Good Morning Vietnam er Iraq!
As President Obama readies to send some 300 troops to Iraq in an “Advisory Capacity” lest we who served in the Vietnam War era forget, there was a “group” of “Advisors” then too, called MACV. For those not familiar with the Vietnam (non – war, we couldn’t call it a war) I have listed a brief history found on Wikipedia’s Site that can brief us of some parallels between the President’s current proposed action to that which happened in the early 1960’s through the establishment of the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. It is especially interesting to note the chronological escalation of military actions (found below) as things became more complex and military engagements elevated. History records the rest.
MACV was created on 8 February 1962, in response to the increase in United States military assistance to South Vietnam. MACV was first implemented to assist the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) Vietnam, controlling every advisory and assistance effort in Vietnam, but was reorganized on 15 May 1964 and absorbed MAAG Vietnam to its command when combat unit deployment became too large for advisory group control. MACV was disestablished on 29 March 1973.
The first commanding general of MACV (COMUSMACV), General Paul D. Harkins, was also the commander of MAAG Vietnam, and after reorganization was succeeded by General William C. Westmoreland in June, 1964, followed by General Creighton W. Abrams (July 1968) and General Frederick C. Weyand (June 1972).
Naval Forces, Vietnam
In contrast to the carrier, amphibious and naval gunfire support forces and, at least during early 1965, the coastal patrol force, which Commander Seventh Fleet directed, the Navy’s forces within South Vietnam were operationally controlled by COMUSMACV. Initially, General William C. Westmoreland exercised this command through the Chief, Naval Advisory Group. However, the increasing demands of the war required a distinct operational rather than an advisory headquarters for naval units. As a result, on 1 April 1966, Naval Forces, Vietnam, was established to control the Navy’s units in the II, III, and IV Corps Tactical Zones. This eventually included the major combat formations: Coastal Surveillance Force (Task Force 115), River Patrol Force (Task Force 116), and Riverine Assault Force (Task Force 117). The latter unit formed the naval component of the joint Army-Navy Mobile Riverine Force. Commander Naval Forces, Vietnam (COMNAVFORV) also controlled the Naval Support Activity, Saigon (NSA Saigon), which supplied naval forces in the II, III, and IV Corps areas. Naval Support Activity Danang, provided logistic support to all American forces in the I Corps area of responsibility, where the predominant Marine presence demanded a naval supply establishment. NSA Danang was under the operational control of Commander III Marine Amphibious Force.
- Vietnam Advisory 1962–1965
- Vietnam Defense 1965
- Vietnam Counteroffensive 1965–1966
- Vietnam Counteroffensive, Phase II 1966–1967
- Vietnam Counteroffensive, Phase III 1967–1968
- TET Counteroffensive 1968
- Vietnam Counteroffensive, Phase IV 1968
- Vietnam Counteroffensive, Phase V 1968
- Vietnam Counteroffensive, Phase VI 1968–1969
- TET 69/Counteroffensive 1969
- Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969
- Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970
- Sanctuary Counteroffensive 1970
- Vietnam Counteroffensive, Phase VII 1970–1971
- Consolidation I 1971
- Consolidation II 1971–1972
Deja Vu? I wonder.