Iroquois Huey slicks during Operation
Federal near Long Binh.
As a result of a
significant enemy threat to the US bases in the Long Binh - Bien Hoa
area in early 1969, units of 1ATF were deployed to bolster the
allied defences there. On 10 March 1969 5RAR relieved 9RAR in place
in AO Arunda and its Fire Support Base Kerry.
Following an intensive patrolling programme in AO (Area of
Operations) Arunda the battalion was redeployed by slicks of
Iroquois Huey choppers further south-east to AO Manuka and FSB (Fire
Support Base) Sally. The occupation of this new AO led to increased
enemy activity and some fierce battles with large enemy forces in
their defensive bunker systems.
One major enemy HQ contacted was MR7, responsible for
controlling VC operations in the three provinces of Long Khan,
Phuoc Tuy and Binh Tuy. This photograph shows members of D Coy 5RAR
during a chopper redeployment. The choking dust on the chopper pads
like this one near Long Binh was reduced somewhat by the use of a
bitumen surface on the LZ but the troops still got dust in every
crevice during the emplaning and deplaning procedures. Weapons had
to be cleaned more often than usual.
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