The limited warfare characteristic of our involvement in Southeast Asia, the guerrilla tactics employed by the enemy, and the nature of the terrain confronted our Armed Forces with battlefield situations they had not faced before. At the invitation of Defense Affairs, Gen. James Ferguson, Commander, AFSC, came to NASA Headquarters on November 2, 1965, with several members of his staff, to brief our top management on some of the unique technical problems arising out of the operations in Vietnam and to enlist our assistance in finding solutions to them. Mr. Webb offered the full technical support of NASA in solving the problems presented. We in Defense Affairs were assigned the responsibility of organizing and monitoring the NASA effort in this area. I designated Col. John Coulter as the cognizant officer, and all of the Headquarters officials involved felt that he did an outstanding job in coordinating NASA's efforts in this area over the following three years.
We proceeded to organize teams to make further contacts with elements of the DOD to identify more fully the specifics of the problems, and'. we set up procedures for applying the technological competence and capability of NASA in areas where we felt we could make a contribution. We took precautions to avoid unwarranted duplication of efforts underway in DOD laboratories.
In order to involve our Centers, we arranged an all-day meeting at Wright Field on November 22 at which both Headquarters and Center representatives were briefed in detail on the nature of the unique problems and the technological areas in which solutions were most urgently needed. Center representatives identified several areas in which they believed they could help.
We moved rapidly to organize at the management level for this taking. A "NASA Limited Warfare Committee" was established on December 7, 1965, with the following membership:
During the week of December 5, 1965, Mr. W. J. Schimandle of JPL gave a series of briefings at NASA Headquarters as to the plans and capabilities of that Center in seeking solutions to the unique problems  associated with the limited warfare operations in SE Asia. Later in December, Air Force teams visited JPL, Ames, Goddard, Langley, MSC, and MSFC to brief Center and Laboratory personnel on the nature of the Vietnam war operations and the technical problems being encountered.
Up to this point, we had been briefed only as to the problems of the Air Force, although, we learned later that there was a certain degree of problem commonality among all four Services, including the Marines. On December 7, Hilburn and I met with Lt. Gen. James Ferguson, USAF, Lt. Gen. William W. Dick, Jr., USA, and R. Adm Harold G. Bowen, Jr., USN, heads of the R&D activities in the headquarters of the-r respective Services, to discuss inter-Service coordination of NASA activity in support of the war in SE Asia.
On January 13, 1966, we visited Aberdeen Proving Ground to inform ourselves on what the Army was doing in this area, and on February 17 we made a similar visit to the Marine Base at Quantico. Later there were NASA visits to other DOD laboratories.
General Ferguson, General Dick, Admiral Bowen, and B.Gen. Wood B. Kyle, USMC, Deputy Chief of Staff for R&D in Marine Corps Headquarters, met with us over lunch at NASA Headquarters on February 7, 1966, to review progress to date, coordinate our activities, and map out future courses of action.
By this time, the NASA support effort was moving along with the principal effort being carried on by a group of about thirty-five research engineers (later increased to sixty-five) established for this purpose at JPL and headed by Schimandle, but with projects also underway at Ames and Langley.
A "Provost Committee" was formed in DOD, reporting to DDR&E, to coordinate the R&D activities of the individual Services related to the unique technological problems of SE Asia. It was chaired by Mr. Leonard L. Sullivan, Jr., Special Assistant to Dr. Foster, and had the R&D Deputies of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and USMC, as well as representatives from ARPA, AEC, and JCS, as members. NASA was invited to have membership on this Committee, and Colonel Coulter was appointed.
On April 12, 1966, Schimandle brought a team from JPL to Headquarters to report on their progress. He presented a list of some twenty projects which were being pursued in various degrees of priority, the most promising of which were a mortar fire locator, an improved target marker for launching from aircraft, and a coding device for tactical voice communications.
In November 1966, Dr. Foster and Dr. Seamans exchanged letters which set up guidelines, including funding arrangements, to govern the continuance of NASA's work in support of the DOD in this area. NASA's effort was running at a level of about $4 million a year. It was agreed  that NASA would continue to fund projects in the conceptual stage, and on occasion through the breadboard and engineering model stages.
On November 10, 1966, Dr. Seamans signed a memorandum to all Heads of Program and Staff Offices and Center Directors regarding the public position of NASA with respect to its special efforts to assist in solving some of the technical problems of the war. Previous guidance had been that "the feet that we are engaged in some tasks related to the Vietnam war is not classified; the specific tasks, however, are classified. " This policy was to remain in effect, but the memorandum of November 10 tightened the procedures. All inquiries would thereafter be referred to the Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs. This instruction was never rescinded. Mr. Webb's feelings about the public relations aspect of this NASA effort were that he saw no reason to hide the feet that NASA was making this contribution to national defense. I recall his saying this in a staff meeting.
On December 15, 1966, Dr. Foster gave a presentation at NASA Headquarters on the progress of the war in SE Asia and the contributions made by R&D to the effectiveness of the equipment employed by our forces. He made a plea for help from any source available in solving the problems of the war.
Colonel Coulter made a three-hour presentation at Headquarters on January 9, 1967, covering all aspects of NASA's support to DOD in the area of limited warfare. Coulter continued to be the point of contact in NASA for the NASA-DOD interface until March 1968, when this responsibility was transferred to a Special Programs Office in OART.
Schimandle came east on April 20 and on July 21, 1967, to progress on the various projects being pursued by his group.
In August 1966, DDR&E detailed a civilian engineer, Dr. William McMillan, to be the scientific adviser attached to the staff of the Commander of U.S. Forces in Vietnam to assist him in identifying and finding quick solutions to technical problems growing out of the war. DDR&E requested NASA to detail a suitably qualified engineer to serve as an on-site assistant to Dr. McMillan, with the particular function of furthering NASA-DOD coordination. Mr. William Bergman, JPL, was detailed and served in Vietnam in this capacity from December 9, 1967, to January 15, 1969.
Eventually, some eighty-nine specific problem areas were taken under consideration by NASA scientists, engineers, and technicians.
On April 25, 1967, in my capacity as Chairman, NASA Security Classification Board, I sent out an instruction (then classified) to all NASA activities concerned with this support effort. The stated purpose of the document was "to establish uniformity in the classification of limited warfare information which requires protection in the interest of national security." Prior to this issuance, it had been necessary to respond on an individual case basis to a number of requests from Centers for guidance as to classification of limited warfare projects.
 In the early months of this NASA effort, the two major and most active projects were: (1) an acoustical net to pinpoint the source of mortar fire, together with a system for transposing the incoming information rapidly into gun laying data for counter-artillery fire; and (2) an improved aircraft target marker, the principal features of which were a trail marking exhaust to assist pilots in the early sighting of the propelling rocket, and a persistent marking signal at the impact point.
An engineering model of the mortar locator was built at JPL and giver an initial field test at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, on June 22, 1967, which was witnessed by a large group of officials from DDR&E, Air Force, Army, JPL, and NASA Headquarters. including Adams, Coulter and myself. The performance of the equipment was promising, although the tests revealed several defects needing correction. An improved set of experimental equipment was later tested under combat conditions in Vietnam, after which the responsibility for further development of the device was assumed by the Army. Generally speaking, the system performed well as a mortar locator, for which it was designed, but was riot fully effective against rocket and artillery fire.
In operational tests, the aircraft target marker proved to be distinctly superior to existing models and was highly evaluated by the Air Force observers. The principal drawback was the increased cost. However, the JPL development is being used piecemeal to improve elements of current inventory equipment.
Several "quick response" developments by NASA laboratories have found combat use in SE Asia, for example, mountain top and airborne radio relays, specialized antennas, and miniaturized circuitry for backpack radio sets. The latter permitted the use of lighter batteries and reduced the total weight of the equipment by about half (approximately eighty to forty pounds).
Each combat parachute pack contains a homing radio transmitter to assist in locating a downed pilot. Occasionally, one of these transmitters in a parachute in storage will be inadvertently turned on, from one cause or another, transmitting continuously and jamming the emergency frequency. Langley developed a s simple device with which an offending parachute in a storage space can be quickly 'located and individually identified.
Another ingenious "quickie" NASA solution to a military problem was a method of patching holes in inflated life rafts. A small balloon is put through the hole to the inside of the raft and then inflated, thus sealing the hole.
An outstanding example of product development was the work done by Ames in the field of polymer chemistry, which resulted in the development of a unique family of fire suppressant paints and foams. This work had its origin in research in ablative heat shield materials for spacecraft. Some industrial companies are currently manufacturing these materials. Their  development has generated wide interest, and their use is rapidly spreading in both military and non-military applications. They are being used in aircraft and building construction as heat insulation to prevent or at least retard the spread of fire. A special military application has been found as a coating on bombs to reduce the "cook off" effect from exposure to intense heat. Several other applications to suppress fires or reduce the spread of fires have been demonstrated.