• Short Summary

    "FOCUS RETINA" IS THE CODE NAME FOR THE LONGEST AIRBORNE ASSAULT EXERCISE IN HISTORY WHICH STARTS TODAY (16 MARCH).

  • Description

    "FOCUS RETINA" IS THE CODE NAME FOR THE LONGEST AIRBORNE ASSAULT EXERCISE IN HISTORY WHICH STARTS TODAY (16 MARCH). PREPARATIONS FOR THE OPERATION WHICH IS PART OF ONE OF A CONTINUING OVERSEAS EXERCISES BY THE UNITED STATES AIR STRIKE COMMAND IN COOPERATION WITH OTHER U.S. AND ALLIED FORCES, WENT INTO THEIR FINAL STAGES AT SUWON AIR FORCE BASE, 40 MILES SOUTH OF SEOUL, ON THURSDAY (MARCH 13).

    THE EXERCISE STARTS TODAY WHEN 700 U.S. PARATROOPERS PARACHUTE TO LAND AFTER A 31-HOUR DIRECT FLIGHT FROM POPE AIR FORCE BASE AT FORT BRAGG IN NORTH CAROLINA, U.S.A. THEY ARE A BATTALION OF THE 82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION'S SECOND BRIGADE, AND THEY WILL BE JOINING ANOTHER BATTALION OF 800 MEN ALREADY DEPLOYED IN SOUTH KOREA AND THEY ARE ONLY A PART OF THE TOTAL OF 26,500 ARMY AND AIR FORCE MEN FLOWN IN ABOARD HUGE C141 AND C140 TRANSPORT PLANES. THESE FORCES WILL LINK UP WITH SOUTH KOREAN INFANTRY BATTALIONS AND OTHER SUPPORTING UNITS TOTALLING 4,500 MEN.

    SIMILAR EXERCISES HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN IRAN, TURKEY, GREECE, NORWAY AND GERMANY IN RECENT YEARS.

    WHILE THE START OF THE OPERATION WILL BE WATCHED BY SOUTH KOREA'S PRESIDENT CHUNG HEE PARK, AND IS CONSIDERED TO BE ONE WAY IN WHICH OKINAWA CAN BE USED IN THE "DEFENCE OF FREEDOM" IN THE FAR EAST; NORTH KOREA HAS CALLED FOR A MEETING OF THE COMBINED MILITARY ARMISTICE COMMISSION WITH THE UNTIED NATIONS COMMAND (UNC) TO PROTEST AGAINST THE EXERCISE ON THE GROUND THAT IS "ANOTHER PROVOCATION BY FORCE".

    THE "FOCUS RETINA" EXERCISE IS, TO THE UNTIED SATES, PRIMARILY A DEMONSTRATION OF ABILITY TO DISPLACE PARACHUTE TROOPS AND HEAVY EQUIPMENT AT SPEED OVER GREAT DISTANCES. IT COMES, THOUGH, AT A TIME WHEN THERE IS INTENSE DEBATE IN THE JAPANESE PARLIAMENT OVER THE FUTURE OF OKINAWA, WHICH IS LIKELY TO BE RETURNED TO JAPAN BY THE U.S.A. IN THE EARLY 1970S.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAB5875LE45VB3CJPC728KZDA4N
    Media URN:
    VLVAB5875LE45VB3CJPC728KZDA4N
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    16/03/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:46:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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