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An Evolution in Ground, Air and Sea Warfare

There is perhaps no more memorable symbol of the Vietnam War than the helicopter, but many other new tactics and weapons systems were also developed.

In response to the heavy air defenses of North Vietnam, the Air Force developed the "Wild Weasel" surface-to-air missile suppression missions, designed to detect and destroy the radar-guided air defense systems. The Mobile Riverine Force, or "Brown Water Navy," developed tactics utilizing small craft operating in the rivers and canals of the Mekong Delta combined with Army ground forces and Navy helicopter gunships to seek out the Viet Cong. And the Army began using long-range reconnaissance patrols (LRRPs), small units operating independently in enemy-controlled territory, to seek out enemy forces that could then be engaged by larger, better equipped units.

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