For the US Army, there were two primary command
shoulder patches in Vietnam -- the Military Assistance Command
Vietnam (MACV) and the US Army Republic of Vietnam (USARV).
established in 1962 to assist the armed forces of the Republic of
Vietnam in maintaining internal security and resisting external
aggression. MACV personnel often served as "advisors"
to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), with individual
officers and senior non-commissioned officers being virtually
embedded in ARVN units at planning and operational levels.
MACV advisors also assisted the Vietnamese civilian
government. USARV, under which the 1st MIBARS was located
encompassed discrete units of the US Army.
Gruntonline.com, a website apparently no longer
active, MACV was activated to provide a
unified command structure in Vietnam, not assuming responsibility
for the military advisory mission until 1964. MACV had
authority over all U.S. military activities in Vietnam, regardless
of service. It did not, however, have control over the US Navy's
Seventh Fleet, US Air Force units in Thailand, or the USAF Strategic
Air Command's B-52’s used for air strikes in the theater. MACV
closed down 29 Mar 1973.
USARV was established in July of 1965. It controlled all
of the US Army's logistical and administrative units in Vietnam.
Although a separate headquarters, the same individual served as
Commander of MACV and Commander of USARV. With the reduction in
force levels, USARV was re-designated USARV/MACV Support Command and
closed down in March of 1973.
-- Hitting the Ground Running For the
“. . . [A replacement officer] informed me
that he had visited some of his old Air Force buddies from the
460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing in Tan Son Nhut airport.
While there, he discovered that all of the films that the
460th had flown since arrival in VN were stored in film
cassettes on a hanger floor. The films were not cataloged into
a film library and therefore were virtually useless as far as
retrieval was concerned. Seems that the Air Force did not have
enough imagery interpreters to establish a film library. [He]
suggested that we establish a film library for the 460th. He
stated that not only would we be doing a big favor for the Air
Force, but our personnel would also benefit by being able to
familiarize themselves with our new environment. I thought it
was a great idea and gave the job to my Senior ARLO [Air
Reconnaissance Liaison Officer] to coordinate with the 460th
and our unit commanders who would be providing the II's
[Imagery Interpreters] to do the job. . . . we had between 25
to 30 officers and men on the job, which took us 3 or 4 weeks
to finish. At the time, I knew that having the films cataloged
into a film library was important, but I didn't realize how
important until a few months later.
This eventually turned out
to be one of the most valuable contributions that MIBARS as a
unit made to the war effort in VN.”
LTC Michael Tymchak,
Commanding Officer, 1st MIBARS, 1965-1966
Detachment Imagery Interpretation Section technical
leads, a Chief Warrant Officer Grade 4 on the right, and
senior NCO Grade E-7s center and left. Top experts on ground
characteristics and features evaluation in the I Corps Tactical
Operational control of combat operations was undertaken by
Field Force, Vietnam, established in Nov 1965 as four "field
forces" -- Field Force, Vietnam (I FFV or I Field Force
Victor). I FFV controlled operations in II CTZ (II Corps
Tactical Zone) and II FFV in III and IV CTZ. In the north, the
I Corps Tactical Zone (I CTZ), was under the operational control of
the III Marine Amphibious Force. However, the increases in the
number of Army units in I CTZ led to activation of the Provisional
Corps, Vietnam, which later became XXIV Corps. Initially
posted to Phu Bai, XXIV Corps moved to Da Nang in March of 1970.
1966 and 1967, the majority of the ground fighting in I Corps, "B" Detachment's
area of responsibility, was conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps, with
the city of DaNang being under the administrative jurisdiction of
the U.S. Naval Support Command. Therefore, "B" Detachment
dealt on a day-to-day, as-needed basis with the Marine Corps, the
Navy and the Air Force. Primary contact with the US Army
consisted of MACV advisors assigned to assist
the Army of the Republic of Vietnam's (ARVN) I Corps general staff which
was located in DaNang.