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Avel South

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Avel South was formed on 1 January 1966.  It was part of the 765th Transportation Bn., 34th General Support Group, USARV Command.  Upon formation it consisted of three platoons. One at Vung Tau, one in Vinh Long and one in Long Thanh. According to Clyde Hooks it was fromed from assets of the 8th, 68th 255th, 258th and the 458th Signal Detachments. In 1967 the company was commanded by Major Emmett A. Faulk
The primary mission of the Aviation Electronic Support Company, South {Provisional} was to provide general support avionics maintenance for Army aircraft in the III and IV Corps area of RVN. This consisted of approximately 20,000 items of avionics equipment to be maintained. Included with this primary mission is backup direct support and over-flow avionics direct support for all units supported by the 765TH Transportation Battalion {AM&S}.

Additional missions which were equally important included;


1. Providing avionics direct support to all 765th Transportation Battalion units and those supported units that had no organic avionics repair capability.
 2. Evacuation of all Avionics repairables from RVN to CONUS. All avionics equipment that could not be repaired in RVN was evacuated to CONUS for repair and return. The unit handled over 1500 items per month in this capacity for all RVN.

3. Handling and redistribution of critical avionics test equipment to supported units.


4. Maintenance and calibration of critical avionics test equipment for the 34th General Support Group units. The test equipment facility repairs approximately 100 items per month of critical test equipment which reduced dead time while awaiting repair and return. For items of avionics test equipment not handled by this facility, evacuation to SAAD is effected by air parcel post for rapid repair and return.


5. Provide technical assistance and training to all supported units. The unit had a staff of Department of the Army Civilians, Factory Service Representatives, and Contract Technicians for assistance to supported units on request. Classes were also conducted on all new types of avionics items introduced into RVN. The unit maintained a constant training program on complex systems such as Doppler and Ground Control Approach Radar so that supported units would have personnel trained as qualified personnel rotated home.


6. The unit was also responsible for supervising the Retrofit {7 year} program which replaced old type radios in all aircraft with newer series radios. To accomplish its mission, the company was organized into three platoons. One platoon co-located with Company Headquarters at Vung Tau, one platoon at Long Thanh, and a third platoon at Vinh Long. The unit consisted of 10 officers, 105 enlisted personnel, 40 contract civilians and 13 manufacturers technical representatives. The work load was well in excess of 1000 work orders per week during the first year and continued to increase. This was merely one method of measuring the effectiveness of personnel.


Avel South was officially redesignated as the 317th Light Equipment Maintenance Company on 1 December 1969. It came under the control of the 1st Aviation Brigade in  December 1971.  The 317th LEM was officially deactivated on1 April 1972.  All Avionics work was then taken over by the 388th Transportation Company In Vung Tau and Tan Son Nhut.