Operational Control and Mission in Vietnam

Michael Tymchak, Battalion Commander, 8/64 - 12/66 (1966)
The aerial reconnaissance system is an integrated effort. It must be thoroughly understood and properly utilized at all echelons if maximum intelligence benefits are to be realized. Aerial reconnaissance can provide intelligence information quickly and accurately. It is especially effective when used to confirm or deny intelligence information gathered by other intelligence sources when reliability of the original source is questionable. Another invaluable product of aerial reconnaissance is the means that it provides to up-date and/or correct map deficiencies.

However, aerial reconnaissance is not a cure-all for all intelligence problems. There are two primary limitations that can restrict its effectiveness; bad weather and the amount of time required to produce the desired end product, e.g. mosaics to be used as map supplements. These limitations can be minimized and often overcome by proper prior planning.

1st MIBARS Mission in Vietnam

Roger Ellis, Det A Commander, 1970 - 1972 (2008)
The overall Mission of MIBARS was to provide near real time Imagery Intelligence to USARV in support of the Corps and Field Forces Vietnam. This was to include tactical imagery assessments, troop strengths, After Action Reports, Damage Assessment, location of enemy concentrations, weapons, armament and types of enemy (NVA, VC etc.) Also included were Post Damage Assessment of air strikes, friendly searches, convoy movement and all other special requests from CO USARV and all US and Allied commands.

Reproduction Mission was to provide copies of Imagery before and after analysis in the most timely manner.

Delivery Platoon was to get analyzed product to the field as expeditiously as possible either by air drop or landing at the closest airfield.


J2 MACV exercises operational control of 1st MIBARS through CO, 525th M.I. Group. The Battalion Commander exercises normal command functions and responsibilities and retains operational control of all elements of the battalion regardless of their location. Each detachment is assigned a direct support mission and is located in the support Corps area.

Processes, interprets, annotates, reproduces and delivers imagery obtained from the tactical air force reconnaissance elements.
Performs coordinated imagery interpretation and reproduction from separate locations.
Disseminates information obtained through imagery interpretation and visual sightings by the tactical air force reconnaissance
Provides liaison officers to tactical air force reconnaissance wing.

Detatchment Capabilities
Plots and performs immediate interpretation of 950 9" x 18" air photographs (or equivalent) in a 24-hour period and prepares and disseminates priority interpretation reports on this imagery.
Performs detailed interpretation of aerial imagery, as required.
Reproduces, identifies and packages aerial imagery up to 4000 9" x "18 prints or equivalent in an 8-hour period.
Provides liaison with reconnaissance elements of the tactical air force; briefs and debriefs reconnaissance aircraft crews to
secure information obtained from visual sighting.
Command Relationships 1 January 1966

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