At Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam, a group of small A-37 U.S. Air Force?
Bien Hoa sign
Pan of A-37s on flight line
Bombs and rockets being put under wings of A-37
Crewman checking mini-gun
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Background: At Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam, a group of small A-37 U.S. Air Force jet aircraft are ready to support troops in the field or convoys moving from one base to another.
These aircraft are similar to the T-37 trainer used in the Air Force pilot training programs, but operate at twice the speed of the trainer model.
The jet attack plane, when loaded with nearly 5,000 pounds of externally-mounted bombs and rockets can fly operational missions at speeds ranging from 138 to 438 miles per hour.
The two-place jet mounts a 7.62mm mini-gun mounted in the nose section.
Two of the A-37s are kept on alert at all times and are able to be airborne within three minutes after receiving a call for support.
Many times the sub-sonic jets are called upon to escort truck convoys and provide air cover in case of ambush by enemy forces along highways.
The A-37 has been successfully used in many ground support missions since its arrival in Vietnam last June.