Project CHECO Southeast Asia Report. Fixed Wing Gunships in SEA (Jul 69 - Jul 71)
PACIFIC AIR FORCES HICKAM AFB HI CHECO DIV
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The unique demands of the operational environment in Southeast Asia dictated that the United States Air Force meet many mission requirements for which hardware did not exist. The lateral firing gunship evolved from this environment, and it constituted an immediate and effective solution for several tactical problems. This weapon system performed significantly in Southeast Asia. AC-47 gunship activity during 1965 and early 1966 was documented in four previous CHECO reports. Another CHECO report, Night Close Air Support in RVN, also dealt in detail with AC-47 combat operations. The Role of Gunships in SEA, a CHECO report dated 30 August 1969, recounts the continuing mission of the AC-47 as well as the introduction and employment of AC-119G, AC-119K, and AC-130A gunships in 1968 and 1969. The effectiveness of this unique weapon system generated significant interest at all command levels, and the combat role of gunships merits further attention and analysis. This report updates previous gunship studies with special emphasis on new developments in the AC-130 weapon system. This report also examines the current performance and effectiveness of the AC-47, long noted for its role in providing close air support for troops in contact the AC-119GK which functioned in armed reconnaissance and close air support roles and the AC-130 which covered the whole spectrum of gunship operations but performed primarily as a night interdiction weapon system.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics