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Abbreviations and Terms

  • 40 Committee, supervisory group established to approve, oversee, and control covert operations abroad; chaired by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)
  • AAA, anti-aircraft artillery
  • ABC, American Broadcasting Company
  • AID, Agency for International Development
  • AIK, Assistance-in-kind
  • Amb, Ambassador
  • AP, Associated Press
  • ARC LIGHT, code name for U.S. B–52 bombing missions in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia
  • ARVN, Army of the Republic of (South) Vietnam
  • Avenue Kléber, shorthand for the public plenary talks held at the International Conference Center on Avenue Kléber in Paris
  • BDA, bomb damage assessment
  • BG, Brigadier General
  • BI, Battalion d’Infanterie or Infantry Battalion
  • Binh Tram, military way station on the Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • BP, Battalion Parachutiste or Paratroop Battalion
  • BT, see Binh Tram
  • BT, Battalion Territoriale or Territorial Battalion
  • BV, Battalion Volontaire or Volunteer Battalion
  • CAS, Controlled American Source
  • CBS, Columbia Broadcasting System
  • CHENLA II, a FANK operation with U.S. air support, begun August 20, 1971, to reopen Cambodian Route 6, a key link between Phnom Penh and Kompong Thom
  • Cherokee, a special communications channel established for highly sensitive State Department messages
  • ChiCom, Chinese Communist(s)
  • Chieu Hoi, South Vietnamese program to encourage defections by the Viet Cong to the Government of (South) Vietnam
  • Chup (also spelled Chhup) rubber plantation, base for Vietnamese Communist military units and a target for South Vietnamese operations in 1970–1971
  • CIA, Central Intelligence Agency
  • CINCPAC, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Command
  • CJCS, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • CNO, Chief of Naval Operations
  • COMMANDO HUNT, U.S. air interdiction campaigns in southern Laos, begun in November 1968, to interdict the flow of material on the Ho Chi Minh Trail from North to South Vietnam
  • COMINT, Communications Intelligence
  • COMUSMACV, Commander, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
  • CORDS, Civil Operations and Revolutionary (later Rural) Development Support
  • COSVN, Central Office of South Vietnam; Communist political and military headquarters for the southern half of South Vietnam
  • DCI, Director of Central Intelligence
  • DDI, Deputy Director of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency
  • DDO, Deputy Director for Operations, Joint Staff, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • DIA, Defense Intelligence Agency
  • DMZ, demilitarized zone, established roughly at Vietnam’s 17th parallel to a width not more than five kilometers each side of the demilitarized zone line
  • DMZL, demilitarized zone line, also called demarcation line, which separated South Vietnam and North Vietnam, located in middle of demilitarized zone
  • DOD, Department of Defense
  • DOD/ISA, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
  • DRV, Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam)
  • EOB, Executive Office Building
  • Exdis, exclusive distribution
  • FANK, Forces Armées Nationales Khmères (Khmer Republic Armed Forces [Cambodia])
  • FAR, Forces Armees Royales (Royal Armed Forces [Laos])
  • Flash, precedence indicator for an extremely urgent message which requires instant action by the addressees regardless of the time of day or night
  • FSB, fire support base
  • GOC, Government of Cambodia
  • GVN, Government of (South) Vietnam
  • GKR, Government of Khmer Republic (Cambodia)
  • HAK, Henry A. Kissinger
  • HES, Hamlet Evaluation System, begun in 1967 to rate individual villages in South Vietnam according to 6-critieria of how secure they were
  • Highest Authority, President of the United States
  • Hmong, ethnic minority in Laotian hill country
  • Hue, major city in northern South Vietnam and capital of former Vietnamese empire
  • ICC, International Control Commission, established under the 1954 Geneva Accords and incorporated into the 1962 Geneva agreement on Laos
  • INR/IL, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Office of Information Liaison, Department of State
  • Ivory Coast, pre-operational phase of attempt to rescue U.S. prisoners of war at Son Tay facility in North Vietnam
  • ISB, International Supervisory Body
  • J–3, Operations Directorate of a Joint Staff
  • JCS, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • JCSM, Joint Chiefs of Staff Memorandum
  • JGS, Joint General Staff, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces
  • Khmer Krom, Indigenous ethnic Khmer minority living in South Vietnam
  • KIA, killed in action
  • King Pin (also called Kingpin), operational phase of attempt to rescue U.S. POWs from Son Tay facility in North Vietnam, November 1970
  • LAM SON (also LAMSON) 719, a February–March 1971 operation in Laos by South Vietnamese forces to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • LOC, line of communication
  • LPF, Lao Patriotic Front, political arm of the Pathet Lao
  • LTG, Lieutenant General
  • MAAG, Military Assistance Advisory Group
  • MACV, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
  • MACVSOG, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Studies and Observation Group, organization that planned and carried out covert operations against North Vietnam; often called MACSOG
  • MAP, Military Assistance Program
  • MASF, Military assistance service-funded
  • MATS, Mobile Advisory Team
  • MEDT, Military Equipment Delivery Team
  • Meo, see Hmong
  • MR, Military Region; Government of Vietnam divided the country into four zones for military and administrative purposes; MR1 contained the five northernmost provinces of South Vietnam, MR2 included provinces in the central and north central sections, MR3 was made up of the south central part of the country and included Saigon, and MR4 in the Mekong Delta held the rest of the country; sometimes an MR was also called a Corps Tactical Zone
  • MSQ Radar, A ground-based radar system developed by the U.S. Air Force to guide aircraft to targets
  • NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • NIE, National Intelligence Estimate
  • NLF, National Liberation Front
  • Nodis, No Distribution, Department of State telegram notation
  • NSA, National Security Agency
  • NSC, National Security Council
  • NSDF, National Social Democratic Front
  • NSDM, National Security Decision Memorandum
  • NSSM, National Security Study Memorandum
  • NVA, North Vietnamese Army, also PAVN
  • NVN, North Vietnam
  • OMB, Office of Management and Budget
  • OSD, Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Paris Peace Talks, public talks between U.S. and GVN on one side and the DRV and PRG (NLF) on the other; also known as Plenary or Avenue Kléber talks
  • PAVN, People’s Army of Vietnam, also NVA
  • PDJ, Plaine Des Jarres (Plain of Jars), strategically important area of Laos
  • Phoenix, The Phoenix Program was a joint U.S. and Vietnamese government intelligence program, which aimed at identifying and locating the Viet Cong infrastructure in the villages and capturing its membership, particularly the leadership, to gather intelligence information.
  • PFIAB, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
  • POL, Files of political orientation from the Department of State Central Files
  • POL, Petroleum Oil Lubricant
  • POW, prisoner of war
  • PRC, People’s Republic of (Communist) China
  • PRAIRIE FIRE, a program of American led cross-border reconnaissance and exploitation patrols into eastern Laos
  • PRG, Provisional Revolutionary Government, political wing of the South Vietnamese Communist movement, replaced the NLF, but often terms were used interchangeably.
  • PRU, Provincial Reconnaissance Unit, a key tactical element in South Vietnamese attempt to neutralize and eliminate the Viet Cong infrastructure
  • PS, Pakse Site
  • PSDF, Peoples Self-Defense Forces (South Vietnam)
  • PSYOPS, Psychological Operations
  • PTF, Patrol Torpedo Fast (Boat)
  • RADM, Rear Admiral
  • RCT, Regimental Combat Team
  • REFTEL, reference telegram
  • RF/PF, Regional Forces/Popular Forces, respectively South Vietnamese provincial and district security (militia) forces
  • RG, Record Group
  • RLA, Royal Lao Army
  • RLAF, Royal Lao Air Force
  • RLG, Royal Lao Government
  • RTG, Royal Thai Government
  • RVN, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam)
  • RVNAF, Republic of (South) Vietnam Armed Forces
  • SAVA, Special Assistant for Vietnamese Affairs, Central Intelligence Agency
  • SEA, Southeast Asia
  • SEATO, Southeast Asia Treaty Organization
  • SECDEF, Secretary of Defense
  • SECSTATE, Secretary of State
  • SGU, Special Guerrilla Unit
  • SILVER BUCKLE, United States army operations to interdict, mine, and disrupt enemy lines of communication in an area of the Ho Chi Minh Trail south of Tchepone
  • SNIE, Special National Intelligence Estimate
  • SRG, Senior Review Group
  • STEEL TIGER, United States air operations over the northern portion of the Laotian panhandle designed to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • STOL, short takeoff and landing
  • SVN, South Vietnam
  • TACAIR, Tactical Air
  • TACAN, Tactical Air Navigation, a line-of-sight air navigation system that operates with a beacon.
  • Tag Board, unmanned “drone” aircraft used for high-speed, high-altitude reconnaissance
  • TCC, Troop Contributing Countries
  • TCN, Third Country National
  • TDY, Temporary Duty
  • UPI, United Press International
  • USA, United States Army
  • USAF, United States Air Force
  • USG, United States Government
  • USN, United States Navy
  • USIA, United States Information Agency
  • USIB, United States Intelligence Board
  • VC, Viet Cong
  • Viet Minh, Viet Nam Doc Lap Dong Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam), a Communist-led coalition, formed in 1941, that fought the Japanese in World War II and the French in the Indochina War
  • VOA, Voice of America
  • VSSG, Vietnam Special Studies Group
  • WSAG, Washington Special Actions Group
  • Z, Zulu, time designator on White House, Departments of State and Defense messages/cables based on Greenwich Mean, aka Coordinated Universal, Time