W e l c o m T o S c i e n c e   L i n k s   S i t e s)_9

Interaction Of The Universe To The Individual
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AN/PPS-5B Ground Surveillance Radar Set



RADAR SET AN/PPS-5 - First experimental used by the Department of Defense 1966 During the Vietnam war.



RADAR SET AN/PPS-5 - Department of Defense 1968 

The AN/PPS-5B Ground Surveillance Radar Set is a lightweight, man-portable, ground-to-ground surveillance radar set for use by units such as infantry and tank battalions. The radar is capable of detecting and locating moving personnel at ranges of 6km and vehicles at ranges of 10km, day or night under virtually all weather conditions. The radar has a maximum display range of 10,000 meters and targets can be displayed both aurally and visually. Built for durability, the AN/PPS-5B Radar is rugged enough to withstand rough field handling. When packed in its watertight container, it can be parachute dropped and undergo repeated submersion. Increased operational flexibility is afforded when the unit is mounted in a jeep. The system includes everything necessary for operation including 24 VDE external power converter, carrying harnesses, tripod, an adapter for vehicle mounting, four (4) rechargeable batteries (BB-622) and a fifty (50) foot cable for remote operations.

NOTE: The CECOM Supply and Maintenance Bulletin Vol 20, no. 2 Summer 94 provides information for swapping unserviceable AN/PPS-5(A,B) Radars for serviceable ones. Repair is the only source of supply. As soon as one is down, order one through swap out. In order to swap out a radar, the serial number and turn-in document number must be furnished to the Item Manager, Ms. C. Brown DSN 992-5781/2.



Mar 75 Sole Source to Eaton Corp. - AN/PPS-5A Radar.

May 78 Sole Source to Eaton Corp. - AN/PPS-5B Radar FMS Customer.

Sep 78 Sole Source to Eaton Corp. - AN/PPS-5B Radar.

Oct 89 Sole Source to Telephonics Corp. - AN/PPS-5B Radar FMS Customer.

Apr 94 US Government agreed to accept units built with no-cost warranty against EMI Failures.

Jul 94 Portugal accepted warranty and contract was modified P00053.


TYPE CLASSIFICATION: Type classified Standard "A" on 3 Jun 78.










1 2 3 4

1 2 3 4

1 2 3 4

1 2 3 4

1 2 3 4

1 2 3 4

Repair of 50 Radars









The AN/PPS-5 Ground Surveillance Radar is a thirty-five (35) year old system. Since the late 1980's, soldiers have been complaining about the need for a new radar system. The system has been around since the Vietnam War having been designed with 1950's technology. Additional upgrades to the radar have not been executed since the 1970's. Obsolescence of spare parts and a changing work environment have created a desperate need for an improved radar that can be more readily and cost effectively sustained.


A Communications-Electronics Command program that successfully initiated upgrades using the on Modernization Through Spares (MTS) concept is the AN/PPS-5, Ground Surveillance Radar, a 35 year old system which has not been upgraded since the 1970's. It contains over 150 spare parts, many of which are obsolete. The modernization effort will reduce the number of spares to less than 15 and will improve the capabilities of the system. Of the 15 spares for the new version, all but two are Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS)/Non-Developmental Items (NDI). All new spares are being delivered in Intelligent Data format which will prevent obsolescence from becoming an issue and aid in the prevention of sole source commitments. The cost to perform this upgrade will be approximately $15 million. The best known commercially available system would cost over $100 million to re-equip the entire DOD. Additional benefits of the upgrade are an open architecture design, improved maintenance concept, software driven system training requirements, and reduced logistical costs. By combining this effort with the I-REMBASS program, other benefits gained are commonality of assets, training and logistics support as well as common collection of detection data in the field.


An emplaced radar set


THE AN/PPS-5 is one of a number of pilot/mentor programs now being funded under the Acquisition Reform initiatives' seed money. The program is focused on exploiting the latest computer and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) communications technology to extend the life of a currently fielded but obsolete Ground Surveillance Radar. Attempts to procure a new radar system have become a futile effort as the best known commercially available system would cost in excess of $100 million to retrofit your entire fleet. The cost to perform this upgrade will be approximately $15 million.


CECOM determined that through the use of DSP and an aggressive acquisition program it could provide cost savings for the Army as well as meet the needs of the soldier today and in the future. A validated economic analysis was completed and as a result the project plan was approved. to facilitate development of a prototype. The cost savings are best demonstrated by the insertion of new technology which reduced the cost and number of spares(from hundreds to 10 or less). The new technology also allows for a change in maintenance concept which would be two levels (direct, depot support). The contractor provides warranties and will act as the Depot Facility. This change eliminates the current problem of not having a valid maintenance Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) available to support the system and helps facilitate Army downsizing.


KFS Ground Surveillance Radar

  AN/PPS-5 AN/PPS-5 Upgrade  



Power Input: 65W >50W
Detection Rangr: 5KM(Personnel)
Source RF Energy: Magnetron (Tube) Solid State
Weight: 125 Lbs. 70 Lbs.
Ao: 75% 100%
Life Cycle: 2005 Indefinite
Target Detection: Audio Audio & Visual
Fall-of-Shot Mode: NO YES

The system includes everything necessary for operation including 24 VDE external power converter, carrying harnesses, tripod, an adapter for vehicle mounting, four (4) rechargeable batteries (BB-622) and a fifty (50) foot cable for remote operations.





The Kentucky Free State manufactures a few copies of this device (based on the US Military’s AN/PPS-5 which was originally designed in the 1950’s) .  One is issued to each Cavalry Troop.   It weighs 55 kg andis usually carried by a vehicle or two soldiers

The radar is used to detect, locate, identify and track moving personnel at ranges of 6km and vehicles at ranges of 10km, day or night under virtually all weather conditions. Skilled operators can also use it to track mortar or artillery rounds..

When emplaced, the radar set consists of two major operating assemblies (tripod mounted components and control indicator (CI)). The two major assemblies are connected by a remote cable. The tripod mounted components include the radar receiver-transmitter, antenna reflector, battery assembly, and telescope. The CI receives output from receiving circuits of the transmitter and presents them on the A and B scopes and as audible signals in the electrical headsets. The radar control indicator controls the movement of the antenna in azimuth. The power for the CI is received through the remote cable from the battery assembly on the radar receiver-transmitter or through the power supply. Communications are provided by secure combat net radio (CNR).





Photo: A German Federal Border Guard patrol company observations with a 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment border patrol. March 1983.

(U) A German Federal Border Guard patrol company observations with a 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment border patrol. March 1983.

Photo: Members of the German customs Police (Zoll) and their everpresent dog sometimes guided US border patrols. March 1983.

(U) Members of the German customs Police (Zoll) and their everpresent dog sometimes guided US border patrols. March 1983.

Photo: Members of the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and the Bavarian Border Police surveil the border near Amberg. March 1983.

(U) Members of the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and the Bavarian Border Police 
surveil the border near Amberg. March 1983.

Photo: A German Federal Border Guard aircrew consult with a 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment border patrol. March 1983.

(U) A German Federal Border Guard aircrew consult with a 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment border patrol. March 1983.

(U) Resolution of the "German Question," Temporarily

(U) Ever since the founding of the modern German nation in 1871, scholars and diplomats have asked, "What is Germany? What are her borders?" The onslaught of the Cold War has not aided the Germans or the rest of Europe in resolving these questions. Both Germanys chose sides -- or were forced to choose sides -- and were incorporated into their respective alliance systems, thus closing the door on reunification in the post-war era. In the mid-1950s, the German Democratic Republic dropped its reunification slogans and from then on spoke only of a confederation of the two states, while the Federal Republic stated the "Hallstein Doctrine" in 1955, which considered recognition of the German Democratic Republic an "unfriendly act." By the end of the 1960s, when it became obvious the "German question" was not going to be resolved by reunification in the foreseeable future, there arose a feeling that more normal relations between the two Germanys were long overdue. This formidable task was tackled in 1969 by the Federal Republic's new Chancellor, Willy Brandt, with his Ostpolitik. The next two years were a fertile period, with a series of treaties being concluded between the Federal Republic and its eastern neighbors, and between the Four Powers on the question of Berlin.1

(U) The Federal Republic and the Soviet Union signed a treaty in 1970 in which the two sides renounced the threat or use of force and undertook to settle their disputes exclusively by peaceful means. Of interest to this study, both agreed that borders as they existed in Europe were inviolable. In a "Letter on German Unity," handed to the Soviets at the signing ceremony in Moscow, the Federal Republic declared, "that this treaty does not conflict with the political objective of the Federal Republic of Germany to work for a state of peace in Europe in which the German nation will recover its unity in free self-determination."2

(U) In December 1970 a treaty was signed by the Federal Republic and Poland that laid the foundation for full normalization of relations between the two countries. Among its provisions was a recognition of the western frontier of Poland as being the boundary line along the Oder and western Neisse Rivers, thus resolving a long-standing territorial dispute between Poland- and the former German nation. The German Democratic Republic had recognized this border in 1950. A treaty normalizing relations with Czechoslovakia was signed in 1973, a year which also saw diplomatic relations being resumed with Bulgaria and Hungary.3

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(U) The 1970 treaties with the Soviet Union and Poland paved the way for negotiations between the former Allies on the status of Berlin. The United States had been reluctant to enter into serious negotiations with the Soviet Union because it did not think the Soviets were serious about solving the continuing sore point of guaranteeing access to Berlin. However, the two treaties indicated the East Bloc was serious about improving relations, and NATO speculation centered on the theory that settling the Berlin question was a necessary prelude to accomplishing an overall Soviet diplomatic goal of receiving international recognition of the split of Europe and Soviet hegemony over the Eastern half. In addition, the Soviets had become involved in a border war with the Chinese two years prior to the negotiations, which -- in combination with President Nixon's intent to play the "China card" -- led the Soviets to seek a policy of détente with the West. A solution to the Berlin question would have to precede a general policy of relaxation of tensions in Europe. The Four Powers began serious negotiations on Berlin in March 1970 and the Four Power or Quadripartite Agreement was signed on 3 September 1971. When the agreement went into effect on 3 June 1972, the Four Powers had seemingly established a new status for the former German capital, primarily by Soviet acceptance of the presence of its former allies in Berlin. Although it brought no final solution to the Berlin question -- the signatories could not even agree upon its geographical area of application -- the agreement did contain regulations that eased the continued joint occupation of Berlin. Significantly, it decreased problems Allied traffic had in crossing the Inner German Border and transiting to Berlin. There were still periodic frictions over interpretations of the new regulations, but basically the Berlin question remained quiet thereafter.4

(U) By far the most significant treaty of this period was concluded on 21 December 1972, when the two Germanys signed the "Treaty on the Basis of Relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic." The treaty called for a renunciation of force, a recognition of the sovereignty of the two states, an exchange of "permanent missions," and the membership of both states in the United Nations. Although it was a de facto recognition that German reunification was a dead issue for the time being, the Federal Republic handed the German Democratic Republic a letter restating its basic policy that it retained the objective of endeavoring to obtain a state of peace in Europe that would enable the German people to regain unity by application of the right of free self-determination. The Federal Republic continued to consider the German Democratic Republic a part of the "German nation," not as a foreign country, which resulted in numerous fictions in its relations with its neighbor.

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Beginning in 1974, however, the German Democratic Republic ceased referring to the "German nation" in its constitution and insisted the two "states" were now two separate "nations."5

(U) One tangible benefit of this new cooperation between the two German states was the establishment in 1972 of the Grenzekommission (Border Commission), which was composed of representatives from both states and had a charter to resolve border problems. When the commission began meeting in 1973, one of its first tasks was to establish exactly where the border was. In a number of places, the occupation forces had altered the frontiers specified by the London Protocol, which itself had followed old, somewhat imprecise, provincial borders. Documents had to be dug out of archives, a joint survey conducted, new marker posts set up, and border stones replaced. In February 1974 the commission began surveying the demarcation line in order to accurately place new border markers. Survey teams composed of members from both states faced occasional difficulties because of their slightly different survey methods, but generally were successful in resolving their differences. The new border markers were plain-white granite stones with the initials DDR placed on the east side. Most of the surveying and stone laying were completed by the end of 1975. By the end of 1983, the only section of the border that remained unfixed was along 80 kilometers of the Elbe River between Lauenburg and Bleckede. Both sides had agreed to shelve the question for the time being since no solution was in sight. The commission usually met about eight times a year, alternating between East and West German locations, and was generally rated a success. In a spirit of compromise, it thrashed out many practical problems that could have become political problems; however, it deliberately kept aloof from most of the life-and-death questions on the border. For instance, it did not discuss escapes or questions of compensation for injuries received during border incidents.6

(U) One interesting example was the maintenance of a Central Data Registration Agency at Salzgitter, which since 1961 had been meticulously keeping track of crimes committed by East German judges, border guards, and jailers that, theoretically, would result in a day of reckoning if the two Germanys were ever reunited. Since the Federal Republic considered East Germans citizens of the German nation, it held these officials would be accountable under its Basic Law. (The Stars and Stripes [Eur ed.], 14 April 1984, p. 18. UNCLAS.)

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(U) Unfortunately, the "German question" had not been resolved by the beginning of the 1980s. Détente had begun to unravel in the latter part of the 1970s when a series of events led both sides to take stock of the situation and become more tough minded toward each other. The NATO allies decided that a. response was required to the large scale build up of Soviet SS-20 missiles aimed at European cities and military forces. The result was the so-called "two-track decision," agreed to at a NATO meeting in Brussels on 12 December 1979, in which the NATO partners called for the conduct of serious arms-control negotiations with the Soviet Union or, failing their satisfactory conclusion, a modernization of NATO's forces to include new US intermediate-range missiles (Pershing II and cruise missiles). Rather than seriously negotiate an arms-control treaty, the Soviets fanned the passions of pacifist groups in the West -- particularly in the Federal Republic and -the Netherlands -- with rhetoric on how the West was escalating the arms race by matching the Soviet build up. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 and the suppression of Polish labor unions by the Polish military in September 1981 convinced many that the Cold War had resumed and détente was dead. Interestingly enough, the two Germanys seemed intent upon not letting heightened East-West tensions affect their increasingly intertwined political and economic relations. The period since the conclusion of the Treaty on the Basis of Relations had seen a tremendous growth in trade as well as social interaction between citizens of the two states, and both sides wished to continue these mutually beneficial relations. In 1983, for instance, in spite of the shrill East-West rhetoric, the two Germanys inaugurated new trade pacts and business loans, and tried to reduce tensions along the Inner-German Border by easing emigration restrictions on East Germans wishing to leave the German Democratic Republic and by the removal of mines on the East German border barriers (see below, The Inner-German Border). Whether these efforts would succeed could not a determined as this study came to a close.7

(U) Inner-German Border (IGB)

(U) The inner-German border, after the work of the Grenzekommission was essentially completed in 1975 (see above), was identifiable from both the ground and the air for those familiar with its complex series of border area markings and structures. The actual border was marked with plain white granite border trace or survey stones. In addition there were historic border marking stones of Saxony, Hesse, and Prussia that may or may not have marked the border accurately, depending upon the circumstances of each stone or subsequent agreements. Almost immediately on the border or right next to it, the Federal Government had erected signs that stated: "Halt! Hier Grenze." Interspersed between these signs were tall white poles with red tops or blue stripes that aided in determining the border in periods of high snow banks. In the 1960s the East Germans had erected, a few meters to the other side of the border, 1.5-meter tall poles painted with black, red, and gold stripes and a DDR emblem inserted near the top.

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Photo: German Democratic Republic border marker.

(U) German Democratic Republic border marker.


To insure that US personnel did not inadvertently cross the border, US military authorities established two restricted zones next to the border:

- There was a 50-meter warning zone for all US forces personnel marked with a sign that stated: "Attention. 50 meters to the border."

- There was also a 1-kilometer restricted zone for all US forces personnel, other than those authorized to operate in the border area or who had received special permission to be in this sensitive area. These signs were placed next to all traveled roads and stated: "US Forces Personnel. HALT. 1 Kilometer to Czechoslovakia ["Soviet Zone" or after 1974 "German Democratic Republic," signs varied defending upon period or location]. Do not proceed without authority. (For examples, see FIGURES 5 and 6 in Chapter 5.)

(U) In addition to the official border markers, the inner German border was roughly marked by an extensive barrier system that had been erected to restrain illegal emigration to the West. The fences and other structures were normally located from two meters to two kilometers east of the true border.

Although the Soviets had begun building the first serious barrier system along the inner German border as early as 1952, it had always been militarily ineffective and was designed more to keep people in rather than invading armies out. NATO planners, as a point of interest, viewed the more sophisticated barrier system of modern times as militarily in their interest in that it would have to be breached by Warsaw Pact forces if they decided to invade the West and would slow down or funnel incoming forces as they crossed the border. Up until the late 1960s the most common type of barrier had been a triple-strand barbed wire fence on wooden posts, augmented with other security devices such as land mines. However, these barriers had proven ineffective and had not stopped determined escapees. The East Germans decided in 1967 to begin construction of a "modern" border

GSM 5-1-84


barrier system, with construction on the new system beginning in September 1967 and initially programmed to be completed in 1970. This initial effort actually carried over into 1972, when the East Germans began to build an even more sophisticated system that was still being constructed in a few locations up into the 1980s.

The original plan called for replacing the barbed wire fencing with wire mesh or "cyclone" style fencing, paving the vehicle track to permit year-round motorized patrolling, constructing anti-vehicle ditches, and building new bunkers that would blend in with the terrain. The East Germans hoped to construct a system that would reduce the number of personnel required to guard the border while changing the look of the border to decrease its negative psychological impact on Western visitors. Primarily, they wanted to upgrade their capability to detect and apprehend would-be escapees further from the border. The new system was very successful in decreasing the number of escapees. In the latter part of the 1960s an average of more than 500 escapees made it safely across the border each year, but as the interim barrier system neared completion in the first half of 1970, only 25 illegal border crossers managed to get across safely.8

The border barrier system, as it existed in the early 1970s, had elements of both the old fencing and the new, more complex barrier system (see FIGURE 7). Essentially, it was designed to control the five kilometers next to the border by a series of different kinds of barriers as well as defensive and detection devices. Right next to the border was the old 3-strand barbed wire fencing stretched on wooden posts approximately 2 meters high and 15 meters apart. Starting in 1964, the East Germans had begun replacing the older fences with newer ones using concrete posts, often doubling them with a distance of between 2 to 10 meters separating the 2 rows. In some areas they had placed rolls of concertina wire between the fences. As they built these newer fences they usually tore down the old ones. It was during this period they had begun the trend of building fences further from the border, in some instances up to 500 meters back.

Next to this initial fence or fences was a 10-meter wide death strip in which East Germans were not allowed unless they were working on the fences and accompanied by guards. Although the guards in the past had attempted to apprehend the escapees in this strip and fired only as a last resort, by the end of the 1960s there was a loosening of the rules of engagement, and they were beginning to shoot without warning anyone caught in this area. This area was allowed to deteriorate after the newer fences were built, especially as the older fencing was torn down.

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Figure 7: East German Control Zone Inside 5KM Restricted Area


Source: USAREUR Special Intelligence Study, 15 May 1971, subj: The V U.S. Corps Border Study, p. 39. CONF. XGDS.


As the program progressed in the 1967 period, the East Germans began building double fences further from the border, -usually 20-30 meters back -- out of either barbed wire on concrete posts or with the newer metal mesh fencing. By this period, in addition to the above mentioned fencing they were also building 3-meter high corrugated metal fences or concrete slab fences -- the latter two being built in high risk areas. In addition to placing rolls of concertina wire at the base of these fences, they usually placed mine fields between the double rows. The older mine fields had contained wood-encased PMD-6 anti-personnel mines, but they were being replaced inside the newer fencing by plastic-encased PMN-6 mines, which were more weather resistant. Finally, the inner fence sometimes was an electrified signal fence that when triggered would activate a light in the watch towers indicating the location of the escape attempt. They also employed trip wires that would set off blank cartridges or flares in this area.

Various types of anti-vehicle ditches had been constructed along the border in previous years, but during the modernization period there was an extensive increase in these defenses. In the new system they were built right behind the double-fence barrier and were designed to keep vehicles from crashing through the fences. Rather than being constructed to prevent vehicles from crossing the border from West to East, they served to prevent escapes from East to West by car or truck.

Immediately behind the anti-vehicle ditches or up against the inner fence, depending upon the circumstances, a 6-meter "control" strip was built. Like the old 10-meter death strip; this area was freshly plowed and checked frequently for footprints. Beyond this was an area of approximately 90-100 meters that was stripped of all vegetation and served as a firelane. Next to the firelane was a continuous paved convoy or patrol road for all-weather motorized patrols. In certain high risk areas they would set up a 30- to 100-meter long guide line on which one to three guard dogs were attached.

There were two kinds of bunkers normally used along the inner German border: conventional wooden bunkers sunk partially into the ground and having one or more slits facing West Germany; and prefabricated concrete bunkers, generally painted green and brown in a camouflage design, and having observation slits on all four sides. There remained a collection of older bunkers made of cement or concrete, stone masonry, earth, red brick, and other unknown construction materials, but by the early 1970s the wooden and prefabricated concrete bunkers were the most predominant.

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Figure 8: East German Concrete Border Tower


Source: 1971 V Corps Border Study, p. 56. CONF. XGDS.


There were four basic kinds of observation towers along the border: 8-meter high wooden towers equipped with a green-roofed observation hut; observation platforms built into trees (rarely manned); wooden trigonometric towers with a boardwalk circling the tower; and the newer prefabricated concrete towers. (See FIGURE 8.) The 8-meter high wooden towers had been the most common in  past, but were being replaced or supplemented by the prefabricated concrete towers.9

Prior to 1972, the East German border barrier modernization program had been viewed primarily as a strengthening and upgrading of weak areas of their old system. (See FIGURE 9.) Although elements of a new system had been going up since the program began in 1967, it was in the summer of 1972 that the East Germans seemed to shift gears and began incorporating improvements of the modernization program all along the inner German border. There were two notable improvements in the expanded program: they were replacing most of the barbed wire fences with the 3-meter high metal grid fences, which looked less brutal than the barbed wire, but actually were more effective; and they began installing the new SM-70 antipersonnel mines on the metal grid fences. The SM-70 mines were a particularly lethal deterrent to border crossers and eventually became the mainstay in the East German barrier system. An observer who came upon a deer killed by an SM-70 reported that "an approximately 5 meter area appeared as if it had been worked over by a rake." The SM-70 was a self-firing device that consisted of a small, funnel-shaped barrel resembling a shaped charge, a trigger mechanism with trip wire, electrical connections, a detonator, and a mounting bracket holding two quick or guide wires. Each pair of guide or "bird" wires protected a trip wire, which was electrified by a distributor box on the ground (see FIGURE 10). Subsequently, a plastic housing was added to protect the SM-70 from the elements and attempts to disarm it by illegal border crossers. When detonated, a charge of 110 grams of TNT propelled approximately 80 steel pellets from the barrel, which had a killing radius of approximately 25 meters. They were installed at three levels on the fence poles, aimed parallel to the fence at the top, middle, arid bottom of every other pole. Each line of devices had two guide wires and a trip wire, for a total of nine wires along the fence. Normally, 120 mines were installed on each kilometer of fence.10

(U) An important change to the East German border barrier system occurred in 1973 when the restricted zone was reduced from five kilometers to 500 meters. However, they still patrolled the 5-kilometer zone, which was referred to as a restricted access zone. The new 500-meter restricted zone was marked by a "hinterland" fence, which was a 2-meter high metal grid fence that had electrical signaling devices installed in order to detect attempts at circumvention. This meant that an illegal border crosser now had to cross the hinterland fence and 500-meter restricted zone undetected and then attempt to cross the double border fences and their mines unharmed -- not a very likely happening for those unfamiliar with the system. Another improvement in 1973 was the start of the installation of a border-length communications network, which consisted of a land-line utilizing telephone poles along the paved strip. By the end of 1973, approximately 80 kilometers of the modernized barrier system had been completed on the inner German border adjacent to the US area of responsibility, and the entire system was expected to be completed by 1975. 'However, by the end of 1974, only 200 kilometers had been completed in the US section -- even less had the SM-70s installed -- and by 1975 it was clear that the upgrading of the barrier system would be ongoing for some time.11

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Figure 9: Physical Security At Soviet Zone Border


Source: V Corps Anl Hist Sum, 1973. Info used UNCLAS.


Figure 10: SM-70 Anti-Personnel Device



Photo: In the early 1970s, the barbed wire fences along the inner-German boundary were replaced by wire mesh fences.

(U) In the early 1970s, the barbed wire fences along the inner-German boundary were replaced by wire mesh fences.


By 1976 the East Germans were so confident of their modernized barrier system that as they completed construction of the new double border fences and installation of the pew SM-70 mines, they began clearing the mine fields between the double border fence. However, they began having weather-related difficulties with the electrical circuits of the SM-70s and they began re-emplacing antipersonnel mines between the double fences. The new mines were designated as the PMP-71 and emplaced in three separate rows. They were constructed of plastic, were trip detonated, and were almost impossible to detect with mine detectors. Apparently, these new mines were never widely used, as subsequent intelligence descriptions of the border do not refer to them and list the PMD-6s and PMN-6s instead.

During the same year a special US project, TORCH EYE, determined that the East Bloc guards were using electro-optical devices for night surveillance. This included the following equipment:

- Infrared searchlights were installed on guard towers.

- Helicopters appeared to have infrared night beacons for ease of identification during night operations.

- It was thought the helicopter pilots wore night vision goggles during multi-helicopter operations to avoid collisions.

- Infrared searchlights were mounted on border patrol vehicles and were routinely used for surveillance. By 1980 it was confirmed the patrols were equipped with field glasses which could identify infrared sources.12

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1. Antenna for R-109 ,c transceiver. (2m high; one at top of platoon CP towers; three or four on Regt main CP tower)

2. Searchlight (1m diameter, 3000 watts, controllable from inside and outside of tower)

3. Railing (1.2m high, constructed of metal pipe)

4. Gutters

5. Embrasures (50cm X 80cm, 4 on each side)

6. Air vents (10cm2, 2 on each side)

7. Earthen mound

8. Door (1m X 2m, opens from inside only, always faces away from border)

9. Stairway (prefabricated concrete, 1m wide., 25 cm deep, 20em high, no railing)

Figure 11: Memory sketch of new command post tower (not to scale)


(U) Memory sketch of new command post tower.
(not to scale)



By the mid-1970s there were reports that some of the round prefabricated concrete watchtowers were collapsing and the East Germans began building new square prefabricated concrete watchtowers (see FIGURE 11).13

By 1983 the East Germans had worked out many of the technical problems of their modernized border barrier system and seemed to be settling in once again to a gradual strengthening of the system rather than making any radical changes. The addition of the plastic case to the SM-70 apparently solved the electrical circuit problems and they had begun once again to clear the mines in the strip between the double fences. It would be useful to summarize the status of they modernization program along the 1,381-kilometer inner-German border. Approximately 1,289 kilometers of the border had the new metal grid or mesh fence, or in some instances a 3-meter high concrete wall. The latter was used to screen villages, towns, or military installations and was similar to the Berlin Wall. Some 67 kilometers, or 5 percent of the border, still had the old double row of barbed wire fences. The SM-70s had been deployed along 412 kilometers or 30 percent of the border since their introduction in 1972, and if they were installed at the current rate would cover the entire border by the year 2000. However, it was unlikely they would be installed all along the border due to their high cost. There were still 212 kilometers of minefields utilizing the older mines. To complement these obstacles they had 836 shelters of various types, 670 concrete watchtowers, 112 observation platforms, and 84 kilometers of cable runs for some 1,105 border watch dogs. In addition, the border communications network had been strung along the entire border; most of it was underground. Border patrol leaders carried a telephone receiver with plug-in jacks which allowed them to connect into communications terminals erected at short intervals along the entire network. Rivers and lakes were watched by an estimated 24 patrol boats. (See FIGURE 12 for a pictorial description of the current border barrier system.14

(U) It is interesting to note that there were at least three "official" descriptions of the length of the inner-German border; the US military forces described it as being 1,345.9 kilometers long, the British forces as 1,393 kilometers, and the Federal Republic as 1,381. For no better reason than that Germans ought to know the distance of their own inner-German border, the 1,381 kilometer distance was used.

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1. Border Trace w/border stones
2. Border Stones
3. Border Column
4. Control Strip, clear up to 100m wide
5. Double-Row Barbed Wire Fence (w/anti-personnel mines between rows)
6. Double-Row Metal Grid Fence (ca 2.5m high w/antipersonnel mines between rows)
7. Single-Row Metal Grid Fence (ca 3m high, may have SM-70 AP mines)
8. Anti-Vehicle Ditch (reinforced w/concrete slabs)
9. Six-Meter Control Strip (freshly graded)
10. Vehicle Patrol Strip (concrete or asphalt)
11: Wooden Observation Tower
12. Round or Square Concrete Observation Tower
13. Concrete Bunker
14. Arc Lamp Zone
15. Border Communications Network
16. Dog Run, w/shelter
17. Traffic Control Point
18. Concrete Wall/Blind (ca 3m high)
19. Hinterland Fence, or Electrical Warning Fence (visual and acoustical warning devices)

NOT SHOWN: Earth Bunkers, Listening Posts, and Road Barriers


Figure 12: German Democratic Republic (GDR) Border Barrier System



(U) One other interesting feature of the border barrier system was reported in the Western press in 1983. The East Germans had built at least four tunnels under the barrier system that emerged on their side of the border, which allowed them to surreptitiously insert reconnaissance patrols and agents into West Germany. The West German Interior Ministry reported that at least eight East German border patrols had been identified on the West German side of the border during 1983. The patrols, composed of officers known for their reliability and loyalty to the East German regime, observed troop movements on the West German side and tried to overhear conversations between the various elements of the border patrol forces.15

(U) The SM-70 mines had always been particularly loathsome in the West German public's mind because of their impersonal manner of maiming and killing would-be escapees. There had been several incidents in the past of West Germans setting off the mines with rocks and other missiles as a form of protesting their brutality. An interesting incident occurred in August 1983 when three men set off one of the SM-70s and then through the hole in the fence created by the detonation managed to steal the mine and escape before the East or West German border patrols could arrive at the scene.16

(U) The interest both Germanys had in maintaining stabilized relations during the period of increased East-West tensions in the early 1980s (see above) had a direct impact on the East German border barrier system. When the West Germans granted one billion Deutsche Marks in economic loans to the East Germans in the summer of 19$3, apparently one of the conditions was the dismantlement of the SM-70s along the border. This was particularly significant in that many of the areas that were still protected by double fences with mine fields buried in between had recently been replaced by single higher metal grid fences protected by the SM-70s. In effect, the SM-70 had become the predominant defense in the vast majority of the areas deemed susceptible to illegal border crossings.

(U) When the announcement was first made in September 1983 that the SM-70s would be removed, it was not immediately clear how fast or how -many of the estimated 60,000 SM-70s would be dismantled. West German border agencies were skeptical, and reminded the press that there had been initial euphoria when the East Germans started removing the mine fields between the double fences in the early 1970s only to discover later that they were being replaced by the SM-70s. Subsequent events would validate these early reservations. Although the East German communist leader, Erich Honecker, declared in October 1983

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that all of the SM-70s on the border fences would be dismantled (while declining to comment on the possibility of their being replaced in a new modernization program), there were indications early on that they were being replaced by newer model anti-personnel mines (SM-701) on the hinterland fence -- thus removing them 500 meters from the border but making them no less effective. Actually, this change in location would probably discourage would-be West German vandals from setting mines off, since they would have to penetrate the border by more than 500 meters, greatly increasing their chances of being apprehended or shot by the East German border guards. Regardless of whether this was simply another step in the "modernization" of the border barrier system or a real decrease in border defenses, the fact remained that the East Germans were removing the SM-70s at a very slow pace, and it was still a hazardous business to attempt to cross the inner-German border illegally.17

(U) The Federal Republic-Czechoslovak Border

The 365-kilometer Federal Republic-Czechoslovak common border was marked by historical border markers and after the mid-1970s, by the same kind of 1-foot square, plain-white granite border trace stones and tall white poles with blue stripes that were used on the inner German border. Although the Czechoslovak Border Guards (Phonranicni Straz - PS) did not have as elaborate a border barrier system at their disposal as their East German counterparts, it was considered difficult to cross the Czechoslovak border undetected. Primarily, they depended upon border patrols and signal fences to halt would-be escapees.

The PS used six types of border patrols:

- Control patrols checked the barrier system and inspected the credentials and permits of personnel found in the restricted zone.

- Observation patrols conducted intelligence reconnaissance of sections of the border from camouflaged positions, reporting on the movements and activities of Western border agencies.

- Alert patrols checked the signal fence for possible short circuits and responded to possible escape attempts.

- Performance patrols checked on the alert patrols and the general efficiency of the border guards by short circuiting the signal fences and then concealing themselves in order to observe the efficiency of the alert patrols when they responded to the alarms.

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Photo: Czechoslovak border markers

(U) Czechoslovak border markers


Photo: A Czechoslovak steel 3-legged watchtower.

(U) A Czechoslovak steel 3-legged watchtower.


- Technical patrols performed general maintenance along the border area.

- Aerial patrols were conducted by the Czechoslovak and Soviet air forces. Normally, they were looking for large groups of unauthorized personnel in the border areas.

As a rule, the PS used vehicle and foot patrols as well as guard or observation towers to secure the border. Observation towers were not normally occupied at night or during periods of limited visibility. At these times, the guards remained at the foot of the towers, and foot patrols accompanied by dogs secured the border. Czechoslovak guard towers in the early 1970s were made of wood and stood approximately 10 meters high. They were similar to the East German watch-towers except that they had an exterior catwalk around the edge. By the end of the decade, they had begun building 3-legged steel towers.

Up until the first part of the 1970s, they normally used a single strand barbed wire fence along the border, but at that point they increasingly began to rely on the U-60 Signal Fence, which consisted of a 2-meter high strand barbed wire fence strung on "T" shaped concrete fence posts and employing an electrical signal device. A person attempting to get through the fence, over it, or to cut it would activate an alarm at the nearest PS command post, which would dispatch an alert patrol to the alarm area. It was easily identifiable because when the alarm was set off, a light on the fence would illuminate and stay on until reset by the alert patrol personnel. It was and is difficult to determine how extensively they used the U-60 Signal Fences in that they often built them out of sight behind the tree lines, anywhere from 100 meters to 4 kilometers from the border. They began building an improved model in 1977 that was approximately 20 centimeters higher, used a rust-free barbed wire, and mounted the signal devices on wooden brackets which allowed them to keep the fence turned on during thunderstorms.

The patrols were supplemented by well-trained attack dogs, which allegedly were cross-breeds of female wolves and male German shepards. In areas the PS considered high risk routes of escape, it often constructed cable runs and attached guard dogs, who could run the entire length of the cable. The Czechoslovak border guards relied heavily on their attack and guard dogs to secure the border. The attack dogs, used on patrol, would attack only on voice command and would give silent warnings of the presence of a border crosser. The guard dogs were less intelligent and usually more excitable, not necessarily a handicap for a dog whose main function was to detect intruders and give warnings.

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The border area was marked off by a series of zones that controlled access to it by the normal citizen. There was a variable 6- to 12-kilometer restricted zone in which only those who had been cleared for political reliability and possessed a special pass could reside. Next to the border were forbidden or "dead zones of from 2 kilometers in wooded or rough areas or 10 to 12 meters in heavily populated areas. And immediately on the border was an approximately 80-meter border zone that was posted with a sign stating: "Border Zone. Admission Only By Special Written Authorization."

In areas that were considered likely routes of escape, the barrier system was elaborated with three fences -- two outside barbed wire fences with a taller signal fence in the middle. The space between them contained more barbed wire and signal flares. In. areas they considered potential major routes of attack, they often built steel hexagons and concrete tetrahedrons. In earlier years, they had plowed and raked a 3- to 5-foot wide clear zone between the border and the main barrier, which permitted the guards to check for footprints. In recent years it was extended to approximately 24 feet in front and behind the signal fences.

Other improvements in the system during this period were the installation of searchlights and floodlights, paved access roads in some areas to facilitate the movements of the motorized patrols, and the use of East German-style metal grid fences in some sectors. There were indications they considered using SM-70 mines during the mid1970s, but as of the end of this report, the Czechoslovak border contained no known mine fields or firing devices. There had been reports that they employed a pseudo-mine that exploded with a loud bang when activated and, of course, they used trip-wire flares both on the barrier and close by. One interesting experiment they were trying was a device that connected a loudspeaker and tape recorder to the signal fence. When the fence's alarm system was activated, a tape was played of barking dogs, rifle shots, and the command to stand still.

(U) The Czechoslovak border barrier system, even with these improvements, remained less formidable than the East German system. (See FIGURE 13 for a pictorial description of the modern Czechoslovak border barrier system.) However, it was this low visibility of their system that constituted the greatest danger for US border operations.

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Figure 13: Czechoslovak Border Barrier System



It was extremely easy to unintentionally pass over the border and create a messy international incident. Traditionally, the Czechs reacted less violently than the East Germans, but as an American observation helicopter that strayed over the border in the spring of 1984 discovered, they would react and in that instance they reacted with bullets and possibly a rocket.18

(U) Border Tour Program

(U) In May 1972 V Corps implemented a border tour program designed to familiarize all V Corps soldiers with the inner German border. This was particularly appropriate at this point as the modernization program had begun in earnest during this period. Mandated by V Corps Regulation 381-3 (28 April 1972) during the first year, the tour was made voluntary during the second year, with no appreciable difference in participation: 6,977 soldiers and 1,073 other personnel in 1972 versus 7,087 soldiers and 976 other personnel in 1973. The key to this extensive participation was that V Corps commanders viewed the border tour program as an important method of showing their soldiers why their units were stationed in Europe. The tours were conducted from March through November, Tuesday through Thursday each week, by V Corps' two 11th ACR squadrons. VII Corps began its border tour program on 1 April 1974 and, between then and 22 November, conducted 273 tours for 10,488 soldiers and family members. V Corps took 7,514 soldiers and family members to the border in 1974, a drop in corps participation due to suspension of funds for the border tour program. (Presumably, they were referring to corps funding, with the bill being picked up by the individual units from this point on).19

(U) The V Corps commander directed in August 1972 that a training film be prepared that would depict representative portions of the inner German border and outline the evolution of the barrier system from 1952 to the construction of the modern barrier system up through 1972. Entitled "The Evolution of Shame" and released in March 1973, copies were distributed to V Corps units along with a background briefing which gave the historical and political significance of the inner German border and the barrier system. The film was given wide exposure in the units and shown to new arrivals as well as other audiences.20

(U) In December 1973 V Corps presented an orientation on border operations to the Frankfurt chapter of the Association of the US Army (AUSA). The presentation included items of East German uniforms and weapons, as well as samples of the materials being used in the modernized barrier system. The highlight of the presentation was a showing of "The Evolution of Shame." With the border tour program, the film, and public affairs programs such as the AUSA presentation, V Corps was trying to make its "constituency" aware of the importance of border operations and, indirectly, why the US Army was in Europe.21

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Photo: V Corps soldiers visit the "Freedom Tower" located on a hill overlooking the inner-German boundary. The "Freedom Tower" was used during the first year of the Border Tour Program in 1972.

(U) V Corps soldiers visit the "Freedom Tower" located on a hill overlooking the inner-German boundary. 
The "Freedom Tower" was used during the first year of the Border Tour Program in 1972.



(U) Current Stationing and Force Structure

(U) When the 1970s began, USAREUR was still conducting its border operations with the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the north (V Corps area of responsibility) and the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 2d Squadron of the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the south (VII Corps area of responsibility). (For a complete breakdown of stationing during this period, see Chapter 5, Force Structure and Stationing at the End of the 1960s.) As the Vietnam conflict began to wind down the Army initiate a program to retain in the active Army those units with the longest and most distinguished traditions. This program affected two of the border units, the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 122d Aviation Company. The 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment was inactivated on 17 May 1972 and reorganized as the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment on the same day. The 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR, which was under the operational control of the 2d ACR at this point, became the 2d Squadron of the 11th ACR. The rationale for the redesignation was that the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment was returning from service in Vietnam and, supposedly, had a more distinguished history and traditions. However, in 1983 there were still former 14th ACR soldiers serving in the 11th ACR who would argue that this was not necessarily so, and that the Army had overlooked the 14th ACR's long and continuous service on the Federal Republic's eastern border. The 122d Aviation Company, which was located at Hanau and operated the SLAR program (see below, Aerial Surveillance Along the Border), was inactivated on 11 September 1972, wit the Aviation Company being activated from its resources.22

As a result of the 1967 REFORGER action and the withdrawal of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment to the United States in 1968 (see Chapter 4, Force Structure and Stationing at the End of the 1960s), USAREUR had been using only two armored cavalry regiments to perform the border screening and surveillance mission in the Central Army Group (CENTAG) area of responsibility. Wartime responsibilities in CENTAG were divided among the US V Corps, from the CENTAG boundary with the Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) on a line north of Kassel to a point east of Fulda; the US VII Corps, from the V Corps southern boundary to a point on the Czechoslovak border east of Bamberg; and the German II Corps, from the VII Corps southern boundary to the Austrian border.

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Photo: On their way to patrol the border soldiers from the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment enter a forest near Brand. August 1974.

(U) On their way to patrol the border soldiers from the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment enter a forest near Brand. August 1974.



Based on a 1964 bilateral US-FRG agreement, however; the peacetime border surveillance mission in the German II Corps sector was performed by the US VII Corps, so that the VII Corps peacetime sector extended all the way from the V Corps southern boundary near Fulda to the German-Austrian border near Passau. To facilitate coverage of this long stretch of border, in February 1967 USAREUR had attached the 2d Squadron of V Corps' 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment to VII Corps' 2d ACR. When the 14th ACR was inactivated and reorganized as the 11th ACR in 1972 (see above), this arrangement was continued in force.

The attachment of a V Corps' armored cavalry squadron to VII Corps led to a number of problems: It reduced tactical flexibility and increased command and control problems; it led to inefficiency because one ACR headquarters controlled only two squadrons, while the other controlled four; and it caused numerous administrative, logistic, and morale problems in the attached squadron. In 1971 the VII Corps commander had recommended ending the border surveillance mission in the German II Corps sector so as to shorten the sector for which he was responsible, and in early 1972 the 2d ACR commander proposed redesignating the attached squadron as a squadron of his regiment so as to eliminate the administrative, logistic, and morale complications of the existing situation.

To resolve these questions, the USAREUR Chief of Staff directed in May 1972 that a study of border surveillance operations be made to determine whether the mission in the German II Corps area should be transferred to the Federal Republic, whether peacetime border responsibilities in the US sector should parallel wartime areas of responsibility, and whether divisional armored cavalry squadrons should be assigned peacetime border surveillance responsibilities.

The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence (ODCSI), was strongly opposed to a transfer of responsibility for the German II Corps sector. While such a transfer would have been sound in terms of doctrine and would have given the Federal Republic responsibility for peacetime surveillance in its own wartime sector, it would have weakened seriously USAREUR's overt intelligence collection effort along the Czechoslovak border. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations (ODCSOPS), shared that view and also argued that such a transfer would restrict USAREUR's flexibility in reacting to contingencies and eliminate part of the deterrent arising from a US presence on the border.

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Accordingly, USAREUR headquarters considered it desirable to retain the border surveillance mission in the German II Corps sector and continue the existing peacetime areas of responsibility within the US sector because these paralleled the wartime areas of tactical responsibility assigned to the two US corps. The obvious disadvantages of the existing organizational concept could be corrected by returning operational control of the 2d Squadron of the 11th ACR to its parent regiment, shifting elements of the 2d ACR laterally so as to place them all within-the VII Corps sector, and performing the out-of-sector German II Corps surveillance mission with VII Corps assets not belonging to the 2d ACR.

Four options were considered for accomplishing the latter course of action: attaching a divisional cavalry squadron to the 2d ACR, attaching on a rotating basis a troop of a divisional cavalry squadron to the 2d ACR, deploying a squadron of the 3d ACR (a USAREUR assigned unit stationed in the United States under the REFORM concept  to VII Corps, or combining the first option on an interim basis with the third option as an ultimate solution.

The first option had several advantages: It would place the squadrons of the 2d ACR near their emergency defense plan (EDP) positions in peacetime, would afford each corps commander control over the peacetime border operations in the corps' wartime sector, would give the corps commanders control over the training and readiness of their screening cavalry units, and would facilitate the reporting of intelligence gleaned from border surveillance operations to the responsible commanders. The only significant disadvantages would be to deprive one of VII Corps' divisions of its initial cavalry capability and to reduce EDP cavalry strength in the VII Corps sector.

The second option would provide an increase in border surveillance capabilities with accompanying training advantages for the divisional cavalry units performing the border mission. Like the first option, it would also return the 2d ACR squadrons to the vicinity of their EDP positions. The major disadvantages of this option were that the attached cavalry troop might well be out of sector when hostilities commenced; each of the rotating troops would require border orientation before assuming the mission, thereby reducing the time available for normal unit training; and a special contingency plan would be needed to provide for the reinforcement of the attached troop when increased surveillance was called for.

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The third option was particularly attractive in that it would provide a highly visible increase in VII Corps' cavalry assets, permitting the return of the 2d Squadron to its parent unit without reducing VII Corps' capability and without requiring the diversion of a divisional unit from its primary task. The major drawbacks were the expense of deploying a unit from the United States and the concomitant increase in total manpower strength in Europe (or the need to accept a trade-off to avoid such an increase). Stationing of the unit would also have presented certain problems because of the limited facilities available in USAREUR. The advantages and disadvantages of the fourth option were the same as those of options one and three.

V Corps concurred in the proposal to return the 2d Squadron of the 11th ACR to its control, while VII Corps objected. Citing the disadvantages listed above for the various options of the USAREUR proposal, VII Corps insisted that any reduction in its cavalry screening capability would degrade seriously the corps' defense concept. Only the deployment of a squadron of the 3d ACR from the United States would provide a satisfactory alternative to the existing arrangement.

Because of the disadvantages of any change that did not include the deployment of a cavalry squadron from the United States, and in light of the fact that political and economic considerations made such a deployment impractical, the issue remained unresolved at the end of 1972. Late in the year, however, another option was considered. The 2d Squadron would be returned to the command and control of the 11th ACR and, to overcome the objections of VII Corps, the peacetime responsibility for border operations in the sector currently assigned to the squadron under VII Corps could also be assigned to V Corps. Such a course of action would have preserved unity of command and peacetime border responsibilities, and the only significant problem would be to establish adequate arrangements that would assure the provision of timely intelligence and operational reports from the 2d Squadron to VII Corps in peacetime and that would facilitate the efficient transfer of control over the squadron to VII Corps upon declaration of a state of military vigilance.

In January 1973 USAREUR headquarters announced it would make these changes in command and border responsibilities. On 1 March 1973 command of the 2d Squadron of the 11th ACR reverted back to the 11th ACR and V Corps. Concurrently with the change of command, responsibility for peacetime border operations in the VII Corps sector covered by the squadron also passed to V Corps (grid coordinates NA 740970 to PA 145665), which increased the total area under V Corps control from

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Photo: Soldiers being inserted along the border as a test of unit readiness. aircraft is an OH-58 Kiowa.

(U) Soldiers being inserted along the border as a test of unit readiness. Aircraft is an OH-58 Kiowa.


269 kilometers to 385 kilometers. There were no changes in stationing of the unit elements; the existing tactical alert net procedures remained in effect, providing direct communications between the squadron and VII Corps; and existing community support and corps logistic support arrangements continued in effect, with V Corps reimbursing VII, Corps for logistic support after 31 March.

Operational control of the 2d Squadron would pass to VII Corps on declaration of military vigilance or a higher state of alert. Accordingly, copies of logistic and operational readiness reports were provided to VII Corps, as were copies of all border intelligence and border incident reports. In addition, in order to permit VII Corps to practice wartime procedures in peacetime, operational control of the 2d Squadron automatically passed to VII Corps during readiness tests initiated by higher headquarters and would revert to V Corps automatically upon termination of the exercise. When USAREUR subsequently adopted a 2-step exercise implementing procedure, involving the use of a notification to prepare and a notification to execute, the time of assumption of operational control by VII Corps was defined as being upon receipt of the "execute" message.23

(U) In 1974 a USAREUR headquarters study group began an in-depth 2-year study of USAREUR's aviation resources, its overall goal being to strengthen Army aviation's combat posture in Europe by integrating its tactical, logistic, and administrative support functions. With the projected large-scale expansion of USAREUR's Cobra/TOW* attack helicopter inventory, it evolved into a study for developing the optimum organization for integrating the AH-1Qs into the combined arms team in the central European region. Among the various proposals tested during this period was that of a TOE calling for an anti-armor troop (AAT), composed of 21 AH-1Qs, and a combat support troop (CST), which would provide logistic support and command and control. The 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment tested a combination of these two elements in an air cavalry troop (provisional) during the first half of 1975, which evolved into an interim organization called an air cavalry troop (heavy) on 1 September 1975.** Recommendations of this portion of the

* (U) TOW: A tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided, antitank missile.

** (U) The regimental aviation companies, which had been organized to centralize the aviation assets of the regiments in May 1960, had been reorganized and redesignated in subsequent years, first as air cavalry troops on 1 September 1967 and then as air troops on 15 March 1968. For several years during the mid-1970s, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment referred to its unit as the Anti Armor Helicopter Troop (AAHT). (USAREUR GOs 142, 10 May 1968; and 378, 26 Aug 68. UNCLAS.)

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USAREUR study stated that although there were advantages to having just one basic TOE for these two functions, the new unit would need a 'support cell" added on to provide the logistic functions.

(U) The final study report, forwarded to Department of the Army in April 1976, split the two basic functions up again and recommended that an attack helicopter troop and a support troop be assigned to each armored cavalry regiment. Department of the Army approved-the proposed reorganization, and, throughout the rest of the year USAREUR began concentrating its limited number of attack helicopters in the two armored cavalry regiments. The air elements in the 2d ACR and 11th ACR were reorganized on 21 January 1977 as air troops, each of which contained 21 Cobra/TOW attack helicopters, and support troops (air), which incorporated the regimental support aircraft (mostly UH-is and OH-58s). The 11th ACR, however, referred to its support troop (air) as a combat aviation troop.24

In 1983 USAREUR conducted border operations between map grid coordinates NB 6492 (in the vicinity of Hebenshausen) and VQ 1503 (at the intersection of the Federal Republic, Austrian, and Czechoslovak borders), a distance of approximately 1,036 kilometers or just over 642 miles. The V Corps' area of responsibility, covered by the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, included 385 kilometers of the inner German border (NB 6492 to PA 1467). The VII Corps' area of responsibility, monitored by the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and two divisional cavalry elements, encompassed a distance of 651 kilometers, which included portions of the inner German border and all of the Czechoslovak border adjacent to the Federal Republic (PA 1467 to VQ 1503). The southern .VII Corps boundary was moved from VQ 1403 to VQ 1503 sometime between late 1972 and early 1974. It should be noted that the actual map grid coordinates have changed over the years as coverage of the border was increased or decreased (most of the major changes were outlined in this study) and that the measurements given between the map coordinates varied, apparently depending upon the method used to measure the border trace. The figures used here seem to have a "consensus" accuracy, but may not please all of the readers of this study.25

In 1983 the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, with headquarters in Fulda (Downs Barracks), divided up the V Corps' border sector as follows, from north to south (see MAP 11):

- The 3d Squadron headquarters was located at Bad Hersfeld (McPheeters Barracks) and operated Observation Posts India (NB 802581)

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Map 11: 11th Amored Cavalry Regiment Area Of Operations

MAP 11


and Romeo (NB 694457) for the border sector between NB 647922 and NB 713416. Observation Post Oscar, mentioned in earlier lists of 11th ACR active observation posts, was phased out on 1 December 1976, but in 1983 the 11th ACR was considering opening another observation post in order to have better coverage of the squadron sector. This plan was subsequently shelved.

- The 1st Squadron headquarters, collocated with the regimental headquarters at Fulda (Downs Barracks), operated Observation Post Alpha (NB 658198) for the sector from NB 713416 to NA 739967.

- The 2d Squadron headquarters, located at Bad Kissingen (Daley Barracks) and in Camp Lee, operated Observation Post-Tennessee (NA 946939), which had formerly been named Sierra, for the sector between NA 739967 and PA 144671.

- The regiment also had a Combat Aviation Squadron (formerly called the Command and Control Squadron), which among other things included the air troop and support troop (air) elements mentioned above and was located,at Fulda. It had the task of providing regimental aerial surveillance along the entire V Corps' sector.

- In addition, the 3d Squadron of the 12th Cavalry, which belonged to the 3d Armored Division, and the 3d Squadron of the 8th Cavalry, which belonged to the 8th Infantry Division, conducted border operations when 11th ACR units were training or needed augmentation.26

The 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, with headquarters at Nuernberg (Merrell Barracks), conducted border operations in the VII Corps' sector as follows, from north to south (see MAP 12):

- The 3d Squadron of the 7th Cavalry (3d Infantry Division) had been placed under the operational control of the 2d ACR for border operations only in September 1977 and was responsible for the border sector from PA 136760 to PA 607713. It operated out of Camp Coburg (PA 409708).

- The 2d Squadron of the 2d ACR was head quartered at Bamberg (Warner Barracks) and operated out of Camp Hof headquartered 056780). It was responsible for the border sector between PA 607713 and QA 119854.

- The 1st Squadron of the 2d ACR was headquartered at Bindlach (Christensen Barracks) and operated out of Camp Gates (TR 962430). It was responsible for the border sector between QA 119854 and UR 140426.

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Map 12: 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment Area Of Operations

MAP 12


- The 1st Squadron of the 1st Cavalry (1st Armored Division) had been placed under the operational control of the 2d ACR for border operations only in November 1978 and was responsible for the border sector from UR 140426 to UQ 293890. It operated out of Camp Pitman (TR 937064). (Camp Weiden was renamed Camp Pitman.)

- The 3d Squadron of the 2d ACR was headquartered at Amberg (Pond Barracks) and operated out of Camp Reed (UQ 183658) (Camp Rotz was renamed Camp Reed) and Camp May (UQ 584281). It was responsible for the border sector from UQ 293890 to VQ 148029.

- Early in the 1970s, Camp Wollbach and Camp Phillipsreut had been used in the VII Corps sector, but by 1974 they were no longer listed as active border camps.

- The 2d ACR also had a Command and Control Squadron (Provisional), which included the air troop and support troop (air) that accomplished the regimental serial surveillance mission as well as other regimental elements and was stationed at Merrell Barracks and Feucht Army Airfield in Nuernberg. The air troop, designated Attack Helicopter Troop, conducted surveillance in the Weiden and Regen sectors, while the support troop (air), designated Support Helicopter Troop, had responsibility for the Hof and Coburg sectors.27

(U) Organizationally, the two armored cavalry regiments were similar in most respects. In addition to regimental headquarters elements, each regiment-was composed of three line squadrons and a provisional command and control squadron. Each line squadron consisted of a headquarters and headquarters troop and three cavalry troops as well as a tank company and a howitzer battery or troop. The line-up was as follows: 1st Squadron - A, B, and C Troops, and D Company (tank); 2d Squadron - E, F, and G Troops, and H Company (tank); and 3d Squadron -I, K, and L Troops, and M Company tank) -- plus an unlettered howitzer battery or troop for each squadron. The command and control element -- Command and Control Squadron (Provisional) in the 2d ACR, or the Combat Aviation Squadron, as it was named in the 11th ACR -- was composed of an air troop and a support troop (air), under various names in each unit, as well as a headquarters and headquarters troop, an engineer company and, in the 2d ACR, an Army Security Agency (ASA) company. The divisional cavalry squadrons that augmented the two regiments, either full- or part-time, were organized much as their counterparts except that they were usually short howitzer batteries and tank companies, but sometimes had air troops.

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(U) Equipment Modernization in the Border Force

(U) There were major changes in the equipment and vehicles being utilized by the border units in the 1970s and forward. In many respects, the units had not significantly changed the equipment they had been using for the border surveillance mission since the end of World War II through the late 1960s period. The ACR vehicle patrols still used the old workhorse, the M151 jeep, and visual aerial surveillance had been accomplished from light fixed-wing aircraft and, subsequently, a limited number of helicopters. Things began changing in the late 1960s and really picked up speed in the 1970s, when the border units began deploying a wide range of new equipment and vehicles. In addition to receiving more and newer tanks and armored personnel carriers (APC), which were not all that important to the surveillance mission, perhaps the most significant change was the large-scale introduction of attack helicopters into the units, which had border surveillance as a secondary mission. This greatly increased the ACRs' capability of accomplishing their traditional missions of conducting surveillance and providing a light screening and covering force. The more exotic aerial surveillance equipment mounted on fixed-wing aircraft introduced during this period will be covered below in the section on Aerial Surveillance Along the Border.

(U) An important upgrade in the armored cavalry regiments' aircraft fleet occurred in November 1969 when the 2d ACR began accepting OH-58 Kiowa observation helicopters. The OH-58s were to replace the regiments' OH-13 Sioux helicopters and 0-1 Bird Dog fixed-wing aircraft. Of greater importance was the introduction of 12 AH-1G Cobra attack helicopters in 1970, with 6 being given to the 2d ACR for use along the border. They were scheduled to replace the UH-1B Iroquois helicopters, but, because of the ongoing Vietnam conflict, the units received a very small number of the Cobras until the mid-1970s, when larger numbers became available for deployment in Europe (see above, Current Stationing and Force Structure). The UH-1Bs that were capable accepting armament were transferred to the air cavalry troops for use as gunships, with the remaining helicopters being programed to be sent back to the United States during 1970-71. After the mid-1970s, when the aviation assets of the armored cavalry regiments were reorganized into air troops and support troops (air), the units utilized OH-58s, UH-1s, and AH-1s on the border.28

(U) Upgrades of the armored cavalry units' tank and APC inventories were ongoing initiatives throughout this period. The workhorse of the tank fleet was the M60 main battle tank, with M113 APCs serving.

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Photo: OH-58A Kiowa

(U) OH-58A Kiowa


Photo: AH-1G Huey Cobra

(U) AH-1G Huey Cobra


as the mainstay of the armored personnel carrier fleet once the upgraded version (M113A1) was completely deployed in 1971. The M114 APC was also utilized, but it had a history of mechanical unreliability and was considered underpowered for its mission. And, by March 1971, the armored cavalry units had been equipped with their initial quota of the new M551 Sheridan light tanks, which consisted of 27 vehicles for each squadron for a total of 279 in armored cavalry units (4 divisional squadrons, 3 squadrons each in the 2 armored cavalry regiments, and 1 troop in the 1st Infantry Division (Forward)). (See Chapter 5, Equipment Changes in the Border Units, for information on the deployments of most o these vehicles in the 1960s.)

(U) In September 1970 the Department of the Army had proposed a "one for one" exchange of M551 Sheridans for the M114 scout vehicles in the divisional cavalry platoons and three of the six regimental squadrons. USAREUR initially opposed the proposal because it thought it would cause an additional maintenance burden, increase the need for personnel, and degrade the cavalry platoons' reconnaissance capability. However, in early 1971 a compelling argument was made that the additional M551s were needed because of their antitank capability and the above mentioned problems with the M114s. Equipped with a dual-purpose 152mm tube weapon that fired conventional rounds and served as a launcher for the Shillelagh guided missile, the Sheridan was capable of destroying armor at ranges up to 3,000 meters. In April 1971 USAREUR informed Department of the Army that it was willing to deploy three additional M551s in each armored cavalry platoon, for a total of six. The three M551s would replace the scout section's five M114 APCs and double the cavalry squadron's antitank capability. USAREUR emphasized that its acceptance of this interim solution should not be construed as agreement that the long-awaited armored reconnaissance scout vehicle ARSV) be deferred indefinitely, which seemed to be the prospect in 1971-72. Throughout 1972 the promised M551s were diverted to the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment in the United States, but in January 1973 they began to arrive in-theater and the swap-out was completed by the end of April 1974, bringing the armored cavalry units' inventory of M551s up to 558. The latter group of M551s (involved in the M114 trade) had the new laser range finders. The older M551s were modified by 1976. The remainder of the ACRs' M114s, used as command and control vehicles, had been replaced by M113Als in 1973.29

Unfortunately, the M551 Sheridan also developed a history of unacceptable performance, this time due to low weapon system reliability. General Motors had experienced extensive development problems

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Photo: M551 Light Tank (Sheridan)

(U) M551 Light Tank (Sheridan)


with the vehicle, but it had finally been declared ready for fielding on 29 March 1966. Production of the M551 had been marred by an excessive number of retrofits and modifications, many of which were on the gun/launcher subsystems. After being fielded in USAREUR in 1969, the M551 continued to have reliability problems; however, the extent of the problems had not been identified in the normal readiness reporting systems because of the systems' scoring rules, and thus led to inflated operational readiness rates. The 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment carried out a test under quasi-combat conditions, which gave a more valid picture of the M551's reliability. Its data showed that of a possible 322 missile shots, 113 (or 35 percent) would not have launched dub to some kind of malfunction. Only about 50 percent of the vehicle systems were actually capable of firing a missile at the appropriate moment, a sad situation for units placed on the border who would be the first to encounter an enemy in the event of an attack. The 11th ACR subsequently experienced much the same failure rate for missile shots (33 percent). In addition, these tests revealed that the shock of firing conventional rounds prior to a missile often caused Shillelagh system failure. After an extensive Product Improvement Program (PIP) could not elevate the system's reliability, it was determined the M551 was unacceptable and could not accomplish its combat mission.

Concurrently -- since it was already obvious that something was seriously wrong with the M551s -- studies were conducted to determine a replacement system, to formulate a phase-out plan, and to examine future uses for the vehicle. In addition, an extensive 2-year assessment by the Armor Center at Fort Knox of cavalry requirements for modern armor battle had culminated in November 1976 with a new TOE for armored cavalry units, the main feature of which would be the replacement of the M551 with main battle tanks from the M60A1 series. The M551's unreliability and the Armor Center's call for heavier armor for cavalry units culminated in the Department of the Army announcement on 6 February 1978 that the six M551s in each cavalry platoon would be replaced with four M60A1 (RISE-Passive)* tanks. Each cavalry squadron would replace a total of 54 M551s with 36 tanks, and 2 separate cavalry troops would receive 12 tanks each. Under the reorganization, the cavalry platoons would be universally the same: five M113

* (U) The RISE-Passive modification packs. a for the M60A1 consisted of reliability improved selected equipment RISE), which included the AVDS-1790 RISE engine with 19 automotive improvements, and "passive" night sights which utilized image intensifying technology.

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APCs (two of which would be equipped with TOW) and four M60A1 main battle tanks. Improved TOW Vehicles (ITVs) (see below), were to be issued in FYs 1979-80 on the basis of 18 to each cavalry Squadron and 6 to each separate troop.

Department of the Army developed a four-phased approach for withdrawing the M551s from the inventory, with Phase I being their removal from all USAREUR units. In June 1978 the 1st Squadron of the 11th ACR began the swap-out and, by 1 April 1979, the last USAREUR unit -- the 1st Squadron of the 4th Cavalry -- ad completed the conversion. Basically, the replacement went smoothly, with reactions of unit personnel varying from a sigh of relief to a certain nostalgic sense of loss. Several crew members felt the M551's problems had finally been worked out and that it was more than adequate for the cavalry mission. They particularly liked the Sheridan's superior maneuverability and light weight, but these factors were not considered as important as the continued unreliability of the firing system or its lack of heavy armor on the modern battlefield. One cavalryman summed it up as follows: "We can get the job done with the Sheridan, but most cavalrymen would rather have the tank."30

Almost as soon as the regiments completed their conversions to M60A1s, the decision was made to replace them with the M60A3, an upgraded version of the M60A1 (RISE-Passive) that incorporated much of the improved fire control system of the developmental M1 tank. The 1st Squadron of the 10th Cavalry became the first USAREUR cavalry unit to receive the M60A3 in 1979, and was followed by all three squadrons of the 11th ACR and the 3d Squadron of the 8th Cavalry in 1980. Because of delays in delivery of fire-control components, the three squadrons in the 2d ACR and other divisional cavalry units were not finished converting to the upgraded tank until the first part of 1982. On 10 August 1983 Troop A of the 1st Squadron of the 11th ACR unloaded 12 of the new Abrams M1 tanks and became the first USAREUR cavalry unit to receive the new main battle tank. The 2d ACR was scheduled to begin receiving M1s in 1984. Planning in 1983 called for the armored cavalry regiments' squadrons to receive 17 M1s for their tank company and 36 M1s for the 3 reconnaissance troops for a total of 53 per squadron, or 159 M1s for the entire regiment. The fielding of the new Bradley Fighting Vehicle in the regiments in the FYs 1985-87 period would result in a reduction to only 129 M1s in each regiment.31

(U) In addition to the M60A3 and M1 tanks, the cavalry units received another vehicle that increased their tank killing capability. The M901 Improved TOW Vehicle (ITV) was intended to be an interim

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Photo: M1 Main Battle Tank (Abrams)

(U) M1 Main Battle Tank (Abrams)


substitution for the M3 cavalry fighting vehicle and consisted of a 2-launcher TOW elevating turret mounted on an M113 APC chassis. Although tests in the United States in 1979 had demonstrated that the M901 had only a limited capability as a scout vehicle, CINCUSAREUR thought its tank killing ability warranted it being issued to all of the cavalry units in USAREUR. V Corps concurred in this plan, but VII Corps wanted to limit distribution to only the divisional and brigade cavalry units, but not to the 2d ACR. As a consequence, the 2d ACR was scheduled to be the last unit to receive the new vehicles. Deployment of the M901 in USAREUR began in January 1980, with. 18 vehicles being issued to the 1st Squadron of the 11th ACR. The basis of issue was to be 18 vehicles per cavalry squadron, both divisional and regimental, and 6 for the cavalry troop of the separate brigades. The 11th ACR had received its full quota by the end of 1980 and the 2d ACR had accepted its M901s by the end of the first quarter of 1982, for a total of 54 M901s in each regiment.32

A major improvement in the surveillance capability of the border units had occurred in 1961 with the introduction of the AN/PPS-4 ground surveillance radar (GSR). (See Chapter 5, Equipment, Changes in Border Units.) Generally, they were used on the border during periods of reduced visibility and the hours of darkness. An improved GSR -- the AN/PPS-5 -- was tested by V Corps units in 1971, and found to be more effective than either the AN/PPS-4 or the subsequently introduced AN/TPS-33 GSRs. The AN/PPS-5 was a portable, battery-powered ground surveillance radar designed for battlefield use in locating and identifying moving ground targets. It was based on the Doppler principle and registered targets as wave forms on two scopes and as electrical signals through headphones. The AN/PPS-5 increased the line-of-sight range of ground surveillance radar from 6,000 meters to 10,000 meters for vehicles and from 1,500 meters to 6,000 meters for personnel. In 1971 the armored cavalry units were scheduled to receive 2 AN/PPS-5s for each troop, for a total of 6 per squadron or 18 per ACR. Although the two border regiments received priority when field issue of the new GSRs began in the latter part of 1971, they were still short their full quota as late as 1973. However, by 1976 some of the divisional GSR sections or teams had received their new sets and they began augmenting the ACRs' GSR coverage on the border. The divisional GSR sections' augmentation was rated a success, and in 1977 they began regular 14-day operations periods- at field vantage points where significant border activity had been identified. (Prior to this, they had operated at the observation posts.) Starting with their introduction in 1961, the GSRs had a history of maintenance problems and had been difficult to man with fully trained

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Photo: AN/PPS-5 Ground Surveillance Radar

(U) AN/PPS-5 Ground Surveillance Radar


personnel. In spite of these ongoing problems, they were still an important means for conducting routine border surveillance. And, their assignment to the border mission provided their crews with invaluable, real-mission experience they could never obtain during exercises or at training areas.33

(U) Current Border Operations

After increasing the frequency of border patrolling in 1969 following the Czechoslovak Crisis (see Chapter 5, Border Operations), the procedures for border operations were fairly well set, the differences between 1970 and 1983 being fine tuning rather than major changes in overall procedures (the changes brought about by the 2d ACR test in 1974 being the main difference, see below). The 14th/11th ACR manned four permanent observation posts on a 24-hour basis, conducted ground patrols in different sectors each day, and flew daily border traces over all of its sectors with unit aerial surveillance aircraft. From its eight forward border camps (later reduced to six), the 2d ACR and its attached cavalry elements manned observation posts (see below for a discussion on the differences in philosophy between the 11th ACR and 2d ACR on observation posts -- permanent vs. temporary), carried out ground patrols in different sectors each day, and also flew daily border traces over all of its sectors with unit aerial surveillance aircraft. Both units carried out surveillance on a daily basis on major avenues of approach, but diverged in their ground patrol coverage in other areas. The 11th ACR covered all of its sectors once each 72 hours; normally one third of a squadron's sector was covered each day, but some units would cover the entire squadron sector in one day and stand down from patrolling on the other two days. After 1974, the 2d ACR required that all of its sectors be covered once each 92 hours, except for the sector between UQ 7242 and VQ 1503, which was covered at least once every 7 days. Both commanders had the authority to cover their sectors more frequently, and would during periods of international tension or increased activity on the other side of the border. The ground patrols were conducted by foot, vehicle (usually jeeps), or "airlanded." In addition to the daily aerial surveillance missions flown by the ACRs' aircraft, the border was covered by aerial surveillance missions flown by other units and agencies (see below, Aerial Surveillance Along the Border). The ground surveillance radar teams routinely conducted surveillance during the hours of darkness or periods or reduced visibility. Squad-size reaction forces stood ready in each squadron sector and, up until March 1983, the ACRs were required to conduct a monthly exercise of inserting an air cavalry squad on any point along the border within an hour.

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Photo: An M113 armored personnel carrier of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment stands ready to respond to a border incident or exercise.

(U) An M113 armored personnel carrier of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment stands ready to respond to a border incident or exercise.


An initial assessment in 1971 of the increased patrolling activity claimed that the program had posed no serious problems and had no adverse impact on operational readiness. As will be seen below, there were differences of opinion on this, but everyone continued to agree that there were valuable training benefits being derived from operating in this "real world" environment. The rest of this section will be devoted to significant changes in border procedures that have occurred since 1970.34

There were two potentially serious border violations by USAREUR aircraft during 1970; on 27 October and again on 1 November USAREUR helicopters inadvertently violated the Czechoslovak border. In both cases the pilots were not border qualified, were flying with inadequate navigational aids and maps, intended to make short flights entirely outside the ADIZ, and became disoriented and flew through the ADIZ and over the border. The 27 October flight penetrated Czechoslovak air space to a depth of 27 nautical miles before reversing course and returning to the Federal Republic. The 1 November flight penetrated only a short distance into Czechoslovakia, but remained within the country for an extensive period, which resulted in the scrambling of several Czechoslovak fighters that, in turn, caused the launching of two USAFE fighters. The potential for an international incident was very explosive, but fortunately, no shots were fired and the Czechoslovak Government accepted the US admission of error without undue propaganda in its radio, television, or press media.

The incidents did result in several significant changes in USAREUR flight procedures and training. Every aircraft was to carry sufficient unmarked tactical maps to cover the southern half of the Federal Republic. If an aviator enroute to, in, or near the ADIZ became to the slightest degree doubtful of his minute-to-minute location and orientation, he was to turn immediately to a heading of 240 degrees and continue until he had positively located his position. In addition, the procedures for training pilots for flying within the ADIZ were upgraded to include changing the annual/semi-annual flight standardization check ride to a 6-month requirement, all pilots -- new and old -- would be checked out in their navigation proficiency, and all aviators would be instructed on how to identify the international borders, to include viewing aerial photographs of border areas. Another improvement was that all six flight coordination centers (FCCs) located in the ADIZ received new UHF/VHF equipment. Other aircraft control equipment was to be upgraded in the near future. Even with these improvements in the training programs, flying procedures, and equipment, it was doubtful if border violations due to pilot error

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would ever be stopped completely. As late as in the spring of 1,984, a USAREUR helicopter again inadvertently flew over the Czechoslovak border and, unfortunately, this time the Czechoslovaks were not so restrained and fired at the aircraft. The pilot succeeded in recrossing the border back into the Federal Republic without being harmed.35

Two interesting innovations introduced during this period aided the armored cavalry regiments in conducting border operations. In 1970 V Corps�began using video tape recorders to monitor border activities and adverse demonstrations. By using this system, the commanders and the G2s had near-real-time information on these activities. Of interest to this study and, more importantly, to the soldiers who worked on the border, was the development of a "Border Study" by the V Corps staff in conjunction with the border units and the USAREUR headquarters intelligence staff. Compiled in one document was a brief history of the border, an extensive overview and detailed account of border fortifications and geographic features, and the order of battle of both East and West German border agencies, as well as some information on US border units. Although not comprehensive in some areas, it was a first attempt to get most of the information necessary for a border orientation together in one book. Published on 15 May 1971, the border study was designed to permit revisions and additions without destroying the continuity of the overall document. The increased impetus in modernizing the East German barrier system in 1972 led to a revised edition being published on 20 September 1973. Although not documented in the corps' history, the VII Corps actually published the first border study on 1 December 1970. This study focused exclusively on the East German and Czechoslovak border barrier systems and the order of battle of the border agencies. The trend in the latter part of the decade was toward these intelligence handbook-type border studies that totally ignored the activities on the Federal Republic side of the borders.36

(U) On 28 August 1972 a 4-man foot patrol inadvertently crossed the ill-defined Czechoslovak border in a hilly and wooded area. Although the patrol realized before its capture by Czechoslovak border guards that it was over the border and was able to destroy its daily codes and detune its radio, USAREUR headquarters was disturbed about the inordinate amount of time that elapsed before it was notified that the patrol was missing and the apparent poor training of the patrol personnel. The safe release of the patrol the next morning did not deter CINCUSAREUR from directing a complete review of all border operations procedures. Although the existing directive, USAREUR

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Operations Order 1-72, was clear and comprehensive in most areas, it did not specifically provide for actions to be taken in situations less than an actual incident. For example, there were no specific provisions for reporting the loss of communications with or, the disappearance of a patrol -- the situation prior to it being confirmed that the patrol actually had been captured. USAREUR changed OPORD 1-72 in September 1972 to incorporate three modifications to existing instructions: When communications with a border patrol was lost for more than 30 minutes, the incident was to be reported, immediately through normal command channels to the USAREUR Operations Center; the HANDICAP BLACK communications tests were to be expanded to once again include USAREUR headquarters, with the added requirement that the test message reach the USAREUR Operations Center within 15 minutes of the start of the test (participation in the tests at 7th Army/USAREUR level had been discontinued in 1963. See Chapter 5, Border Operations); and the border units were to increase their existing cooperation with the BGS, to include using the BGS's capabilities in teaching orientation and reconnaissance processes and, to the maximum extent possible, conduct joint foot patrols with BGS personnel. USAREUR thought these changes would improve the training of US border patrol personnel and, if something went wrong, insure that the USAREUR Operations Center would be notified on a more timely basis.37

(U) In an attempt to share the benefits of training in the "real world" environment of the border, V Corps initiated a program in 1973 that would allow mechanized infantry platoons to conduct border patrols. Several 8th Infantry Division units successfully tested the program in 1973, and the new training program was approved in December 1973. The first full training period was conducted between May and October 1974, with units from both the 8th Infantry Division and the 3d Armored Division participating. After completing border familiarization training, the platoons engaged in operations such as day and night patrols, as well as mounted, dismounted, and aerial patrols. Training for airmobile operations and occupation of patrol vantage points was also conducted. The border augmentations lasted five days and were highly beneficial both from a unit training standpoint and for the increased knowledge of the border and border conditions afforded the individual soldiers. (It was a rare soldier who did not better understand his reason for being in Germany after performing border duty.)38

In March 1974, while discussing proposed changes to existing border operations procedures, the 2d ACR commander outlined what he thought were the four major objectives of border operations: To main-

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Photo: 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment cavalrymen on a routine patrol at the edge of the Czechoslovak border. August 1974.

(U) 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment cavalrymen on a routine patrol at the edge of the Czechoslovak border. August 1974.


tain a visible and active US military presence on the border; to employ combat units and vehicles so as to establish a pattern of activity that would permit intensified operations when necessary; to conduct operations in compliance with ammunition storage safety criteria; and to conduct operations in such a way as to make them compatible with all the other demands being placed upon the units. He believed that current border operations procedures satisfied the first two criteria, but not the last two. He observed that compliance with ammunition safety criteria made it impossible to comply with operational directives. But his primary point of contention was that current border operations procedures were too restrictive and that troop and squadron commanders had 'little flexibility in maintaining operational control of their units. The detailed operational guidance of Annex K to USAREUR Operations Order 1-73 prescribed activity so precisely that the pattern of activity had become routine and predictable. Under the terms of the operations order, peacetime surveillance operations along the border required the manning of permanent observation posts on major routes of approach 24 hours a day, daily ground patrols and serial surveillance missions of the entire border sector, as well as the use of ground surveillance radar, ground and aerial photography, ground sensors, and small-unit exercises -- all intended to detect preparations for surprise attack by hostile forces and to capture or repel intruders. He noted that permanent observation posts had become virtual offices, did not contribute to the image of an active and competent border force, probably would not provide early warning information, and diverted personnel from necessary patrol activity and tactical training. In addition, with the extensive border sector the 2d ACR had to cover, he did not feel he had enough resources to patrol it adequately on a daily basis or that daily patrols were necessary, particularly in the low-threat southern portion.

The 2d ACR commander recommended that a more flexible system be tested that would return more control to the local commanders. He proposed to stop operating from permanent observation posts on a regular basis, but instead use them only at infrequent intervals and on special order; replace daily border patrols along the full length of the VII Corps border sector with a variety of- patrols of differing sizes and at irregular intervals; and, in order to improve unit readiness, have 1- or 2-day periods free of border missions during which unit training and unit-wide vehicle maintenance could be accomplished: The disadvantages of the plan were that the major avenues of approach would not be covered continuously, the entire border would not be patrolled on a daily basis, and for several days each month there would be no ground patrols in given sectors.

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Photo: Close-up view of the wooden watchtower on one of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment's observation posts. The newer, modern steel towers were abandoned because they were unsafe.

(U) Close-up view of the wooden watchtower on one of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment's observation posts. 
The newer, modern steel towers were abandoned because they were unsafe.


On 17 June 1974 General Michael S. Davison, CINCUSAREUR, approved a 6-month test of the new concept by VII Corps' 2d ACR. The test began on 1 August and was completed on 31 January 1975. In March 1975 Lieutenant General George S. Blanchard, VII Corps commander, informed General Davison that the recently completed test had convinced him of the desirability of the new procedures. Instead of the highly structured and inflexible methods of the past, during the test period the 2d ACR had employed random ground patrols, varying both the timing of dispatch and the routing of the patrols. Similarly, the locations of observation posts, ground surveillance radar sites, and ground listening posts had been changed on a random basis. In addition to allowing greater flexibility in actual operations, the test system had permitted commanders to conduct better and more realistic training and to improve maintenance within the regiment, to include upgrading living conditions in the border camps. Because of the random patrolling, it was possible to raise the level of border surveillance operations without causing political repercussions. Accordingly, the VII Corps commander stated he was adopting the new concept for normal use in the VII Corps sector and recommended that it be adopted USAREUR-wide.

A briefing of the VII Corps border operations concept was presented at USAREUR headquarters on 16 April 1975 for representatives of the headquarters staff and V Corps. At approximately the same time, USAREUR learned that the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) had ceased patrolling its section of the border with British military units and had turned over border surveillance responsibility to the Federal Republic (see Appendix I). The apparent success of the 2d ACR test of reduced border operations and the changes in BAOR procedures,. coupled with funding restraints and the expense of USAREUR's border operations (estimated at over one million dollars annually during this period), led General Davison to direct that a study be made to determine the optimum level for USAREUR border operations. In addition to its internal study of the question, the USAREUR staff asked for the views of CENTAG, the two corps, both armored cavalry regiments, and the 66th MI Group. Originally scheduled for completion in August, the study was extended to October 1975 to insure that all interested parties -- including the Bundeswehr and the US Embassy in Bonn -- would have an opportunity to comment. All agencies were in agreement that the range of US border surveillance operations should continue essentially unchanged and not follow the British example of withdrawing from the mission. In addition, all -- except VII Corps and the 2d ACR, both of which preferred a more flexible system -- recommended that the level of border operations remain the same, with the US

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Photo: An 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment M113 armored personnel carrier moves out during a fast reaction exercise. Normal border patrols were conducted in jeeps, and the M113s remained at the border camps or observation posts.

(U) An 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment M113 armored personnel carrier moves out during a fast reaction exercise. 
Normal border patrols were conducted in jeeps, and the M113s remained at the border camps or observation posts.


Embassy in particular warning of possible adverse apolitical implications of any reduction of US border activities. As a consequence, the USAREUR Border  Operations Study recommended not changing current USAREUR border operations procedures, and when USAREUR Operations Order 1-75 was published on 17 December 1975, the requirements for manning permanent observation posts on a 24-hour basis and the daily coverage of all border sectors by ground patrols were retained.

In February 1976 the VII Corps asked USAREUR to change the newly issued Operations Order 1-75 to incorporate the changes it had already put into effect the prior year, specifically the use of temporary observation posts and random patrolling not tied to a 24-hour requirement. Internal USAREUR headquarters documents indicate that the initial reaction was to nonconcur and keep the status quo, but during a change in DCSOPS a message was sent to VII Corps saying their changes were approved and OPORD 1-75 would be revised. When the new DCSOPS arrived, a recision message was sent that stated that the VII Corps' changes should be reevaluated. The issue becomes even more interesting when it is noted that the former VII Corps commander, General Blanchard, had in the interim become the new CINCUSAREUR. Regardless, the. VII Corps procedures were not changed, and from 1975 on neither armored cavalry regiment was required by corps regulations to cover all of its border sectors on a daily -basis. The most recent operations order (USAREUR OPORD 2-81, Annex H) seemed to straddle the issue adequately to allow the corps to conduct the border mission according to the corps commanders' desires. They were to use observation posts "if desired" and, as a minimum, were to cover "all major avenues of approach" at least once each 24 hours, using either observation posts or ground patrols. As can readily be seen, this left a great deal of latitude to the border units. The result was that the 11th ACR normally patrolled one-third of its border sector on a daily basis -- or its entire sector during a 72-hour period -- and operated out of permanent observation posts located on the four major avenues of approach and manned on a 24-hour basis. The 2d ACR, in contrast, covered the major avenues of approach once each 24 hours with either ground patrols or observation posts and patrolled the rest of its sectors at least once each 96 hours, except for the sector between UQ 7242 and VQ 1503, which was patrolled once in each 7 days. Discussions with staff officers from both regiments provided a sound rationale for continuing to operate as they were, and it will be left to others to decide which was the better system.39

One ongoing wartime planning problem for the armored cavalry regiments was that their peacetime border surveillance sectors did not

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Photo: Interior of an 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment observation post, showing modern steel tower (left) built to replace the wooden watch-tower (center).

(U) Interior of an 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment observation post, 
showing modern steel tower (left) built to replace the wooden watch-tower (center).


match up with their wartime GDP sectors. This was particularly true for the 2d ACR, which patrolled almost completely "out-of-sectors from its GDP position. The main problem was that the regiments 'were expected to continue -- and actually increase -- their peacetime border surveillance efforts up through the five levels of surveillance conditions and might not be relieved of the peacetime border surveillance mission until an advanced state of readiness had been declared. Many questioned whether the regiments could effectively move to their GDP positions in time, especially if hostilities broke out while they were moving. One suggestion was that more reliance be placed upon the German border agencies during this transition-to-war period and that the regiments be pulled off the border almost immediately. Another possible solution was to conduct the border surveillance mission with aerial surveillance aircraft while the ground elements of the regiments moved to their GDP positions. In any respect, the "out-of-sector" problem remained unresolved at the end "of this study, but USAREUR headquarters thought it was not a significant problem as CINCUSAREUR could terminate peacetime border surveillance at any point he thought necessary, and the regimental and corps commanders had sufficient flexibility to deploy their forces to meet contingencies while still conducting peacetime border operations.40

(U) Border Incidents

(U) Although several border incidents that led to policy changes have been recounted in preceding sections, there were others worth mentioning because of their unusual nature or as reminders that something could always go wrong if soldiers were not alert in this highly sensitive area.

(U) In November 1971 an intoxicated soldier wanted to travel from Bamberg to Erlangen -- both within the Federal Republic -- and inadvertently boarded a train bound for West Berlin. After the train entered East Germany, his identification card was taken in exchange for an unidentified form (probably a transit visa) and he was permitted to travel to East Berlin, where his identification card was returned. The train then traveled on into West Berlin and the soldier left the train. Realizing he had made a mistake, he bought a ticket and tried to return to the Federal Republic. When he arrived in East Berlin, the East German authorities checked his documents and refused to let him proceed. He then returned to West Berlin by train and attempted to hitchhike to Bamberg. He was successful in getting a ride, but was turned back at the East German checkpoint on the Autobahn. East German officials arranged for a civilian vehicle to return

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him to West Berlin, and after sitting in the railroad station for several hours, he finally concluded he needed help and surrendered to the military police. Although the case had involved several violations of the East German border, they did not protest the incident.41

40 Drinking was also a factor in a potentially serious border incident in 1973. A border unit was conducting a border orientation tour for members of one of the infantry divisions. The tour group was thoroughly briefed by the guide before approaching the border, and at the border itself the guide pointed out the border markers and the actual demarcation line. Some of the tour group had been drinking and one was so thoroughly intoxicated that -- as he admitted later to US interrogators -- he had no idea where he was at the time of the incident. The soldier crossed the border in spite of other members of the tour group calling for him to come back and the Czechoslovak border guards trying to wave him back across the border. He continued anyway and was arrested by the Czechoslovak border guards. He was released approximately 12 hours later to the Bavarian Border Police, who turned him over to US military authorities. In addition to finding that the incident was caused by the individual's drinking, the investigation found that the officer in charge of the tour had not exercised proper control over his soldiers and that the tour guide had erroneously allowed the group to enter the restricted 50-meter zone along ,the demarcation line.42

1973 had two other interesting border incidents. On the evening of 24 August an unattended 1/4-ton vehicle parked at an observation post rolled away from the site and came to a stop on the East German side of the demarcation line. There were no weapons or classified documents on board, but the vehicle had a radio tuned in to a frequency in use by the unit, which caused the regiment to immediately change frequencies. Through the intervention of the BGS, the vehicle was recovered intact the next day. East German border authorities permitted one US Army soldier to accompany the BGS recovery personnel, stipulating only that no press or civilian personnel be permitted to observe the operation and that no pictures be taken.

On 17 November 1973 a USAREUR soldier was taking photographs in vicinity of the Berlin Wall at a point where the east-west Berlin sector boundary was not clearly delineated. He passed through a railroad tunnel and found himself in East Berlin. He was detained and questioned by East German Police, had his identity documents and camera taken away, and was allowed to sleep. When he was released the next morning, his identity documents and camera were returned to him, along with his developed film.43

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(U) These, and other incidents like them, convinced General Blanchard to issue a "CINC Note" in 1976 that emphasized the seriousness of border crossing incidents and outlined what the soldier should do in the event of being apprehended across the border (see FIGURE 14). Unfortunately, even the strongest command emphasis could not preclude human error and it was probable that soldiers would continue to inadvertently cross the border and cause serious problems for themselves and the command.

(U) Military Intelligence Activity Along the Border

Prior to the beginning of the 1970s, military intelligence achy along the border had been fairly straightforward and consisted primarily of the activities of the Border Resident Offices and the aerial surveillance activities of the different units flying missions along the border. A brief discussion of the various types of intelligence activities being employed and who played the parts would be useful at this point. The most basic type of intelligence activity was human intelligence (HUMINT) -- the intelligence collection function which used human beings as both sources and collectors. HUMINT was practiced by the BRO personnel, in their various activities (see below), and the border patrol soldiers as they conducted their ground patrols or manned the observation and listening posts. Signal intelligence (SIGINT) was collected by both ground-based units and from specialized aircraft. The ground-based SIGINT was primarily "signals reconnaissance" collected by corps and US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) units using nontactical garrison equipment. Aerial SIGINT was conducted using QUICK LOOK and GUARDRAIL systems (see below, Aerial Surveillance Along the Border). Imagery intelligence (IMINT), which consisted primarily of photo collection, was gathered by the ground surveillance radar teams (in a very rough usage of the term) and by the SLAB equipment to a certain extent, but it was primarily practiced by BRO and border patrol personnel on the ground and by the regular unit aerial border patrols and SLAB aircraft employing their photographic systems in the air. Basically, this study concentrates on military intelligence as it was employed by the US Army units on the border and ignores the activities of the US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and national collection agencies in this area. Intelligence of importance to the border units gathered by the latter two elements was passed to these units as expeditiously as possible.

(U) Border Resident Office (BRO) Structure

(U) The roles of the Border Resident Offices did not change substantially from 1970 through 1983, but the number of BROs and their

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5 March 1976

Photo: from the CINC...

I want to caution all members of this command about the serious implications of a border crossing incident. Czechoslovakia Socialist Republic/German Democratic Republic (CSSR/GDR) border areas should be avoided altogether, except in the performance of official duties or as required when crossing at authorized points in conjunction with approved travel.

Should US Forces inadvertently cross the CSSR/GDR border and be detained and questioned by CSSR/GDR officials, the following guidance is provided:

Only the following information should be given:

1. Name, grade, social security number, and date of birth.

2. Entry into CSSR or GDR was inadvertent.

3. Desire to be returned to US control immediately.

Written statements should be avoided. It is permissible, however, to sign a statement of fact, written in the English language, on such topics as:

1. Receipt for personal effects.

2. Acknowledgment of medical services provided.

3. Items relating to the reason for or events pertaining to accidental entry.



s/George S. Blanchard

General, USA


organizational assignment and attachment did change during this period. In 1970 there were ten BROs assisting the armored cavalry regiments in conducting border surveillance and maintaining close liaison with German border agencies. The BROs were assigned to the 165th MI Company and the 511th MI Company, both of which were assigned to the 66th MI Group. The 165th MI Company had BROs located at Eschwege, Bad Hersfeld, and Fulda. Assigned to the 511th MI Company were BROs located at Coburg, Kronach, Hof, Bad Neustadt, Weiden, Cham, and Passau. The BROs had interrogators attached from the divisional MI companies and corps MI detachments. (For more information on the BROs, see Chapter 5, Upgrade and Reorganization of Military Intelligence in USAREUR.)

(U) A reorganization of these units on 21 April 1974 reversed the assignment and attachment of the divisional and corps MI elements. The divisional MI companies (1st, 3d, 8th, 503d, and 504th) and corps MI detachments (205th and 207th), which had been assigned to the 66th MI Group and only attached to their parent units, were now assigned to their parent units, with their interrogation sections attached to the 66th MI Group for operational control. Most of the interrogators previously serving at BROs were still being used in that mission. The 165th and 511th MI Companies still belonged to the 66th MI Group.44

The status of the BROs remained the same until November 1980, when USAREUR headquarters decided to close all of the BROs unless the corps or some other agency would take them over. Many of the parent units had often requested the return of their interrogators, so the proposal initially met with a favorable response by the corps and divisions. The reason was that information being developed by the BROs was judged by the 66th and the USAREUR ODCSI as being marginal, duplicative, and neither timely nor mission essential. The corps, however, were given the mission of maintaining liaison with the local German border agencies. Each decided to do it in a different manner. The BROs in the V Corps area (Eschwege, Bad Hersfeld, and Fulda) were closed by 30 June 1981. A Border Liaison Office (BLO), consisting of two analysts from V Corps' MI detachment, was retained in the 11th ACR's S-2 office. The VII Corps, however, never did stop its BRO program and continued to man its BROs with divisional MI personnel. A 3-man Border Liaison Office, attached to 2d ACR's S-2 office, had operational control of the BROs in the 2d ACR sector. The BROs at Bad Neustadt and Passau were closed during this period of retrenchment in 1981. As this study closed, 2d ACR was still convinced that the 23 German linguist interrogators at the 5 remaining BROs performed valuable duty in aiding the regiment in conducting border surveillance

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operations and maintaining close liaison with the German border agencies. It 1983 there was some discussion over reopening the BROs in the 11th ACR sector, and the 66th planned to operate BROs at Eschwege and Munich with its own assets.45

(U) Aerial Surveillance Along the Border

At the beginning of the 1970s, US Army aerial surveillance efforts along the border were conducted by the armored cavalry regiments, as they flew their daily border trace patrols with helicopters, and by the 122d Aviation Company, which flew OV-1 Mohawks. As was mentioned previously, the aerial surveillance activities in this area being conducted by the US Air Force and national collection agencies were not addressed in this study. They were occasionally tasked by USAREUR units to collect specific information, and any intelligence of importance they gathered with their normal aerial surveillance missions was fed into US Army intelligence information networks. The aerial surveillance activities of the ACRs were limited primarily to visual observation and photography. The 122d Aviation Company employed photography, the SLAR system, and infrared sensors on its daily missions over most of the USAREUR border sector. In addition to these daily missions, the corps could each request two special flight per month when increased or unusual sightings were noted or expected.46

In 1971 the 122d Aviation Company continued to refine its ability to use the SLAR's data-link capability, which was added to the SLAR system in the latter part of the 1960s -- a capability that allowed almost instantaneous access to the information gathered by the SLAR rather than waiting for the aircraft to land and have the film processed before the analysts could have access to the photographs of the radar picture. (For more information on the introduction of SLAR and the development of the air-to-ground, data-link capability, see Chapter 5, Aerial Surveillance Along the Border.) Initially, SLAR was utilized to provide the corps with an early warning capability to detect enemy build ups. During 1971 the 122d Aviation Company began testing the feasibility of having SLAB monitor peacetime surveillance missions or, to put it differently, as a method for checking the operations security (OPSEC) of the border units. Apparently, it was a success, because by 1983 the majority of the peacetime SLAB and infrared missions of the aircraft were directed at USAREUR units for OPSEC purposes, although with their coverage of approximately 60 kilometers across the border, they did retain their early warning mission.47

A potentially significant upgrade of USAREUR's aerial surveillance capabilities along the border was tested between February

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and December 1971, when the QUICK LOOK sensor and data-link transmitting equipment were evaluated in the European environment. A 14-man test team brought over two OV-1C Mohawks with the QUICK LOOK electronic intelligence (ELINT) system installed and tested it against both East Bloc and USAREUR electronic emitters (primarily radar). The QUICK LOOK system was a prototype airborne detector designed to locate and identify ground-based radars. Generally, the equipment successfully detected both hostile and friendly emissions in near-real-time, but problems with the aircraft's navigational system would not allow the system to pinpoint locations of hostile emitters precisely enough for target acquisition purposes. Testing revealed that it was very good at detecting radar emitters in the frequency range from 550 to 10,300 megahertz (MHz), but that it could not detect narrow band emitters such as the ground surveillance radars. USAREUR recommended further testing to increase the accuracy of the QUICK LOOK system itself, as well as the aircraft's navigational system, and the expansion of its frequency range detection capability to at least 18,000 MHz so that it could pick up Soviet antiaircraft fire control radars. When these improvements were incorporated, USAREUR thought it would be a valuable addition to the command's intelligence gathering capabilities. The QUICK LOOK equipment, aircraft, and personnel returned to the United States in early 1972 for further testing.48

(U) In response to a USCINCEUR requirement for a signals intelligence (SIGINT) system that could provide near-real-time tactical intelligence information directly to combat units, the National Security Agency (NSA) developed an experimental system known as GUARDRAIL I. Basically, GUARDRAIL was a communications intelligence (COMINT) system that monitored communications systems such as radio and teletype equipment. (Technically, both ELINT and COMINT were considered SIGINT.) Composed of already existing hardware that was interconnected to meet the specific needs of tactical SIGINT, GUARDRAIL I was tested in Europe from September to November 1971. The lessons learned during this 1971 testing were to be applied to the follow-on, operational system known as GUARDRAIL II .49

In 1971 CINCUSAREUR had requested that his command be provided 13 of the new OV-1D Mohawk aircraft, which were equipped with more modern and sophisticated sensor equipment and included all three operational aerial surveillance systems (photo, SLAR, and infrared) on one airframe. The new aircraft began arriving in early August 1972 and were deployed to the 122d Aviation Company at Hanau Army Airfield. As of 25 September 1972, all SLAR missions were being flown by OV-1Ds; and by the end of the year, all 13 OV-1Ds were operational (12 for

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operational use and 1 for maintenance float) and USAREUR's 13 OV-1B aircraft were being prepared for shipment to the United States. A significant problem was that the data-link system used with the SLAR system on the OV-1B (AN/APS 94) was not compatible with the SLAR system on the OV-1D (AN/APS 94D). USAREUR told Department of the Army that the equipment's use in providing early warning of imminence of hostilities and target acquisition once hostilities began, precluded waiting until FY 1977 for the expected deployment of compatible datalink equipment. Department of the Army said that it was working on an interim solution to the problem.50

(U) As part of the Army-wide program to retain in the active Army those units with the longest and most distinguished traditions, the 122d Aviation Company was inactivated and the 73d Aviation Company activated in its place on 11 September 1972. The Department of the Army subsequently decided that all Army aviation assets should be assigned to the basic branch having proponency for their employment. Since the OV-1D aircraft assigned to the 73d Aviation Company were used exclusively for intelligence gathering purposes, the company was reorganized and redesignated on 30 June 1973 as the 73d Military Intelligence Company (Aerial Surveillance) -- 73d MI Co (AS).51

Meanwhile, the 73d's SLAR OV-1Ds were soon to be joined by the two newer aerial surveillance systems. The new GUARDRAIL II system had been tested in Europe from September to December 1972, and USAREUR was so impressed with the upgraded system that it had recommended retaining it in Europe. The GUARDRAIL II's system encompassed signal-intercept and direction-finding equipment mounted on RU-21 aircraft, which through air and ground relays was capable of providing near-real-time tactical intelligence information to combat commanders. After extensive surveys and negotiations throughout 1973 to find a home for the aircraft and its unit, the 330th Army Security Agency (ASA) Company, it was decided to station flight operations and maintenance elements at Ramstein Air Base, with administrative support and other elements at Sembach and Gruenstadt. The equipment and aircraft arrived by ship in the spring of 1974 and were ready for operational test and evaluation (OTE) on 26 August 1974. The GUARDRAIL II-system successfully completed its OTE in March 1975 and started its intelligence mission in support of theater requirements in April 1975. The combination of its mission tracks being outside of the JCS-defined "sensitive airspace" (20 miles next to the border) and the passive nature of its detection equipment significantly lowered the political sensitivity of GUARDRAIL II's operations.52

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To further complicate matters for the 330th ASA .Company in 1974 -- when it was receiving its GUARDRAIL II aircraft and attempting to achieve OTE for the new system -- the company also had to field its two new QUICK LOOK aircraft in mid-July. Like the GUARDRAIL deployment, there had been a great deal of discussion about where to put these two aircraft in a theater where airfields were critically overcrowded. Although it would have been desirable to, collocate them at Ramstein Air Base with the rest of the 330th's assets, there just was not enough room. Hanau was the next best choice because the 73d MI Company was located there with its OV-1Ds and OV-1Cs, and since QUICK LOOK was mounted on RV-1Cs -- a modified OV-1C -- there were obvious maintenance advantages and the incoming QUICK LOOK pilots could train on the 73d's OV-1Cs. However, Hanau had runway limitations for the QUICK LOOK aircraft and it too was overcrowded, so the two QUICK LOOK aircraft and Detachment 1, 330th ASA Company, which consisted of 25 personnel, were stationed at Kitzingen Army Air Field. Since the QUICK LOOK's flight tracks would be in the "sensitive air-space," it was imperative the pilots be thoroughly trained before assuming their operational mission and, as a consequence, they were trained by the border-experienced pilots of the 73d in their OV-1Cs. The QUICK LOOK system was approved for reconnaissance missions in the 'sensitive airspace" in March 1975. In June 1975 the QUICK LOOK aircraft moved to Echterdingen Army Air Field near Stuttgart, which resulted in all of USAREUR's Mohawks being collocated on the same field, since the 73d had moved there recently with its OV-1Ds. (The 73d's OV-1Cs had been returned to the United States in October 1974, except for one, which had been transferred to the 330th for training purposes.)53

1975 was a significant year in another respect for the aerial surveillance mission. The data-link compatibility problem of the new SLAR equipment installed on the OV-1D was finally solved in the latter part of the year. This followed a rather tortuous period between the OV-ID's fielding in 1972 and 1975, which saw the command try several interim solutions to the problem. In 1973 the command had tried to use KY-8 and KY-28 secure voice communications devices between the ground stations and the aircraft with only marginal results and decided to further test the concept in 1974. However, the testing :was delayed due to a lengthy grounding of the OV-1s from January through April 1974 because two of them had crashed during a short period of time. When testing of the devices was resumed, it was discovered that they were not reliable for air-to-ground transmissions in this configuration. Next, the command tried issuing acetate overlay maps of the border area to system operators on the aircraft and in the ground stations. When the SLAR equipment detected activity, the aircraft

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crew indicated this to the ground station personnel by giving references to a sector identified by a letter-number combination on the acetate maps. Tests in November 1974 indicated the system was usable. In the meantime, however, discussions with the manufacturer of the data-link system used with the older SLAR equipment (AN/UPD-2) revealed that it would be relatively easy to modify it to be compatible with the new SLAR equipment on the OV-1Ds. The contract was let in February 1975 and the upgraded data-link system (AN/TQ-2A) was delivered and operational in both corps by 5 November 1975. The new equipment worked very well during its test period, and timely inflight reporting from the SLAR missions (code named LARD CAN) was again available to the border units.54

In the latter part of 1978 both the QUICK LOOK and GUARDRAIL II systems were upgraded in USAREUR. The QUICK LOOK II system replaced the developmental QUICK LOOK system, becoming operational on 7 October 1978. The new system was mounted on six RV-1Ds and was operated by the 73d MI Company (AS) instead of the 330th ASA Company. It had a day-and-night, all-weather capability and was effective for approximately 150 kilometers (line-of-sight) against pulsed and continuous wave emitters. Missions were flown at 10 000 feet on JCS-approved flight tracks in the "sensitive airspace." It averaged 20 missions a month; in comparison, the QUICK LOOK I system had averaged 12 missions per month. The code name for its missions was CARAT ROCK.

The new GUARDRAIL V system (its mission code name was CARD WHALE) replaced the aging GUARDRAIL II system and was declared operational on 28 November 1978. Operated by the 330th ASA Company, the system was mounted on 6 RU-2H aircraft (plus a seventh aircraft for maintenance float) and flew approximately 25 missions per month. The 2-aircraft missions were normally flown at around 18,000 feet on JCS-approved nonsensitive tracks. It also had a day-and-night, all-weather capability and was effective to a depth of 300 kilometers against ground-based emitters and 450 kilometers against aerial emitters.

Both upgraded systems improved the command's aerial surveillance capabilities, and USAREUR was scheduled to receive additional sets of QUICK LOOK II and GUARDRAIL V in 1979. Stationing problems for the aircraft precluded this, however, and the deployments were rescheduled for 1980. Eventually, only the QUICK LOOK II set of six additional RV-1D aircraft was fielded by the 73d in the summer of 1982, with the additional set of GUARDRAIL V aircraft scheduled to be deployed in 1984.55

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Organizationally, things had been fairly straightforward for the aerial surveillance units up through 1978; however, at that point they became involved in an Army-wide reorganization of intelligence and electronic warfare assets. Many of these assets were controlled by higher headquarters, such as USAREUR headquarters, or were part of INSCOM units in a stovepipe arrangement. The new doctrine called for placing the "combat electronic warfare intelligence" (CEWI) assets in companies, battalions, and groups that would be directly attached to the tactical units they supported. In 1978, CEWI planning called for each USAREUR corps to have one CEWI group, part of which would be composed of a CEWI aerial exploitation battalion. However, the command only had enough aircraft and equipment to form one aerial exploitation battalion. As a consequence, most of the 2d MI Battalion, including the two aerial surveillance units, was reorganized as the 2d MI Battalion (Aerial Exploitation - AE) on 16 May 1979. It continued to be assigned to the 502d ASA Group, an INSCOM unit, until 16 January 1981, when it was reassigned to USAREUR. It was subsequently reassigned to VII Corps on 16 June 1983, and finally to its CEWI group, the 207th MI Group, when the latter was activated and assigned to VII Corps on 16 October 1983 (the 207th had been in carrier status since 16 April 1983).56

(U) While all of these macro reorganizations were going on above them, the two micro units that actually performed the aerial surveillance missions along the border were also undergoing changes. On 15 May 1979 the 73d MI Company (AS) had been renamed the 73d Combat Intelligence (CBTI) Company (AS), and the 330th ASA Company was renamed the 330th Electronic Warfare (EW) Aviation Company (Forward -FWD). In 1983 Department of the Army insisted that doctrine be followed and the two companies be renamed with letter designations; as a consequence, the 73d became Company A and the 330th became Company B of the 2d MI Battalion (AE). However, as of the end of 1983, both companies were still generally known by their number designations, and they still steadfastly referred to themselves as the 73d CBTI Company (AS) and the 330th EW Aviation Company (FWD), respectively.57

As was noted earlier, there were not enough assets to create a CEWI group or aerial exploitation battalion for V Corps, but throughout this period bits and pieces of its CEWI group (205th MI Group and battalion (1st MI Battalion (AE)) were being accumulated. A key element of the 1st MI Battalion had been present since 16 June 1982, when the 144th ASA Company was activated at Echterdingen and initially attached to the 2d MI Battalion. Although it had some personnel, when its set of six QUICK LOOK II aircraft and equipment

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arrived in the summer of 1982 (see above) it was still under-strength, and the 73d initially fielded the equipment and maintained it until 1983, when it handed it over to the 144th. Also in 1983 the 144th ASA Company was renamed the 144th ASA Aviation Company (Forward) and assigned to its parent unit, the 1st MI Battalion (AE), on 16 August 1983, which at that time was in carrier status under its parent, V Corps. It, like the other two aerial surveillance companies, also picked up a letter designation in 1983 and became Company B of the 1st MI Battalion. It remained at Echterdingen, however, and was still attached to the 2d MI Battalion. By the end of 1983, the 144th had moved to Wiesbaden Air Base, where plans called for it to be collocated with the 1st MI Battalion, which was scheduled to be activated on 16 January 1984. The 1st MI Battalion was scheduled to activate another aerial surveillance company in the FY 1985-86 timeframe and, sometime in FY 1985, accept delivery of the second set of six Improved GUARDRAIL V aircraft and equipment. In 1984 the 330th EW Aviation Company (FWD) would move from Ramstein Air Base to Echterdingen, thus collocating all of the 2d MI Battalion's aerial surveillance assets at one location. When all of these activations, equipment and aircraft accessions, and unit movements were completed, the command would have a significantly improved aerial surveillance posture that would allow even better peacetime aerial surveillance coverage of the border area.58

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Photo: A border patrol dismounts to conduct a patrol just inside the 5-kilometer restricted zone. Circa 1960.

(U) A border patrol dismounts to conduct a patrol just inside the 5-kilometer restricted zone. Circa 1960.

(U) International Relations

(U) Ironically, even though there was an increase in international tensions during the 1960s, there was a decrease in the level of USAREUR border operations in the latter part of the decade. This was due in part to the extensive coverage by the German border police agencies and more advanced US aerial reconnaissance capabilities, but it was caused mostly by a decrease in American resources, both manpower and equipment, available for border patrolling. Although the Vietnam war did not occur in the European theater, its impact on US Army resources was felt worldwide -- and this included the border units.

(U) There had been the usual border incidents in the late 1950s, but in general the situation had been calm in Europe after the granting of German sovereignty in 1955 (the Hungarian uprising in 1956 being a significant exception. The situation changed dramatically in early 1961 when Soviet and East German propaganda began demanding an early resolution of the problems preventing the signing of a final peace treaty covering all of Germany. After a June 1961 meeting in Vienna with President John F. Kennedy, Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev announced that the Soviet Union would conclude a unilateral peace treaty with the East German Government if the three western Allies could not agree to a final settlement of the German issue that would be acceptable to the Communist Bloc.

(U) The flow of East German refugees during this troubled period increased significantly, reaching a peak of 3,000 per day in early August 1961. On 13 August the German Democratic Republic (GDR) reacted by closing all border crossing points, imposing even stricter border controls, and beginning construction of the infamous Berlin Wall. This was followed in September by secret orders to its border guards that they were authorized to shoot anyone attempting to escape, even if the shots were fired into Western territory. Also in September, the GDR Government declared that the Soviet Zone demarcation line would be its "national border." In subsequent years, it sought to obtain by negotiation, harassment,or trickery, expressed or implied recognition of its "national border" by the Federal Republic and Allied agencies and officials. The Federal Republic, as a matter of national policy, did not regard it as a national border, but merely

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a line of demarcation between two parts of the same country.* Allied policy was stated in the Bonn Conventions, which had basically, said that a final peace settlement for the whole of Germany, freely negotiated between Germany and her former enemies, would have to be concluded before a final determination of the boundaries of Germany could be delineated. A nice euphemism used by the British referred-to it as the Inner German Border. It described the demarcation line without raising World War II specters such as was the case with Inner Zonal Boundary, which was also often used.l

As might be expected, the United States and the other western Allies viewed the situation in Berlin with concern, and finally expressed this concern by building up their forces in Germany. A chronological account of the stationing changes and border responsibility shifts that occurred because of the US "Roundout" plan in 1961 and the subsequent redeployment of units back to the United States in 1964 will be outlined below. These unit movements had international implications as they led to the US military authorities asking the French to become more extensively involved on the southern flank of the American area of responsibility, asking the Bundeswehr to assume a share of the military border surveillance mission, and -- for the first time -- trying to induce other NATO partners into performing border surveillance on its northern flank. Although the French had already begun operating on the border in a small way in 1960, they did not seem eager to expand their coverage, and the Bundeswehr was not a likely partner due to FRG policy restrictions against it operating on the border.

In 1962 General Bruce C. Clarke, CINCUSAREUR, surfaced in military and State Department channels the idea of asking other NATO allies to cover a gap between the northern portion of the US area of responsibility and the southern area of the British sector that was supposed to be covered by the Bundeswehr, but could not be due to the above mentioned restrictions. The idea seemed to be accepted and the Belgians agreed to begin patrolling the area in 1963; however, the

*(U) A "Treaty on the Basis of Relations Between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic," signed on 21 December 1972, committed the two German neighbors to developing normal relations, but the Federal Republic still considers itself part of a larger Germany and does not recognize the demarcation line as a permanent national frontier. Facts About German, Lexikon-Institut Bertelsmann, Munich: 1981, pp. 66-82. UNCLAS.

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plan was forestalled when the new Central Army Group (CENTAG) emergency defense plan, scheduled to become operational on 1 September 1963, shifted the CENTAG boundary further north to incorporate this area, thus making it a CENTAG problem rather than a Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) responsibility.

As far back as March 1962, a special study group called the Ailes Committee had recommended that USAREUR get out of the border surveillance business altogether, but the State Department had other ideas. On 24 September 1962 Secretary of State Dean Rusk expressed the opinion that policy questions and incidents related to the peacetime surveillance of the demarcation line were not the responsibility of NATO commanders. The United States, Great Britain, and France had their border responsibilities because of old occupation rights, and the other NATO powers could not be committed to border duty until the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) authorized their use in a NATO-declared emergency. It was Rusk's view that the legal precedents established by the occupation policies and subsequent agreements with the Federal Republic required the three former occupation powers to insure security for all of the NATO forces by being responsible for border surveillance. This opinion, along "With the movement of the CENTAG boundary further north, ended any further discussion of transferring border surveillance duties to other NATO partners such as Belgium.2

However, this did not preclude USAREUR from trying to transfer part of the mission to the French or the Germans. In 1964 USAREUR was scheduled to send home the Roundout forces -- to include an armored cavalry regiment -- which led it to seek a complete takeover of the southern sector by the French and/or the Germans. On 28 August the US Secretary of State asked the US Ambassador in Bonn to advise the Federal Republic that the United States would continue to perform the peacetime border surveillance mission along the Czechoslovak border, but that the Bundeswehr should supplement our activities in order to restore full coverage. The Federal Republic again refused to operate on the border with Bundeswehr units and, in a 2 October 1964 letter from FRG Minister of Defense von Hassel to CINCUSAREUR, asked the United States to continue performing peacetime surveillance along the border. A subsequent USAREUR history refers to a 1964 bilateral agreement with the Germans which led to the United States officially assuming the peacetime surveillance mission for the German corps in the southern sector. (The northern "gap," mentioned earlier, was already being covered by the 14th ACR.) Initially, it appeared that USAREUR would receive additional help from the French as they planned

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to move more units into southern Bavaria, but stationing difficulties precluded this movement and they refused to increase their coverage beyond the one patrol already operating under the control of the 11th ACR. Finally, all hope of any French participation ended when the French Government withdrew its armed forces from the NATO military alliance in 1966 and concurrently withdrew its patrol from border operations. From this point on USAREUR had complete responsibility for providing peacetime military surveillance of the border for the entire CENTAG area. It should not be forgotten, however, that the Germans were making a major contribution through the extensive patrolling being conducted by their paramilitary border police services.3

(U) The legal aspects of US border surveillance responsibilities entered a new era with the passage of the Emergency Legislation by the Bundestag on 24 June 1968. With passage of the Emergency Legislation, the Federal Republic formally assumed executive powers for internal and external emergencies which had rested with the western Allies from the time of the postwar occupation. It had been anticipated that the Federal Republic would do this soon after the granting of sovereignty in 1955, but the required two-thirds Bundestag majority had not been achieved before 1968. The period between and 1968, referred to as the "Contractual Agreements" period under the Bonn Conventions, saw the Federal Republic essentially limiting itself to exercising internal sovereignty. The Bonn Conventions had provided that the Allies would "temporarily" retain rights heretofore held or exercised by them which related to the protection of the security of the armed forces stationed in the Federal Republic until the Federal Republic obtained similar powers under German legislation. (see Chapter 4, International Relations). With the enactment of the Emergency Legislation, the "temporary" Allied powers under the Bonn Conventions lapsed. However, those portions of the Bonn Conventions in which the Allies retained rights relating to Berlin and "Germany as a whole" and to the concluding of a final World War II peace settlement did not lapse. The United States' reserved rights and responsibilities included an interest in protecting the Federal Republic's border integrity. It would appear that from this point forward the legal bases for operating on the border were the "reserved rights" of the Bonn Conventions and long-standing agreements between the United States and the Federal Republic asking the US forces to continue border surveillance substantially unchanged.4

One other international event impacted on border operations during the 1960s. On the night of 20-21 August 1968 the Warsaw Pact suddenly sent 150,000 troops into Czechoslovakia to persuade the

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Czechoslovak leader Dubcek to return to a more orthodox form of communism. Unlike the 1956 Hungarian uprising, USAREUR had seen the invasion coming for some time and had prepared contingency plans.. The primary concern along the border was not to heighten tensions by appearing to overreact to the large-scale presence of Warsaw Pact forces in Czechoslovakia and thus provoke dangerous border incidents, or worse. From the start, the Federal Republic wanted to react in a low-key manner and in concert with the United States. This caution was echoed by Washington and any action or change on the border was scrutinized to assess its impact on the other side. Planning and reaction to the Czechoslovak Crisis of 1968 will be examined in the Border Operations section of this chapter, below.5

(U) Adjustments in the Border Force

(U) At the beginning of the 1960s, three armored cavalry regiments were lined up on the border much as they had been throughout the 1950s. Although the regiments had changed several times, the areas of responsibility and stationing had not been significantly changed during the 1950s. The V Corps area of responsibility in the north was patrolled by the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment, while the VII Corps areas of responsibility in the center were being patrolled by the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and in the south by the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. (See Chapter 4, The Border Force Matures and Operation GYROSCOPE, for more information on the 1950s.

All three armored cavalry regiments were reorganized into the D-series table of organization and equipment (TOE) during May 1960. Major changes were the redesignation of the line companies as troops, battalions as squadrons, and the establishment of regimental aviation companies. This reorganization resulted in shortages in required new equipment and in personnel needed to fill new military occupational specialties (MOS) -- especially in the aviation companies -- that were only beginning to be met at the end of 1960.6

In July 1960 the V Corps commander said he was dissatisfied with the available intelligence information in general, especially near the Fulda Gap area. He also questioned the adequacy of the Surveillance along the German III Corps sector of the border to his north (Hebenshausen, NB 6494, to Blankenbach, NB 7252) -- an area formerly patrolled by V Corps units, but transferred to the Germans in 1957. This "gap" existed because the Bundeswehr was not allowed to patrol on the border and had to rely on BGS and Zoll coverage (see Chapter 3, German Control of the Border). On 1 October 1960 USAREUR headquarters

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Photo: Soldiers from the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment man a temporary observation post next to the border. August 1962.

(U) Soldiers from the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment man a temporary observation post next to the border. August 1962.


extended the V Corps area of responsibility for border surveillance north to include the German III Corps sector. The already overstretched 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment assumed this additional area, and when negotiations to pass it on to the Belgians were terminated in 1963, it became a permanent V Corps responsibility (see above, International Relations).7

The 2d Squadron of the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment had been attached to the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment for border operations since April 1959. As a consequence, the squadron commander received orders from four separate commands -- both cavalry regiments and two different Area Commands. In 1960 the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment's commander recommended that the V and VII Corps boundaries be revised so that the squadron could be returned to its parent organization.8

The boundary was shifted in 1961, but further north than anticipated so that the new corps boundary coincided with the dividing point between two of the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment's squadrons rather than between the two regiments. Concurrent with the implementation of the revised emergency defense plan (EDP 1-61) on 1 December 1961 the 2d Squadron of the 2d ACR was returned to the control of its parent unit; however, the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR would now be attached to the 2d ACR for border operations, thus continuing the confused command arrangement with a reverse twist. The revision, although somewhat unwieldy for peacetime border operations, was supposed to make for a more rational wartime posture.* There were indications in unit histories that the 14th ACR received help with its border surveillance mission from other cavalry elements in the command, particularly from the 3d ACR, which had reconnaissance troops attached to the 3d Squadron of the 14th ACR on a rotating basis.9

(U) Roundout Program

One United States response to the Berlin crisis in 1961 was the deployment of approximately 35,000 soldiers to Europe in order to "Roundout" troop strength. Among the units deployed was the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, with a strength of 2,800 soldiers, to Baumholder in November 1961. Although not a border unit at this time --

* (U) In 1967 the 2d ACR would be even more undermanned on the border, having lost its add-on cavalry elements to the south (see below), and was given administrative control of the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR, effective 1 February 1967. (USAREUR GO 28, 1 Feb 67. UNCLAS.)

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it was to be utilized for rear area security -- it would play a key role on the border in the near future. Each armored cavalry regiment also received a military intelligence detachment as part of the Roundout program (see below, Military Intelligence Reorganization).10

(U) In May 1963 Department of the Army directed the return or inactivation of the Roundout units. The Berlin crisis had receded-and the "Gold Flow" balance-of-payments crisis was upon the command. During the latter part of the year, USAREUR received approval for retaining the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment and sending the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment to the United States instead. USAREUR hoped to retain the 3d ACR in its rear-area security mission and to induce the French or the Germans to assume the 11th ACR's missions of providing peacetime border surveillance and a screening force for the French First Army. However, the French ran into stationing difficulties (see below, French Participation in Border Surveillance Operations) and -with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment being scheduled to rotate back to the United States in July 1964 -- a temporary solution was found by retaining the 1st Squadron of the 11th ACR in place and, in a flag switch on 10 June, redesignating it as the 2d Squadron of the 3d ACR. Also on 10 June the 2d ACR assumed responsibility for the complete VII Corps peacetime border surveillance mission, with operational control for border operations of the 2d Squadron of the 3d ACR. The 2d ACR also still had operational control for border operations of the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR at this point.11

Prior to the departure of the 11th ACR, USAREUR had renewed its efforts to induce the French or the Germans to assume the 11th ACR's border missions. In December 1964 -- still unable to get the French or the Germans to move -- USAREUR stated that it intended to relieve the 2d Squadron of the 3d ACR of its EDP mission and return it to its parent unit's control by moving it to Kaiserslautern. Since the French refused to accept the border surveillance mission on 1 January 1965, as had been planned; the unit remained in place until 1 March 1965, when its peacetime border surveillance mission was assumed by the 2d. Squadron of the 9th Cavalry, which belonged to the 24th Infantry Division. The wartime screening mission had been assumed by German units under the control of the First French Army on 1 January. As had been the 2d Squadron of the 3d ACR, the 2d Squadron of the 9th Cavalry was under the operational control of the 2d ACR for border operations and patrolled between coordinates UQ 2590 and VQ 1403. Actually, the border surveillance of this section was carried out by reinforced troops from the 2d Squadron of the 9th Cavalry, sent up to the border on a rotating basis.12

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Photo: A 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment motorized patrol along the border. It was not unusual for them to grind out 50 miles a day. August 1962.

(U) A 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment motorized patrol along the border. It was not unusual for them to grind out 50 miles a day. August 1962.


(U) French Participation in Border Surveillance Operations

The French Forces in Germany headquarters had offered in 1959 to augment the USAREUR peacetime border surveillance mission with a cavalry platoon. USAREUR accepted the offer, and in January 1960 a cavalry platoon from the 5th Regiment of Hussars was attached to the 11th ACR to assist with its surveillance of the southern section of the Czechoslovak-FRG border.13 On 1 February 1962 a platoon of the 24th Regiment of Spahis began alternating with the 5th Hussar's platoon every four months at the US border camp at Roehrnbach.14

In April 1961 the French Forces in Germany commander had suggested that the French 1st Armored Division and other French units be moved from the Trier area to southern Bavaria. It was not contemplated that the French would take over the whole area, but merely reposition units to better accomplish their wartime mission. Recently the French First Army had taken over the responsibility for protecting the southeast flank of CENTAG and, as it was, the 11th ACR was providing them with a screening force since the French forces were not in position to provide their own. In 1962 USAREUR began planning to move the 11th ACR and offered the kasernes at Straubing, Landshut, and Regensburg to the French. The Germans had previously offered them three kasernes near Passau, but the French had rejected them because they were too close to the border. By 1963 it was decided that the 11th ACR would be sent to the United States, and USAREUR began serious negotiations to have either French or German units assume the 11th ACR's mission. The French, however, would not agree to relieve the 11th ACR with a French armored brigade -- as had been planned -- until the entire French II Corps was established in the area. At the end of 1964 the restationing of the French II Corps was still in limbo and the French were becoming less and less enthusiastic about relieving the 11th ACR,of its emergency defense plan (EDP) border responsibilities or its peacetime border surveillance mission. Eventually, German units under the French First Army did assume the 11th ACR's EDP mission on 1 January 1965.15

(U) Finally, on 4 July 1966 -- concurrent with the withdrawal of French forces from NATO -- the French Forces in Germany headquarters informed USAREUR that it would terminate its limited participation in peacetime border surveillance operations. The French platoon withdrew from border patrolling on 15 July 1966, and the 2d Squadron of the 9th Cavalry added the French sector to its own (the vacated responsibilities of the 11th ACR, see above).16

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Photo: A 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment border patrol prepares to move out. August 1965.

(U) A 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment border patrol prepares to move out. August 1965.


An interesting footnote to the above occurred on 3 June 1971 when French soldiers and vehicles were discovered operating on the border within the 1-kilometer zone. Since there were very tight restrictions on US and German military personnel operating near the border, this incursion was questioned by the Bavarian Border Police, which had discovered the soldiers, and by the US military authorities. Subsequent conversations with the French revealed they did not restrict their soldiers from being on the border and contended that they had unlimited access in Germany. These particular soldiers, it turned out, were part of a "technical unit" that was operating in partnership with a Bundeswehr unit.17

(U) Force Structure and Stationing at the End of the 1960s

The rest of the decade was a period of austerity during which the two armored cavalry regiments, with the aid of various USAREUR cavalry elements, tried to adjust to covering a border that had been patrolled by three regiments. When USAREUR implemented Plan JAYHAWK on 1 March 1967 (see below, Border Operations), the 2d Squadron of the 9th Cavalry was removed from border operations and returned to the control of its parent unit, leaving the 2d ACR with even fewer resources to accomplish the VII Corps border surveillance mission. Although the 2d ACR had been given complete operational control of the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR on 1 February 1967 -- it already had operational control for border operations -- this hardly made up for the loss of the 9th Cavalry since the 2d ACR was already utilizing the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR in its sector. With the withdrawal of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment from USAREUR as part of the REFORGER program during May through July 1968, the command now utilized only two armored cavalry regiments -- without any full-time supplementation by other cavalry elements -- to perform the entire CENTAG border surveillance mission. By the end of the decade, the command was studying ways to utilize divisional cavalry elements on the border in order to relieve the two regiments during training at major training areas; however, from this point on it was primarily their responsibility to conduct the peacetime border surveillance mission.18

(U) It might be useful at this point to review the basic structure of the armored cavalry regiments and their stationing on the border. Each armored cavalry regiment; in accordance with TOE 17-51D, consisted of a headquarters and headquarters company, an aviation company, and three armored cavalry squadrons. Each armored cavalry squadron of the regiment, in turn, consisted of a headquarters and headquarters troop, one tank troop, three armored cavalry troops, and

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Photo: A 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment patrol leader reports observations back to headquarters. February 1968. 

(U) A 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment patrol leader reports observations back to headquarters. February 1968. 


one 155-mm howitzer battery. Finally each armored cavalry troop consisted of three platoons, with each platoon having three tanks it should be noted that the divisions had similar armored cavalry squadrons.19

The stationing between the two regiments differed in that the 2d ACR tended to operate out of forward border camps, while the 14th ACR operated out of squadron locations, moving up to observation posts for their tours of border duty. This reflected, in part, the longer length of the 2d ACR's border sector and the proximity of the 14th ACR s squadron locations to the border. The 14th ACR's two remaining squadrons were located at Fulda (1st Squadron as well as the regimental headquarters) and at Bad Hersfeld (3d Squadron). It operated four permanent observation posts, including a new one added in 1970 at NB 6492 (OP-Oscar) to cover the Nordhausen-Witzenhausen approach into the Hessian corridor. (It became operational on 1 January 1971.) There were no references to the exact location of the other three observation posts, but in all likelihood they were located in the same places as India (NB 802585), Romeo (NB 694457), and Alpha (NB 658198) were in the 1970s. The 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR, which was under the operational control of the 2d ACR, was headquartered at Bad Kissingen and operated out of Border Camp Wolbach (NA 8780). The other 2d ACR squadrons operated out of the following locations:

Headquarters, 2d ACR - Nuernberg Headquarters, 1st Squadron, 2d ACR - Bindlach
Border Camp of 1st Squadron - Hof (QA 0678) Headquarters, 2d Squadron, 2d ACR - Bamberg
Border Camp of 2d Squadron - Coburg (PA 4172) Headquarters, 3d Squadron, 2d ACR - Amberg
Border Camps of 3d Squadron - Brand (TR 9744), Weiden (TR 9046), and Rotz (UQ 2169)

The border camp at Roehrnbach was closed after the French terminated their border patrols. 20

(U) Upgrade and Reorganization of Military Intelligence in USAREUR

(U) An extensive intelligence effort in the form of border surveillance and interrogation of illegal border crossers and refugees was an important part of the border operations mission. (See Chapter 4, Intelligence Operations Along the Border.) There were several significant changes this area during the 1960s and a major reorganization of the command's intelligence structure that had a direct impact on border operations.

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In September 1957, USAREUR, USAFE, and the Federal Republic's Intelligence Service had signed an agreement that refugees would be interviewed at Federal Republic interrogation centers jointly manned by US military intelligence personnel. In 1959 this agreement was expanded into a quadrinational agreement between the Federal Republic, France, Great Britain, and the United States that called for establishing combined or joint interrogation centers throughout the Federal Republic. By the end of 1960, eight of these combined interrogation centers -- stretching from Hamburg to Munich -- were in operation, with two more in the planning stage. In the US area of operations they were called Joint Interrogation Centers (JICs), and in 1960 US Army personnel worked in JICs located at Stuttgart, Munich, Nuernberg, Kassel, and Frankfurt, with an additional center being programmed for the Mainz area. Refugees -- especially ethnic Germans who settled in the Federal Republic -- and illegal border, crossers (IBCs) who were potential intelligence sources were invited to visit one of the JICs where in-depth interrogations in their native language could be carried out. The 532d Military Intelligence Battalion's Company "A" furnished the bulk of the interrogators for this "overt" intelligence mission; however, they were supplemented by linguistic elements of the corps and division MI detachments.21

In addition to furnishing personnel for the JICs, the 532d MI Battalion also manned 12 offices along the eastern border, referred to variously in different histories as Team Officers, Team Offices, Resident Offices, and Field Offices. Among other missions, these offices maintained liaison with the German border agencies and the armored cavalry regiments as well as performing early screening of IBCs. In the early part of the 1960s, offices were located at Bad Hersfeld, Eschwege, Fulda, Bad Neustadt, Coburg, Kronach, Hof, Marktredwitz, Altenstadt, Cham, Berchtesgaden, and Passau.22

Another example of German-American cooperation on the border occurred in 1962 when the Bavarian Border Police began passing perishable tactical intelligence information directly to the armored cavalry regiments. VII Corps had requested on 9 May 1962 that the BBP be integrated into the US tactical warning system so that it could pass the perishable tactical intelligence directly to the armored cavalry regiments in an expeditious manner and at the lowest levels (border camps). Coordination was completed in October between Seventh Army, VII Corps, and the BBP Presidium, and the new system went into effect on 1 November 1962.23

(U) US military intelligence resources on the border were strengthened in 1961 under the Roundout program, when four military

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intelligence detachments were assigned to the 532d MI Battallion and attached to the armored cavalry regiments. Their unit designations, attachments, and locations were as follows:

172d MI Detachment was attached to the 2d ACR and located at Merrell Barracks, Nuernberg.
501st MI Detachment was attached to the 11th ACR and located at Mansfield Barracks, Straubing.*
541st MI Detachment was attached to the 14th ACR and located at Downs Kaserne, Fulda.
181st MI Detachment was attached to the 3d ACR and located at Baumholder Kaserne, Baumholder.

The 501st MI Detachment at Straubing was replaced by the 45th MI Detachment on 19 March 1962.24

Now that the armored cavalry regiments had dedicated intelligence resources, on 17 January 1962 their border surveillance mission was expanded to include intelligence evaluation, with an emphasis still being placed on early indications of the imminence of hostilities. The attachment of MI detachments to the armored cavalry regiments was to be a short-lived experiment, however, and they were inactivated (45th, 172d, and 181st) or returned to the United-States (541st) like other Roundout units during the last quarter of 1963. Unfortunately, the armored cavalry regiments did not lose the evaluation mission when they lost the MI detachments, and it was essential that they were provided with a minimum capability for processing intelligence information. In order to satisfy this requirement, Seventh Army provided 4-man teams from corps and division military intelligence detachment resources, imagery interpreters from the 2d MI Battalion,** and counterintelligence support from 66th Intelligence Corps Group*** elements located near the ACRs.25

* (U) This would seem to indicate, by the way, that the 11th ACR regimental headquarters was also located at Mansfield Barracks -- a fact that could not be ascertained from other histories examined.

** (U) The 2d Air Reconnaissance Support Battalion had been redesignated in 1962 as the 2d MI Battalion. USAREUR GO 293, 22 Nov 62. UNCLAS.

*** (U) The 66th Counter Intelligence Corps Group had been redesignated as the 66th Intelligence Corps Group on 25 July 1961. USAREUR GO 212, 18 Jul 61. UNCLAS.

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This whole period in the early 1960s was one of great change for the military intelligence structure and functions in USAREUR, which was only partly manifested bay the establishment of the JICs and the comings and goings of the ACRs military intelligence detachments. By the summer of 1961 it was obvious that a major reorganization of the command's intelligence assets was needed, but the Berlin Crisis and the realignment of intelligence functions at higher headquarters had hampered the necessary planning. In January 1962, however, the USAREUR draft plan for the internal realignment of intelligence missions and organizations was completed. Originally, it was envisioned that the 66th Intelligence Corps Group would be eliminated and that its missions, functions, and assets would be divided between Seventh Army's 532d MI Battalion and USAREUR's 513th Intelligence Corps Group. The two units would be organized and operated in peacetime as they would be in wartime: the 532d would be responsible for counterintelligence functions for the Seventh Army area of responsibility, while the 513th would be responsible for USAREUR's effort to collect military intelligence in the East Bloc countries and the Soviet Union as well as for counterintelligence activities in six Federal Republic areas, thereby centralizing the missions of clandestine collection and offensive counterintelligence in one headquarters. Basically, the plan would allow more MI personnel to be placed in operational positions rather than at headquarters and would insure greater flexibility for meeting peacetime or wartime intelligence missions. However, Seventh Army thought its headquarters control elements were inadequate and the plan was modified, one result being that the 66th Intelligence Corps Group was retained and the 532d MI. Battalion inactivated in its place.26

The realignments and reorganizations were provisionally implemented on 1 April 1962, pending Department of the Army,approval. The Department of the Army approved the reorganization on 27 April 1962 and, effective 1 June 1962,'the 532d MI Battalion was inactivated, the 66th Intelligence Corps Group was reorganized, and the lettered companies from the 532d were redesignated as numbered companies and reorganized. The corps, division, and ACR military intelligence detachments remained attached to the serviced units. The 66th Intelligence Corps Group, assigned to the Seventh Army since 1 April, now consisted of a group headquarters and headquarters company, 5 security companies, 1 collection company and 11 MI detachments; however, only 3 companies were of major importance to the border mission. On the same date the following companies were activated from 532 d, assets and assigned to the 66th Intelligence Corps Group:

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- The 165th MI Company, located in the Frankfurt area, was responsible for the supervision of overt collection in Hesse. In addition to the US element in the Frankfurt JIC, it was responsible for field offices at Bad Hersfeld, Eschwege, and Fulda.* It was composed of 81 officer and enlisted personnel and an unknown number of civilians.

- The 503d MI Company, located in Munich, was responsible for the overt collect; on mission in southern Bavaria and supervised the Munich JIC element as well as the Berchtesgaden and Passau Field Offices. It had 81 officer and enlisted personnel plus 10 Department of the Army civilians and 23 "other" civilians.

- The 511th MI Company, located in Nuernberg, was-responsible for the overt collection mission in northern, or upper, Bavaria and supervised the Nuernberg JIC element as well as resident offices at Bad Neustadt, Coburg, Kronach, Hof, Marktredwitz, Altenstadt, and Cham. The 511th had 89 officer and enlisted personnel assigned.

By the end of 1963, the 165th had picked up supervision of two other JIC elements -- Giessen and Kassel -- and most of the field offices in the 66th that had border responsibilities were being referred to as Border Offices. In addition the Altenstadt Border Office had been relocated to Weiden.** 27

It should be noted at this point that the 66th Intelligence Corps Group was responsible for the overall overt collection mission along the eastern borders. Its Overt Collection Division supervised this mission, which was accomplished by the three MI companies that interrogated illegal border crossers, deserters, defectors, refugees, repatriates, resettlers, travelers, and other personnel of intelligence interest who entered the 66th Intelligence Corps Group's area of responsibility (Land Hesse, Land Bavaria, Land Baden Wuerttemberg, and Land Rheinland Pfalz). The Overt Collection Division had been organize during the transition period on 1 May 1962 from personnel of the 532d MI Battalion on the Seventh Army headquarters staff and consisted

* (U) All three companies had other field offices, but they were not directly involved in the border mission.

** (U) It may have been there all the time as these towns are just down the road from each other and it was common practice in these histories to refer to a larger town or city in the area when describing the location of a unit situated in a small, obscure location.

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of two officers, four enlisted personnel, and two Department of the Army civilians. The Border Operations portion of the Overt Collection Division focused on maintaining liaison with the German border police and customs services, screening all border crossers, reporting any changes in the physical features along the border, and investigating and reporting on any incidents occurring in the border area. The overall mission remained the detection of imminence of hostilities or, put more simply to provide early warning of impending attack by hostile forces.28

Each MI company had an Overt Collection Division that supported those elements of the company responsible for the overt collection mission. The overt collection elements within the companies were supplemented by linguist personnel of the 66th's 5th MI Company (Linguist) -- subsequently renamed the 5th MI Company (Interrogation) in FY 1965 -- and the corps and division MI detachments. The latter personnel were attached for peacetime operations only, and would revert to their parent units in wartime. This focus on the eastern borders by the 66th Intelligence Corps Group was further refined in December 1964 when the Frankfurt JIC was inactivated and operational control for the US elements at the Stuttgart and Mainz JICs was transferred to the 513th Intelligence Corps Group. This left the 66th Intelligence Corps Group with supervision of US elements at four JICs near the eastern borders -- Munich, Nuernberg, Kassel, and Giessen. Of note for the future, in FY 1964 almost all of the resident offices with a border mission began to be referred to as Border Resident Offices.29

The 503d MI Company was inactivated on 25 September 1965, which led to its elements being divided between the 165th MI Company and the 511th MI Company. The two remaining "border" MI companies were now organized as follows in regard to the border operations portion of their mission: The 165th MI Company was responsible for the Kassel and Giessen JICs, while its Bad Hersfeld Field Office (which had a border mission also) controlled the Eschwege and Fulda Border Resident Offices; the 511th MI Company was responsible for the Nuernberg JIC and Border Resident Offices at Bad Neustadt, Coburg, Kronach, Hof, Marktredwitz, Passau, Weiden, and Cham.30

(U) On 19 September 1966 Department of the Army directed that intelligence corps groups be redesignated as military intelligence groups. Consequently, on 15 October 1966, the 66th Intelligence Corps Group was redesignated as the 66th Military Intelligence Group and the 513th Intelligence Corps Group became the 513th Military Intelligence Group.31

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There was a major reorganization of the two MI groups on 1 February 1967 in which the 66th MI Group transferred to the 513th MI Group responsibility for the 5th MI Company, 531st MI Company, and the US Army elements at the JICs at Kassel, Giessen, and Nuernberg. With this loss of the major portion of its overt collection mission, the 66th renamed its Overt Collection Division the Border Operations Division, and the 165th MI Company and 511th MI Company renamed their branches as the Border Operations Branch and Border Liaison Operations Division, respectively. These name changes highlighted the fact that the divisions or branches would now concentrate on providing liaison between the German border agencies and the US Army elements operating on the border.32

In still another major reorganization, on 9 October 1968 the 66th MI Group and the 513th MI Group were merged at McGraw Kaserne in Munich, with the 513th being deleted as an operational headquarters and its units being absorbed into the 66th MI Group The 513th was subsequently inactivated on 25 January 1969. The 66th MI Group was now composed of the 2d MI Battalion, Aerial Surveillance (MIBARS); 766th and 430th MI Detachments; 18th MI Battalion (which had been activated on 15 March 1968 and controlled US Army elements at the JICs); 165th, 511th, and 527th MI Companies (Counterintelligence); 5th MI Company (Interrogation); plus two corps and four divisional MI detachments, which were now only attached to their parent organizations.33

By the end of the 1960s, the Border Resident Offices (BROs) had settled into their liaison role with the German border agencies, while still conducting interrogations, if the situation indicated that they might secure information on the "imminence of hostilities" (still their primary mission), and providing counterintelligence support to the armored cavalry regiments. Both companies had Border Affairs Sections within their Operations Branches, which passed all pertinent information directly to the ACR's S-2 and by secure electrical means to USAREUR, the corps, and 66th MI Group. In 1970 the 165th MI Company's Field Office at Kassel controlled the Border Resident Offices at Bad Hersfeld, Eschwege, and Fulda. The 511th MI Company's Field Office at Bayreuth controlled Border Resident offices at Coburg, Kronach, Hof, and Bad Neustadt; while the Cham Field Office (also a Border Resident Office) controlled the Border Resident offices at Passau and Weiden.*34

* (U) Apparently, the Marktredwitz Border Resident Office was closed sometime between 1967 and 1970.

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(U) Aerial Surveillance Along the Border

Although there had been aerial surveillance along the eastern borders the early days of the occupation, there was a large scale upgrade of both the command's reconnaissance aircraft and surveillance equipment during the 1960s. USAREUR had received its first three operational AN/APS-85 Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) systems in the latter part of 1959 for use by V Corps, VII Corps, and US Army Southern European Task Force (USASETAF). One system had been previously tested by the US Army Surveillance Unit, Europe, and stationed at Lenggries in the Federal Republic. The equipment produced photographic records of radar pictures of the ground and had a maximum range of 40 miles on either side of the aircraft. The SLAR was installed on the L-23, and by 1962 on the specialized RL-23D (one reference said it was on the RU-8D also).35 Initially, USAREUR was not overly impressed with the new system and rated it marginally effective: "The device showed little promise of producing information of value that could not be produced by other means."36

(U) The initial skepticism about SLAR's usefulness gave way as the system was upgraded in subsequent years. Actually, there were several significant improvements in USAREUR's aerial surveillance capabilities during this period. The new OV-1 Mohawk all-weather, long-range surveillance aircraft arrived within the command on 12 September 1961, when 12 were assigned to the Seventh Army. In 1962 three types of serial surveillance configurations on Mohawk aircraft were being tested in the command: the OV-lA model, which was equipped with the KS-61 photographic, system; the OV-1B model, which was equipped with the new AN/APS-94 SLAR; and the OV-1C model, which was equipped with an AN/UAS-4 infrared sensor. The test results of the three configurations were successful with those of the SLAR-configured OV-1B indicating that the new ANIAPS-94 SLAB was a great improvement over the previous radars (both the AN/APS-85 and the subsequent system, AN/APS-86). The command had initially wanted to mount all three surveillance systems in one aircraft, thus reducing the number of aircraft required, as well as requirements for maintenance and technical personnel, while increasing the operational flexibility of the multipurpose aircraft. However, by 1965 it had settled on two aircraft configurations that merged two of the surveillance systems: the OV-1B model was equipped with the AN/APS-94 SLAR and the KS-61 camera system; and the OV-1C was equipped with the AN/UAS-4 infrared sensor and the KS-61 camera system.37

(U) There had been problems with the OV-1 Mohawk aircraft during the 1962 test period which indicated that several modifications were

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Photo: OV-1 Mohawk.

(U) OV-1 Mohawk.


needed in the airframe and the engine. This became so serious during 1964 that the aircraft had only a 46 percent availability rate -- not all of which could be blamed on the aircraft -- which severely limited its performance of the aerial surveillance missions. In order to improve the performance of the OV-1 Mohawk, the Department of the Army in 1965 directed modifications for all Mohawks employed in aerial surveillance missions. For the OV-1B, modifications included installing new, more powerful, engines and increasing the wingspan to provide greater lift. Both the OV-1B and OV-1C types received improved navigational systems, to include the Marconi Self-Contained Navigational Doppler System -- a commercially produced item of equipment that simplified navigational functions and reduced the possibility of errors. USAREUR began returning the Mohawks to the United States in early 1966, with some of the refitted Mohawks returning in mid-1966 and the modernization program being completed in 1967.38

In 1967 the SLAR capability was further upgraded with the fielding of data link equipment, which made possible the transmission of SLAR imagery from the aircraft while in flight to a ground receiver. The system consisted of airborne video encoders and transceivers that transmitted the radar images directly to a ground station that was mounted on a 3/4-ton truck and included a Ground Sensor Terminal, AN TKQ-2, which was a transceiver, video decoder, and recorder-processor-viewer. The latter piece of equipment converted the video image to a hard-copy printout in three seconds after receipt and projected the hard copy onto a viewing screen for virtually instantaneous viewing by the imagery interpreter. The advantages of such a system over making the aircraft return to its base, having the films processed, and only then submitting them for analysis, were significant. The first set was issued to the 122d Aviation Company, which immediately began using it in exercises and as part of its border surveillance operations. USAREUR received two additional data link equipment sets in early 1969, keeping one for the 122d Aviation Company and issuing the other to the 14th ACR headquarters in August. The 14th ACR began using it with its operational border surveillance missions on a trial basis, and the results were so satisfying that it went into normal operational status in September 1969. Information derived from the imagery enabled the 14th ACR to locate convoy or rail movement, determine the direction of movement, and probable convoy speed, as well as indicating the degree of activity at the East German Eisenach Training Area. Two imagery interpreters were attached to the 14th ACR, which permitted the plotting of moving target indicators and correlation of current order of battle information to the SLAR sightings. Although the SLAR had a coverage of approximately 50 kilometers

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into East Germany, it was unusual during this early period for it to provide significant `peacetime surveillance information. During 1969, for example, only one SLAR mission in the V Corps area recorded significant activity in East Germany, and it turned out to be nonmilitary traffic in conjunction with an East German holiday. Its potential during wartime operations, however, was considered to be significant since natural terrain masking would make any ground-based observation limited. Only aerial observation could overcome terrain masking, and SLAR promised to be a great aid in this area.39

(U) There was a great deal of discussion about what would be the optimal level to distribute these new aerial surveillance assets -armored cavalry regiments., divisions, corps, or theater level. Originally, it had been thought there would be enough Mohawks to issue four to each armored cavalry regiment and division, as well as provide some for the corps and theater support units, but by the end of 1962 only 30 of the 62 authorized Mohawks had arrived in the theater. By 1963 USAREUR headquarters was recommending that the Mohawks be concentrated at the corps level, especially the OV-lA which would help solve the corps' surveillance and drone capability deficiency; and, after reviewing the final results of the OV-1B test report, reiterated once again that they should be assigned at the corps level -- citing the range and speed of the aircraft as a major reason for justifying its deployment at that level. However, pending activation of corps surveillance companies programmed for FY 1966, the logical unit for assignment of the aircraft -- which were to be withdrawn from the divisions and armored cavalry regiments -- would be the corps aviation companies. The picture became somewhat muddled during 1963 and 1964, but there were strong indications that the majority of the Mohawks were being employed by the divisions and armored cavalry regiments.40

(U) The picture clarified when the 122d Aviation Company (Aerial Surveillance) was activated on 10 May 1965 and assigned to Seventh Army. The table of organization and equipment authorized the company 18 Mohawk aircraft (9 OV-1Bs and 9 OV-1Cs). According to the 1965 USAREUR history, the command also activated two corps artillery aviation batteries, assigned them to V and VII Corps Artillery, and authorized each of them 6 Mohawks (3 OV-1Bs and 3 OV-1Cs). Actually, Battery D, 25th Artillery -- assigned to VII Corps -- had been activated on 25 June 1964 and Battery F, 26th Artillery -- assigned to V Corps -- had been activated on 25 September 1964, but apparently they were not transferred to the two corps until May 1965. USAREUR organized these units by redistributing available personnel and equipment assets; however, due to an aircraft shortage, the units had less than

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50 percent of their authorized Mohawks. The divisions retained at least ,part of their Mohawks, but the armored cavalry regiments had to give theirs to the three new units. At the beginning of 1966, Mohawks were being flown by Aerial Surveillance and Target Acquisition (ASTA) Platoons attached to each division in USAREUR and to the Corps Artillery of V and VII Corps, as well as by the 122d Aviation Company.41

(U) On 31 January 1966 Seventh Army suspended all SLAR surveillance missions along the border in order to begin implementation of the "Aviation Requirements for the Combat Structure of the-Army" (ARCSA) - I Study requirement that USAREUR SLAR aircraft be reorganized into two surveillance companies. Although the study had called for two aviation companies, each consisting of eight OV-1B Mohawk aircraft that would provide SLAR and conventional photography support to each corps, the existing number of qualified personnel and the shortage of aircraft and equipment would not permit the formation of two units. Instead, USAREUR resources would be used to equip the 122d Aviation Company, located at Fliegerhorst Kaserne in Hanau, which would support both corps. On 24 August 1966 the 122d Aviation Company resumed border surveillance operations under the new Seventh Army Intelligence Operations Directive 1-66, which delineated its responsibilities to the two corps and its overall responsibility to provide support to USAREUR headquarters. By June 1967 the Mohawk consolidation portion of the ARCSA-I Study had been completed, with 16 of the command's Mohawks pooled in the 122d Aviation Company. The aviation batteries in the two corps artillery (D of the 25th and F of the 26th) were inactivated on 5 June 1967. References in subsequent histories refer to OV-1s other than those of the 122d Aviation Company -- the most likely place being the divisions -- but it is unlikely they had a border mission.42

In addition to problems with establishing the most functional configuration of surveillance equipment on the aircraft and at what organizational level to deploy the Mohawks, there were serious concerns about controlling the aerial surveillance missions along the border and with protecting the aircraft from Warsaw Pact aircraft responding to these -missions. The first grounding of operational, SLAR aircraft occurred on 5 February 1962, when USAFE's 86th Air Division curtailed ground radar control pending review of the requirements and control procedures for SLAB flights along the border. A meeting with USAFE personnel on 12 March led to an agreement to resume ground control of SLAB flights, but under the more stringent controls of 86th Air Division's Operations Order (OPORD) 191-62 (SLAB), 13 August 1962, which set forth procedures for US Air Force ground radar control of

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SLAB flights. The Seventh Army commander authorized resumption of SLAR flights along the border on 25 August, but only after personnel operating SLAB systems -- pilots, radar operators, imagery interpreters, and USAFE ground controllers -- had qualified on a proficiency check course established at Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels training areas. Qualified personnel resumed flights on the border in the VII Corps area on 11 September 1962 and in the V Corps area on 26 October, with all remaining personnel being checked-out by the end of 1962.43

These efforts at increasing control were followed up on 22 March 1963 when Seventh Army published a -letter of instruction (LOI) that standardized SLAR processing and imagery procedures; required that orientation and training be increased for personnel flying border missions (e.g., one-sixth of the flights would be flown over known parts of West Germany not on the border); established new border flight routes -- generally to the rear of existing routes -- that would lessen the possibility of border overflights; developed traffic and density patterns based on tests; and established uniform SLAR reporting procedures. These new procedures, although useful in solving the border overflight problem, did not completely resolve another serious problem. Many times in the past, Warsaw Pact aircraft had responded to SLAR flights along the border by shadowing the flight on their side of the border. When, on 18 August 1963, a SLAR aircraft flying a mission between Kassel and Fulda drifted toward the border, a Warsaw Pact aircraft flew over the border to a depth of about eight miles and made two passes at the SLAR aircraft, coming within a half mile at its closest point. This was the first incident involving an actual border overflight in response to a SLAR mission.44

(U) All SLAR operations along the border were suspended for three weeks in March 1964 in response to the second incident during the preceding period in which a US Air Force aircraft was shot down-after inadvertently crossing the interzonal boundary. The result of this grounding was tighter control of resumed SLAR flights in a revised LOI.45

Control problems were highlighted again in 1965 when a SLAR flight from the 4th Armored Division was inadvertently vectored by US Air Force ground control across the Austrian border near Passau on 8 November. Because of the sensitive political nature of the incident, the pilot was suspended from flight status, SLAB missions in this area were restricted to visual daylight flight conditions only and one SLAR checkpoint was moved further from the Austrian border.46

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Subsequent investigation of the incident revealed this was not an isolated event, and that there had been seven unreported incidents during the prior eight months due to faulty ground control. As a consequence, on 31 January 1966 USAREUR again suspended all SLAB missions in the border area until positive control over the flights could be assured. The basic cause was found' to be the incorrect plotting of one of the USAFE radar antenna sites, which resulted in a 2-degree compass heading error and a displacement of the flight path checkpoints. To provide the required assurance, USAFE recalibrated all of its ground control radars along the border and USAREUR moved its flight paths further from the border. Although this resulted in some loss in depth of penetration of the intelligence gathering capability of the SLAR, USAREUR thought the increased positive measures to insure aircraft did not inadvertently cress international boundaries were more important than the additional intelligence information that might have been gathered from flying closer to the border. With the greatly improved ground radar control and realignment of the flight routes, it was hoped that border violations would be virtually impossible, and the command resumed SLAB flights on 17 August 1966 (the 122d Aviation Company did not resume its flights until 22 August).* As a final precaution, USAREUR directed that upon detecting any conflict between navigational aids and the vectoring instructions of ground radar control operations, pilots were to abort their missions immediately.47

On 2 November 1966, however, the flights were suspended again when it was discovered that a Polish radio station was interfering with the frequency of the Schweinfurt nondirectional radio beacon. Federal Republic aviation safety authorities changed the frequency for the beacon, and SLAB flights were resumed on 10 January 1967.48 

It would seem that it would have been impossible to still inadvertently fly over the border, but it happened again on 23 February 1967 when a Mohawk violated the interzonal boundary while on a maintenance test flight under visual flight rules (VFR) to check the reliability of its SLAB equipment. The pilot had been flying what he

* (U) It is interesting to note that this down period due to the border overflight incidents coincided with the consolidation of SLAB assets into the 122d Aviation Company, and that other histories alleged the extensive suspension of SLAR flights during this period was due to the reorganization. Probably both the reorganization and the ground control problems caused this lengthy curtailment rather than one or the other.

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thought was a routine maintenance check, well outside of t- Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) that had been established along the border to preclude this type of incident. However, when he flew over some clouds, he became disoriented and was blown across the border by strong winds. The 86th Air Division's ground controllers picked him up on radar as he strayed into the ADIZ and tried to recall him, but he was operating on a local Army radio frequency rather than a border frequency. Unfortunately, the ground controllers did not notify the US Army Flight Coordination Center at Fulda, which would have tried to recall him on all Army frequencies. The 86th Air Division's ground radar control installations again picked up the flight as it was returning to the Federal Republic side of the boundary and scrambled USAFE fighters to intercept the violator, thus demonstrating that at least the border defense system worked, if not the ground radar control procedures.

As a result of this incident, a complete review of all local flying regulations was conducted to insure they were in concert with USAREUR regulations. The practice of filing local flight plans by radio was prohibited -- even if it was only for a short flight -- and henceforth written flight plans and weather briefings would be required before all flights. In addition, joint procedures were developed with the 86th Air Division to insure that future recall actions would be broadcast on all available Army radio frequencies. These changes were institutionalized in USAREUR Regulation 95-1 on 25 October 1967. The 86th Air Division also instituted procedures for processing the flight plans for "LARD CAN" patrols (nickname for SLAR flights) that insured everyone understood their mission and mode of operations.49

(U) The Flight Coordination Center (FCC) at Fulda was just part of an extensive network Seventh Army had implemented to monitor Army aircraft in the Federal Republic, especially aircraft performing observation and surveillance missions in the ADIZ. In the latter part of the 1960s, the 14th Air Traffic Control Company, a subordinate unit of the 15th Aviation Group, operated FCCs at Fulda, Bayreuth, and Regensburg that monitored, flights within the ADIZ, and three other FCCs west of the ADIZ to monitor Army aircraft operating within the southern half of the Federal Republic.50

After North Korean forces shot down a US EC-121 reconnaissance aircraft over the Sea of Japan in 1969, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and USEUCOM examined the security of surveillance aircraft in Europe. USAFE did not have any specific plans for protecting reconnaissance missions and, in fact, because of the nature and frequency of the SLAR flights, did not consider it desirable or feasible to provide fighter escorts for them. It reasoned that flights of armed fighters near political borders could disturb sensitive political relationships with host and other friendly countries, that there would be an increased possibility of border violations by the high-performance aircraft, and that fighter escorts could not provide full protection since they could not defend against surface-to-air missiles or an overwhelming fighter force. USAFE thought its current procedures of immediately scrambling fighters in the event of hostile interference was adequate.

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USAREUR decided to upgrade the early-warning capability of its surveillance aircraft and, late in 1969, requested AN/APR-25 and -26 radar homing and warning systems for the OV-1B aircraft. The requested electronic warfare equipment was capable of detecting and identifying radar signals from both ground-based and airborne emitters and warning the pilot of the type of threat, thus alerting him to take appropriate defensive action. The equipment began arriving in January 1970 and by July all of the aircraft in the 122d Aviation Company committed to the SLAR surveillance mission had warning devices installed, with the entire USAREUR OV-1 fleet similarly equipped by the end of August. Still another defensive improvement was USCINCEUR OPLAN 4320 - Protection and Support of US Reconnaissance Operations (S), published 30 December 1970, the primary benefit to USAREUR being that it rationalized the procedures under which it could expeditiously request assistance from NATO air defense control agencies if one of its surveillance aircraft was attacked or in trouble.51

(U) Border Operations

As in past chapters, a complete account of border operations during the 1960s will not be given; however, significant changes will be documented along with a general summation at the end of this section. A primary change in border operations occurred in 1960 when the V Corps area of responsibility was extended north to include the German III Corps area along the border (see above, Adjustments in the Border Force). This resulted in the opening of a new observation post, extension of the jeep patrols and aerial reconnaissance routes to include this area, and maintaining the ability to airlift patrols into the area in the event of an emergency. In the event of a General Alert Order (GAO) implementation, units in this area would be attached to the German III Corps until they withdrew through the first line of defense, and in the interim would report enemy movements and identification, but would not attempt delaying actions.52

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On 3 October 1961 General Bruce C. Clarke, CINCUSAREUR, informed the Seventh Army commander, Lieutenant General Garrison H. Davidson, that jeep patrols along the eastern borders were to be reduced from two per 24 hours to one per 24 hours and that photography of uniformed US forces with the border as a background would be prohibited. The rationale for these changes was to reduce the chances for propaganda exploitation of border incidents involving US soldiers and to -increase the combat readiness of the border units -- presumably, by allowing them more time to train as a unit rather than spending so much time up on the border -- while still upholding the "forward concept" implied in the border surveillance mission. The Seventh Army commander was concerned that immediate implementation of the plan would lead to an unfavorable reaction by the West German public, which was already being led to believe by elements of its news media that the United States was withdrawing its support of the Federal Republic. This reservation was upheld by the US Ambassador at Bonn, Mr. W. C. Dowling, who felt the time was not appropriate for such a change, but General Lauris Norstad, USCINCEUR, supported General Clarke. The plan was approved, and USAREUR agreed to implement the patrol reduction change over a 30-day period, with only the photography prohibition being implemented immediately. By the end of 1961, the patrols had been reduced to once each 24 hours throughout the USAREUR area of responsibility. To make up for this shortfall in border surveillance, US military intelligence personnel intensified their daily contacts with the German border agencies.53

In 1962 the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment wanted to test a new method of conducting its border patrol responsibilities. At that time the 11th ACR put three reconnaissance troops up on the border at a time to patrol each of its three squadron sectors. The regiment wanted to subdivide each squadron sector into three platoon sectors and establish two additional observation posts -- one for each platoon sector. Each platoon would man its own observation post and be responsible for static surveillance within its sector. The daily jeep border patrol would be carried out on a rotating basis by only one platoon for the entire squadron sector. Although the 11th ACR realized that the plan would result in increased man-days in conducting border operations because of the need to man the two additional observation posts, it felt this would be offset by the increased surveillance accomplished by the additional observation posts and would emphasize platoon integrity, a current Seventh Army objective. The plan was to be tested for six months, beginning on 1 April 1962, but there was no record of whether it actually was tested or if it was implemented ACR-, corps-, or command-wide. If it was,

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Photo: Members of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment respond to an alert exercise and move their M48 Medium Tanks of checkpoints along the border. August 1962.

(U) Members of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment 
respond to an alert exercise and move their M48 Medium Tanks of checkpoints along the border. August 1962.


then it was abandoned by the end of the decade when the trend was toward more austere border operations activities. It is inserted here simply as an idea that was proposed.54

(U) There was an increased emphasis in 1963 on enforcement of the 5-kilometer restricted zone due to the increased number of soldiers who were defecting to the east. For example, there had been 4 defections in 1961, 3 in 1962, and 12 during 1963. Changes to the Seventh Army LOI on border operations, published on 9 July 1963, continued the policy of apprehending unauthorized soldiers found in the restricted zone (see Chapter 3, Seventh Army Border Operations), but placed more emphasis on watching -for violators who, caught, would now be escorted back to their units for further investigation. This increased emphasis on enforcement apparently worked, as there was only one defector in 1964.

(U) A change in the command's policy on the 5-kilometer restricted zone was implemented in December 1963 when Seventh Army commanders with general courts-martial jurisdiction were allowed to approve travel within the zone for compassionate and other valid personal reasons. Previously, they could authorize travel within the restricted zone for official business only.55

(U) As a result of a Seventh Army G-2 study, participation of the Seventh Army headquarters in Handicap Black and Red Devil programs was discontinued on 1 July 1963. The two programs -- Handicap Black was for US units, while Red Devil was implemented for the German II and III Corps -- were used to simulate enemy contact or border crossings and were implemented by having MI personnel pass an appropriate message to the units. The primary purposes of the programs were to exercise and test the communications networks from the patrol level to the Seventh Army level, with the additional benefit, of serving as a training vehicle for promoting alertness and report accuracy. Seventh Army felt the, tests did not provide significant operational intelligence that would not have been reported through normal channels, were costly in man-hours and vehicle mileage, and that the training aspects of the programs could be better accomplished by unit-level exercises. However, the program was continued at subordinate levels.56

With the departure of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in July 1964 and the assumption of its entire border surveillance mission by one squadron of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, the jeep patrol and aerial surveillance requirements in this sector were reduced (UQ 2590 to VQ 1403). USAREUR had considered eliminating the jeep patrol

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requirement altogether in this sector. Since this US unit was providing the bulk of the border surveillance in front of the First French Army, which had not shown any interest in increasing its limited patrol participation, USAREUR reasoned that following the British example in NORTHAG might be appropriate. The British did not have any units on the Schleswig-Holstein portion of the border and had ceased patrolling the border in that sector. Actually, the British treated the whole border patrol issue in a low-key manner and during this period were patrolling the rest of their portion of the border only once a week, relying on German border agencies to provide border surveillance (see Appendix I). USAREUR decided to continue patrolling in the southern sector, but reduced the frequency of jeep and aerial surveillance patrols to only once in each 48 hours instead of the normal once in each 24 hours.57

On 14 July 1966 a Soviet "Hound" helicopter shadowed a 14th ACR CH-34 helicopter conducting a routine patrol along the border, crossed the border and buzzed the US helicopter several times, and finally forced it to land. It hovered above the US helicopter for approximately 15 minutes in an attack position until it was finally driven away when a Zoll border patrol shot flares at it. Subsequent investigation revealed-that the US pilots, who were flying an unarmed helicopter, had been following standard operating procedures -- and good sense -- when they departed the border and, when followed by the Soviet helicopter, allowed themselves to be forced down. To compound matters, a communications problem had precluded timely assistance by US fighters or other parties. As a consequence of this incident, communications between the armored cavalry regiments and the Flight Coordination Centers were upgraded and, more significantly, a radical change was made in USAREUR border operations procedures. On 4 August 1966 CINCUSAREUR directed Seventh Army to begin conducting regularly scheduled armed helicopter patrols along the eastern border. Although armed helicopters had been tested as early as 1958, with training in armed helicopter operations becoming commonplace by 1962, the use of armed helicopters for border patrols was not normal procedure.* The Seventh Army commander expanded these instructions on 9 August by directing that all unarmed helicopters, except those engaged in emergency operations, would be escorted by armed helicopters when in the

* (U) One of the histories mentions the use of armed helicopters in a "border surveillance mission" test of the air cavalry concept, but does not say where the testing was conducted. It seems doubtful they would test the concept at such a sensitive location as the border..

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5-kilometer zone. USCINCEUR approved the concept of armed helicopter patrols on 15 August, but disapproved USAREUR s request that it be made responsible for air defense in the area where it conducted border operations. The US Embassy in Bonn had notified the Federal Republic's Foreign Office and was assured that armed helicopter patrols on the border would, be welcome.58

The new border operating procedures called for Seventh Army to conduct two armed helicopter patrols, nicknamed "CREEK LARK," of each border sector daily -- weather and equipment permitting. It was to use UH-1B Iroquois helicopters armed with M6 7.62-mm machineguns loaded with live tracer ammunition. Aircrews were to keep safety and system activation switches in the safe or off positions until they were ready to use the weapon. If an East Bloc helicopter violated the border, the pilot was to attract its attention and signal it to land. If it refused, the US pilot was to maintain surveillance of the aircraft and report the situation, but the use of weapons was permissible only in self-defense! The revised rules of engagement stated that USAREUR border security and surveillance forces had an absolute right to defend themselves if attacked or if attempts were made to detain them in the Federal Republic; however,, there-were differences in how the ground patrols and the aerial surveillance patrols were to react if they encountered a border violation. Whereas a ground border patrol could use firepower to detain border violators under certain circumstances at the local commander's discretion, the aerial surveillance patrols were not to use firepower, regardless of what action might be developing on the ground or near them, unless they were directly endangered or authorized to do so by the 86th Air Division's commander or his authorized representative (another reflection of the "turf" battle between the Army and the Air Force over who would be in charge of air defense over the border area).

Within a short period of time, it became obvious that due to aircraft and pilot availability problems, the armored cavalry regiments could not maintain the two-per-24-hours pace of armed helicopter patrols. Since there had been few incidents and the new patrols were not gathering a significant amount of intelligence, CINCUSAREUR authorized a reduction to one per 24 hours on 7 November 1966. Even this reduction was not to be enough, with the frequency of patrols being particularly difficult to maintain for the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment in the south. The main problem was the Army-wide shortage of T-53 engines for the UH-1B -- a result of the demands of the war in Southeast Asia. Although the 2d ACR had priority for receiving helicopter parts, by June 1967 over 70 percent of its helicopters were deadlined for parts. Even with USAREUR assistance, the two regiments just could not maintain that pace. The V Corps commander wanted relief from the requirement for armed helicopters to escort unarmed helicopters, while the VII Corps commander recommended that the use of armed helicopters on the border be eliminated altogether until the shortage of UH-1B parts could be alleviated. USAREUR reviewed the problem in June 1967 and came to the conclusion that there had not been any significant advantages or disadvantages because of the new patrol procedure and that it would be desirable to reduce the requirement for armed helicopter flights along the border so that helicopters other than UH-1Bs could be used for border patrolling. The exact sequence of events becomes sketchy from this point on, but apparently CINCUSAREUR left it to the discretion of the corps commanders, because by the end of 1968 neither corps was escorting unarmed helicopters on the border and V Corps 14th ACR was conducting only 10 armed helicopter border patrols on a random basis each month. The 2d ACR, apparently, had ceased conducting armed helicopter patrols completely. Further research did not reveal when the V Corps unit stopped using armed helicopters for border patrols, but current policy is not to use them on border patrols.*59

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The reduction of armed aerial surveillance patrols was only part of an overall reduction of border surveillance activities by the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, particularly in its southern sector. With the loss in 1964 of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment to the south and its replacement by only a squadron, which received little or no help from the French and German units in that sector, it became

The issue was raised again in 1983 when the 11th ACR commander requested permission to arm his AH-1S helicopters with 20-mm ammunition during border surveillance operations in the V Corps sector. He was concerned that Soviet armed helicopters, which had become increasingly aggressive and had inadvertently strayed over the border several times during the past year, would mistakenly fire at US helicopters thinking they were in the East Bloc zone. The USAREUR operations order for border operations stated, ". . commanders are authorized to conduct armed surveillance as required." However, both corps commanders and CINCUSAREUR were in agreement that this already touchy situation would only be exacerbated by arming US helicopters in response or by asking the Soviets to disarm their helicopters. Standard procedure still called for helicopters on border patrol to remain unarmed and to depart the border area if threatened by East Bloc aircraft, relying on US Air Force fighters to resolve the issue.60  impossible for the 2d ACR to cover its increased area of responsibility in as comprehensive a manner as it had been by the two regiments (see above, Roundout Program). As a consequence, the 2d ACR had received permission to reduce the border patrol coverage in this southern sector to once each 48 hours instead of the normal once each 24 hours for the rest of its border sector. VII Corps was concerned that the overburdened 2d ACR was not being given sufficient time away from border operations in order to train effectively as a unit, and in 1966 began searching for ways to lighten the 2d ACR's border surveillance mission so that it could train larger unit-sized elements at military training areas. Along with these training goals was the nee& to make up for the shortfall created by the loss of the 2d Squadron of the 9th Armored Cavalry Regiment in March 1967, which left the 2d ACR with its squadrons and the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR to carry out a border surveillance mission of approximately 390 miles. Plan JAYHAWK, implemented on 1 March 1967, envisioned manning the border with a "bare minimum" of personnel, thus enabling the squadrons, to pursue normal training cycles for seven months of the year. Essentially, the plan only said "tighten the belt" since the regiment was given only two additional helicopters to make up for the loss of the 2d Squadron of the 9th Cavalry's aircraft as well as the above mentioned priority on scarce helicopter replacement parts.

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By December 1967 VII Corps was telling USAREUR headquarters that it could not maintain the present pace of patrolling with its current assets and that the 2d ACR should be allowed to reduce its patrolling activity in its entire area of responsibility to the southern sector's level of once each 48 hours. Interestingly enough, besides outlining its lack of resources, VII Corps also pointed out that German border agencies had a full-time border security and surveillance mission, and that these organizations provided the majority of the information used in the observation reports. Since VII Corps units had access to these reports, VII Corps reasoned that it made good sense to reduce its patrolling and thus save wear and tear on the ACR's equipment, especially its helicopters. It was almost an outright admission that the US border surveillance mission had become primarily political rather than operational. USAREUR agreed on 4 January 1968 to allow the 2d ACR to reduce its aerial surveillance and jeep patrols to once each 48 hours along the entire VII Corps sector of the border. An overall summary of the frequency and extent of border operations would be useful-at this point and is outlined in TABLE 2. The table shows that by mid-1968, USAREUR was conducting border operations at the lowest level since the build up of USAREUR's forces after 1961.61

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V Corps Sector VII Corps Sector (North) VII Corps Sector (South)
Jeep Patrols Once each 24 hours Once each 48 hours. Once each 48 hours.
Observation Posts (OP) Three manned continuously. Six manned continuously. One manned periodically.
Aerial Reconnaissance Once each 24 hours. Ten armed flights each month. Once each 48 hours. Once each 48 hours.
Ground Radar Used at three OPs during hours of darkness or periods of reduced visibility Used at six OPs during hours of darkness or periods of reduced visibility. Used when the OP was manned during hours of darkness or periods of reduced visibility.
SLAR Twice each 24 hours. Twice each 24 hours. Once each week.

SOURCE: DF, DCSOPS to CofS, 12 Jun 68, subj: Authorities and Responsibilities of U.S. Forces 
on the FRG/East German - Czechoslovakian Border (U), as cited in draft border study in USAREUR Mil Hist Ofc. CONF. No Regra Data.


Photo: Members of the 2d Armory Cavalry Regiment respond to an alert at Camp Gates. February 1968.

(U) Members of the 2d Armory Cavalry Regiment respond to an alert at Camp Gates. February 1968.


 (U) In addition to having the frequency of their border patrols reduced, the border units received help from another quarter in lessening their workload. On 11 July 1968 the regulation governing travel within the 5-kilometer zone next to the eastern border was changed to reduce the zone to one kilometer. The revised regulation applied to all military personnel and civilian employees of the US forces in Europe, as well as their private vehicles registered with the US forces. The reasons for the change were to align US policy with British and Federal Republic restrictions for their personnel, and to create a border zone that would be more easily enforceable by the border units. The 5-kilometer zone had been found to be too deep for effective enforcement by the two regiments. The revised zone began to be implemented in August, with the new signs being put up through the end of the year. (See FIGURES 5 and 6.)62

Outside events were to radically change this mid-1968 trend toward a lower profile in border operations. In April 1968 CINCUSAREUR had asked his staff to prepare tentative contingency plans for a possible Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia. USAREUR had reacted to the Hungarian uprising in 1956 in an ad hoc manner, and CINCUSAREUR wanted to insure the command was better prepared if the Soviets moved into Czechoslovakia -- a prospect that seemed more likely with each passing day. USAREUR Operations Plan (OPLAN) 4329 outlined a series of actions to be taken in the event of a civil uprising or any other large-scale disorder that might be caused by the Czechoslovak-Soviet confrontation. The plan was a phased approach for increasing surveillance and security measures by military intelligence elements and the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, depending on the level of the threat. Besides aiding in the expected overflow of refugees, the whole range of border surveillance activities would be significantly increased. Approved on 8 April 1968, the plan tasked VII Corps to develop a detailed implementing plan. The VII Corps plan called for all three of the 2d ACR's squadrons to deploy to the border where they would be assisted by the 3d Infantry and the 4th Armored Divisions' armored cavalry squadrons in increasing surveillance and security along the border.

Even at this early stage, there was an emphasis on coordinating closely with both the Federal Republic and Bavarian border authorities. Since the Federal Republic had overall refugee control responsibility, USAREUR only envisioned a short-term role in helping with the refugee overflow and that they would be transferred to German facilities as soon as possible. More importantly, it was important that the US units coordinate closely as they increased their border surveillance activities since it was anticipated the Germans would be building up in the same area. The Federal Republic asked that it be consulted before any significant military action was undertaken, to include routine troop movements. This cautious German attitude was in perfect harmony with the United States Government's desire not to inadvertently increase tensions by increasing the activities of the US border forces. By July it was obvious the Federal Republic's planning was more than adequate for handling any refugee problems and USAREUR's revised planning emphasized the border surveillance and security missions. The new plan was incorporated into LOI 328 and, like the OPLAN, used a phased approach that ran the gamut from establishing better point-to-point communications between the border units, operations centers, and the military intelligence elements (this portion was actually implemented in August 1968), to increased helicopter and SLAR reconnaissance flights, as well as full deployment of the reconnaissance units along the border.

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Figure 5: Border Warning Sign


Source: USAREUR Reg 550-81, 11 Jul 68, p. 8. UNCLAS.


Figure 6: Border Warning Sign


Source: USAREUR Reg, 550-81, 11 Jul 68, p. 9. UNCLAS.



On the night of 20-21 August 1968, the Warsaw Pact divisions crossed the Czechoslovak border and by late afternoon of the twenty-first had seized control of Czechoslovakia. The US State Department immediately reemphasized the necessity of coordinating any US and German border operations as well as cautioning the commanders to avoid any border incidents. The US Ambassador in Bonn was to receive State Department approval before border operations were increased or personnel augmented. General James H. Polk, CINCUSAREUR, on the same day requested authority to increase USAREUR's surveillance along the border by activating seven additional observation posts in addition to the three already in operation and to increase helicopter surveillance as necessary. At that time only one daily helicopter reconnaissance flight was being flown in some sectors and General Polk was considering keeping one helicopter airborne continuously. The US Ambassador recommended approval, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff only authorized the additional observation posts while denying approval for additional helicopter coverage beyond one flight per day.

However, one month later, on 21 September, the Joint Chiefs of Staff requested a detailed list of proposals for long-term and short-term measures for improving border surveillance, to include additional helicopter reconnaissance flights and increased SLAR routes. The situation in Czechoslovakia had stabilized somewhat by then and the original concern about giving the Soviets excuses to move precipitously had been overtaken by events -- they already had moved into Czechoslovakia in force. USAREUR responded that it was necessary to restore to tactical commanders the authority they needed to take precautions to provide for the security of their forces. They listed limitations on increased foot and vehicle patrols, additional observation posts, and more helicopter surveillance flights as areas that required relaxation from the freeze on increased border activity imposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 21 August. In addition, although USAREUR thought the current frequency of two SLAR flights per day was adequate, it did want to develop a new flight path to the south of Straubing, an area that was not being covered at that time. The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved these measures on 7 November 1968, granting USCINCEUR authority to activate additional observation posts, increase border patrols -- to include additional helicopter flights -- and establish the new southern SLAR flight path, as necessary. However, they emphasized any changes should be coordinated with German authorities prior to implementation. In addition, actions which involved a high risk of border incidents or could appear provocative to the Soviets were to be avoided.63

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In the first half of 1969 USAREUR gradually increased its level of normal noncrisis border operations so that future crises could be met without increasing US border activities. This was a reversal of the mid-1960s USAREUR policy of reducing its border operations activities and leaving much of the border surveillance mission to the Germans. This new concept of border operations was incorporated in a revision of Annex K to Operations Order (OPORD) 1-68, which was approved by CINCUSAREUR on 14 June 1969. General Polk wanted the command's border operations to be comprehensive and flexible enough during normal periods that prudent measures taken by commanders during periods of increased tension would appear routine and would not be evaluated as an escalation of effort, or -- put another way -- to provide the necessary "background noise" which would permit the units to increase surveillance during crisis periods without being detected. By June 1969 USAREUR had already increased the frequency of ground patrols and the number of manned observation posts well above the level existing before the invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. Major avenues of approach were under 24-hour observation, with daily ground patrols and aerial reconnaissance flights along the border becoming routine. In addition to continuing their surveillance of the border for indicators of imminent hostilities, troop units varying in size from platoons to major elements of a cavalry regiment moved to the vicinity of the border at irregular intervals to provide a visible profile of increased activity, which -- it was hoped -- would be perceived as routine training by East Bloc observers.

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Photo: M60 Main Battle Tanks maneuver through a German farm during an exercise.

(U) M60 Main Battle Tanks maneuver through a German farm during an exercise.


There was also an upgrade in SLAB coverage. The new flight path in the south mentioned above was really just an activation of SLAR in an area for which USAREUR was already responsible, but simply had not been covering very often. In October 1969 CINCUSAREUR approved an extension of SLAR coverage well outside of the normal USAREUR area of responsibility when a new SLAR track was opened from the former northern terminus of SLAR coverage close to Kassel north to a point near Uelzen. A significant gain from the new route was that it provided SLAB coverage of the Soviet's most important major training area in East Germany at Letzlinger Heide. There were three Warsaw Pact air defense interceptor reactions during the first month of operations after the new route was initiated on 27 October 1969, but there were no responses after that, which suggests they had accepted the new flights as being routine surveillance missions.

The complete implementation of the new USAREUR policy carried over well into 1970 when the corps published revised regulations and operations orders formalizing the new procedures. In addition to increased ground and aerial patrolling and the opening of new observation posts, the corps required monthly insertions of airmobile squads on the border and quarterly squadron and troop deployments near the border, once again emphasizing irregular scheduling. This increased activity, for the V Corps at least, did not pose serious budgetary problems and did not impact adversely on operational readiness. Actually, then -- as now -- the units were of the opinion that the border operations mission provided an air of reality that was an excellent stimulus for increasing the units' operational readiness. There was no record of the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment's ability to handle this increased level of activity, but its problems in the mid1960s and efforts to again reduce its border coverage in the mid-1970s would seem to indicate it was faring less well with the increased operations than the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment. After all, it still had a lot of border to cover with very limited resources.

Initial reaction by the German border agencies was surprise that the Americans thought this expansion was necessary, but they accepted the increase with the proviso that past practices of close coordination be continued. The other side reacted by increasing their surveillance of US increased surveillance activities, and once convinced this new level of coverage was normal procedure and did not pose a new threat, reverted back to their prior level of border surveillance.64

(U) Equipment Changes in the Border Units

(U) Although the introductions of the OV-1 Mohawk and the SLAR equipment into the border units were detailed in earlier sections of this chapter, they were by no means the only significant improvements in armaments and equipment in the 1960s. The M113 armored personnel carrier (APC) was introduced in USAREUR in the summer of 1961, followed shortly thereafter by the first M60 main battle tanks. However, the M60s were not extensively issued to USAREUR's units until 1962 -- some were delayed even longer because of a shortage of 105-mm ammunition. By December 1962 the Department of the Army, with strong USAREUR concurrence, was proposing that the M48A3s of the armored cavalry regiments be replaced by the new M60s, with the units generally being equipped with M60s by 1965. Acceptance of the M113 APCs by the units was less enthusiastic, with Department of the Army suspending any new fielding of them in 1962 until an excessive engine wear problem could be solved. The answer was found in 1963 by using a new diesel engine to replace the gasoline powered engines, but it was not until the early 1970s that the modified M113A completely replaced the M113 in the regiments' inventories.65

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Photo: AN/PPS-4 Ground Surveillance Radar.

(U) AN/PPS-4 Ground Surveillance Radar.



(U) One of the more significant arrivals of new equipment during this period, as far as the border surveillance mission was concerned, was that of 40 ground surveillance radar (GSR) sets on 1 November 1961 for a 1-year test evaluation. The test report, published in early 1963, concluded that the AN/PPS-4 short-range GSR was a reliable means of providing ground surveillance. By the end of 1963, 315 GSR sets had been issued to Seventh Army units, with the remaining 31 authorized sets to be issued in January 1964. Interestingly enough, none of the early references on the GSR's introduction in USAREUR mention its use on the border. However, by 1968 it was an integral part of the border surveillance effort. Indications in earlier border operations procedures imply strongly that they were using GSRs, and it would be difficult to imagine border units not using it in their most important mission.66

(U) The M114 APC was introduced in USAREUR in February 1963, and was initially slated to replace the M151 jeep for the scout mission. Referred to as a command and reconnaissance carrier or an armored reconnaissance scout vehicle, it never did fully meet the Army's requirement for a protected scouting vehicle because of its poor cross-country performance. However, they were used throughout the 1960s and beyond by USAREUR's armored car and scout platoons because a suitable substitute was not available.67

Initial planning in 1965 called for replacing the armored cavalry regiments M60s with the M551 Sheridan; however, CINCUSAREUR had reservations about the night fighting ability of the new ligh ttanks and was considering keeping one M60 tank in each platoon to offset this limitation. After a series of proposals and counterproposals about which mix was best suited for the combined scouting and early fighting missions of the armored cavalry regiments -- to include not issuing the Sheridans in USAREUR at all -- the issue was resolved when Department of the Army decided to upgrade the M60 and mix the two tanks in armored cavalry regiments as well as in other types of units. The first armored cavalry units to receive the new M551 in 1969, it turned out, were the divisional and regimental reconnaissance troops, for whose mission it was admirably suited because of its superior speed and maneuverability. Even as late as the early 1970s, USAREUR still thought of it primarily as a light tank and was ambivalent about its suitability for the scout role. Proposals for upgrading it or developing a better scout vehicle were caught in the overall funding crunch of the period. Other equipment needs, such as a new mechanized infantry combat vehicle, simply had more priority.68

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Photo: M114 Command and Reconnaissance Carrier.

(U) M114 Command and Reconnaissance Carrier.



(U) The 1970s would see even more equipment improvements with the OH-58A Kiowa observation helicopter, AH-1G Cobra attack helicopter, a high frequency single sideband radio, and an upgraded version of the GSR scheduled to be introduced in USAREUR in the first part of the decade.

(U) Border Incidents

(U) Most of the important border incidents of the 1960s, particularly those that resulted in significant changes in border operating procedures, have been outlined elsewhere in this chapter, but some incidents defy classification and are uncomfortable reminders that any human endeavor will always be subject to human error. Other incidents are covered simply because they present unique examples of the flavor of border operations.

On 9 November 1964, two 14th ACR soldiers were approached by two members of the East German Volkspolizei in the interzonal border area near Altenfeld. One East German guard stated that he, like over 75 percent of the Volkspolizei personnel, would defect to the West except for his family ties in East Germany. The East German then gave the soldier his address on the back of a pin-up picture and asked him to write sometime. What should have been a moment of human contact, was immediately illuminated as a possible hostile intelligence contact. A Volkspolizei defector had previously reported in 1963 that selected members of his unit had been briefed on a new recruiting plan that called for establishing personal contact with West German border police and customs personnel while on patrol. The Federal Republic's intelligence service reported that there had been numerous attempts to recruit West German border personnel in this manner. This attempt to recruit US border personnel -- if that was what it was -- seemed to be an isolated attempt.69

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Some border incidents defied belief and would have been comic except for their potential for being magnified out of proportion in the world of international relations. Early in 1967 a new Autobahn was completed between Nuernberg and Berlin, which crossed the interzonal boundary at Hof. However, this new route was not available to US military and civilian personnel who were part of the US forces stationed in Germany; Helmstedt, then as now, was the only authorized entry point for road trips to Berlin for these personnel. On 31 March 1967 two US soldiers were dispatched from their unit at Hohenfels to bring a prisoner from the Dachau military stockade and -- under the mistaken impression that Dachau was near Berlin, an error of only 180 degrees -- selected the Nuernberg-Berlin Autobahn as the quickest route. Upon reaching the Federal Republic's Wider control point at Hof, they inquired if they were on the road to Dachau. The border official instructed them to drive forward and turn around at a cutoff, which would have kept them in West Germany. Unfortunately, neither understood German and misunderstood his directions, a situation with which those stationed in Germany can sympathize. They proceeded to drive straight forward into East Germany where they were detained for approximately 45 minutes. They were photographed and questioned by the East Germans and, after giving their names and ranks and revealing their intention to pick up a prisoner at Dachau, were released by the East Germans, who were probably still trying to reason out what this latest American maneuver might entail. Needless to say, they were met by representatives of the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 66th MI Group when they returned to West Germany. Although it was not recorded what became of the errant. travelers, a command-wide education program was conducted on the restrictions on using Autobahns, other than the one that entered East Germany at Helmstedt, to transit to Berlin. In addition, since the routes were well marked with warning signs, failure to heed these signs would result in revocation of one's USAREUR driver's license.70

A more serious incident occurred on 27 April 1967, when two members of a 6-man border patrol unintentionally violated the Czechoslovak-German border. They stepped into the woods to urinate and were detected by Czechoslovak guards, who thought they had crossed the border and proceeded to fire on the pair. They were indeed on the

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Czechoslovak side of the border, but succeeded in getting back safely to the proper side of the border. Since no one was injured, the patrol departed the area and decided not to report the incident. USAREUR headquarters first learned of the incident on 18 May when the US Embassy in Prague was presented with a strongly worded protest about the incident, stating that the border had been violated to a depth of 20 to 80 meters and that the "behavior" of the US soldiers clearly indicated a premeditated and intentional penetration, a curious interpretation of their activity. The Czechoslovak spokesman noted the seriousness of the incident, deplored the danger of such incidents that might result in the use of. firearms, and expressed the hope that the incident did not signal an intention on the part of the United States to return to the state of tension that had earlier existed along the border. The USAREUR investigation of the incident revealed the identity of the patrol, which led to disciplinary action against the two patrol members, their patrol leader, their patrol sergeant, and the duty officer who had failed to debrief them properly.71

On 4 January 1969 a USAREUR soldier boarded the wrong train, fell asleep, and awoke in East Germany. After being detained and questioned by East German authorities, he was escorted back to the train station and placed on a train to Bad Hersfeld, where he promptly reported the incident to his first sergeant. There were no official repercussions, but this incident highlights once again the potential for human error to create problems in this sensitive area.72

Two West German customs officials reported on 22 January 1969 that they had observed a USAREUR helicopter violate the Czechoslovak-German border three times. The VII Corps investigation of the incident revealed that the helicopter had been on a routine aerial surveillance patrol and that the pilot -- who was alone in the helicopter -- was not only thoroughly experienced, but served as the certifying officer for pilot border qualifications within VII Corps. Visibility was good at the time and the pilot denied having crossed the border. Since the Czechoslovak Government did not protest the alleged border violation, USAREUR accepted VII Corps' finding that there was no proof of an actual violation. However, to reduce the possibility of such an incident occurring, VII Corps recommended that all border surveillance aircraft carry an observer in addition to the pilot and that the aircraft stay a minimum of 50 meters from the border. USAREUR headquarters did not change any of its border flight regulations because of this incident. This incident is an example of a continuing problem of contradictory reports of possible border incidents coming in from

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German border agencies and US border personnel. In a situation where one side is observing from the ground and the other from the air -- as well as the irregular shape of the border -- the potential for disagreement is always there.73

There were serious border violations by the other side during this period also. Several border overflights were committed by Soviet helicopters in 1969, but US protests brought the response that the helicopters had been under the positive control of Soviet air traffic agencies and had not entered the airspace over the "American Zone." On 6 August 1969 a member of an East German border work detail attempted to flee across the border, but he was wounded by the guards and dragged back into East Germany. The US Government vigorously protested this disregard for human life and the potential for danger to those in the Federal Republic from shots being fired across the border at people attempting to flee East Germany. These border incidents pointed up once again that the eastern boundaries of the Federal Republic remained a very sensitive area and that the potential for creating complications in the relations between the two sides often far outweighed the seriousness of the incidents.74

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