Vietnam War Air Defense Analysis

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Shortly following the conclusion of the United States’ conflict in Korea, the American military once again deployed its service members to Eastern Asia to combat and contain the spread of Communism; this time in the form of the Democratic Republic of North Vietnam. While the vast majority of the American populace recalls the Vietnam War as primarily an exercise of ground forces and maneuver, an often-overlooked aspect of the war is the significant contribution to strategy and successful adaptation to threats demonstrated by Air Defense Artillery Soldiers of the era. One of the more proud moments for the Air Defense Artillery Branch was their pivotal role in the Vietnam War. From the branch’s only Medal of Honor winner, to the Duster, and …show more content…

As a collective Air Defenders contributed in all aspects from soldiering to job proficiency during the Vietnam War with reliable equipment and effective tactics. They distinguished themselves as providers of fire support for ground warfare that was made exponentially easier thanks to the role. Earning several medals for valor and purple hearts. The 6th Battalion 56th Artillery (HAWK) from Fort Bliss, Texas, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James T. Hollis and the 6th Battalion 71st Artillery were the ADA units that successfully deployed to Vietnam. They arrived on September 30th 1965 and were assigned to 97th Artillery Group. The 6th/56th (HAWK) BN mission provided air defense of the Tan Son Nhut/Bien Hoa and Cam Ranh Bay/Nha Trang, which were vital areas. The 6th/56th and the 6th/71st were the only two HAWK battalions that deployed to Vietnam and were integral for joint operations with the 7th Air …show more content…

Although several attacks were made against some of the batteries, they were not successful in defeating the HAWK system. The unit tested the HAWK system on its capabilities to detect, acquire or track helicopters. The Pulse Acquisition Radar was one of the few components used during the test. The system became popular because of the ability to track helicopters within one to two kilometers of true target position, making it a possible tool for the Air Force in Combat. Later on, the 97th Artillery Group with the contribution of 7th Air Force conducted an intercept test, which was successful. Before the unit deactivated on 5th June 1969, the 6th/56 reflected the latest technology and job proficiency throughout the years. The Hawk is missile defense provides the United States and its allied forces with low to medium air defense. The system is undergoing several improvements, upgrades and enhancements. It seems to be a low-risk missile defense solution. Air Defenders served an important role for the nation during the Vietnam War era. The Soldiers of the era showed great resourcefulness and ability to adapt to changing circumstances when faced with threats and challenges that were unforeseen at the outset of the conflict. By adapting existing technology to serve in roles and tasks beyond what they were originally designed to accomplish and by showing great

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