Local militia in South Vietnam are playing an increasingly important role in halting the present seven-week-old North Vietnamese offensive.
GV Camp-sign PAN TO troops training
SV Soldiers in bayonet-training (5 shots)
STV Soldiers watch as instructor demonstrates judo
SV Instructor speaking to troops & troops practise jude (4 shots)
SV Troops climbing over obstacle (2 shots)
SV Troops jumping over wall
SV Troops scramble under barbed wire obstacle
SV Troops over obstacles & GV troops watch
Initials SGM/0042 SGM/0056
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Background: Local militia in South Vietnam are playing an increasingly important role in halting the present seven-week-old North Vietnamese offensive.
The militia are divided into Regional Forces and Popular Forces, responsible for district and village defence. Forces in Thua Thien (pron. Tew-ab Tes-en) Province have recently been boosted by an extra 7,700 men, previously stationed in the Province of Quang Tri -- now lost to the North Vietnamese.
They left Quang Tri in disarray, and are now being re-organised. Previously they fought only in platoon-size units. Now the Popular Force (P.F.) will fight in companies of about 120 men, and the Regional Forces (R. F.) in battalions of 500-600 men.
In order to accustom them to their new dispositions, and improve their morale and fighting-ability, both the P.F. and R.F. are being given a concentrated one-month training-course at the Dong Da Training Centre 16 miles (26 km) south of Hue.
Despite the loss of Quang Tri Province, the PF and RF there fought well, and they are expected to contribute an important role in the defence of the threatened Citadel City of Hue.
SYNOPSIS: In Dong Da Camp, sixteen miles south of the threatened Imperial Capital of Hue, South Vietnamese local militia were last week training in earnest for the part they will play in halting the North Vietnamese offensive.
Although not regular troops, the militia are expected to provide a major supporting-role in the defence of Hue. Many of them wee originally stationed in the neighbouring Province of Quang Tri, but were driven out when advancing North Vietnamese forces occupied the area.
Now they are being reorganised and formed into larger, more effective units. The strenuous obstacle-course on which they are training in Dong Da serves not only to promote their discipline and physical fitness, but also to bind them together in their new units. After their defeat in Quang Tri Province, their commanding-officers recognised the need for drive to raise morale. They belie that the constant training in Deng Da will provide such a boost.
The course at the Camp lasts for a month. After it is completed, the militia will be re-deployed in Hue... there to confront their old opponents with renewed vigour.