Pacific Stars and Stripes information
101 ABN DIV was a US Army unit
for 101 ABN DIV
For date 680515
Primary service involved, US Army
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "101st Airborne Soon to Become Air Cavalry."
Washington (AP) - The Army finally will start converting one of its two paratrooper division into a helicopter mounted air cavalry outfit later this year. The plan was approved more than two years ago but its execution was put off because of a tight supply of helicopters, a problem now easing with increased production. Tabbed for a change over is the 101st Airborne Div. now fighting in South Vietnam. It will become the Army's second airmobile division. Also fighting in Vietnam is the 1st Air Cav. Div., which revolutionized the tactics of mobile warfare and propelled the helicopter into a front-rank combat role. The change will leave the Army with a single division of paratroopers, the 82nd Airborne which has some of its units in Vietnam and some in the United States. There have been few combat jumps by paratroopers in the Vietnam war, and those few have been of minor importance. As a practical matter, many paratrooper and conventional infantry units have been carried into battle in Vietnam aboard helicopters supplied by Army aviation brigades and independent helicopter companies. The basic difference between an air-mobile division and regular infantry or airborne division is the availability of helicopters -an airmobile division has its helicopters in its integral organization and does not have to requisition them from elsewhere. An air mobile division has 428 helicopters compared with 97 in an airborne division and 91 in a conventional infantry division. Also, an air-mobile division includes a squadron of about 40 rocket firing helicopters for close support-compared with only about a troop, one third the size, in a conventional division. In February 1966, then Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara told Congress of plans to convert one additional division to helicopter-borne form. McNamara said the 1st Cavalry, which formerly was a basic infantry division, had proved out to such an "improvement in mobility and reaction time that entirely new tactics have become possible." The United States now has nearly 10,500 military helicopters, with about one-third of them in Vietnam. Production schedules should raise the overall U.S. helicopter inventory to about 12,500 by June 1969.
The source for this information was 6805pss.avn supplied by Les Hines
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