United States Army Support, Thailand
Many Army Veterans stationed in Thailand during the Vietnam War years are aware of USARSUPTHAI. However not many know of the reasoning for creating this major command, its overall mission or the turmoil it caused at the time at the highest echelons of the Royal Thai Government.
United States Army Support, Thailand in October 1966, the first echelon of eleven officers and twenty-eight enlisted arrived at Camp Friendship, in Korat. Subsequent air and sea movements followed on schedule and the headquarters closed at Camp Friendship in Korat on November 15, 1966.
The missions of USARSUPTHAI are as follows: (1) Tactical: Provide the U. S. Army nucleus for a unilateral, bilateral or combined tactical headquarters to conduct ground combat operations in Thailand; (2) Training: Conduct continuing OJT (on-the-job training) of assigned Army units; (3) Planning: Conduct U. S. Army planning to support joint operational plans for current operations and contingency U. S. unilateral, bilateral and SEATO plans; (4) Management: Exercise command management supervision of U. S. Army construction programs, logistic operations, real property, facilities and project stocks; and (5) Logistical and Administrative: Provide (1) logistical support to U. S. Air Force operations in North Vietnam and Laos and (2) U. S. Army and joint service support as directed.
Brigadier General Edwin F. Black assumed command of the headquarters on December 11, 1966 and shortly thereafter met with representatives of USARPAC, USARYIS and 9th Logistical Command (B), USARSUPTHAI, and USMACTHAI to formulate plans for the orderly transfer of functions.
On January 1, 1967 USARSUPTHAI formerly assumed command and/or operational control of all US Army units in Thailand.
Brigadier General David E. Ott commanded the headquarters from December 1968 until January 1970.
Brigadier General John W. Vessey, Jr. commanded the
headquarters from January 1970 until 25 January 1971.
Brigadier General John L. Osteen commanded the headquarters from 25 January 1971 until 1 July 1974.
USARSUPTHAI was discontinued on 1 July 1974 at Camp Samae San, in Sattahip and its functions were assumed by the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Thailand, Support Group, a joint organization charged with providing administrative and logistical support to all U.S. military forces in Thailand and to selected U.S. government agencies in Southeast Asia. The government of Thailand requested all U. S. military forces be out of the country by March 1976.