Tactics learned from the Vietnam war were put to good use in Southern Malaysia yesterday (Monday) as wave after wave of british Gurkha troops staged simulated but realistic helicopter assault operation.
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Background: Tactics learned from the Vietnam war were put to good use in Southern Malaysia yesterday (Monday) as wave after wave of british Gurkha troops staged simulated but realistic helicopter assault operation.
The were taking part in exercises carried out by five Commonwealth countries-Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and malaysia-to demonstrate the strength and mobility of South-East Asian defences.
Watching the Gurkhas were about 700 australian and New Zealand troops-some of them veterans of similar assaults in South Vietnam.
In the scorching tropical heat, the Gurkhas went through their paces lugging massive packs, rifles, mortars and other weapons and equipment. They clambered from the helicopters by rope or simply jumped two metres to the ground and then fanned out in a circle around an imaginary jungle clearing.
Overhead helicopter gunships strafed imaginary enemy positions. Then followed more Gurkha reinforcements who dropped in as those already on the ground set up mortars to open fire on the hidden enemy.
Five Gurkhas fell down, pretending to be wounded, while others opened up with machine-guns. Ten minutes later the assault troops emerged victorious from the top of the hill, their mission completed successfully-at least in the eyes of Commonwealth military planners.
(The exercises will end next month with the staging of a huge invasion against the east coast of Malaysia).