103. Memorandum From the Naval Aide to the Presidentʼs Military Representative (Bagley) to the Presidentʼs Military Representative (Taylor)1


  • Operation Sunrise

The attached plan2 provides for the pacification of Binh Duong province (southern edge of which is 12 miles north of Saigon).

Essentials of plan are as follows:

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Enemy: 1800 regular and provincial troops plus sympathizers; in strong control of northern half of province.

Friendly: In addition to unspecified number of SDC/CG in the province now, allocate five ARVN infantry battalions to clear northern part of province; two civil guard battalions for local security; four ranger companies; one river forces group; VNAF and US Army helo company. There are nine civic action teams (16 men per team) operating now in southern part of Binh Duong province; five additional teams (32 men per team) will be added for the operation.

Mission: The Government of the Republic of South Vietnam conducts combined civil-military operations in the province of Binh Duong to eliminate Viet Cong control over the people; provide for the selective relocation and physical security of the population; enforce law and order; assist in rehabilitating village administration, economy and security; and assist in consolidating national control within the area of operations by enhancing popular support for the counterinsurgency effort.

Concept: Three phases of operations are planned:

Preparatory (prior to D-Day). Reconnaissance and planning; determine requirements for village relocation and civic action; determine requirements for additional para-military personnel; train paramilitary and civic action personnel; command and logistic planning in detail; psywar and civic action planning; military planning.
Military (D-Day to D+30). Regular forces gain control of northern areas in which population resettlement is to be undertaken; psywar campaign to explain to population the reasons for movement of their homes; Army engs and civic action teams move to new village sites (population of 15 villages will be moved to 5 new defended villages) for clearing ground and constructing defenses; CG provide village security; regular forces maintain secure LOCʼs; villagers moved to new sites (priority to 3 villages because of limited resources; complete other 2 villages when forces are released) and given funds/material/help in reconstructing their homes; concurrently, clear western part of province and resettle on more limited basis.
Consolidation (D+30 to D+120 approximately). Phase out of regular forces as SDC/CG are able to provide security; defensive village system and population controls continued and refined; village alarm system established; security patrols instituted; civic action pursued on urgent basis to regain normal living conditions; information program and facilities established; civic action teams (after 2-4 months) train local replacements and prepare to move to a new location.

Command: The Province Chief is responsible for Phases I and III; the Commander. ARVN 5th Inf Div for Phase II.

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Specific parts of this plan which you may wish to scan are clipped as follows:

  • VC organization
  • LOC overlay
  • Village overlay
  • Secure Village Concept
  • Emergency Assistance and Support
  • Material requirements—village security
  • Psywar Plan
  • Civil Affairs Plan

Some questions which the Plan raises:

Date Phase II will commence (will rainy season delay until Oct/Nov)?
Extent of population indoctrination prior to Phase II.
What the US is doing now to expedite Phase I (which is in progress to some unknown extent)?
What the US is doing to provide resources for Phase III.
What role US advisors will have at command levels during Phase II to assure effective direction as the operation unfolds.
Possibility of success in view of strong VC position in north part of province and zone D to the east (it is of interest that in past 10 days, VC have increased scope of operations in Tay Ninh Province to the west).
Nature of follow-on operations in other provinces and extent of concurrent planning.
Supporting operations planned to divert VC reinforcements from Binh Duong as the operation gets underway.
Extent of reserves to be earmarked for the operation.

CINCPAC and COMUSMACV are working with the GVN on details of this plan; detailed information on status is almost nonexistent. While not expressed, I think this operation will not be ready until the fall of this year. This is why it is vital there be more intensive attention to preparatory and supplemental actions (country-wide civic action; border patrols) to prevent further deterioration of the security situation while we prepare for offensive operations.3

  1. Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, T-133-69. Secret.
  2. Not found.
  3. Phase I of Operation “Sunrise” got underway on March 22. According to the minutes of the meeting of the Committee on Province Rehabilitation for April 20, Phase 1I began on April 17. (Department of State, Vietnam Task Force Files: Lot 66 D 193, 6.1-C, GVN 1962, Agrovilles & Land Devmt)
  4. Printed from a copy that bears these typed initials.