The Allied Forces' Combined Material Exploitation Center (CMEC), at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut Air Base, is in the business of "harvesting" Viet Cong weapons.
Hole in side of building at Tan Son Nhut caused by 12mm rocket round
122mm rocket round and launcher
LtCol Baker with USSR RPG-7 anti-tank weapon
Various types of automatic weapons used by VC
Various weapons mounted on wall
Chicom 12.7mm heavy machine gun, Type 54, used as anti-aircraft weapon
140mm rocket and launcher
Various types of mines used by VC, mostly home-made
Food seasonings used by VC
Samples of rice VC eat and carry
Dried human plasma made in Japan
Blood Volume Restorer made in West Germany
Nivaquine made in France
Vitamin K, factor in blood coagulation, made in Hanoi, North Vietnam
Chloroform made in Communist China
Chicom radio set 63 (251A)
Chicom Model 7512 radio receiver
Type R-607 radio set from Navy of USSR
LtCol Baker with 25 watt home-made radio transmitter
NOTE TO EDITORS: 94' 16mm color original release to NBC-TV for servicing TV and theatrical pool members. Color original to be forwarded to Deluxe Laboratories 850 Tenth Avenue, New York City, within 72 hours.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Allied Forces' Combined Material Exploitation Center (CMEC), at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut Air Base, is in the business of "harvesting" Viet Cong weapons.
The primary reason for the interest in the captured weapons and supplies is to gather information about the enemy's methods and movements. By testing the captured weapons, methods can be devised to defend against them.
As this film, shot March 5, 1968 shows careful examination of grenade launchers, rifles, and automatic weapons indicates the source of supply and tactics which would be used by the Viet Cong.
A dual purpose machine gun mount makes it quickly convertible from a ground weapon to an anti-aircraft weapon. Captured radio equipment gives a good indication of the state of the enemy's technological advances. Many times, the equipment is old or crude, but demonstrates the Viet Cong's ability to make good use of the most primitive raw materials.
The evaluation of disarmed mines and booby traps may reveal where and how they were manufactured and provide lifesaving information about how to guard against them. The common non-metallic Vietnamese Nuoc Mam jar makes a virtually undetectable container for an explosive charge.
Also, bits of food left behind by the enemy provide information about how well he is being supplied and what movements might be expected. Similarly, pieces of clothing, unit patches, and buttons indicate which unit is in the area and its approximate strength.
Medical supplies are available on the open market in ports such as Hong Kong and Singapore. Captured medical supplies give valuable information of how well the enemy is supplied and the origin of most of his supplies. the 122mm rocket launcher and projectile shown by Army Lieutenant Colonel John G. Baker, the American director of CMEC, was captured just outside Tan Son Nhut Air Base and is the same type used to launch attacks at the vital airfield.
Information gathered through the CMEC gives American and Allied Forces in South Vietnam an added edge by giving the fighting man greater knowledge of the enemy and his equipment.