June 17, 1970
7th Air Force Newspaper Banner
Vol. 6, No. 24      Headquarters Seventh Air Force     June 17, 1970

Former Ops Chief
Is Vice Commander

TAN SON NHUT --- Maj. Gen. Ernest C. Hardin Jr. has assumed duties as vice commander of Seventh air Force here.

Before being assigned here in April, the general served as deputy chief of staff for operations at Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

In addition to numerous command assignments, he has held several key staff positions at the major command and Headquarters, U.S. Air Force level during his more than 27 years of active military service.

The general entered the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in December 1942 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in March 1943.

During World War II he was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group in England.  He served in a variety of positions during the war.  These included pilot, aircraft commander, assistant operations officer, squadron commander and group director of operations.

Released from active duty in November 1945, the general had a short break in service before accepting a regular commission in July 1946.

After his return to active duty he served with the Office of Civil Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, until July 1949 when he attended the Naval War College.

During his military career the general has had a variety of assignments.  In addition to serving in England and Hawaii, he has had tours in Okinawa and Spain.

Tours of duty in the United States have taken him to MacDill AFB, Fla.; Lincoln AFB, Neb.; Pope AFB, N.C.; Offutt AFB, Neb.; Sewart AFB, Tenn.; Langley AFB, VA.; and Washington.

Among the general's decorations and service awards are the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, and the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters.

R & R Officials Cite Problem
'Greenback' Currency Controls Tighten

TAN SON NHUT --- Increasing numbers of military and civilian personnel returning to the Republic of Vietnam from rest and recuperation are disregarding Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, directives that they convert all U.S. currency into military payment certificates.

According to customs officials at Camp Alpha, the largest R&R processing center in Vietnam, a total of $ 14,849 on U.S. currency (referred to as greenbacks) was recovered from 72 U.S. military and civilian personnel during a one-month period recently.

Sgt Thomas S. Bullock II, non-commissioned officer-in-charge of customs at the camp, said the amount of money recovered has risen since then to an average of $ 4,000 per week.

Although the 72 are a small percentage of the 40,000 men per month passing through the center, officials are concerned.

"MACV Directive 37-6 says you have to convert all currency," explained Sergeant Bullock.   "In our briefing to guys coming back from R & R we practically beg them to convert their currency."

After the briefing, personnel are given the opportunity to convert their greenbacks and then undergo a thorough search.  Baggage, wallets and shoes are carefully scrutinized.   The person is also frisked.

Persons caught trying to import currency into Vietnam are informed or their rights and turned over to the proper military authorities, according to Sergeant Bullock.

Some persons attempt to flush their troubles away when they see they will be caught.   Toilet facilities in E. B. Robinson Hall, the camp's customs building, have been clogged regularly with U.S.currency.

"We took $250 out of it in one day," said Sergeant Bullock.  "We solved the problem by locking the facilities during processing."

The object of the elaborate warnings and search procedures is to stop illegal traffic of currency into the hands of the Viet Cong and to keep the Vietnam economy stable, officals say.

MPC's can be converted at authorized exchange points into piasters at the rate of $1 MPC for 118 piasters.  While the unofficial black market rate of exchange varies every day, $20 in MPC may bring as high as 4,300 piasters while a $20 greenback is reported to bring twice that amount of a given day, according to customs officials.

Illegally exchanged dollars may eventually find their way into the hands of the enemy and are used to buy supplies and weapons, officials here warn.

Illegal Possession of the currency can result in severe punishment of the offender.   Possession is a violation of Article 92, "Violation of a lawful or written order," and Article 107, "False official statement," of the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice, Sergeant Bullock explained.

While punishment is up to the discretion of the local commander, recently two Air Force personnel found guilty of bringing currency into Vietnam were heavily fined and the money turned over to the U.S. Treasury.  One of the men was given a jail sentence and discharged from the service.

According to Capt. Richard F. Rothenburg of the Seventh Air Force staff judge advocate's office, the maximum penalty for violation of Article 92 is a dishonorable discharge and two years confinement.  Violation of Article 107 can bring a dishonorable discharge and one-year confinement.

In spite of persistent warnings and heavy penalties, personnel are still trying to sneak green-backs into the country.

"We told one group processing through how many individuals we caught the day before and how much we got, warning them what would happen if they were caught," Sergeant Bullock said.   "Even after all our warnings, we caught one in the group with $800 in green in his pocket."

"In a typical day we found $100 in a Navy enlisted man's shoe, $240 in a simple frisk of an Army captain and $220 in an Air Force captains right sock," Sergeant Bullock recalled.

Inspectors have found green-backs inside rolls of expossed film, between pages of books, inside camera bag linings and between pieces of Polaroid pictures.

"a $100 bill is small and can be hidden almost anywhere," Sergeant Bullock said.   "We've found green-backs in every imaginable place and in some you wouldn't believe.

"We know what's going on as far as guys trying to sneak green-backs into the country, and we're not afraid of writig up anyone," he declared.  "We've written up O-5's and GS-14's.  Everybody's tempted to run green, whether they're officer or enlisted."

Army Maj. Edward L. Schmidt, Camp Alpha commander, said he backs up the customs inspectors' searches and seizures to the fullest extent.

FAC's Gallantry Saves
Reconnaissance Team

TAN SON NHUT --- Capt. Steven L. McKinney a member of the 19th Tactical Support Squadron, Bien Hoa AB, has been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry.

Gen. George S. Brown, Seventh Air Force Commander, presented the medal in ceremonies citing the forward air controller for his part in saving the lives of members of a lightly armed special operations reconnaissance team under enemy fire recently.

According to the citation accompanying the award, Captain McKinney was flying his OV-10 Bronco aircraft in support of the reconnaissance team when the team came in contact with a larger enemy force.  He attacked the force with his light armament, repeatedly flying his aircraft through hostile fire, enabling the team to reach a pickup zone.

"Captain McKinney then directed and controlled a helicopter extraction," the citation continued, "thus saving the lives of all the team members."

Allied Artillery 'Rains'
At Fire Base David

TAN SON NHUT --- It literally rained artillery rounds at Fire Base David recently, and troops of the U.S. Army's 1st Air Cavalry Division there were "refreshed" by the shower.

The artillery "barrage," arranged by a tactical airlift team from the 834th Air Division, headquartered here, was actually an aerial resupply drop of 90,000 pounds of munitions by C-130 Hercules aircraft flying from Tan Son Nhut AB.

It was the first Air Force aerial resupply mission into Cambodia.

Using the container delivery system the C-130 crews, supported by an Air Force combat control team (CCT) and an element of an aerial port mobility team (AMT) from the 8th Aerial Port Squadron, flew three sorties in support of the camp, dropping their loads within easy recovery distance of the camp's perimeter.

"We put the loads right on their doorstep," commented Col. William Pisaruck, 834th AD director of operations and mission commander for the air drop.

Although a 1,600 foot sod landing strip is available within half a mile of the camp, it can be used only by the C-7 Caribou and necessitates a much greater use of the camp's vehicles to recover the supplies.

A suitable drop zone, adjacent to the camp, was surveyed by the senior tactical airlift liaison officer for the airlift control center.  In selecting the drop zone, the team considered the terrain, obstructions, type of load to be delivered and delivery methods.

Among the team members were Technical Sergeants John Cunningham and Henry A. Scheffer and Sergeants Michael R. Wood and Stephen E. Wassinger.

Early the morning of the drop, the five-man team, along with two members of the AMT moved with its equipment into the fire base by helicopter to provide both electronic and visual navigation aids to the C-130 crews who would be making the drop.  Mobility teams members were Capt. Lloyd Milliman and SMSgt. Jesse Goddard.

The first aircraft into the drop zone encountered heavy cloud cover but with the assistance of the CCT, put its load well within the drop zone.  The second and third sorties hit the bullseye and within seconds after each drop, as the parachuted pallets touched the ground, soldiers from the fire base were out recovering the supplies.

As one Army sergeant put it, "They did a real good job.  They dropped them in so close, some of our guys thought they were going to land right in the camp."

Berliners Remininisce
At Reunion

TAN SON NHUT --- Weiner schnitzel, sauerkraut, brautwurst, knockwurst and sauerbroten doesn't sound like a typical vietnamese menu.

But for more than 30 U.S. Air Force Army officers and enlisted men here it was like old home week.

The group was a get-together of former Berliners -- men who had served behind the Iron Curtain at Templehof Airport and the Berlin Brigade in Berlin.

The idea came from CMSgt. Harry Cole, base sergeant major here, who held the same job at Templehof.  He got together with Col. Thomas A. Personett, deputy commander, Air Force Advisory Group here and former base commander of Templehof Airport.

Most of those attending were stationed in the divided city during the mid-and late-1960's.  They reminisced about their times there.

Sergeant Cole hopes they can do it again.  "Although we don't have any specific plans, we hope to get together soon," he said.

Venerable but Formidable
Shadow Improves With Age

By Lt. Col. A. R. Savera
TAN SON NHUT --- Probably one of the least understood weapons systems used in the Reublic of Vietnam is the AC-119 Shadow gunship.

This aircraft is one of the most versatile aircraft allied ground forces have to work with in support of their operations.  Ground troops who know the capabilities of the Shadow and how to use them find the aircraft can mean the difference between the success and failure of a mission.

The Shadow, formerly called the "dollar nineteen," is equipped with several miniguns which shoot 7.62 mm rounds.  These guns can spew out lead as slow as 3,000 rounds per minute and as fast as 6,000 rounds per minute.  With this firepower, the Shadow can saturate all or part of a battlefield with extreme speed.

When called in support of ground forces, the AC-119 first makes a positive identification of the allied positions before firing.  But once these positions are known, the gunship crew can direct the fire as close as necessary to the allied troops with almost complete safety.

If the enemy is extremely close to the allied forces, a man on the ground can talk the miniguns in amazingly close.  In defending outposts and camps, Shadow aircraft have shot enemy penetrators off the perimeter fence.

Due to the fact the Shadow flies only missions at night, each aircraft has equipment which will literally turn night into day.

Shadows are equipped with a 1,500,000 candlepower spotlight.  This light is often used to pinpoint areas and light up locations, so ground forces can join up or evacuate rugged terrain, or in search operations over the sea.  It is also used to spot targets for fighter air strikes, to light up landing zones and to illuminate enemy positions.  It can also be used to illuminate targets for the Shadow's own benefit.  However, the aircraft can fire, with the same degree of accuracy in an automatic mode using infrared light to pinpoint the target.

Along with the spotlight and infrared light, the Shadow also packs a full rack of flares.

The Shadow aircraft has a strong psychological impact on allied ground troops also.  When an AC-119 is overhead, they know they have quick and accurate air support at their command.  The roar of the miniguns, the red glow of tracers and the illumination of flares or spotlight is tremendous psychological lift for them when in contact with the enemy.

The tactics the Shadow crews can use are virtually limitless.  The aircraft is there to aid the ground forces, and if they know Shadow's capabilities, the aircraft is a great advantage.

Mississippi State Angel Flight
Gives Children Clothes, Toys

TAN SON NHUT --- Because of the help of the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps Angel Flight at Mississippi State University in State College, Miss. the children at the Saigon Malnutrition Center have some new clothes and toys.

The Angel Flight recently collected the clothing and toys as one of its special community relations projects.

The Saigon Malnutrition Center, or House of Love as it is called, was started in Saigon by wives of American servicement in 1962.  Now it is run by American, French and Vietnamese Sisters of Charity.

Air Force servicemen in the Republic of Vietnam help the center as a community relations project.  The center is supported by the men and their families and by donors in the United States such as the Angel Flight.

There are 120 children at the center.  Their ages range from newborn to 7 years old.  The children, mostly orphans, come from refugee camps, hospitals and villages throught Vietnam.

Using the center as their base of operations, the sisters and their Vietnamese helpers assist the poor in Saigon and other areas of Vietnam.

"The center needs donations all year round," explained Capt. William G. Mick, of the 1964th Communications Group, Tan Son Nhut AB.  "They can use clothing of all kinds, candy, toys and just about anything else."

"Donations," said Captain Mick, "are sorted at the center.  Some things are used there, and other things are sent to other parts of Vietnam where the sisters run shelters and dispensaries."

Refresher Training Updates
VNAF Communications Man

TAN SON NHUT --- In addition to receiving extensive technical and practical training by U.S. Air Force personnel as part of the Vietnamese self-sufficiency efforts, Republic of Vietnam Air Force staff officers are going back to school.

One of these refresher students is Maj. Ton That Dam of the communications electronics branch at VNAF headquarters in Saigon.

Major Dam is currently undergoing communications electronics staff officers training at the 505th Tactical Control Group headquartered here.  The major has a master's degree in electrical engineering and has been connected with radar and communications since the early days of the VNAF.  He is spending six weeks with the 505th learning the latest procedures governing the staff aspects of military electronics.

During the six weeks, Major Dam will be working in the 505th TCG's director of material section, studying all aspects of material control, communications and electronics, maintenance, logistics and training at the staff level for operating an air control and warning system.

After completing training with the 505th, the major will move to the 1964th Communications Group and spend another six weeks studying the staff aspects of their operations in Vietnam.