The Battle of Kontum Banner Image

LTC Jack Finch (US Army, Ret.)  

Securing a Secret NOFORN Arc Light document

During the recent Battle of Kontum reunion in Denver, CO I was reminded of some wise advice I received in May 1972 from LTC Bill Bricker, DSA of the 23d ARVN Division when I told him of my concern for the the security of the Secret NOFORN document I used when coordinating Arc Light strikes. As an intelligence officer, I was concerned about the NOFORN designation, meaning "No Foreign" thus excluding our 23d ARVN Division comrades from accessing it. Question was how could I best safeguard it as the DTOC was too uncertain, especially if it were assaulted or hit (which it later was by enemy tanks and 130mm artillery fire. He pondered briefly and then slapped me on my left thigh while pointing to my fatigue trousers thigh pocket and said words to the effect of: "There's your safe Jack, just wrap it in plastic, keep the buttons buttoned and shoot any unauthorized person who tries to take it from you." He added: "And if it looks like you're gonna get captured, burn it or eat it!" And then he laughed. I realized I had just become a 24 hour "courier" as the solution made sense under the unusual circumstances. It got a laugh at the reunion and in fairness, the document was never compromised. I hope the numerous other "war stories" revealed at this first Battle of Kontum reunion will soon surface on the Memories Book section of this great site...

LTC Jack Finch (US Army, Ret.) <>
Rye, CO USA - Monday, April 21, 2008 at 10:36:58 (PDT)

[ Back to Memories Book Index ]