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Additional info for Air War Over Southeast Asia: A Pictorial Record Vol. 1, 1962-1966
Tinkler recounts the feelings at the time: It became very obvious that the first aim to be achieved was to re-educate the US people. None had the slightest idea of all round defence, let alone the basics of counter-insurgency warfare. The US S3 [captain, operations officer] persisted in the concept of ‘lines of defence’ (as per NW European warfare) and could not get his head around the probability of a ‘rear’ attack. 49 Barry Tinkler’s concerns highlighted the (grand) tactical puzzle of South Viet Nam; it was a war with two prongs.
We never even thought about informing them, we thought we were there to advise the Vietnamese. However, we were embarrassed. After some ‘grave’ discussion— with a decidedly mischievous look on his face, Lieutenant Dam said no problem, we will continue as we are and I will keep a copy of the old POI on the wall for the benefit of those visitors that may need to know. 53 One of the successes was the introduction of demonstration platoons to aid instruction, which seemed to please everyone. Lieutenant Ian Gollings and Sergeant Ron Pincott organised the platoon at Hiep Khanh.
It really wasn’t until I had gained control over the 100 Montagnard who really did exist under National Police Surete control that I could turn some of my attention to soldiering again. However, throughout my entire tour I was immersed in political intrigue, intelligence collection, propaganda dissemination and soldiering. Taking over control of the first 100 Montagnard from the police Chief of Surete was, in itself, a very delicate feat assisted by a forged letter from the US Embassy to the Director of National Police for the Central Highlands Region.