Army

February 22, 2013

Military Intelligence — this week in history: February 23, 2013

Tags:
Ruth Quinn, Staff Historian
USAICoE Command History Office

Army Security Agency flies Last ARDF mission in Vietnam

The last formation of aircraft with LEFT JAB systems fly over Vietnam. Notice the extended antenna on the two systems in the front of the formation.

Feb. 16, 1973
In February 1968, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, or MACV, established a requirement for an airborne platform along the demilitarized zone area, or DMZ, which would intercept enemy communications, including voice and Morse code signals, and use direction-finding equipment to locate enemy installations. After several false starts, three LEFT JAB direction-finding, intelligence-collecting platforms were fielded in December 1970 and assigned to the 138th Radio Research Company at Phu Bai, not far from the DMZ. The most distinguishing characteristic of the system was an oval antenna mounted under the belly of a U-21, a twin-turboprop fixed-wing aircraft. Originally designed for ground-based systems, the antenna could be extended after take-off.

On March 4, 1971, the 224th Aviation Battalion received word that a LEFT JAB aircraft was missing in action. The fate of the craft and its five-member crew was later confirmed by a report of the North Vietnamese News Agency, which claimed that a surface-to-air missile had downed a U.S. plane just inside North Vietnam. Killed in action that day were pilot Capt. Michael Marker, co-pilot Warrant Officer Harold Algaard, Spc. 6 John Strawn, Spc. 5 Rodney Osborne, Spc. 5 Richard Hentz and Spc. 5 Rodney Osborne.

This incident was the last of three Army Security Agency, or ASA, aircraft lost in Vietnam, and the only fixed-wing; the other two incidents involved helicopters. However, these losses did not ground flights near the DMZ. On the contrary, during the enemy’s 1972 Spring Offensive, airborne communications collection efforts in the area took on an even greater significance.

On Jan. 27, 1973, President Richard Nixon ordered a cease-fire. All remaining U.S. forces were directed to depart Vietnam within 60 days. During the cease-fire, ASA crews continued to fly collection missions that, despite the truce, continued to be subjected to antiaircraft fire. On Feb. 16, 1973, a crew of the 138th Aviation Company completed the Army’s final ARDF mission in the vicinity of Pleiku. Less than a month later, on March 7, 1973, the 509th Radio Research Group was discontinued, and the handful of its remaining soldiers boarded the last plane for home, bringing ASA’s 12-year tour of service to a close.

A memorial honoring Army Intelligence personnel killed in aviation-related incidents over the past 50 years is located at the Aviation Memorial Park on Fort Huachuca, at the corner of Hatfield and Irwin Streets. Six interpretive panels highlight the contributions of intelligence aviators from the Civil War through the War on Terror. Static displays featuring several different kinds of planes used by Army Intelligence are located within the air park, which is free and open to the public. See the park on the Virtual Tour at https://www.ikn.army.mil/apps/MI_HISTORY_TOUR/ and click on “Aviation Memorial Park.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Natalie Lakosil

Annual Installation Awards Banquet honors top personnel

Natalie Lakosil From left, Maj. Gen. Robert Ashley, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca stands with Fort Huachuca’s 2014 winners: Non-commissioned Officer of the Year, Sgt. Brya...
 
 
Courtesy of André Douglas

Civilian Expeditionary Workforce offers unique development opportunity to IMCOM employee

Courtesy of André Douglas The Bagram Air Base installation management team — made up of active duty Service members, civilian employees and contractors — pauses for a commemorative photo. SAN ANTONIO — Joining the Civili...
 
 

CWFC designed to improve employee morale

There’s an organization on post designed to enhance the quality of life for Fort Huachuca federal Civilian employees during and outside of duty hours. The Civilian Welfare Fund Council, or CWFC, Fort Huachuca, is a Category IV Non-appropriated Fund Instrumentality with proceeds from concessionaire commissions. Its purpose is to manage the Civilian Welfare Funds, or...
 

 

Capabilities must match future threats, Army leader says

WASHINGTON — Success in future armed conflict boils down to ensuring the capabilities put in place today can match the threats of the future, deputy commanding general for futures, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, said here Tuesday. Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who also serves as director of Army Capabilities Integration Center, told the...
 
 
Amanda Kraus Rodriguez

IMCOM human capital plan shapes 2025 workforce, builds legacy

Amanda Kraus Rodriguez Dana Davis, a financial management specialist at U.S. Army Installation Management Command Europe Region headquarters and member of the SHCP working group, prepares draft copies of the Strategic Human Cap...
 
 

Budget cuts made at FH Barnes Field House

Classes taught by instructors at Barnes Field House Fitness Center are no longer free due to a 23 – 25 percent annual operating budget cut implemented in January. “We’re a fully funded [facility] at the beginning of the year,” said Les Woods, chief of Sports, Fitness and Aquatics, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin