Thailand has decided to withdraw its troops from South Vietnam. Following the declared intention of?
Thailand has decided to withdraw its troops from South Vietnam. Following the declared intention of the United States, Australia New Zealand and the Philippines to pull out their forces, Thailand says it has completed plans to bring home its 12,000 men.
The biggest concentration of Thai troops is at Bearcat Base, about 30 miles (50 kms) east of Saigon. This commands what is known as the "Thai tactical area of responsibility."
The Thais mix military duties with civic work. On the military side, their artillery pounds suspected communist positions while troops are ferried by helicopter into the surrounding countryside on search-and-destroy missions.
Vietcong casualties and their weapons are brought back to the base and victorious troops, such as those from the Black Leopard Division, are awarded Victory Medals.
The Thais are equally active on the peaceful side of their work. They provide free dental and medical treatment for Vietnamese living in the area, gifts for the local children, and help South Vietnamese troops with construction work.
No date has yet been fixed for the withdrawal of the Thai forces. But in view of what the Thai Government calls the 'critical position' on thailand's borders with Cambodia and Laos, the troops may find themselves taking the same military role at home at that in South Vietnam.