“The Field Advisory Element, MACV, initially had only
enough assets to field army advisors on the sector (province) level and
regimental levels. They assisted the South Vietnamese military in
combat planning and operations, training, intelligence, psychological
warfare, communications, civil affairs, logistics and medical areas.
This advisory effort was expanded in April and May of 1964 when subsector
(district) advisory teams were deployed to the 13 districts in the Saigon
vicinity. On a tactical level, such teams were also directly
assigned to selected battalions. Of
these, 169 subsector teams were fielded by December 1965.
In addition, all 43 subsectors had advisors assigned to them.
Beginning in 1968, some 354 new advisory teams were specifically created
to assist to Regional and Popular Forces (RF/PF) so that the South
Vietnamese territorial military would be covered as well.
Starting in 1969 the mobile advisory teams were assigned to Vietnam
directly from the United States for one-year tours instead of being raised
in Vietnam from available officers and sergeants. From 1968 through
1972, the advisory effort was emphasized following the Vietnamization
doctrine implemented to upgrade and modernize the South Vietnamese Army.
The U.S. Army advisors served with great distinction in the
dangerous and hostile circumstances to which they were constantly
exposed. Despite political adversity and lack of all command
authority, the army advisors insured liaison with needed U.S. fire support
and airpower and often rallied their South Vietnamese units, saving them
from destruction on the battlefield.”
Shelby L. Stanton, author
Vietnam Order of Battle
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