The South Vietnamese Army is establishing bases in mountainous terrain in the Mekong Delta -- an area which for more than a decade was dominated by the Viet Cong.
GV AERIAL VIEW ..hill
LV & MV South Vietnamese troops clear path to peak of hill (3 shots)
MV South Vietnamese troops relaxing
GV South Vietnamese troops use bulldozers to build road (2 shots)
MV South Vietnamese troops place sandbags into position (2 shots)
GV & AERIAL V..South Vietnamese positions on hill
Initials SAW/AH/ES.15.25 SAW/AH/ES.15.55
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Background: The South Vietnamese Army is establishing bases in mountainous terrain in the Mekong Delta -- an area which for more than a decade was dominated by the Viet Cong.
Until recently Government advisors considered it too costly to clear Communist troops from the caves and tunnels that riddle the hills in the Delta. Now, Saigon forces have established control over two of the seven major hills in the Delta and roads are being built to the recaptured peaks.
The army plans to establish a major base on one of the hill tops. Before the Government successes in the Delta the hills had been used for frequent Communist mortar and rocket attacks on a training base nearby. Government casualties had sometimes amounted to 23-30 men wounded nightly. With the hilltops secure, the attacks have been stopped. Previously aircraft had been unable to fly low over the contested mountains -- but now helicopters patrol the hills in relative safety.
United States advisors see the Government successes in the Mekong Delta as a major step in the programme to bring the rural population back under Saigon control and stop Viet Cong infiltration.