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Project CHECO Southeast Asia Report. Base Defense in Thailand

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This CHECO report addresses the development of USAF base defense in Thailand from the initial attack on Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base RTAFB through 30 June 1972. The 26 July 1968 attack on Udorn RTAFB was the first overt, hostile action by either communist-inspired insurgent forces or military units of North Vietnam against United States Air Force personnel and resources located in the Kingdom of Thailand. Between then and 30 June 1972, small enemy sapper units made four other attempts to gain access to USAF-tenanted Royal Thai Air Force RTAF bases. In some of those attempts, USAF personnel were killed or injured and resources either damaged or destroyed in others, Thai and U.S. base defense personnel successfully thwarted the attempts. In addition, base defense planners felt that realistic, effective base defense programs forestalled other action by enemy forces during the same period. Base defense is a function of three factors The perceived threat of hostile enemy action the responsive actions thought necessary to effectively counter that threat and the various political, economic and geographic constraints imposed upon those desired responses. The threat of hostile enemy activity directed against USAF resources in Thailand is explored in Chapter I. Emphasis is given to a brief analysis of the five attacks against USAF resources at Udorn RTAFB, Ubon RTAFB, and U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Air Field RTNAF, as well as intelligence estimates of the threat of such activity in the first six months of 1972. Subsequent chapters deal with the responses of the planners in the preparation of adequate defenses of vital resources and personnel. Chapter II explores the USAF and Royal Thai Government RTG forces committed to base defense and the utilization of these forces. The chapter also discusses some of the problems encountered in coordination of defense efforts between US and Thai forces, as well as some of the other constraints imposed on defense planning.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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