Since the current communist offensive into South Vietnam began some three weeks ago, ARVN regulars have been moved to the battle areas or reinforce small units under attacks.
REGIONAL AND POPULAR FORCES GATHERED TO RECEIVE ORDERS FROM COMMANDER; TROOPS MOVING OFF AND THROUGH VILLAGE ???PATROL; TROOPS MANNING CHECKPOINT ON ROAD; FERRY ACROSS RIVEN AND TROOPS BUILDING NEW BRIDGE.
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Background: Since the current communist offensive into South Vietnam began some three weeks ago, ARVN regulars have been moved to the battle areas or reinforce small units under attacks. The move has left district towns and villages under the protection of the Regional and Popular Forces.
In the district capital of Ben Cat, halfway between Saigon and An Loc, Regional and Popular Forces -- or "Ruff-Puffs" as they are known -- have been assigned to protect the area from communist infiltration.
Their duties range from standard patrols to helping villagers across rivers. Checkpoint duty is another important task for the Ruff-Puffs. Every traveller must be checked for arms of explosives. Communist sappers have already struck in the area earlier last month, blowing up the main bridge on the road to Tay Ninh.
Several regional forces companies have been moved into the Ben Cat area lately. One of their prime objectives is to prevent guerrilla infiltration into the area around the Fifth ARVN division Headquarters at Lai Khe, immediately to the north. They are also responsible for maintaining the southeastern sections of Highway 13 -- the road which connects Saigon to besieged An Loc.