Schedules Power for Asia 'Games'
Chicago Daily News Service
HONG KONG Feb 9—The United States will go out of its way next week to demonstrate to its small Asian allies that there is power as well as platitudes in its pledge to defend them against Communist aggression
The United States Navy joined by other services will stage landing exercises near Bangkok Thailand Feb, 15-18 under auspices of SEATO (Southeastern Asia Treaty Organization) This ought to give American forces a needed workout in new amphibious techniques.
BASICALLY however there is only one reason for "Operation Firm Link" That is to assure Asian members of SEATO —the Philippines Thailand and Pakistan—that SEATO - is no paper tiger as its critics claim/
It was no accident that maneuvers were timed in advance of the third SEATO conference which opens in Karachi Pakistan March 6 Nor was It an accident that Thailand was chosen as a site for nail week's maneuvers.
Thailand's pro-American rulers are finding it increasingly difficult to combat the growing feeling of neutralism in that country They are also having some' second thoughts about their stand against admitting Red China
into the United Nations.
It Is fondly—and !wimps wishfully—hoped that the presence of American ships- planes and troops In Thailand will bolster the country's sagging morale.
Operation firm link
is billed as a SEATO maneuver but its composition emphasizes what
everybody involved already knows—that the United States alone has
the power to stop the Reds' military expansion in Asia.
[The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, UT, 10 Feb 1956, Fri, Page 11]
To Participate in
TOKYO .(INS) The U.S. Army announced today it will be represented at the forthcoming SEATO maneuvers at Bangkok by a battalion of the famed 508th Airborne Regimental Combat team.
A total of between 6,000 and 7,000 American servicemen from all military branches will participate in the joint exercise Feb. 15-18 to demonstrate that nations of the Southeast Asia Treaty
organization are prepared to resist aggression.
THAILAND AND the Philippines will also send troops to the air-land-sea maneuvers dubbed "operations firm link." ,
The U.S. paratrooper battalion will make a personnel and equipment airdrop, participate in a parade, and set up a full field display of equipment during the exercises.
[Muncie Evening Press, Muncie, IN, 09 Feb 1956, Thu. Page 2]
In Bangkok, Siam, the land of the original white
elephant, Army Pvt Arvis R. Smith, 18, son of Bertram E. Smith of
Andrews, recently jumped in parachute maneuvers with the 508th
Airborne Regimental Combat Team. The soldier regularly is
stationed in Japan as a truck driver in Co. H of the combat team.
ARMY PFC David .I. Badgett, son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Badgett of Whitewright recently jumped in Bangkok, Thailand with the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team in a SEATO airborne Army practice exercise.