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[Image 1: Map of Souteast Asia, 1973 - 1975]

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tolerate intervention by anyone in Thai affairs. In accommodating the new government's diplomatic needs, the agreement confirmed the restructuring of the U.S. presence in Thailand and reshaped its command relationships. The end result was the return of the Military Assistance Command, Thailand (MACThai), to its pre-Vietnam function of overseeing logistics, administration, and liaison while the United States Support Activities Group/Seventh Air Force (USSAG) headquarters assumed the role of coordinating and supervising military activities of mutual interest to America's Southeast Asian allies. Thailand accepted America's explanation that USSAG was a temporary, nonpermanent organization that would be removed as soon as the transition to peace had been completed. General John W. Vogt,Jr., headed the joint command at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, and although responsibile for the air war in Cambodia, avoided any overt action that could be interpreted as a sign that the United States planned to expand hostilities using Thailand as a base of operations. This restriction even included dropping the well known Seventh Air Force's name from USSAG's title. With a 15 August ban on combat flights staring him in the face, General Vogt, with less than a month left on his tour of duty, had little choice but to begin planning for post-combat contingencies.5


The U.S. Air Force and its commander in Southeast Asia were now obligated to effect a transition to a training and standby alert status. Overnight, this became the major function of all Air Force units in Thailand. General Vogt oversaw the initial phase of this evolution while at the same time serving as coordinator of operational air requirements in Southeast Asia. Less than a month later, however, General Timothy F. O'Keefe, USAF, a native of Brooklyn and a well-respected combat veteran, succeeded him. General O'Keefe assumed command of a headquarters without a combat role but still responsible for air contingencies in the region, including possible reentry into South Vietnam or evacuation of Americans from Southeast Asia, particularly war-torn Cambodia. Political instability in Thailand and increased combat losses by America's allies in Cambodia served to make General O'Keefe's new job difficult and USSAG's future role uncertain.6


All of these events in Thailand converged in late 1973 to make military contingency planning for Cam-








Page 41(The Bitter End)