FACs  • Intro Video
   More About FACs
The AO
   A Shau Valley
     A Shau SF Camp
    • Hué Cit Airfield
    • MACV Compound
       • Hué Goose
       • MACV Teams Newsletters
    • LCU Ramp
  Battle of Hué (Tet 1968)
    • Trail FACs
The Missions
  Visual Recon
    • Sunken Sampan
  Close Air Support
    • CAS Munitions
    • Rules of Engagement
    • TACS
    • Battle at Hua Cu
    • McNamara Line
    • Choke Points
Ranch Hand
  Trail Dust Mission
Arc Light
  Hammer 51 Rescue
  Search for Jolly 23
    • Msn Reports
    • Search Area Map
    • Search Rejoined
    • Jolly Green 23 Found!
    • Link to Past
  Jungle Penetrator


Contact: tom@pilsch.com

Tony Stencel, USAF Art Collection (with permission)
  During the Vietnam War when a forward air contoller (FAC) was directing an airstrike and had briefed the fighter aircraft, and all participants had identified the target and the location of friendly forces, the FAC issued this clearance to strike the target:  

You're Cleared in Hot!

This site presents an overview of air operations throughout South Vietnam during the conflict there as seen through eyes of a forward air controller or FAC.   It is intended as a supporting resource for a general course of study on the Vietnam War.   While there are personal anecdotes included in this narrative, this is not a journal of my wartime experiences.   I can provide only a limited personal perspective on the Vietnam War, specifically, that of a U.S. Air Force forward air controller in the northern two provinces of the Republic of Vietnam during 1968 and 1969.   In this site I will attempt to expand on these experiences through links to other resources.

Helicopter operations are not covered here.   The outstanding efforts of airmen from all services in rotary wing units are documented extensively elsewhere, and links to those sites are provided.   Similarly, the lack of coverage of the South Vietnamese, Australian and Republic of Korea forces is not intended to diminish their contribution.   Where possible, links will be provided to appropriate sites.   Later additions to this site will cover the air war over North Vietnam and the out of country interdiction effort.


This site is dedicated to the past and the future.

It is dedicated to the airmen of all services and all nations who were lost in the Southeast Asia conflict.   May the lessons for which they paid such a high price help guide us into the future.

It also is dedicated to the students of today who seek to learn these lessons.   May my efforts here contribute to their understanding.

Tom Pilsch
Trail 32
May 1968-April 1969

Contact Tom at:    tom@pilsch.com  (not a hyperlink)

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