Vietnam Air Defense Case Study

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The Vietnam War was significant for Air Defense Artillery due in large part to recognizing deficiencies within the branch and identifying ways to overcome them. Fire units disseminated throughout the Battalions’ area of operation and fought with limited weapons and equipment. While working to conquer the vital issues that hindered mission readiness, Air Defense Artillery demonstrated its tenacity by becoming one of the most awarded units to participate in the war. During the Vietnam War, Air Defense Artillery officers and Field Artillery officers were frequently assigned to Artillery units outside of their training. This started in 1950 at the end of World War II, due to Air Defense units being inactivated after the war. In an effort to keep Artillery Officers in the Army, the branches were combined to allow assignment and promotion options to expand. Being only a 1 year tour, Vietnam presented significant issues with the combined branch …show more content…
The missions usually included guarding high valued assets, leading the charge during the offensive, and observing the sky for any potential targets. Although the air threat was non-existent in Vietnam, Air Defense Artillery proved to be one of the most valuable and skilled branches during the war. President Richard Nixon ordered the re-deployment of 70,000 troops in 1972 (1993 A Vietnam War Timeline). Among those was 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery. During its five years in the combat zone, 1-44 ADA was awarded both the Presidential Unit Citation and the Valorous Unit Citation, becoming one of the Army’s most decorated units at that time. Even until this day, Air Defense Artillery continues to prove its value while forward deployed to combat areas. The branch is responsible for guarding ground forces and high valued assets from Air Breathing Threats and Tactical Ballistic