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U.S. To Step Up Commando Operations in Vietnam

Jan. 8, 1963 - The success of commando operations in South Vietnam has prompted the Air Force to increase its air commando training operations, Air Force Secretary Eugene M. Zuckert said today. Mr. Zuckert told a news conference at the Pentagon that the Air War Training Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (pictured), would soon be expanded from 1,000 to 3,000 men. He said, however, that there was no plan at this time to send more Air Force men into South Vietnam, where experts from the Florida base have been teaching bombing and strafing techniques to native soldiers for jungle warfare. Most of the Americans helping in the war against Communist insurgents are Army men, and the total has been put unofficially at 10,000. Mr. Zuckert, reporting on his world tour of air bases last month, said that South Vietnam was a “tough league” for fighting, even by experienced pilots. Nevertheless, he said, combat operations there have proved the effectiveness of air commando techniques.

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