Topic: The Field of Battle
Summary of Salient Points Learned With Respect to VC Supply Caches
Viet Cong Base Camps and Supply Caches; Counter Insurgency Lessons learned No. 68., July 1968
a. The use of information provided by PWs and Hoi Chanhs can materially assist units in locating caches. Information provided by such people must always be considered and, whenever possible, exploited to the utmost.
b. The VC use natural and man made anthills as caches for weapons and munitions.
c. Caches are more easily identified if units recognize the key protective measures used by the VC.
d. Flocks of birds are a frequent indicator of the proximity of rice caches.
e. Analysis of the disposition of booby traps in an area can lead to the discovery of valuable VC stores and material.
f. When searching for caches, operations should be methodical, deliberate and thorough.
g. Operational planning must include methods of extracting rice or destroying it in place.
h. Rice caches can normally be effectively scattered by the use of cratering charges and effectively contaminated with CS.
i. Rice caches are infrequently booby trapped.
j. The VC frequently place grenade type booby traps inside bags of rice. Therefore, all rice bags should be sanitized by EOD and Engineer personnel prior to handling. (see Fig. 6)
k. Engineer bulldozers cab be effectively utilized in the destruction of rice caches by pushing them into rivers or constructing suitable LZs close to the caches to allow evacuation by air.
l. Caches are usually well concealed, located in the proximity of transportation routes, and are not placed in any discernible patterns.
m. Extraction of rice caches are ideal missions for RVNAF's organic transportation units and Province/District Headquarters in carrying out Civic Action Programs.
n. Nipa palm trees have been used by the VC to store equipment. The foliage of these trees offers excellent concealment for caches.
o. Medical supplies should be evacuated through intelligence channels rather than being destroyed in place.
p. The use of probes and mine detectors in locating buried caches has proven to be effective.