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ARS Enters Southeast Asia

In the early 1960s all USAF rescue forces world-wide were assigned to the ARS. Air Rescue Centers held command and control of these assets. In December 1961, Pacific Air Rescue Center sent its first crew of three officers and three enlisted men to coordinate SAR operations at the Air Operations Center in Saigon, South Vietnam.

On April 1, 1962, the SAR coordinators established Detachment 3, Pacific Air Rescue Center (Det 3 PARC) at Tan Son Nhut AB, South Vietnam, becoming the first ARS unit in Southeast Asia. 

However, no USAF rescue assets were deployed. Instead, the SAR coordinators had to rely on personnel and aircraft from the US Army, Marines, and the South Vietnamese Air Force.

Consequently, early USAF SAR efforts in SEA suffered because the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) directed each military branch be responsible for their own search and rescue operation. 

As the air war intensified, the JCS realized the need for a professional rescue force to be deployed to SEA.

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