525th MI Group deploys to Vietnam
Forty-seven years ago this week, the 525th Military Intelligence Group arrived in South Vietnam to support the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, or MACV.
Earlier, in the summer of 1965, Maj. Gen. Joseph McChristian, the MACV’s J-2, had asked for an MI group to manage and control the wide range of intelligence assets deploying to Vietnam as part of the American build-up of military forces in 1965-1966. In late November 1965, the 525th MI Group assumed that mission and established its headquarters on Tan Son Nhut in Saigon.
Shortly after that, the 525th’s first two battalions — the 1st MI Battalion (Aerial Reconnaissance Support) and the 19th MI Battalion — arrived. The 1st oversaw the Army’s aerial reconnaissance assets while the 519th provided personnel to the various combined South Vietnamese-American intelligence centers.
By the end of the next year, they were joined by two MI groups — the 135th MI Group which provided CI support and the 149th MI Group which oversaw HUMINT collection.
In addition to these four major subordinate units, the 525th MI Group controlled another 31 intelligence teams or detachments during the course of the war.
Finally, after almost seven and a half years of service, the 525th MI Group returned to the United States in March 1973. Over the course of its seven and a half years in Vietnam, the group earned 16 campaign streamers and four Meritorious Unit Commendations.
“This Week in History” is a feature on the Command History Office website. Those who have Army Knowledge Online access, can go to their site at https://ikn.army.mil/apps/mi_history/.