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.


 
 

 
Stephanie Caffall

Women’s history showcased during special event Wednesday

Stephanie Caffall Fort Huachuca’s Thunder Mountain Activity Centre was the site of an event titled, “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” Wednesday in celebration for National Women’s History Month. After the reading...
 
 
DoD

DOD warns troops, families to be cyber crime smart

WASHINGTON — Defense Department employees and their families should be vigilant when guarding personal and work information from expanding cyber-criminal activity, and to know how to recognize scammer tactics, according to DOD’s chief information officer. Terry Halvorsen issued a DOD-wide memorandum March 18 about the growing threat of cybercrime “phishing” and “spear phishing” in e...
 
 

Army health leaders advocate for importance of nutrition

WASHINGTON — During National Nutrition Month in March, “we encourage each of you to renew a commitment to achieving your personal Performance Triad goals,” said Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” she said. The Performance Triad focuses on the importance of sleep, activity and nutrition...
 

 
Natalie Lakosil

Convoy exercise helps ready 111th MI Bde. for emergencies

Natalie Lakosil Soldiers from the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade take a short rest in lower Garden Canyon before returning to the motor pool as part of a convoy training exercise Wednesday. The exercise helps the brigade s...
 
 

Fort Huachuca Criminal Punishment Bulletin – February

For the month of February, in addition to Court-Martial and U.S. Federal Court Proceedings, 31 Soldiers were disciplined under Article 15, UCMJ; and 25 Soldiers were administratively separated, including 2 for misconduct. The following are notable recent criminal proceedings: A specialist assigned to the 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion was tried at a General Court-Martial. The...
 
 
Natalie Lakosil

111th MI Bde. NCO, Soldier, Platoon Sgt. of Quarter winners selected

Natalie Lakosil Sgt. Jason Grider, Alpha Company, 309th Military Intelligence Battalion, inspects uniforms during the in-ranks inspection portion of the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade Non-commissioned Officer of the Quarte...
 




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