SYND10/03/71 SCENES AT A FIRE BASE NEAR THE CAPTURED TARGET TOWN OF TCHEPONE
Liberty Bridge Today, Quang Nam, Vietnam
Căn Cứ Hỏa Lực số 6 ngày 14/04/1971
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The Tchepone Operation was an interdiction campaign by the Royal Lao Armed Forces aimed at disrupting the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) supply line, the Ho Chi Minh trail. The pair of three-battalion Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored Royalist irregulars aimed at a communist garrison at Moung Phine, and the vital transshipment point of Tchepone. The Muang Phine thrust was fruitless. The Tchepone column stalled on Route 9 only 13 kilometers from the logistics center on 31 October. Between 1 and 10 November, the PAVN fiercely attacked while reinforced with nine antiaircraft guns and six mortars. The Royalist guerrillas retreated to base under cover of tactical air strikes by the Royal Lao Air Force and U.S. Air Force that inflicted heavy casualties on the PAVN, including close air support delivered within 20 meters of the Royalists. Analysis of the results of the Tchepone Operation convinced the CIA that regimental operations should replace multi-battalion ones.
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