Annex D (Aviation Support) to After Action Report to OPORD 6-66 Period 05 through 12 May

66, HQ, Det B-52, 5th SFG (Abn), 1st SF


1. General; N/A


2. Helilift Support: Aircraft for team infiltration and extraction were provided by 2d Plat, 171st

Avn Co (-), APO 96240.


a. Size and Composition:


(1) Initially 5 UH1B slicks and 2 UH1B guns, later reinforced to 7 UH1B slicks and 2

UH1B guns.


(2) 14 Officers and 19 enlisted personnel, later increased to 18 officers and 23 enlisted



(3) Limited second echelon maintenance support 1st Avn Bn, 1st US Inf Div.


(4) Gun section, 3 UH1 B guns, to back up 2d Plt (-), 171st Avn Co from A Co, 1st Avn

Bn, 1st US Inf Div.


(5) Class IIIA provided by Spt Cmd, 1st US Inf Div at FOB.


b. Mission. Provide airlift support to Det B-52 during period 6-11 May for team infiltration

and extraction or as requested by CO, Det B-52.


c. Enemy Situation:

(1) Ground fire was received during reconnaissance flights on 7 May for LZ selection.

One of the gun ships sustained 4 hits with serious damage to the aircraft hydraulic

system. Aircraft was flown back to FOB and landed without further damage.

(2) During the extraction of team 7, the initial pickup ship was struck by gunfire on short

final. The aircraft aborted the pick up and proceeded to the FOB where it was found

the aircraft had taken two hits, one of which struck, the pilot in the boot after passing

through the radio compartment. Air cap provided by USAF allowed the team to

move approximately 700 meters to an alternate pick up zone where they were


(3) During team 11's extraction by the McGuire rig and rope ladder the pick up aircraft

was fired at but no hits were suffered.

(4) On the evening of 7 May after the infiltration of three teams, the flight was fired on

as it was returning to FOB but no hits were taken.

(5) During the extraction of team 7, gun ships struck VC in the open approximately 300

meters east of the teams initial position with no estimate of enemy casualties.


d. Terrain and weather: covered in intelligence annex.


e. Problems and Recommendations.


(1) PROBLEM: Light gun section is not adequate for proper protection of the

infiltration or extraction.

DISCUSSION: If one gun ship is downed or disabled, the remaining gunship in the

section cannot protect the disabled ship for its extraction or provide self-protection.

RECOMMENDATION: That a minimum of three gunships or a heavy section be

employed to protect the flight.


(2) PROBLEM: The rope ladder and/or McGuire rig are not satisfactory for emergency


DISCUSSION: Both methods require the individual to dangle below the aircraft

while it flies at reduced air speed, normally over known enemy troop concentrations

to a point where the aircraft can land and take aboard the personnel. The second

landing again exposes the aircraft, crew members, and team members as it is

normally not secured.

RECOMMENDATION: That 2d Plt (-), 171st Avn Co APO 97240 be issued and

have installed at least three winch systems for UH1B/D (Bell kit 205-706-030-1) to

support Det B-52 requirements.


(3) PROBLEM: Panels are extremely hard to spot from altitude.

RECOMMENDATION: That at least two team members have mirrors and

concentrate them on C & C ship and its wing ship for identification of LZ.


(4) PROBLEM: Forward refueling bases were required once during the exercise.

RECOMMENDATION: When working adjacent unit with forward elements nearer

the TAOR than the FOB, that logistical coordination be effected to allow for possible

forward refueling.


(5) PROBLEM: When a team cannot be landed to the ground, no means is provided to

assist the team members reach the ground without jumping from the aircraft.

RECOMMENDATION: That two 20' knotted ropes be placed in each infiltration

ship suspended from the ceiling. This will allow the team member to rapidly lower

himself to the LZ without the time it would take to hook up repelling rope.


(6) PROBLEM: Low level navigation over jungle terrain makes accurate location of pre-selected

LZs very difficult.

RECOMMENDATION: That infiltration ships be equipped with Marconi Doppler

navigation systems or Secca navigation systems.


f. Remarks: FAC Support in locating team LZs for extraction was excellent.





s/John S. Warren