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of pilots had exacerbated these differences. Because of the pressing
need for aviators, especially helicopter pilots, many went to their
duty stations without attending the Marine Corps Basic School at Quantico,
let alone Marine Corps intermediate and senior schools.* The board recommended
increased training in the coordination of air and ground and requiring
all officers to attend the Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico.43


While rejecting the Army helicopter control system as not applicable to the Marine Corps, the Youngdale board proposed that the wing reestablish its forward headquarters with the 3d Marine Division. It also called for a reexamination of Marine Corps helicopter tactics with an increased emphasis on helicopter gunships. On the other hand, the- board also exhorted ground officers to practice "economy in the employment of helicopters," to be used only "when essential as opposed [to] when they are nice to have."44


Even with the implementation of many of the Youngdale Board recommendations, the question of control and coordination of helicopters between Marine air and ground commanders remained to a certain extent unresolved. The departure of the 3d Marine Division from Vietnam in the fall of 1969, however, made the availability of helicopters more plentiful. This muted the debate over control.


Through the latter part of 1968, however, the differences over helicopters dominated the relations between Marine air and ground officers. Much of the tension resulted from the simple fact that there was not enough nor a sufficient variety of helicopters to go around. The Marine wing was supporting two and a third divisions and as one senior Marine aviator stated, "we didn't have two and a third's divisions worth of helicopters." Part of the problem, however, was organization. As another Marine aviation general observed, "we should never [italics in the original] try to support two divisions with a single Wing command, no matter how big the Wing is." The question of how much control or influence the ground commander should have over helicopter operations, nevertheless, is still a bone of contention between Marine air and infantry commanders.45

* See Chapter 27 for discussion of pilot shortages and Marine aviators
attendance at Marine schools. Lieutenant Colonel Daniel M. Wilson, who
commanded HMM-361 in Vietnam, related that prior to that assignment
he had commanded HMM-162 at New River, North Carolina where, "we were
primarily if not exclusively engaged in training Pensacola graduates
for Vietnam-a pipeline of about three months." When he took over HMM-361
and commanded "these same pilots in combat it became ap[parent} that
more operational training was desirable at least ... so [far] as Quantico
schooling." He stated, "there neither were sufficient pilots nor time
[for that additional training]." LtCol Daniel W. Wilson, Comments on
draft, dtd 2Dec94 (Vietnam Comment File).




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