Pacific Stars and Stripes information

For date 680522


Primary service involved, US Navy
South Vietnam
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "Vietnam reminiscent of Wild West" by Andrew Headland Jr. S&S Taiwan Bureau Chief. In the midst of war Army, Navy and other American military engineers are building roads for peace in vietnam. Helicopter pads, airstrips, fuel farms, post exchanges, hospitals, ammunition storage dumps and other building projects the length of Vietnam stand as creative monuments to more than 9,000 Seabees and other builders working throughout the Republic. U.S. Navy helicopter pilots have sunk hundreds of "enemy submarines" near San Diego in the past couple of years - in make-believe battle. Neither the helicopters nor the submarines are real, but the training is for keeps at the Naval Air Station here. Used in the training of helicopter pilots is an electronic anti-submarine warfare helicopter tactical trainer that simulates battle conditions with remarkable realism to teach pilots how to detect, track down and sink submarines. According to the Navy, the trainer has done its job remarkably well. "We have trained hundreds of helicopter pilots for duty with the Pacific Fleet," said a naval spokesman for the Fleet Airborne Electronics Training Unit Pacific. Since it was installed at the air station two years ago, the trainer has established a commendable record of reliability and effectiveness in training anti-submarine warfare helicopter pilots, according to the Navy. Dr. Theodore F. Hueter, divisional vice president and general manager of the Honeywell Marine Systems Center, which designed and built the device, said the "demonstrated reliability of the Ream Field trainer far exceeds specifications." He said that out of more than 3,500 operating hours available the trainer has had only 26 hours "down time." Hueter added that the Navy has realized "significant savings" in time and expense by training its helicopter pilots in the shore-based trainer instead of using real helicopters, surface ships and submarines for the same training at sea. "And if students make mistakes using the trainer," Hueter noted, "the penalty is a 'chew-out' rather than a disaster." Latest development is a "Liquid Land Mine" using Astrolite, the most powerful know explosive. In a recent test, a two-ton truck was completely destroyed by just eight pounds of the liquid. Poured directly onto a dirt road, the stuff soaks into the first few inches of earth, giving tremendous upheaval power. Although the land mine was fired remotely in the test, a pressure-sensitive fuse can be sued that will react o the weight of a passing vehicle. Other virtues of the liquid are that it remains detonable for up to four days, even in the rain, but eventually deactivates itself, making dangerous minefield clearance unnecessary. Once applied, it cannot be detected by standard mine-detection equipment. Liquid Land Mine can be simply poured from canteen like containers says its maker, Explosives Corporation of America, or sprayed from trucks or helicopters.

The source for this information was 6805pss.avn supplied by Les Hines


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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021