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New Survival Kit for Special Forces in Vietnam

Mar. 27, 1964 - Army Special Forces troopers bound for South Vietnam are being given a one-pound survival kit to enable them to evade the enemy in the jungle for as long as 10 days. The kit holds 42 items, including fishing gear, a lighter, medicines, and a “Do-It-Yourself” pamphlet.

Special Forces troopers work in the bush with South Vietnamese Ranger units. They are the Army’s anti-guerrilla experts.

The Army Limited War Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., was given the job of developing special equipment to permit these Americans to live off the land should they be separated from their units. The kit is divided into two parts, one for day-to-day operations and one for situations in which “the individual might have to adopt evasive tactics.”

Included in the day-to-day part are a signal mirror, saw, flare gun, salt tablets, bandages and medication, water purification tablets, and repellents. The reserve package has a butane-type lighter for starting fires, fishing nets and hooks, sewing equipment, a compass, and a knife.


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