As part of its intensive campaign to strengthen the armed forces, the Khmer Government is now training girls as paratroops.
TRACKING SHOT Girls prepare for jump
SCU Instructor checks harness
CU Two girls (2 shots)
SV Girls board aircraft (2 shots)
SV Aircraft taxiing
SV INT Paratroops look out of door
SCU Girls jump
GV Paratroops descending.
GV Paratroops land (3 shots)
GV Girls landing and dragged through paddy field.
SV Paratroop walks to camera.
Initials BB/1540 CP/PN/BB/1555
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: As part of its intensive campaign to strengthen the armed forces, the Khmer Government is now training girls as paratroops. The first classes are now underway at Phnom Penh's Pochentong Airport.
The students are mainly teenagers or in their early twenties. They comprise mostly students, teachers office workers and even a well-known singer. Their first jump was made from two thousand feet and the designated landing area was a water-logged paddy field, adjacent to the airfield.
All the girls are volunteers who answered the call to arms to rise up against what the Khmer Government describes as the "Vietnamese aggressors."
SYNOPSIS: In the Khmer Republic, military chiefs have now recruited women into the ranks of those fighting against what the Government terms "the Vietnamese aggressors."
And to further their campaign, it military is now training the girl to act as paratroops.
The first classes are underway at Phnom Penh's pochentong Airport. The girls are mostly teenagers of in their early twenties. They comprise mostly students, teachers, office workers and even a well known singer.
For many of them, this was to be their first jump. Male instructors were on hand to guide them, but once they left the aircraft they were on their own.
The landing area was a group of waterlogged rice paddies adjacent to the airport.
Each course lasts six weeks with the prospect of combat any time after the completion of the course. The successful girls join their male counterparts in the field.
With the girls, the total strength of the Army stands at about two hundred thousand.