Brigadier General Ray Ochs, commanding officer of the United States 173rd Airborne Brigade, last week handed over control of northern Binh Dinh Province in central Vietnam to South Vietnamese forces, part of the continuing "Vietnamisation" of the war.
SV Brigadier General Ochs speak to Vietnamese forces.
CU Vietnamese troops listening
SCU General decorating Vietnamese soldiers.
CU Medal on Vietnamese soldier.
CU Brigadier General Ochs.
LV Vietnamese children looking on (2 shots)
CU Vietnamese man (2 shots)
SV General shaking hands with villagers.
SCU Vietnamese women
GV Vietnamese village.
SV & CU Villagers sawing wood.
SV & CU Woman making preparing food.
CU Woman rolling ball of string. (3 shots)
LV Damaged building (2 shots)
SCU Vietnamese man with gun.
LV Villagers by hut.
CU Woman stirring run. (2 shots)
Initials GL/PNG/CO/4.23 GL/PNG/CO/4.51
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Background: Brigadier General Ray Ochs, commanding officer of the United States 173rd Airborne Brigade, last week handed over control of northern Binh Dinh Province in central Vietnam to South Vietnamese forces, part of the continuing "Vietnamisation" of the war. A simple ceremony marked the handover.
The six thousand men of the 173rd Airborne Brigade have been responsible for the security of the area for two years; now ARVN troops have taken over the task.
Villagers and their children watched from a distance as the General addressed the South Vietnamese troops and awarded decorations, but there was no cheering or flag-waving -- the people of Northern Binh Dinh traditionally resent outside authority, wherever it come from.
Other Vietnamese find the people of this region hard to understand because of their accent, and used to laugh at them, regarding them as simple and stupid. But the laughter stopped 35 years ago when the people of Binh Dinh rebelled against the government.
Their revolt was harshly suppressed, but their disaffection remained, and their sympathies turned to the communists -- for more than a generation now the people have supported them.
That support has cost them dearly, both in lives and property; only now, after much bitter fighting have the U.S. forces succeeded in reducing Viet Cong strength to a level at which they could hand over control of the area to South Vietnamese troops.