1970-Contin ued
17 July The P-3C began deployed operations as VP-
49 took over patrol responsibilities at Keflavik,
Iceland. This ASW aircraft, which was described in an
unveiling ceremony 14 months earlier as "two or three
times as effective as anything we now have," featured
the latest antisubmarine warfare equipment including
directional sonobuoys, a high capacity computer and
related displays.
8 September The Department of Defense modified
its basic space policy (established in March 1961) by
providing that functional responsibilities of the ser-
vices would be considered in assigning programs for
development and acquisition of space systems. In
addition, the Director of Defense, Research and
Engineering would assure that specific space programs
administered by one service would be broad enough
to meet the related needs of other services.
25 September A Condor television-guided air-to-
surface missile was launched by an A-6A at a standoff
distance from its target. The aircraft was 56 miles from
the target when the missile made a direct impact. The
test was conducted at the Naval Weapons Center,
China Lake, Calif.
25 September As a result of the Jordanian crisis
caused by Palestinian commando attempts to unseat
the monarchy in Amman, John F Kennedy joined
Saratoga and Independence in the Mediterranean, fol-
lowed by seven other U.S. Navy ships, including
Guam on 27 September. This strengthened the Sixth
Fleet to some 55 ships which served as a standby
force in case U.S. military protection was needed for
the evacuation of Americans and as a counterbalance
to the Soviet Union's Mediterranean fleet.
25 October Sailors and Marines completed four
days of assistance and relief to thousands of Filipinos
left homeless, hungry and injured by Typhoon Joan
which had struck southern Luzon and Catanduanes
Island in the Republic of the Philippines, leaving 600
dead and 80,000 without shelter. Over 300 tons of rice,
flour, blankets and fuel were air-lifted by HMM-164,
while galleymen aboard Okinawa worked round-the-
clock baking over 5,000 loaves of bread, and inland,
medics groped by flashlight to aid the injured.
29 October Following the ravages of Typhoon Kate
and flood waters that inundated some 140 square
miles of Vietnam south of Da Nang, the helicopter
forces of 1 st Marine Aircraft Wing performed rescue
and relief operations for over 9,000 South Vietnamese.
Initial rescue operations began when MAG-16 evacuat-
ed some 900 people the first day during floods termed
the worst since 1964.
21 November Navy planes dropped flares along the
coast of North Vietnam to divert attention from an
Army-Air Force search and rescue team that searched
a vacated prisoner-of-war compound at Son Tay, 20
miles west of Hanoi.
21-22 November In response to attacks on
unarmed U.S. reconnaissance aircraft, 200 U.S. aircraft
conducted protective reaction air strikes against North
Vietnamese missile and antiaircraft sites south of the
19th parallel. The strike forces included Marine Corps
and Navy aircraft from Hancock, Ranger, and
24 November The Senate Preparedness Investigat-
ing Subcommittee completed a three-day "Investi-
gation into Electronic Battlefield Program," which
dealt with the development and use of sensor
surveillance to locate hostile forces in South Vietnam
and thus take the night away from the enemy. As
representatives of the Services and OSD explained to
the committee, the program had its beginnings in
1966 when the Navy sought to adapt the air-dropped
radio so no buoy to ground use by replacing the
hydrophone with a microphone. In the initial phase,
the project was called ALARS (for Air Launched
Acoustical Reconnaissance) which was a part of the
TRIM (Trail Road Interdiction Mission) Project. In
August 1966 a scientific study group proposed a
broader air-supported barrier system, and in
September, the Secretary of Defense established the
Defense Communications Planning Group to imple-
ment the concept and later expanded the mission to
cover a variety of tactical applications with a variety
of sensors. Although the air-supported sensor respon-
sibility was eventually assigned to the Air Force
(under the code name Igloo White), the initial com-
bat mission was carried out from November 1967 to
June 1968 by a newly established Navy squadron,
VO-67, equipped with 12 OP-2E aircraft.
24 November A T-2C modified by North American
Rockwell to a super-critical wing configuration was
test flown by North American test pilot Edward A.
Gillespie at Columbus, Ohio. The supercritical wing,
based upon theoretical development by Dr. Richard
Whitcomb of NASA, promised to delay the onset of
transonic shock separation, buffeting, and other unde-
sirable aerodynamic phenomena and thus give greater
flexibility to aircraft intended for operation in the sonic
speed regimen.