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Australia To Send More Men and Materiel to Vietnam

June 8, 1964 - The Australian Government will send six air force transport planes and more army instructors to South Vietnam under a program of increased military aid.

For the first time, Australian instructors will join Americans by serving in the field as advisers to combat groups.

Government sources in Canberra say the program is the first response by any country to the recent U.S. plea for a wider sharing of the burden of defending South Vietnam against Communist aggression.

Announcing the program in Canberra, Senator Shane D. Paltridge, Minister of Defense, said that Australia would send three Caribou transport planes as soon as servicing and support facilities could be provided in South Vietnam. Three more will be sent in October.

He said the present Australian Army training team of 30 commissioned and noncommissioned officers in Vietnam would be doubled and Australian instructors would now be used in the field as advisers to battalion-level and smaller groups.

In the past, except for isolated incidents, the Australians’ instructional duties have kept them out of direct contact with the Viet Cong.

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