A taut arresting cable snaps an RA-5C "Vigilante" jet plane to a sudden stop aboard the aircraft carrier USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) on "Yankee Station," about 50 miles from North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin.
A taut arresting cable snaps an RA-5C "Vigilante" jet plane to a sudden stop aboard the aircraft carrier USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64) on "Yankee Station," about 50 miles from North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin. The jet has just returned from a photographic reconnaissance flight over Communist North Vietnam.
Several photographer's mates dash out to unload aerial film magazines from the aircraft and take it below decks for processing and evaluation by the ship's Integrated Operational Intelligence Center of "IOIC."
The "IOIC" holds many surprises for the uninitiated. It provides the latest innovations for obtaining almost instant push-button intelligence information about the enemy's activities. Within twenty minutes after the "Vigilante" touches down, the film is processed and ready for an intelligence "read out." Enemy missile and anti-aircraft sites, supply points, railways, trucks, cargo barges, and other militarily important targets are spotted and their condition noted. "Hot" targets of immediate air strike importance are relayed to the ship's strike center. Often, aircraft already enroute to North Vietnam are diverted to these targets, taking the communists completely by surprise.
When all information from a "read-out" is compiled, the information is entered on IBM-type cards for the reference library of the Storage & Retriever Section. The information is also tape-recorded in the binary language of computers for future rapid recall.
Finally, the Digital Plotter marks a map of North Vietnam with symbols indicating current tactical targets. Copies of the map are made available for use of pilots and others involved with planning air strikes. Additionally, aerial photo maps can be made almost immediately available for other "Yankee Station" strike forces and for U.S. Air Force units. Often, when significant strikes occur, aerial photo copies are released to news media.
Less than one hour after a U.S. Navy "Vigilante" passes over North Vietnam, the enemy's activities are known to friendly forces... thanks to the "instant information" provided by the "IOIC."