Death from above: Iraq
An air drop during Operation Junction City
A lot of people have been comparing recent operations in Iraq to Vietnam War operations like Linbacker II and Rolling Thunder. It isn't.
It is closer to two operations, Junction City and Lam Son 719, large air and heliborne movement of troops.
Operation Junction City
Operation Junction City, the largest US operation of the war, is launched.Four US divisions, as well as additional brigades, are involved in a massive search and destroy mission along the Cambodian Border.
American troops over-run much of the area before encountering signinficant resistance.
There are three major battles, each intiated by the Viet Cong: the first, at Ap BauBang; the second, at Fire Support Base Gold and the third at Ap Gu. In each battle, the Vietcong attack US forces and are repulsed, suffering very heavy losses.
In all, the Viet Cong lose 2,728 troops in the battles, while theUS loses 282 troops. Nevertheless, the Viet Cong headquarters, one of the targets of the operation, is not captured and, once the US troops withdraw, the area is reoccupied by the Communists.
Operation Lam Son 719
During Operation Lam Son 719, American forces supported Vietnamese forces in their attack across the Laotian border. Designed to cut enemy infiltration routes and to destroy North Vietnamese staging areas in Laos, Operation Lam Son 719 began on February 8 as the 101st and other American aviation units airlifted South Viet namese troops into Laos.
For many years, the enemy had controlled the area of Laos adjacent to South Vietnam and had built up extensive defenses. When the operation ended on 9 April 1971, less than one Allied aircraft for every thousand sorties was lost, despite the increased enemy use of anit-aircraft weapons, artillery, and armor.
In the aftermath of Operation Lam Son 719, combat operations were conducted in areas of Cambodia adjacent to the South Vietnamese border. Like Lam Son, air transport and cover were provided by U.S. forces, while SVN Army forces conducted the ground operations
But the ARVN pretty much collapsed in the field
What is old is new again
U.S., Iraq Launch Massive Air Assault
By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writers 2 hours, 1 minute ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - In a well-publicized show of force, U.S. and Iraqi forces swept into the countryside north of the capital in 50 helicopters Thursday looking for insurgents in what the American military called its "largest air assault" in nearly three years.
There was no bombing or firing from the air in the offensive northeast of Samarra, a town 60 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. All 50 aircraft were helicopters — Black Hawks, Apaches and Chinooks — used to ferry in and provide cover for the 1,450 Iraqi and U.S. troops.
The military said the assault — Operation Swarmer — aimed to clear "a suspected insurgent operating area" and would continue over several days.
Residents in the area of the assault reported a heavy U.S. and Iraqi troop presence and said large explosions could be heard in the distance. American forces routinely blow up structures they suspect as insurgent safe-houses or weapons depots. It was not known if they met any resistance, but the military reported detaining 41 people.
The attack was launched as Iraq's new parliament met briefly for the first time. Lawmakers took the oath but did no business and adjourned after just 40 minutes, unable to agree on a speaker, let alone a prime minister. The legislature set no date for it to meet again.
Looks like the caught most of these folks at home, which means the people they wanted knew they were coming from the minute the first helo left the US base. You can't exactly hide a 50 ship assault It seems they married up a US battalion with an Iraqi battalion, mainly to make sure the Iraqis wouldn't run. The resistance was more than happt to let them land their ships and hunt for people long gone.
posted by Steve @ 2:39:00 AM