Item: Enemy Ambushes (1)
Discussion: On two occasions road clearing and mine sweep teams encountered trash and
debris on the road. As the element slowed down or stopped to clear or check out the debris
contact was initiated by the enemy.
Observation: Security elements should proceed with extreme precaution when encountering
debris on the roads. Maneuvering to the flanks of the road and use of recon by fire should
be utilized in an attempt to trigger enemy ambushes prior to reaching the killing zone.
Item: Tracker Dog Team (1)
Discussion: Tracker Dog Teams have been utilized several times without success.
Observation: It appears that the two-man security element which was posted to the dog's
front puts out a stronger, fresher scent which overpowers the older VC/NVA trail. Trackers
must be employed on fresh trails and the two man security element must act as flank
security and not as frontal security and trail breaker.
Item: Injury Prevention (1)
Discussion: As a result of inadequate shielding beneath the driver's seat of the M113A1
(APC), drivers have received injuries when their APCs ran over mines/
Observation: Injuries can be prevented by placing two layers of sandbags under the
Item: Mines (2)
Discussion: On 14 June 1969 an APC hit a mine while on a mine sweep. They had just
completed their sweep and were heading back to a new location using the same trail they
came out on. However, one of the APCs hit a mine which seriously wounded the driver and
completely destroyed the track.
Observation: Even though an APC may ride over a certain area one time, it is not safe to
deem this area void of mines. If at all possible, an APC should never ride over the same
spot twice. If this is not possible then troops should dismount and use a mine detector or
probe the area.
Item: Armored Personnel Carrier M113A1 (2)
Observation: Personnel reporting for duty at this station have little or no training on
the APC M113A1. They are ignorant of its capabilities, the maintenance required, and the
different methods of employment.
Discussion: Each unit acknowledging these deficiencies, should incorporate a
familiarization course for the new arrivals into the reception and briefing schedules.
Each new arrival should have at the minimum of one week intensive training with the
Item: Booby Traps (2)
Observation: It has been observed that a unit encounters very few booby traps when it
first moves into a new area of operation. After the unit has worked the area for two or
three days, the booby traps begin to appear. This indicated that the enemy studies the
modus operandi of the unit before the placement of the booby traps.
Discussion: Recommend units avoid establishing patterns of movement and move their FOB
Item: Road Mining. (3)
Observation: Many road mining incidents have shown that most mines are constructed in a
basically similar design. The explosive charges were found in the middle of the road with
blue or orange wires leading from them to batteries located just off the road and
detonators on the edge of the road where the tracks of vehicles would run.
Evaluation: By being particularly alert in recognizing the bare wires and the often
uncamouflaged batteries along the sides of the road, mines can often be detected by visual
Recommendation: All individuals on mine sweep teams should be completely familiar with the
construction and the means of detecting these mines.
Item: Burning off of FOB sites. (3)
Observation: Due to the lack of rainfall in our area, numerous grass and brush fires have
started and gotten out of hand in the vicinity of unit FOB sites.
Evaluation: By burning off the grass and brush around FOB sites before moving into the
site, the problem of fires burning through the FOB while it is occupied can be alleviated.
Recommendation: In dry areas and when secrecy is not imperative, the immediate area of the
FOB should be burnt off before it is occupied.
Item: V.C. Booby Traps (3)
Observation: Often times V.C. mark danger areas by very obvious means.
Evaluation: While on search and clear missions it has been noticed that many VC booby
traps are marked by markers consisting of pieces of string tied near or around the danger
area or by bamboo sticks pointing in the direction of the booby-trap. By taking a little
more time and being more cautious many of these booby-traps could be avoided by observing
the obvious markers.
Recommendation: When entering an area suspected to have been booby-trapped it would be
wise to look for obvious danger signs and if they are found to avoid the area or proceed
with extreme caution.
Item: Mission with tracks. (3)
Observation: It has been observed while moving through a lightly vegetated area many
booby-traps are fixed in such a manner that they are tripped by the antenna's of the
Evaluation: Placing the antenna on the tracks in the stored or down position the VC's most
deadly weapon (the booby-trap) can be avoided. Company A has noticed since adopting this
SOP, safety has been much more enhanced.
Recommendation: That APC's travel with the antenna in the down position to avoid tripping
Item: Air strike target marking. (3)
Observation. Air strike targets are often marked by smoke as much as an hour before the
strike. Choppers circling the area give away the target and allow the enemy to flee.
Recommendation. That targets for air strike should not be marked by other aircraft and
aircraft should avoid the target area until right before your strike.
Item: H&I rounds. (3)
Observation: Opinion is that H&I fires were not covering as large areas of possible
enemy movements as possible as 5 or 6 targets were fired two or three times during the
Recommendation: H&I rounds should be fired in a different pattern. Fire one round per
target but fire more often during the night. Vary the time interval considerably and
H&I should more effectively deny the enemy freedom of movement.
Item: Drop-off ambushes. (3)
Observation: It was found the VC were moving more in daylight hours during rice harvesting
season as compared to non-daylight hours previously.
Evaluation. Drop-off ambushes were conducted by one unit, and the ambushes made contact
with VC during the day.
Recommendation. Increased use of daytime ambushes when used as a stay behind or drop-off
Item: Ambushes from high ground. (4)
Observation: Recently the VC have been setting up hasty ambushes on high ground when
patrols have been searching a valley.
Recommendation: Insure that the patrols, when going to check a stream bed or valley, are
sufficiently large enough to provide flank security to the high ground.
Item: Employment of Mechanical Ambushes. (5)
Observation: The proper use of mechanical ambushes significantly increases the
effectiveness of a field unit. However, in recent operations two friendlies were
accidentally killed when moving along a trail to pick up their own mechanical ambush.
Recommendation: The battery must be found and disconnected before any attempt is made to
remove the claymore itself. No movement in the vicinity in front of the mechanical must be
made until the disconnection of the battery has been made and confirmed.