RE: Operation RAPIDSTRIKE III
From: S3 Operations, 2nd Brigade HQ, 101st Division
To Battalion Commanders 1/501, 2/501, 2/502. 1/42 ARVN and attached assets.
02/22/1969 local weather 21* Light Rain, light Breeze (2mph) daylight 06:00 - 18:00hrs
1st Battalion 501st Infantry Co, Lieutenant Colonel Lewis. Call sign CYCLONE
2nd Battalion 501st Infantry Co, Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell Call sign TYPHOON
2nd Battalion 502nd Infantry Co, Lieutenant Colonel Eyles Call sign HURRICANE
1st Battalion 42nd infantry ARVN, Colonel Lu Yong Dat call sign GALE
General objectives of operation RAPIDSTRIKE III.
In the post Tet Offensive of last year it has been felt that certain areas of South Vietnam have been left unoccupied by allied forces and that the passage of NVA troops along with operations by local VC elements has gone unchecked. This is about to change. The task of countering this unacceptable situation has fallen to this enhanced Brigade. You will have seen from your initial briefings that the AO covers approximately 150 square miles of mainly heavy forested and hilly terrain. While this might suit our enemy, with far superior fire power and determination, we will turn this to our advantage.
It is our task to get on the ground and proactively hunt and destroy all enemy elements passing through the K14 area; find and destroy all stockpiles of weapons and supplies; hunt down VC/ NVA cadre and stop their operation and establish total control of this area. It is also hoped that the operation will give confidence to our ARVN partners during the start of the planned handover. It will also allowing them to forge a strong and lasting relationship with the local populace.
This operation is broken down into certain phases culminating in a forced contact with a large number of enemy on a ground of our choosing where we can bring to bear our superior firepower and troop numbers, completely eradicating the enemy from K14.
Planning and briefing stage. Element preparation. Resupply. All ground units.
Operations will start with a systematic TAC Air reconnaissance of the area. They will fly 12 recce flights over the first two days, reporting directly back to Brigade HQ.
During this recon flight phase, 6# LRRP teams will be inserted into the AO with specific instructions of identifying transit routes of the enemy, find and destroy enemy caches and eliminating cadre personnel operating in the area.
Company FOXTROT 58th Infantry LRRP attached. 1/501, 2/501, 1/502
Operational priorities and parameters as follows. To patrol given AO (4km Square) to identify routes of passage by the enemy and assess use of artillery assets to counter this movement. Contact of large groups of NVA/VC is to be avoided. Friendly contact should be made with local tribes where possible to gain information in regard to enemy movements and strengths. The locating and destroying of enemy supplies and stockpiles of food and munitions. The locating of SU 23-2 and DShK anti-aircraft sites is also a priority. These site should be destroyed by HE from FSB DIXON, MASON or UNION or from company size elements if close by. Exemption from the rules of engagement are for NVA/VC Cadre Teams in your AO. These must be eliminated with extreme prejudice. Each of the Battalions of the 501st and Battalion of the 502nd will take direct control and support for 2# teams.
Teams 2-6 call sign CYCLONE 2 & 6 respectively attached to 1/501st
Teams 7-12 call sign TYPHOON 7-12 respectively attached to 2/501st
Teams 21-23 call sign HURRICANE 21-23 respectively attached to 2/502nd
LRRP insertion points
Team 2 coordinates (8140-13672)
Team 6 (8124-13598)
Team 7 (8092-13822)
Team 12 (8088-13733)
Team 23 (8074-13668)
Team 21 (8004-13688)
Estimated 8day cycle for searching 4km square area. Then evac to FSB for three day rest resupply and planning.
Based on Intel from LRRP and TAC Air reconnaissance, Battalion maneuvers will begin to place the task force into positions were Forward Operational Bases can be established with interlocking fire support and patrolling of the AO can begin. LRRP teams withdrawn to home base to await reassignment to assist in K14 operations.
Bravo and Delta companies of the 1/501st,
HQ & B Battery 2/319th,
B Troop 2/17th, and
Will move North into K14 along highway 344 and establish a FSB (LEE) at the old French airstrip at Boon Tsuk.
Once this artillery cover is in place, Bravo and Delta Battalions of 1/501st along with elements of B Troop 2/17th will patrol further up H344 and establish a roadblock and ambush site at 190-665. This will act as security for a platoon of 326th Engineering Battalion to construct a river crossing at 196-665 once they have finished at Boon Tsuk.
A Daisycutter order issued for FSB (MASON) 209-743
HQ, A,B and Motar Platoon 1/42nd
airlifted in along the line of the Ea krongkno river to secure the FSB MASON area followed by a platoon of 326th and A Battery 2/319 to establish FSB MASON.
B Company and Mortar Platoon 1/42nd to patrol North after FSB is under control to 215-756 to create a defensive position on the ridge of Chu Bong Kran (hill 656) covering both the bend in the river to the north and the valley between them and FSB MASON.
C Company 1/42nd ARVN will enter the AO along the now secure H344, crossing at the new river crossing at Don Bao An and patrol up into the range South of FSB MASON to search for enemy routes and offer a screen to the south of FSB MASON.
HQ, Alpha, Charlie, Recon Plt, and Mortar Plt, 1/501st, passing through FSB LEE and up the now secure H344 to meet up with Bravo & Delta Companies at the road checkpoint (190-665). Bravo Company to return to FSB LEE as base security. The rest of the Battalion to patrol to the southwest along the ridges of Y Agne and Yok N Glan. Leaving B Troop 2/17th to guard the new river crossing and H344 checkpoint.
Traveling along the East - West highway 427 at the North of K14, Hotel Company 2/501st, Squadron HQ, A, D, & C Troop 2/17th will leave H427 north of grid 82 and aggressively manoeuvre onto the plain area with the intention of establishing a Forward Armour Base (FAB STONEWALL) around the Chu Rluk nipple. Once established, A Troop 2/17th will patrol southwest to the area north of the lake Ea Sno (55-77) to form a blocking force. C Troop 2/17th and Hotel Company 2/501st to search the high ground of Chu K Plung (20&21-77) and establish a defensive base. C Troop to continue to patrol the plain area.
Once established, D Troop 2/17th to move to meet Fox, Golf, HQ, Recon Plt, Motar Plt 2/501st travelling in Brigade transport West along H427 and escort them to Dak Sor (020-813) D Troop returns to FAB STONEWALL ASAP back along H427. 2/501st will leave the road and patrol South to Yok N Krach (020-791 hill 641) They will establish a secure area and perimeter for the Airlift of a platoon of the 326th and then C Battery 2/319 establishing FSB GRANT. Echo Company 2/501st to remain at home base and await deployment.
Orders for an ARCLIGHT B52 strike will be issued on Yak Tjout (040-628 hill ) on a highly wooded area in preparation for the landing of B, C, D, Company 2/502nd by airlift to secure the site for a Platoon of 326th and B Battery 2/319th constructing FSB (DIXON) this airlift will travel north into the AO along H344 until it gets to FSB LEE where it will turn due West and fly to 8040-13627 (Hill 855 Yok Tjout Massive) on arrival, C Company will patrol Southwest along the ridge line to 025-618 (hill1026) A Company 2/502nd to await orders and not deployed.
A period of search and destroy begins with details to be confirmed at a future point by Battalion commanders. LRRP teams will be rotated into AO at discretion of Battalion CO's. Ambushes, company size contact and fire missions used to stop enemy movement through the K14 AO.
The intention of the operation will be for 1/501st & 2/502nd to push the enemy north and the 2/501st to block the enemy and drive them East away from the boarder, collapsing around their rear forcing them into the 2/17th fixed position and killing ground of the Chu Dang Kach covered by both FSB MASON and GRANT. 1/42 ARVN will act as a blocking force for enemy egress further to the East.