Project CHECO Southeast Asia Report. The Employment of Air by the Thais and Koreans in SEA
PACIFIC AIR FORCES HICKAM AFB HI CHECO DIV
Pagination or Media Count:
Thailands chief contribution to air activities in Vietnam was in providing 45 Air Force personnel to man Vietnamese and USAF transport aircraft--an area in which crew shortages were chronic. In lesser numbers, forward air controllers were also provided. For the Allies, the Thai pilots and crew members meant a welcome augmentation of personnel, while the Thais for their part viewed their own contribution as more than a mere gesture in favor of the anti-Communist effort. For them, these activities were an opportunity to gain war-zone experience. The training of Thais was largely neglected, however, until, in 1970, the winding down of the war produced shortages in the,more highly skilled categories of USAF personnel, such as transport aircraft crewmen. These shortages signaled the need for training and upgrading. Similar circumstances led the USAF to realize that certain Thai personnel being used solely as interpreters for U.S. forward air controllers FACs could be trained to be FACs themselves. Korea, with its 50,000 men, provided the second largest expeditionary force after that of the United States in helping the South Vietnamese Government defeat the aggression disguised as insurrection by its author in Hanoi. Perhaps because of the Koreans large numbers of ground troops, they relied very little upon support from tactical air. The apparent success of their vigorous, often harsh, methods further convinced the Koreans that reliance upon themselves alone was sufficient. Like the Thais, they had no aircraft in Vietnam to speak of, and these few were used only for liaison. The story of their involvement in the air war can, therefore, be told in a few pages.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics