallons of water may be delivered per CH47 sortie. This also provides for better utilization of CH47 aircraft and the flying time saved may be used for other essential missions.
That ground commanders be encouraged to use the 500 gallon collapsible drums for water resupply.
05/01/70 to 07//31/70
16th Combat Aviation Group
Weather had no significant effect on operations during the reporting period.
Return to Kham Duc
07/12/70: Operation, ELK CANYON: The air assault on Kham Duc by the elements of the 6th ARVN Regiment and the 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry, the largest air mobile operation ever conducted in the Americal Division, commenced on this date. The 14th Aviation Battalion provided forty three (43) lift aircraft, sixteen (16) gunships, two (2) AMC aircraft, two (2) smoke aircraft, three (3)maintenance aircraft, four (4) spare lift aircraft and ten (10) CH47's. the 123d Aviation Battalion supported the initial assault with nine (9) AH1G's and XXIV Corps provided four (4) CH54's for heavy lift and logistical buildup. The first lift inserted the 1st Battalion, 6th ARVN Regiment into LZ Kala (YC 987089). The initial assault on Kala received sporadic small arms fire which was suppressed. Following the initial insertion on LZ Kala ten CH47's and four CH54's immediately began to move artillery and ammunition into the newly established LZ. The first CH47 received heavy automatic weapons fire and several mortar rounds while discharging it cargo and the second CH47 also received heavy fire. The heavy lift was postponed until gunships and Tactical Air could neutralize the enemy positions at YC 979099.The assault force returned to the objective area and inserted D and A Companies, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry into LZ's at LZ 014054 and LZ 013034 under automatic and small area fire from the enemy. Once the source of hostile fire had been silenced on the latter two LZ's the heavy lift of artillery was continued into the US position at ZC C10394. The assault lift force landed Headquarters, the Recon Platoon and the Mortar Section of the 2d battalion 1st Infantry into the fourth LZ at ZC 003078, again under hostile fire. The final combat assault of the day inserted B and C Companies into YC 997074 without opposition. At 1330, LZ Kala was declared secure and the heavy lift force began to transport artillery and supplies into that LZ. The logistical movement continued into both US and ARVN positions with out further interruption and was terminated at 1945 hours, after a total 73 sorties by CH47 and CH54 aircrafthad been completed.
07/13/70: The Regimental Headquarters of the 6th ARVN Regiment was air lifted to LZ Kala and the 6th ARVN Regiment Recon and the 2d ARVN Division Recon Companies were air lifted to Kham Duc air field to assist in the security of the airfield as it was being repaired by Americal Engineers to receive Air Force aircraft. The logistical build up of both the US and ARVN forces was continued with 89 sorties and approximately 712,000 pounds of cargo being accomplished by the CH47's and CH54's.
07/14/70: The 2d and 3d Battalion, 6th ARVN Regiment, combat assaulted into LZ's at YC 960014 and YC 975071 by a forty three (43) lift ship force. Both assaults were unopposed by the enemy. Upon completion of the assaults a five ship force supported by two gunships were laagered at Kham Duc airfield to support US and ARVN Recon elements and LRRP insertions. This force was increased to ten lift ships daily on a continuing basis on 17 July. The CH47's continued the logistical buildup until 18 July when the Air Force C7A's, C123's and C130's assumed the responsibility of logistical support of Operation Elk Canyon.
07/15/70: Night Hawk from F Troop, 8th Cavalry 123d Aviation Battalion, conducted VR operations in support of ELK Canyon resulting in six VC/NVA engaged and killed.
07/16/70: While conducting BDA at BS 392855 the Visual Reconnaissance Team from B Company, 123d Aviation Battalion received ground fire and the gunships engaged the area resulting in two VC/NVA killed. Artillery was adjusted onto the grid and the Aero Rifle Platoon was inserted perform a sweep. Eighteen structures were destroyed.
07/19/70: The CH47's of the 14th Aviation Battalion (Combat) air lifted the 4th Battalion, 6th ARVN Regiment from Hiep Duc to Kham Duc airfield in preparation for a subsequent combat assault into LZ Rose.
07/20/70: Following the preparation of a one ship LZ at YC 898053 by tactical air strikes, twenty lift ships of the 14th Aviation Battalion (Combat) began to insert the 4th Battalion, 6th ARVN Regiment into LZ Dak Rose. The assault was unopposed and was completed at 1020 hours.
07/21/70: After enlargement of LZ Rose by the 4th Battalion, 6th ARVN Regiment, the CH47's of the 14th Aviation Battalion (Combat) and the XCIV Corps CH54's transported 56 sorties of artillery and suppose to complete the established of a fire base at LZ Dak Rose.
07/24/70: The ten ship lift force of the 14th Aviation Battalion (Combat) committed to Operation Elk Canyon extracted the 2d Battalion, 6th ARVN Regiment from field locations vicinity of YC 9408 to FSB Dak Rose. Upon the completion of the extraction the 14th Battalion's CH47's airmoved the 4th Battalion, 6th ARVN Regiment to Kham Duc where they marshalled in preparation for an assault operation on 25 July.
07/25/70: The 14th Battalion (Combat) using thirty (30) lift ships conducted combat assault of the 4th Battalion, 6th ARVN Regiment into an LZ at YB 873944, only one and one half kilometers from the Laotian border. Both lifts received intense small arms and automatic fire from YB 8769945, 875953, 862945, 871928, 886924, 887936. The air mission commander observed twenty to twenty five NVA evading and gunships engaged with unknown results.
The 16th Aviation Group (Combat) presented the first series of CH47 operations classes to each Brigade, Division Artillery and Support Command during the period 1-5 July 1970. A block of two hours classroom instruction was presented on rigging equipment, inspection, and rigging of typical loads. Two hours of practical application followed the classroom instruction. These classes will be presented on a monthly basis in the future.
During the next quarter 50% of the Group's CH47 aircraft are programmed to undergo the 18th preventive maintenance periodic inspection. Preparations are being made specifically for this inspection to preclude extensive down time. The major factors which would cause extensive down time would be the number of TBO's due change and the availability of these components. To date one 18th preventive maintenance periodic inspection has been completed and another is in progress. No significant problems have been noted in either case.
The 14th Aviation Battalion (Combat) was awarded the Valorous Unit Award by MG A.E. Milloy on 25 May 1970. The award was for Valorous actions during Operation Benton from 13 August 1967 through 19 August 1967.