How Naval Intelligence Shaped the Vietnam War

September 12, 2016

During the Vietnam War, U.S. naval intelligence was a very complex affair. Layers of political organization, military strategy, offensive tactics, and logistical operations shaded the struggle to win in South Vietnam. Much of that portion of the Cold War era is now declassified, illuminating the contributions of the naval intelligence establishment.

008-046-00298-3GPO makes available “Knowing the Enemy: Naval Intelligence in Southeast Asia,” part of the U.S. Department of the Navy series of commemorative studies on the Vietnam War.

The U.S. Navy intelligence effort in Vietnam played out in several pivotal events. Intelligence-gathering squadrons informed operations during 1964’s Tonkin Gulf Crisis and 1968’s Tet Offensive. Naval commands closely traced Soviet and Chinese military aid to North Vietnam and surveilled the use of the vital Cambodian port of Sihanoukville. And analysts processed raw data that informed the Linebacker bombing campaigns and pressed North Korea to eventually negotiate terms to end the war.

A SEAL scans the surroundings during his unit's intelligence-gathering mission in a Mekong Delta village.

A SEAL scans the surroundings during his unit’s intelligence-gathering mission in a Mekong Delta village.

Officers and enlisted personnel gathered and analyzed credible intel on the movement of Communist combat units, the location of Viet Cong encampments, and the flow of weapons and ammunition along the Mekong Delta. The communications, electronic, human, and imagery intelligence they collected was “key to the operational and tactical success of naval forces in the Vietnam War.”

Members of the naval intelligence community that routinely “engaged in intelligence collection often did their dangerous but vital work in direct contact with the enemy.” For example, photo reconnaissance pilots flew fast and furiously into oncoming antiaircraft fire for the best pictures—“since anything worth photographing was likely well-defended.” Hardly desk drones, intelligence staffs “fought face-to-face with the enemy” and suffered causalities for it.

Photo intelligence 3rd Class Charles R. Pearson uses his stereoscopic equipment to analyze an aerial image of an enemy site in Vietnam.

Photo intelligence 3rd Class Charles R. Pearson uses his stereoscopic equipment to analyze an aerial image of an enemy site in Vietnam.

U.S. naval intelligence units furnished operational forces “with information that, for the most part, improved their battle performance…and prospects for survival in combat.” More than anything, the cadre of intelligence professionals helped the American military understand the enemy.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

 


National Aviation Day

August 18, 2016

August 19th is National Aviation Day, a yearly observance to celebrate the history and development of aviation. Another fun fact: the day is also Orville Wright’s birthday!

GPO makes available a wide range of Federal Government publications about flight.

First Flight: The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Airplane

024-005-01212-5Twelve seconds in the air turned into over 100 years of aviation progress. In December 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright stuck their first—and the world’s first—successful flight in a heavier-than-air, mechanically controlled machine. The sibling inventors behind the defining technology of the last century are the subject of this National Park Service handbook. In his forward, astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn defers to the duo as the “first astronauts. Their initial short flight opened our quest to reach beyond the world we know. They were the first test pilots.” A foolhardy flying machine became a phenomena of human achievement. The Wright Brothers made their home above the world and consequently changed the world.

Logbook of the Signal Corps No. 1: The United States Army’s First Airplane (eBook)

Indeed the Wright Bros. invention changed the world. And changed the U.S. Army. This book tells the story of a self-taught aviator and his Wright flyer responsible for the launch of military airpower. In 1909, the U.S. Army Signal Corps paid $30,000 to Orville and Wilbur for a custom-made aircraft designated “Signal Corps No. 1.” A plucky young lieutenant with no prior flying experience was elected its sole operator. “Take plenty of spare parts,” a commanding officer told 1st Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois, “and teach yourself to fly.” Through industrious trial and error and long-distance guidance from the Wright Brothers, Foulois learned to fly the Army’s very first airplane. Read this book and then go visit the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in DC. There you will find the original Signal Corps No. 1, a beautifully restored piece of Army aviation history.

The Combat Edge

708-051-00313-5This quarterly publication of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command features articles and stories about flight safety. As aviation technology evolves to enhance combat capability, so must risk mitigation. Thus, ACC’s safety magazine looks to “foster a culture where Airmen strive for zero mishaps.” Developing this sort of discipline keeps safety standards high so that top guns can continue to “Aim High … Fly-Fight-Win.”

The Air Almanac for the Year 2016 (eBook)

008-054-00245-5For millennia, navigators have been using the stars to chart their course. Aircraft rely on similar celestial navigation. The Air Almanac contains astronomical data produced by The U.S. Naval Observatory in collaboration Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office in the U.K. Published annually since 1941, this cosmic directory tabulates statistics at 10-minute intervals to a precision of 1 arcminute. Predictions include Greenwich hour angles; lunar rise and set times; sky diagrams for each month; charts for moon visibility and star positions; and sunrise, sunset, and twilight tables.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

 


Explore Soldier Experiences through Army History: The Professional Bulletin Celebration of 100th issue release!

August 9, 2016

army_history_2016Army History: The Professional Bulletin releases its 100th issue in Summer 2016!

Army History chronicles the history and heritage of the United States Army, and explores the lives and times of those who served.

This issue opens with a synopsis; followed by a briefing about the U.S. Army’s Historical Program Enterprise, which addresses the need for a forward, collaborative approach to meet the soldier’s needs, while deepening the connection to the American public and the US Army.

NewsNotes section features new title releases from the Army, Center of Military History Combat Studies Institute. It also covers a new interactive exhibit with videos located at the U.S. Army Women’s Museum in Fort Lee, VA, which is the only museum dedicated to Army women in the world. The exhibit tells the story of the significant contributions of female soldiers’ engagement, cultural support, and provincial reconstruction teams in Iraq and Afghanistan.

army_history_2

The first article in this issue uncovers the rich history of the underground caves and cities where American soldiers from the 101st National Guard Infantry, 26th Division spent many days and nights with the French training for war.   Many of the soldiers from this platoon carved etchings in the limestone walls of the caves in order to share the soldier’s story. Many also included their signatures in these caves, marking their footprint on both the war and the cave.  In the article, modern-day military historians piece together the story and historical value of these artifacts that position World War I history from the American soldiers’ perspective.  This editorial piece brings a unique perspective to World War I history.

This second featured piece promotes Australian strategic military operations within World War II.  The intent and purpose of this article is to investigate the history of the Defense Central Camouflage Command (DCC) and its leaders, and to analyze their success or failures from the perspective of civil-military relations.  This commentary explores the teaching to soldiers of techniques to camouflage their installations, including water, gas, and oil facilities.

army_history_3In this issue, you will also find a Book Reviews section related to military history books published by other entities.  A majority of the books covered in this issue have been published by academic/scholarly publishers, external to the U.S. military.

The issue ends with a Footnote from Bryan J. Hockensmith, honoring this 100th issue and   thirty-three years of this published journal.  He reflects on Army History- Past, Present and Future and how this periodical continues primary source military history education to meet worldwide scholarly standards.

army_history_4Congratulations to the staff at CMH for the 100th published issue of Army History: The Professional Bulletin!  This print issue and subscription will meet the military history education needs of US Army soldiers, defense education programs, DODEA and public school history and global studies assignments, ROTC student programs, military academies, military science majors, historians and political scientists.  The team at CMH brings an interesting perspective to communicate understanding of America’s military history to their readers.

Grab a cup of coffee and begin reading today!

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Order by Phone: You may also order print editions by calling our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble.com, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, and more.


Military Transportation: “Nothing Happens Until Something Moves”

May 13, 2016

There’s a lot happening in terms of transportation this month. May 16-22 is National Transportation Week, an opportunity to celebrate the community of transportation professionals who keep our country moving. In addition, the third Friday of May is National Defense Transportation Day. And throughout 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Transportation infrastructure is quite literally the foundation of our country. Interstate highway trucks and freight trains get people and products where they need to go. Across bridges, along rail lines, and through tunnels, transport mobility is a part of life. And it’s also critical for modern Army readiness. In fact, there is a little known unit specializing in rapid troop and cargo delivery to distant theaters. It’s called the U.S. Army Transportation Corps.

008-029-00597-2Spearhead of Logistics: A History of the United States Army Transportation Corps

This U.S. Army Center of Military History text chronicles over 200 years of U.S. military transportation. The “need to organize, control, equip, and man transportation resources” became evident during the Revolutionary War. Borrowing from the organized transport network of the merchant class, the Continental Congress authorized a Quartermaster General to contribute logistical support—mostly in the form of horses and river boats—to Revolutionary forces. Since then, every war, expeditionary operation, and worldwide commitment has been supported by what eventually became the Transportation Corps of today.

Corps history is in step with the timeline of transportation growth. Steamboats in the Mexican War. Locomotives in the Civil War. Wagons in the Spanish-American War. Transport from this era “was the prototype of that required for a modern war in the Industrial Revolution.” Army transportation matured dramatically with wartime demands. Troop movement in both world wars required considerable coordination. Motor vehicles were first employed in World War I when “truck convoys [carried] supplies from the ports to the forward areas.” Horsepower was officially out and “animal power would never again be a major consideration for the U.S. Army.”

SPEARHEAD OF LOGICITICS (002)

Forty men and eight horses. U.S. troops on their way to the trenches, 1918. Excerpt from publication.

When the world once again charged into a world war, the U.S. military expanded its transport mission. As it was “the first time U.S. troops were deployed throughout the world,” all ground and water transportation reorganized under one agency, the Transportation Corps. The newly formalized unit brought military might to bear in the beachhead landing on Normandy, campaign into the heart of Nazi Germany, MacArthur’s assaults in the Pacific theater, and the Berlin Airlift.

With continued speed and efficiency, the Transportation Corps sustained a massive combat force in Desert Storm. In a seven-month period, Corps officers participated in the “largest battlefield movement ever recorded for the time allotted.” Sea port and airlift operations and movement of “combat force[s] into attack positions…was one of the most significant achievements in the history of the Transportation Corps.”

us-armyThe Transportation Corps has embraced new technology and provided orderly service to the mission of defense. Without Army transport, personnel, equipment, and supplies would be immobilized. The book ends with an Albert Einstein quote that perfectly describes the Corps: “nothing happens until something moves.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS MILITARY HISTORY PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Los Zetas: Mexico’s Most Feared Drug Cartel

April 11, 2016
Copyright free photo of El Chapo

Copyright free photo of El Chapo

El Chapo. A household name that sends a paralysis of fear through many who hear it. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is the toppled drug kingpin who heads the Sinaloa Cartel in absentia. The notorious druglord’s capture, jailbreak, and recapture made headlines over the past year. Although the crime boss is behind bars, the dramatic and deadly exploits of Mexican drug cartels are far from over. Sinaloa’s archrival, Los Zetas, is a pillar of the narco-violence underworld. GPO makes available a U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institution (SSI) publication on the evolution of the most vicious drug-trafficking organization in Mexico.

In “The Evolution of Los Zetas in Mexico and Central America: Sadism as an Instrument of Cartel Warfare,” SSI expert George G. Grayson charts Los Zetas ruthless rise to prominence. Once a counter-narcotics paramilitary outfit, core members deserted the Mexican Army in the late 1990s. They morphed into a new organization and soon built a savage reputation. Los Zetas “not only traffic in drugs, murder, kidnap, and raid PEMEX [Petróleos Mexicanos] but also involve themselves in extortion, human smuggling, torture, money laundering, prostitution, arson, prison breakouts, murder for hire, and other felonies.”

008-000-01085-4Zeta influence spans most of Central America. From its base in Nuevo Laredo, “the largest commercial portal joining Mexico to its northern neighbor,” the Zeta brand of cruelty is trending throughout Mexico and bleeding out elsewhere. Borderland bloodshed gives Los Zetas a launchpad for U.S. incursions. At this point, most criminal activity remains south of the border. Not a exactly a safe place to be an American. Grayson writes that narco-violence is tied to 684 U.S. citizen deaths in Mexico from 2002-2012—“40 percent of American violent deaths worldwide in this period.”

Other cartels are copycatting Zeta-style cutthroat tactics. Grayson calls it the “Zetanization” of Mexico’s explosive drug war. The use of retributive, gruesome practices—that include butcherings, beheadings, and stewing foes in boiling gasoline vats—advances the mafioso agenda and solidifies territorial claims. Los Zeta’s tight grip is secured with brutal leadership, publicity ploys, and fresh teenage recruits.

“The Evolution of Los Zetas” shows how the cartel has transformed itself from ragtag bandits into a cash-flush, heinous crime syndicate. The White House branded it “a unique and extraordinary threat to the stability of international economies and political systems.” Los Zetas is truly a menace. Drug enforcement agencies want to eliminate it. Adversarial cartels want to overtake it. Mexican citizens just want to stop being terrorized by it.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


How the Army Cares for Its Warriors

April 5, 2016

April 6 is the anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I. It’s also Army Day, a time to appreciate our national defense and support military preparedness. Nothing bolsters those two things better than a healthy, ready soldier force. GPO makes available several resources for warrior rehabilitation and transition professionals.

9780160926761Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Toolkit

In this U.S. Army Medical Department’s Borden Institute publication, rehabilitation professionals review the best research-driven treatment practices for concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI). Recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan prompted the military’s rehabilitative community to advance care excellence for service members with mTBIs. Concussions are sustained on and off the battlefield, thus, post-concussive clinical guidance is ever more imperative. Although this work of clinicians and therapists is intended for clinicians and therapists, the research on balance, vision, post-traumatic headache, cognition, fitness and other functions is an education for non-medical types as well. This toolkit is evidence of “significant contributions to the recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration of Service Members who are symptomatic after sustaining an mTBI.” It’s an “Army strong” addition to the medical body of knowledge.

9780160893667Warrior Transition Leader: Medical Rehabilitation Handbook

The U.S. Army has a comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration system for what it terms Warriors in Transition (WTs). In the words of the Warrior Transition Command mission, Army healthcare professionals “establish conditions for healing and promote the timely return to the force or transition to civilian life.” This Army medicine handbook charts the modern soldier rehabilitation practices. Several chapters address the essential topics of military-related disability rights, self-medication and suicide risks, assistive technologies, and resilience development. Accounts from real soldiers show that  “wounded, injured, and ill” service member care is focused, collaborative, and innovative. Engagement of soldiers and family throughout transition and rehabilitation programs certifies this system’s world-class status.

008-000-01151-6A Shared Burden: The Military and Civilian Consequences of Army Pain Management Since 2001

According to author Craig Trebilcock, “the Army has an opioid drug problem.” It’s not a simply a matter of recreational misuse or delinquent soldiers. Prescription opioid pain medications do have a legitimate rehabilitative application. However, usage tracking is failing and knowledge gaps need patching up. This U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute paper gives Army leadership “a new way of thinking about…impact on combat readiness and civil-military relations.” A survey of senior officers reveals that greater opioid medication monitoring, training, and education is one strategy for consideration. Just as service doesn’t end when a solider becomes a veteran, medical monitoring and rehabilitation should accompany veterans for the long-term. To contravene the impact of opioid dependency on civilian society, military policy needs to proactively address this “shared burden.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Here’s Lookin’ at You, Hard Power

March 29, 2016

Since World War II, the worldwide presence of the United States has been reinforced by the allied military network it maintains. As a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the same can be said of U.S. security partners. In “A Hard Look at Hard Power,” thirteen U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) expert contributors address the question: “is that bargain unraveling?”

Source: archive.defense.gov

Source: archive.defense.gov

This essay collection examines the “economy of force” and “collective security” that key allies bring to the American geopolitical board game. Coalition members provide “hard power” capabilities and share the burden of reduced military spending. A multilateral cooperative of “like-minded liberal governments confers a degree of legitimacy on such operations that unilateral action is short of.” But as the essayists point out, this defense arrangement is enfeebled.

Much of the analysis points to shrinking defense forces and budgets in countries like Italy, Australia, Germany, and Great Britain. Country-specific chapters show public support for increased social spending. Maintaining modern military readiness just doesn’t receive the same backing. Much of Europe and elsewhere seems in a state of “strategic ambivalence.” Soft power is the force majeure. Hard power is softening.

a hard look at hard power_coverThe book details examples of other allies who are experiencing war power evolution and shifting power balances. Poland is boosting its regional defense capabilities. South Korea faces the advancing North Korean threat at its doorstep. Taiwan postures itself in the direction of China. Japan is undertaking ambitious military reforms for a greater strategic role. All the while, the NATO alliance force-structure is evolving.

Editor Gary J. Schmitt frames the challenge as “the absence of military capabilities or the strategy to deploy them effectively [that] can create regional dynamics that invite instability.” For the U.S. to understand allied military capability, there must be a frank discussion about what must be done to get the right resources on the table and the right forces at the table. Hard power shortcomings are everywhere. The U.S. multilateral defense network needs its friends now more than ever.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


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