After Action Report
and lessons learned
1ST BATTALION (MECH) 5TH INFANTRY
APO San Francisco 96225
AVDCSB-C 1 December 1966
SUBJECT: Combat Operations After-Action Report (RCS: MACV J3-32)
TO: Commanding Officer
2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division
APO U.S. Forces 96225
1. NAME OF OPERATION: Operation KAILUA.
2. DATE OF OPERATION: 12OCT66 - 05NOV66.
3. GENERAL: The operation was conducted in the Hau Nghia Province, South Viet Nam. Throughout the operation no contact was made with a VC force larger than squad size. The following are results of the operation:
(1) 531 personnel participated in the operation.
(2) 48 WIA (31 of which were treated and returned to duty), 5 KIA and 1 DOW were sustained during this operation.
(3) Nine (9) M113 APC's hit anti tank mines, five (5) were repaired in the field and continued the operation, two (2) were evacuated to base camp for repairs and two (2) were combat losses. Three (3) APC's were damaged by anti tank weapons.
b. Enemy: Killed 12 VC (BC) 32 (est)
(1) Captured: 6 VCC
1 U.S. M3 .45 cal SMG
2 U.S. M1 rifles
1 U.S. BAR
4 Chicom assault rifles
1 Russian rifle (model unknown)
1 cal .30 MG
1 U.S. carbine
2 VC notebooks
2 VC payment books
1 VC flag
1000 pounds of rice
Assorted VC ID cards
(2) Destroyed: 8 tunnel complexes
154 bunkers (5 which were boobytrapped)
5 pounds of sugar
3 pounds of tea
5 pounds of coffee
4 carbine rounds
PAGE TWO OF THE CAAR IS MISSING
4. LESSONS LEARNED.
a. Discussion: Extensive Civil Affairs pacification operations were conducted over an extended period of time in the Tan Phu Trung area (Incl 1), with excellent results. During the daylight hours S&D operations were conducted with assistance from several Chieu Hoi's in the area. The Bn C/A team also conducted daily MEDCAP activities, taught English classes and rendered assistance in construction projects in the village area (i.e.) dispensary, school house and tactical defensive structures. During darkness saturation ambushes were employed. These operations were highly successful and resulted in 5 VC killed (BC) and 9 (est). Captured during this period were 6 VCC, 2 Chicom assault rifles, documents and 1 VCS detained. Also during this period 2 VC voluntarily turned themselves in to U.S. forces. One was a propaganda and intelligence officer from the NVN army who turned in a pistol. Valuable information was also obtained from the Chieu Hoi's which directly resulted in the capture of 2 Chicom assault rifles and numerous documents.
b. Recommendation: Rather than daily visits and MEDCAP activities, U.S. forces should conduct Civil Affairs and rural pacification type operations over extended periods of time. Units involved with these operations should remain in the area continuously for two months or more.
c. Discussion: On one occasion a U.S. mechanized company was engaged by a heavy volume of RR fire from well concealed positions over a ten (10) minute period of time. U.S. forces were unable to locate the enemy positions hence fire was returned on suspected locations and maneuver was greatly restricted. During the fire fight the Bn Cmdr's C&C helicopter was down for refueling and there were no gunships on station. Hence the VC were able to break contact and escape.
d. Recommendations: That commanders be furnished alternate C&C helicopters to ensure continuity in controlling and influencing the tactical situation. That whenever an alternative C&C helicopter is not available, gunships or other aerial observer be on station and available to the ground company commander in contact.
e. Discussion: On three different occasions U.S. forces located a boobytrap factory and two large arms caches, with the aid of Chieu Hoi's.
f. Recommendations: U.S. forces should use every opportunity to utilize Chieu Hoi's while on S&D operations and exploit their knowledge of VC locations and arms caches.
FOR THE COMMANDER:
1 Incl JAMES G. ANDRESS
as CPT INF