Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1969
Civil Works and Military Engineering
The Army's engineering mission combines broad responsibilities in both civil and military areas, including water resources development, flood control, navigation, shore protection, real estate management, construction, utilities operation, mapping and geodesy, combat support, and emergency operations. In fiscal year 1969 the over-all engineering responsibility was shaped in immediate terms by natural disasters and wartime urgencies, and in long-range terms by the requirement to sustain and advance all evolutionary engineering activities and programs.
The necessity for providing urban and agricultural areas of the country with adequate flood protection was dramatically illustrated in the spring of 1969 when the winter's near-record snowfall in areas of New England, the upper Midwest, and the western mountains began to melt. Snowpack in New England and the mountain areas contained up to 4.5 times the normal average of water for that time of year.
The Weather Bureau called attention to the flood potential in early February, warning that the Mississippi River could crest higher than the record level of 1965. On February 20 the Army Corps of Engineers, which performs emergency flood control functions, began surveys to evaluate the flood potential and initiate emergency steps. Nine days later President Nixon ordered federal agencies to undertake all feasible flood prevention preparations in the northern and western parts of the country. The program, the first mobilization of federal efforts in advance of a potential national disaster, was co-ordinated by the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and christened Operation Foresight.
The Army Corps of Engineers began a massive program of assistance to state and local governments. More than 400 communities in 26 states were aided with construction, supplies, and equipment. Over 320 construction contracts, valued at $9.6 million and involving the use of some 3,600 pieces of heavy construction equipment, were negotiated to build, raise, or strengthen over 200 miles of levee, break up ice and log jams, and clear channels. Nearly 10 million sandbags, hundreds of pumps, and many miles of polyethylene sheeting were provided. Over 2,000 Army employees, military and civilian, participated.
Operation Foresight proved to be highly successful, preventing an estimated $200 million in flood damage. Also significant were the many
large upstream reservoirs on the main stem of the Missouri River and in the Kansas River Basin which the Army has constructed over the years as part of the nation's extensive flood control program. On this occasion, these reservoirs averted substantial additional damage.
Since 1936 the Army Corps of Engineers has completed over 650 flood control projects. The 900 corps projects of all categories now effective for flood control have prevented well over $17 billion in damages since 1918. In addition to the many major reservoir projects, 77 projects, or 28 percent of the entire specifically authorized construction program of the corps, were under way during fiscal year 1969 to provide flood protection to local communities. Many small projects not authorized by specific legislation were also constructed.
Wise use of the flood plains supplements construction in reducing flood damage. Under the Flood Plain Management Services program, the Secretary of the Army, through the Corps of Engineers, is authorized to compile and disseminate information on flood hazards and to respond to requests for technical advice and guidance in flood plain land use planning.
Through fiscal year 1969 over 300 flood plain information and special flood hazard reports were issued. Responses were made to some 2,000 requests for at-site flood hazard information during the year. In the long run this program, along with the corps' survey program and programs of other agencies, is expected to provide information on flood hazards in 7,500 communities. Planningwith flood hazard information as a basis, and incorporating flood plain regulation, flood-proofing techniques, and other adjustments, as well as flood control-is continuing at an increased pace. Several states have adopted flood plain information reports in land use planning and regulation studies.
The federal program to improve rivers and harbors for navigation, now in its 144th year, was the first water resource development activity assigned to the Corps of Engineers. The program consists of three major elementscoastal harbors and channels, Great Lakes harbors and channels, and inland and intracoastal waterways. Each of these systems has more than justified construction and operating costs by savings in transportation costs. For example, the federal government has improved in varying degrees some 22,000 miles of inland and intracoastal waterways, of which about 19,000 miles are currently in commercial use. Latest available statistics indicate that foreign and domestic traffic on inland waterways increased nearly 6.1 percent during calendar year 1967, to establish a new record of 174.6 billion ton-miles.
In addition to providing flood control and aiding navigation, a great number of the corps' projects also generate hydroelectric power. In fiscal year 1969, 1,235,000 kilowatts of generating capacity were placed
in commercial operation. At the end of the fiscal year, a total of 10,875,400 kilowatts of generating capacity was in operation at 49 projects located in 20 states, representing 3.6 percent of total generating capacity and 20 percent of the hydroelectric generating capacity in the nation.
The civil works program has contributed to the nation's outdoor recreation opportunities by regulating downstream flow and creating vast expanses of water areas with thousands of miles of new shoreline. With these resources the public is able to enjoy many types of water-oriented outdoor recreation.
Over 227 million people visited Corps of Engineers reservoirs and other water project areas during calendar year 1968. An equal number are estimated to have visited the remaining unreported waterways and harbor projects. Lake Sidney Lanier in Georgia is now nearing the 10 million mark in attendance. The general policy in the past with respect to the installation of recreation facilities has been that the federal government supplies the basic requirements for public recreation, health, and safety. As a co-operative venture, many of the states and local governmental agencies participate in the funding, construction, and maintenance of public-use facilities at the corps' projects.
In November 1966, the Secretary of the Army requested the Corps of Engineers to develop a $38 million 5-year program of federal construction of recreational facilities at public access areas to encourage states and local authorities to assume operational and maintenance responsibilities for recreational areas at the corps' reservoir projects. The total program includes development of 68 public access areas on 30 projects. Fiscal year 1969 marked the initiation of the program, with the allocation of $5,074,000 for basic construction at 20 public recreation access areas located at 17 reservoirs.
During the fiscal year the Army continued its activities as a member of the Federal Water Resources Council, with the Corps of Engineers participating directly in the activities of the Council of Representatives and the various supporting technical committees and work groups. The Department of the Army contributed to the council's recently published first national assessment of "The Nation's Water Resources" and assisted in the compilation of the 1969 national water resources development map.
The Army also continued its participation in the council's nationwide program of comprehensive river basin water resources development studies. The Corps of Engineers furnished members to the interagency co-ordinating committees and commissions established by the council to co-ordinate federal, state, and local planning for comprehensive river
basin development. The river basin program consists of 20 framework studies and 16 detailed type-2 studies; 7 more of the latter are under consideration. Eleven framework studies are now in progress, and four type-2 studies have been completed by the field-level co-ordinating committees. The reports submitted by the committees contain recommendations for needed water and related land resource development to meet the needs of both the near and distant future.
The Corps of Engineers is preparing a comprehensive plan to develop the water and related land resources of the Appalachian region, encompassing parts of 12 states and all of West Virginia. In accordance with federal legislation, the plan is being co-ordinated with other development programs to stimulate economic growth over a large section of the country.
As a result of the government-wide planning, programing, and budgeting system (PPB), the Army Corps of Engineers has adopted a regional approach to multiyear investment planning. Nineteen program categories have been established for PPB purposes, consistent with regional boundaries defined by the Water Resources Council. The regions are then broken down into river basins131 in all. For each river basin, needs are then projected for urban flood damage reduction, rural flood damage reduction, water supply, commercial fisheries, recreation, navigation, and hydroelectric power.
The character and intensity of water resources problems and opportunities vary significantly among the major regions of the nation. Consequently, resource development needs and opportunities must be measured not only in physical terms but also in relation to the region's level of economic development and its concerns for environmental restoration or preservation.
During fiscal year 1969, primary attention was focused on refining estimates of need and on improving methods of program formulation to reveal more clearly the impact of alternative objectives. After extensive analysis, a 5-year water resources investment program, responsive to varying regional requirements, was submitted for consideration by the administration. Work continues on improving the PPB data base and determining survey investigation priorities to insure the timely response of civil works activities to emerging needs.
The importance of community relations in civil works planning is recognized in a study initiated by the Corps of Engineers in 1968. Designed to develop ways of improving the means of public communication and promoting local leadership involvement, a program was adopted as part of the Susquehanna River survey by the federal-state co-ordinating committee. In this area during the year, leading individuals and institutions interested in resource planning were identified; per-
sonal and questionnaire interviews were conducted; and information workshops and forums were held throughout the Susquehanna Basin to inform local and regional planners of alternatives considered in the Susquehanna survey and to identify public preferences for alternatives. Audience reactions at the meetings were recorded and are being reflected in plan modifications as the survey progresses. Additionally, a formal contributing report from the University of Michigan is anticipated in the fall of 1969.
Development of 73 flood control, navigation, water conservation, and other water resources projects at an estimated federal cost of $1.2 billion was authorized by the Omnibus Rivers and Harbors, Flood Control, and River Basin Monetary Authorization Act of 1968. The work, to be performed under the direction of the Secretary of the Army and under the supervision of the Chief of Engineers, consists of 41 flood control and multiple-purpose projects at an estimated federal cost of $875.6 million; 31 navigation projects at a cost of $324.5 million; and 1 beach erosion project at a cost of $680,000. The act also authorizes eight surveys for flood control and three for navigation and beach erosion, and provides increased authorizations totaling $469 million for 13 river basins.
Additional general authorities are also provided by the act. The Chief of Engineers is authorized to spend up to $1 million for a 3-year investigation of erosion along all shorelines of the United States and to recommend remedial action where necessary. Investigation and construction of projects to prevent or mitigate shore damages attributable to federal navigation works is also authorized. Under the provisions of the act, the Secretary of the Army is directed to perform 1-year studies on the need for a co-ordinated program for streambank protection and removal of debris from public harbors.
The act also provides authority for the federal acquisition and conveyance to state or local entities of land for resettlement of persons displaced by authorized water resources projects. It authorizes maintenance of river and harbor projects in excess of authorized project depths where such excess depths have been provided for defense purposes and the essential needs of commerce. Reimbursement for advance work done in the public interest by nonfederal public entities on authorized projects is also authorized.
Title XIII of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 authorized establishment of a national program of flood insurance covering loss or damage to real and personal property, with program priority to small residential and business property. The act authorized the Secretary of the Army to assist the administrator of the program, the
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, to identify within 5 years all flood plain and coastal areas with special flood hazards, to establish within 15 years the flood risk zones in such areas, and to estimate flood loss rates in each zone.
Construction and Operations
The impact of expenditure limitations on the civil works program during fiscal year 1969 was severe and required centralized control over all proposed advertisements and contract awards during the period November 1968 through June 1969. The civil works expenditure ceiling is shown below.
CIVIL WORKS EXPENDITURE CEILING FOR FISCAL YEAR 1969
Less estimated collections
The total represented a reduction of approximately $70 million from requirements estimates in January. This reduction was accomplished for the most part by deferring contract awards and by limiting obligations on existing contracts essentially to those made prior to November. The limitations on obligations resulted in the issuance of out-of-funds notices on many contracts, but most contractors continued work with their own financing. As the fiscal year closed, the Army was able to provide some relief to these contractors within the expenditure ceiling where funds were already available for the affected projects. Where funds were not available, the Department of the Army planned to make payments to the contractors immediately after the start of the new fiscal year.
Construction activities were performed on more than 250 specifically authorized navigation, flood control, and multiple-purpose projects during the fiscal year. Construction on the $1.2 billion multiple-purpose plan for the Arkansas River and its tributaries in Arkansas and Oklahoma continued on schedule. Six of the 17 locks and dams are operational and the 9-foot channel from the Mississippi River to Little Rock, Arkansas, is open to navigation. Navigation is scheduled to be opened to Fort Smith, Arkansas, in calendar year 1969, and to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1970, for a total distance of 443 miles. In addition to opening a large portion of the landlocked interior of the Southwest to year-round water transportation, the project will provide flood control, produce hydroelectric power, permit low-flow regulation, and furnish opportunities for outdoor recreation. The total estimated cost of work along the navigable reach is $910 million, including $133 million for bank stabilization and channel rectification.
The project to modernize the Ohio River to accommodate the longer and larger tows of today and tomorrow is well along. The 1910-29 vintage locks and dams are being replaced by 19 gated dams with dual-lock chambers at an estimated federal cost of $1.34 billion. The improved efficiency of the new locks will permit faster lockages, and the increased size will greatly reduce the need for multiple lockages of individual tows. Six units are in operation and seven under construction.
The Ouachita-Black River navigation modernization project will provide an all-year 9-foot navigation channel extending 380 miles from the Old River, Louisiana, channel connection with the Mississippi River, to Camden, Arkansas. Six obsolete locks and dams of the existing 6.5-foot channel will be replaced by four new ones. Construction of the downstream segment in Louisiana is on schedule and expected to be open to navigation in 1971. Total federal construction cost is estimated at $97 million.
Construction of a new replacement for the 1896 Poe Lock on the St. Mary's River, a connecting link between Lakes Superior and Huron, at a total federal cost of $34.9 million, was substantially completed. Tile lock was opened to navigation in October 1968. Construction continued on the 107-mile Cross-Florida Barge Canal, which will provide a connecting link between the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway across northeastern Florida. The project is about 27 percent complete.
Dworshak Reservoir, an important project in the Columbia River Basin, is 38 percent complete. Scheduled for storage and power generation in November 1972, it will also provide flood control and navigation and recreation benefits. At 723 feet, this will be the highest concrete gravity dam in the United States. The estimated total cost for the project is $252 million.
Another important multiple-purpose project in the Columbia River Basin is Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana, which will provide benefits in flood control, power production, recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement. Relocations necessitated by the project include 60 miles of railway, a 7-mile railway tunnel, and 118 miles of roads and highways. The project is 38 percent complete. Construction cost for the completed project is estimated at $375 million.
Ice Harbor, one of the four dams with navigation locks on the Lower Snake River, has been completed, with Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite still under construction. Benefits from the projects will include slackwater navigation through a succession of reservoirs, hydroelectric power generation, irrigation, and recreation. Lower Granite Lock and Dam is scheduled for completion in June 1975. Current estimated cost for the four is $682 million, including proposed additional units at Ice Harbor estimated at $22 million.
Research and Development
Civil works research and development activities directly support the Corps of Engineers nationwide program of water and related land resources development, which is growing in scope and complexity. Activities are aimed at developing improved methods for planning river basin development; better usage of hydrologic data in the planning, design, and operation of water control projects; improvements in engineering design and materials, as well as construction, operation, and maintenance techniques; solution of operational problems involving water quality and usage, aquatic plant control, and effects of water control structures on fish, wildlife, and other ecological and environmental values; and improvement of coastal engineering technology for the protection of coastal and Great Lakes beaches, shores, and shore structures.
Civil works research and development, which amounted to about $9.5 million in fiscal year 1969, is an integral component of the over-all federal programs of water resources and marine sciences (including coastal engineering) research and development, upon which increased emphasis is being placed.
Achievements in civil works research, and the benefits derived therefrom, have been compiled in a report published in December 1968 and entitled "Research for Civil WorksA Progress Report." Objectives of the study were to establish the monetary return on the research effort, identify future research needs, and review the scope of problems encountered in conserving and utilizing the nation's water resources.
Over the 10-year period from 1956 to 1965, a total of $126 million was saved in design, construction, and maintenance costs, whereas research expenditures for that same period totaled approximately $26 million. The savings estimate was based upon analyses of actual or estimated costs of parts of projects before and after the research findings were utilized. Less tangible benefits, such as more refined designs which lead to assurances of improved safety, were impractical to establish and thus not included in the monetary evaluation.
Increasing concern for the preservation and enhancement of the natural environment is reflected in all phases of water resources developmentplanning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance. The Chief of Engineers has issued guidelines, regulations, and criteria concerning aesthetic values and environmental quality for consideration and incorporation in all corps planning and construction programs. When the national interest requires development, provisions are made for preserving natural beauty. Although this usually means mitigation measures, aesthetics may in some cases be made part of the project. For example,
Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana was designed to fit the natural landscape and present a pleasing appearance. And the site of the Red River Reservoir in Kentucky was moved five miles downstream in response to the wishes of the public to preserve the intangible aesthetic values of a 2-mile stretch of the Red River Gorge. Although the alternative location requires a longer dam and the acquisition of more privately owned land, it provides approximately the same tangible benefits for flood control, water supply, water quality control, and fish and wildlife.
Planting trees and seedlings is a general practice at corps projects which contributes to scenic beauty and comfort, reduces soil erosion, dampens noise, and creates a wind barrier. Other beautification measures include screening hurricane barrier dikes in urban areas with trees, planning landscapes, banking soil along channels, aligning channels and floodways to preserve adjacent vegetation and scenery, and clearing reservoir pool areas to avoid unsightly exposure of dead trees.
An engineering and architectural achievements awards program recognizes outstanding accomplishments in architecture, landscape architecture, engineering design, and the conservation of natural beauty in corps projects. Rodman Reservoir on the Cross-Florida Barge Canal won first place for conservation of natural beauty in the landscape architectural design awards competition. Honorable mention went to Hogback Island Recreation Area, Sacramento River Bank Protection Project, Isleton, California. Receiving an honorable mention award for urban landscape design was the flood control channel improvements on Sand Creek, Newton, Kansas. John Day Dam on the Columbia River was awarded first place in the engineering design competition. The new Poe Lock, Saulte Ste. Marie, Michigan, and the Findley highway bridge, Shelbyville Reservoir Project, Shelbyville, Illinois, received honorable mention.
In addition to the close attention paid by the Army to the preservation of the natural environment in the water resources development program, planning for the proper use of natural resources on Army installations is being emphasized. Land, forest, and wildlife management plans include development of proposed recreational projects, preservation of wildlife, and retention or restoration of natural beauty with landscape plantings and other vegetative covers. The Army-wide conservation program is applied over approximately 12 million acres, of which 285,500 are improved grounds, areas that receive intensive turf grass management for dust and erosion control to provide lawns for builtup areas, and turf for drill fields, aircraft landing fields, and athletic facilities. Other areas are managed and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the military mission.
During the past year progress was made in developing adequate technical direction over the forest management program, and active fish and wildlife programs were operated at 110 Army installations under co-operative plans with the Department of the Interior and state fish and game agencies.
The problem of water pollution has involved the Corps of Engineers in a wide variety of water quality control activities, including controlling and policing waste disposal in navigable waterways, controlling and reducing pollution originating on corps-owned lands, providing treatment facilities for the corps' floating plant, regulating streamflow for maximum water quality, developing acceptable measures for projects, and devising methods for disposal of polluted dredged material.
Sanitary and industrial wastes which have been discharged into the nation's rivers and estuaries may become a serious problem when it is necessary to dredge channels and harbors, particularly in the Great Lakes area. An extensive study of this problem in the Great Lakes area, initiated in 1966, was continued during the fiscal year to determine the best methods of disposal of polluted dredge spoil. Public meetings have been held to ascertain the public's views, and the corps will formulate its conclusions on the study during the coming fiscal year.
Water pollution control at Army installations received continuing attention in programing actions for new or expanded facilities. The Congress appropriated $4.1 million for construction of water pollution control projects in fiscal year 1969. Approximately $160,000 of operating and maintenance funds were expended in fiscal year 1969 for water pollution abatement at 15 installations.
The Army is also concerned about the problem of air pollution, and emphasis continued to be placed on control by Army installations in the past year. Most progress was made in the elimination of open burning of refuse, the procurement of fuels with lower sulfur content in order to reduce the sulfur dioxide emission from fuel-burning equipment, and the replacement of small coal-fired heating plants with gas- or oil-fired units. Approximately $3 million of operating and maintenance type and industrial process funds were expended in fiscal year 1969 for air pollution control measures in heating and boiler plants at various installations. Due to strict budgetary limitations only $1.5 million of a desired $8.4 million was appropriated by the Congress in the fiscal year 1969 military construction program.
Nuclear Energy Applications
The U.S. Army Nuclear Cratering Group is participating jointly with the Atomic Energy Commission in developing means for employing
nuclear explosives on public works, and is experimenting with the use of large-yield chemical explosives for excavation. The Nuclear Cratering Group is located at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore, California, where it is in close contact with the scientists and engineers involved in the Atomic Energy Commission's Plowshare program. Experimental work supporting the combined effort has been conducted at Livermore, at the Nevada Test Site, and at the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana.
Nuclear explosives appear to hold great promise for moving massive quantities of earth and rock economically. Harbor excavation is an area of special interest. To advance the knowledge of channel cutting and harbor construction by explosive means, chemical explosives experiments are continuing at Fort Peck. In fiscal year 1969 a row charge connection experiment was conducted there using seven high-explosive charges of 30 tons each, placed to connect a new row crater to one previously excavated. The resulting 50-foot-deep, 200-foot-wide section connected smoothly with the existing crater, producing an excavation more than 1,000 feet long. In the fall of 1969 that crater will be explosively connected to the Fort Peck Reservoir, creating a small boat harbor.
The results of the Fort Peck chemical explosive experiments have been very encouraging. They have produced scaling data upon which to base cratering calculations for nuclear excavation projects such as the proposed interoceanic canal. At the same time, new insight has been gained into the effects of high-order chemical explosives for construction purposes.
Turning from cratering to power applications, the United States Army barge Sturgis, which contains the world's first MH-lA floating nuclear power plant, was deployed during the fiscal year to the Panama Canal Zone to meet a serious electrical power shortage projected there for the next several years. The Sturgis uses a conventional steam-generating system to produce up to 10 million watts of electrical power to support military operations or provide electric power to communities hit by peacetime disaster.
The power shortage in the Canal Zone has resulted from a scarcity of water needed to operate the hydroelectric power plants, and increased requirements for power resulting from heavier ship traffic to Southeast Asia and the closing of the Suez Canal. The deployment of the Sturgis to the Canal Zone on July 26, 1968, concluded many months of engineering studies pertaining to selection of a deployment site. Close co-ordination with the State Department and the Atomic Energy Commission was required relative to political and safety requirements, and acceptance by the host government was carefully explored and assured before the Sturgis was deployed.
Since beginning full power operation in the Canal Zone, the Sturgis has been operating continuously and, by the close of the fiscal year, had produced over 40 million kilowatt hours of electrical power. To expand the Army's mobile power capability, the Corps of Engineers has initiated a cost effectiveness study to determine the most efficient and economical means of providing large blocks of electrical power to support a coastal logistical base. Other means include floating high-powered barges, both nuclear-fueled and fossil-fueled, with output capacities of 50 million watts of electrical power and 1 million gallons of desalted water per day.
In addition to the foregoing activities, the Army has continued to operate existing nuclear power plants at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and Fort Greely, Alaska, and has provided support for the Navy's nuclear power plant in the Antarctic. Continued operation of these plants has provided invaluable data on plant and component lifetimes and reliability factors and has provided considerable operation and maintenance experience.
Although nuclear power plants are not economical at the present time for the majority of military applications, the Army will continue to develop concepts and designs for plants that meet general and special requirements and are feasible and economical.
Engineer Operations in Southeast Asia
In Vietnam the engineer force in fiscal year 1969 numbered approximately 36,000 personnel and comprised 10 percent of the total Army force. A major percentage of engineer troop activity was devoted to combat support, which reflects the continuing offensive operations by U.S. forces. Army engineer troops were responsible for more than $109 million in military construction. By the close of the year, projects totaling $107 million had been completed. In addition, $66 million in operational support, road and airfield construction, and support of the Army and other services and allied forces had been done. The Army engineer troop effort was expended during the year as follows: military construction, 34 percent; airfield and road construction, 20 percent; and combat and operational support, 46 percent.
Engineer troop efforts in Thailand have consisted of road, airfield, depot, and cantonment construction. A 41-kilometer section of highway between Korat and Kabin Buri was completed during this fiscal year. As the year closed, an engineer battalion was deployed in northeast Thailand, constructing 87 kilometers of highway to provide a supply route to the air base at Nakom Phanom. Another engineer battalion was engaged in construction of a 2,000-man cantonment for Army troops on the shore of the Gulf of Thailand midway between the new Sattahip port complex and the Utapao air base.
Research efforts with regard to the engineering needs of the Army in the field increased considerably in the past year. One development provided revetment bins five feet high and four feet thick to protect Army aircraft. Some are being used in Southeast Asia. By using bin structures, revetments can be built more quickly than by the previous sandbag method, and they offer greater protection. The development of a family of Army aircraft protection structures was also initiated. This program will recommend various structures to provide a spectrum of protection against a variety of weapons under varying conditions. The structures will range from hardened concrete facilities to airmobile frames from which fragmentation blankets will be suspended. Research is also being conducted on rapid methods of constructing field fortifications; improved ways to store fuel underground; and a system for locating buried sources of gravel by means of aerial photography.
The land-clearing equipment introduced into Vietnam in 1967 has continued to be invaluable in clearing enemy jungle havens and increasing the safety of friendly force main supply routes. The small land-clearing units were considered so important to the combat mission that a battalion-size land-clearing unit was organized during the last year for more efficient utilization of these assets. As of June 30, 1969, 333,708 acres of jungle had been cleared.
The most significant engineer construction activity in Vietnam today is the highway construction or LOC (line of communication) program. This is a concentrated military construction effort that is designed to support military operations and assist the political and economic integration of the country. It will be the focal point of the engineer construction effort in Vietnam for the next 2 ½ years. When completed in 1971, 4,060 kilometers of road will have been constructed or upgraded to provide South Vietnam with an all-weather, two-lane highway network.
The program has evolved from what was primarily an Army effort into what is now a multinational effort. The integration of the civil and military aspects of the program is provided by the combined Central Highways and Waterways Committee, an agency of the Vietnamese Joint General Staff. Its members include representatives from the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; the Ministry of Public Works; the Agency for International Development; and the Vietnamese Chief of Engineers.
The objective of this year's program is to provide an all-weather road into the Mekong Delta, linking Saigon with Dalat, Phan Rang, and points north, and to push into the interior from Ninh Hoa to Ban Me Thuot. Priority of construction has been placed on Route 1 and the roadnet in the Saigon area. As of June 30,1969, the Army had upgraded 942 kilometers of road to approved standards.
The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese have conducted nuisance mine operations in South Vietnam in increasing intensity. Army engineers have worked with tactical forces to clear many miles of communications routes on a daily basis. This time-consuming and dangerous job has not been an easy one. The nature of mine warfare is such that odds are generally in favor of the enemy forces, which can choose within wide limits the time and place of emplacement, a variety of detonating devices and techniques, and the most available type of material. During the past year additional steps have been taken to counter this enemy threat. More time is being devoted by training centers to mine warfare and to countermine and booby trap instruction with increasing concentration on Viet Cong devices. As noted in the last chapter, mine detection equipment is being improved and new models have been or soon will be sent to Vietnam. Specially trained mine detection dogs are now being used for the first time in Vietnam. Mine rollers for rapid route clearance have recently been evaluated by the Army and more are being readied for employment.
During the past year the Army recognized the need for designating responsibility for integration and co-ordination of the Army-wide mine-countermine efforts. The Office of the Chief of Engineers was designated as the Department of the Army staff agency for follow-up actions pertaining to Southeast Asia countermine activities with the added mission of co-ordinating both short- and long-term efforts to improve Army mine, booby trap, and countermine capabilities. The Army's awareness of and increased emphasis on the Viet Cong mine threat should result in an improved capability in this area.
In the last year a number of actions have been taken to improve the Army's floating and fixed bridge capabilities. Through close co-ordination with development agencies, programs that had been dormant for a considerable period of time have been revitalized.
There was a renewal of interest in a rapidly erectable float bridge known as the ribbon bridge. This system consists of integral float-deck elements that form a continuous floating runway when connected. It is designed to be erected in one-fifth the time of current comparable U.S. float bridging. Preliminary development studies have begun and a contract was awarded at the end of fiscal year 1969 for the manufacture of test sets.
Development and testing of mobile amphibious bridge-ferry (MAB) equipment also continued over the last year. Initial units were deployed to troop organizations in Europe. The MAB consists of self-propelled amphibious transporters with bridge roadway superstructures which can be easily linked together to form a continuous bridge or rafts of various sizes and capabilities. The mobility of these units and their speed of
assembly will permit rapid assault river crossings in support of military operations.
Bridging developments of other nations were reviewed in an effort to improve the Army's bridging capability. The United Kingdom has developed a fixed medium girded bridge consisting of high strength aluminum alloy components that can be assembled to support class 60 loads up to 100 feet. This bridge shows great promise and is being considered for inclusion in the U.S. inventory.
Mapping and Geodesy
On September 1, 1968, the U.S. Army Topographic Command was established under the command of the Chief of Engineers. Prior to this time, Army topographic operations had been carried out by a variety of offices within the Army Staff structure. The-over-all objective of the reorganization is to provide maximum readiness capabilities to satisfy Army requirements for worldwide topographic support. An effective central management structure is required to provide the best working arrangement among all decentralized production facilities and units.
In the field of geodesy, the reliance on satellites for measurements is increasing. The U.S. Army developed the sequential collation of ranges (SECOR) satellite system in 1964, and during the past year the system continued to provide support to the Department of Defense worldwide master geodetic control net. One new SECOR satellite was launched into orbit, bringing the total number to three. Much of the equipment for the SECOR tracking stations has been transistorized and is now under testing at the operational field stations.
Aerial photography has been a major component of the mapmaking process. Continued research and development has produced vastly improved optical systems both in cameras and in photogrammetric instruments. These have materially increased the speed and accuracy of mapmaking. When these improvements are coupled with computers, automated systems are the result.
A new conceptthe data base and retrieval conceptenvisions the establishment of a topographic data center organized to contain input data, including photography, preprocessed geodetic control data, names, and other map source information. These data would be retrieved or displayed so that they could be used in the rapid production of maps, orthophotomaps, terrain and digitized data, or other map-related products. The end products would be produced as required, thus eliminating to a large extent the need for bulk storage of maps.
Other accomplishments include progress in the field of radar mapping, initial steps toward the establishment of a military geographic intel-
ligence base, use of the BC-4 camera in satellite triangulation, and development of an improved position and azimuth determining system for artillery survey. The new Topographic Command organization and objectives are keyed to provide progressive worldwide topographic support in this scientific and technological era.
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Last updated 9 August 2004