SURVEY OF COMMUNIST MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS IN INDOCHINA

Created: 2/6/1975

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Survey of Communist Military Developments in Indochina

Februaryopy No y

SURVEY OF COMMUNIST MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS IN INDOCHINA"

(This report covers the period Januaryebruary

The Key Points

jmore0 troops have been

sent toince0 higher than the comparableear ago.

A large North Vietnamese transportation effortbegin in

early February.

The Khmer Communists have mined the lower Mekong River. In addition, Ihey have transported large quantities of military supplies from northeastern Cambodia to the central and southern part of the country.

With the sharp drop in supplies coming up the Mekong, stocks in Phnom Penh declined substantially during January.

A recent CIA/DIA study,0 Khmer Communist combat forces in Cambodia, is at Annex B.

* This report has been prepared jointly by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense.

5

Redeployments

nother North Vietnamese antiaircraft artillery <AAA) regiment ha* withdrawn from South Vietnam.

Vietnam indicate that (heth AAA Regiment is in Ha Bacof Hanoi.an regiment, last located in Quang TriSouth Vietnameployedsome time late last year.

esult, the North Vietnamese air defense structure in South Vietnam currently consists of one SAM andAA rcnmcnls withion, <Nfnrm

Logistic Dcwlopments

ear services activity was highlightedeportarge transportation effort Is slated to begin in early February. V

|Thisis designed to prepare the storage areas

for the receipt and dispatch of large amounts of cargo that will begin moving early in February In northern South Vietnam, lhest Support Regiment is rebuilding and improving its storage facilities along NVAnd it seems likely that this also is related to the upcoming transportation effort.

etected supply shipments during Ihe past two weeks varied widely between geographic areas. In southern North Vietnam, there were fairly heavy ordnance shipments. I

In contratt. detected supply shipments

n Laos, photography of the Communists' dual-lane road in mid-January showed moderate traffic levels

through northern South Vietnam were Ii

Communist and South Vietnamese Regular Combat Forces in South Vietnam

t

0

VC'OTA prnonnd in poundsupport, and air defense until andcompanies md platoons

Ground Order of Bnrlr.personnel in AKVN.'VNMCcombat luppoil units, andbit ul Ions.

ietnam Repilar Combat Forces VCfNVA* OO

Combat activity in South Vietnam remainedoderate level during the reporting period, as Communist units apparently were resting and refitting in preparation for renewed fighting. Most of the activity during the period was initiated by the South Vietnamese.

In MRRVN forces continue to meet resistance as they consolidate their hold on the Mo Tau/Bong Mountain area in Thua Thien Province. Farther south, in Quang Ngai Province, government sweep operations arc meeting heavier resistance as they move into areas occupied by therigade. In MRhe Communists harassed government positions on the high ground overlooking the An Lao Valley in Binh Dinh Province. The commander of theivision has deployed elements of theegiment from Pleiku to Ban Me Thuot City to counter the unconfirmed move of theth Division to the Darlac/Quang Due Province area.

ln MRaily attacks-by-fire on Tay Ninh City and sporadic rocket attacks on Bicn Hoa Air Base continued. In MRommunist forces captured the town of Long Knot in Kien Tuong Province in mid-January. Government-initiated operations in Kicn Tuong Province near the Cambodia border continue to make contact with NVA 5th Division forces. Communist forces reportedly have suffered heavy casualties in these actions.

LTJ. Other Developments Affecting Communist Military Capabilities in Indochina

10.

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TOP SECRET

Tall King Radar Now Operational tn North Vietnam

A Tall King early warning radar, now in operation in the Hanoi area, is possibly being used to provide maximum early detection ofigh-altitude reconnaissance missions. This radar enhances North Vietnam's early warning capability against reconnaissance flights.

The Tall King increases Hanoi's tracking capabilitiesistance of atiles. In addition, the North Vietnamese have been engaged in extensive efforts toapability to shoot down anut their ability toigh-aliiiudc reconnaissance aircraft remains minimal.

24.

NVA Fighter Regiment Completes Move to Bal Thuong

neven additionalighters flew from Kien An Air Base area near Haiphong to Bai Thuong Airfield in the northern panhandle. This essentially completes the shift of thed Fighter Regiment toBai Thuong

are now

tationed at Bai Thuong, the largest number ever. Some of these aircraft could deploy farther south in the panhandle to Vinh and Dong Hoi airfields, whose runways have recently been improved.

26

9

ARVN and SVA Ammunition Expenditure* During January

outh Vietnamese ammunition expenditures dipped only slightly in January,uch sharper decline in reported Communist firings. As the (ollowing table illustrates, the ARVN expended an average0 artillery rounds daily during January.elow December's level. Communist heavy weapons expenditures,ounds daily in Decemberounds in January.esult of this decline. Communist expenditures in January were below the daily averageounds firedhile expenditures by South Vietnamese forces remained well above the average0 rounds daily last year. The initiation of several ARVN counteroffensive operations was largely responsible for the continued high level of ARVN expenditures

Daily ARVN and NVA Ammunition Expenditure* in South Vietnam

Round*

I

2

4

4 image

45 NVA artillery, rocket, recoil* lea rifle, and4 average45

110

O

170

480

260

so

0

710

820

Deliveries of Military Equipment to the Khmer Communists

ince the beginning of the year, large quantities of military supplies have been transported from northeastern Cambodia to the central and southern parts of the country. During the first three weeks in January, at least six convoys of

10

orucks each transported cirgo lo the battlefields around Phnom Penh and along the lower Mekong

southward movement of these military supplies indicates lhatare trying loecond round of attacks in the capital aiea. Theof combat activity in rcccnilso has declined somewhat,that KC units may be preparing for new attacks.

KC Use of Mines in the Lower Mekong

KC laid mines in the lower Mekong during the past week asa continuing effort to interdict the river.

I The first damage from the mines

occurred on Februaryhen three tugs were destroyed while tbey were returning to South Vietnam from Phnom Penh. Two days later, three additional tugs in an upriver convoy were sunk and the remainder of the convoy turned back.

31.

f the

use oi nunes in the lower Mekong becomes widespread, the movement of convoys both to and from the capital would be further endangered and ship crews would become even more reluctant to make the trip. The Khmer Navy at present has an extremely limited mineswecping capability, and KC use of sophisticated floating and submersible mines would present extreme difficulties to clearing operations.

Status of Stocks in Phnom Penh

ecause of Ihc disruption of Mekong River traffic. Phnom Penh's stocks of critical supplies dropped sharply during January. The three small river convoys that did make it to the capital city earned0 tons of rice. POL. and ammunition, lessf what was delivered during4 (see the following two tables).

GKRonvoy Deliveries1

Tons

Tons Supply

I. Dan arc approximate.

Ammunition

Total

Rice

POL

Ammunition

GKR has already taken steps lo ration government supplies of USice, by culling off shipments of rice to theeasure facilitated by temporarily greater availabilities of locally produced rice. This has resultedecline in the consumption rale of GKR slocks in Phnom Penhons per day. The reduced rate can probably be mainiained over the next couple of months, after which deliveries from Phnom Penh to the countryside will have to be resumed.

As local rice supplies again dwindle, deliveries via the Mekong will probably have lo be increased io0onth. In0 tons per month of POL and0onth of ammunition will be needed to match last year's delivery rale for February through June.

1

ANNEX B

CIA/DIA ESTIMATE OF THE KHMER COMMUNIST ORDER OF BATTLE

Since late last summer, the Khmer Communisis (KC) have increased thethe GKR by substantially expanding their combat forces. As of Januarycombat strength was estimated0 troops, an increasever the4

estimate. Of the0 troops arc in main force units, while the remainder are assigned to local force companies and platoons. Although FANK stilluch larger combat forceecent improvements in the KC force structure have reduced the government's manpower advantage. Countrywide, major KC units nowrigades, andndependent regiments.

The increases in the KC combat order of battle reflect both an expansion in the number of line units and the addition of new authorities to improve command and control of existing units.etew regiments andndependent battalions haveadded to the order of battle since August. Most of these are new units created by drawing troops and cadre from older battalions, supplemented with recruits- The combat effectiveness of these units is relatively high. In other instances, however, units were formed entirely from fresh recruits with little training or from upgraded district forces (who in turn were replaced by newhese units are much less effective and contribute only marginally to KC capabilities.

The KC also have improved their operations markedly by creating four new division and four new regimental headquarters. |

egional basis, KC strength Inegistered the largest net increase between August andoublingotal of0 troops. The increase resulted both from the establishment of three new divisional headquarters in4 and the creation of several new regiments. These units, plus others that have recently moved into the region from, have participated in the strong and well-coordinated attacks along the Mekong River during the past month.

15

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Khmer Communist Main Force Strength, by KC Uitary RegionT4)

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16

Large expansions in KC strengih also occurred in. which showed increases of moreroops, respectively. KC com bai troops inow number, while there are0 troops in. Most KC combat units in these regions are deployed along lines of communication and around provincial capitals, although some have moved closer to Phnom Penh during the past two months.

KC combat troops inecreased slightly during the period and now number0he highest regional total in the country. The decline resulted primarily from the movement of several units out of the region into. Similar small declines also occurred in other regions.

The dramatic increase in KC combat strength since August is unlikely to be duplicated in upcoming months. The KC ordinarily use the wet season to expand their force structure because of the generally low level of combat. During the dry season, the Communists usually concentrate on replacing the heavy losses sustained in the fighting and maintaining the combat effectiveness of their units.

Original document.

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