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Illustrated with over 30 maps, diagrams and photos
In our continuing desire to bring to the reader an in-depth look at the use of airpower in Southeast Asia, we present. In this volume a truly monumental effort at recounting the myriad of widely separate but not unrelated events and operations that took place during the spring invasion of 1972.
In this monograph, the authors from the Air War College present an illuminating story of the people and machines that fought so gallantly during this major enemy offensive. The authors’ breadth of experience in and out of combat enables them to provide a penetrating account of how airpower was brought to bear upon the enemy.
The “Vietnamization” program, begun in 1969, had by March of 1972 reduced U. S. manpower involvement in Vietnam from 500,000 to 95,000. U. S. airpower involvement, however, did not decrease proportionately. Although the South Vietnamese Air Force took up the “lion’s share” of the effort, U. S. airmen were still very much involved. During the offensive, their skills, courage and professionalism were tested 24 hours a day, directly contributing to the eventual successful outcome.
The reader should learn from this story that not only is airpower an essential element of any major operation, but that its employment is a team effort. More so, it involves men and women on the ground as well as in the air-one cannot function without the other.