57th Signal Company

Information Letter to Incoming Personnel

57th Signal Company (COMSEC Logistic Support)
APO San Francisco 96491
 21 October 1969

SUBJECT: Information Letter to Incoming Personnel

1. Welcome to the 57th Signal Company (CLS). As a member of this unit, you will be a part of the United States' military effort to aid the Republic of Vietnam.  Our mission is to operate a Communications Security (COMSEC) Logistics Support Center for U. S. Army Forces in Vietnam.  We provide overseas depot, general and direct logistics support for COMSEC aids (codes, authentication systems, COMSEC equipment keying material, and crypto-marked publications), COMSEC equipment and accessories, COMSEC design controlled repair parts designated by the National Security Agency, and COMSEC special tools and test equipment.  Additionally we provide general and direct support maintenance on COMSEC equipments in support of U.S. Army Forces, other supported unites and activities, and other forces in RVN as directed.

2. The 57th Signal Company (CLS) is under the operational control of the 160th Signal Group.  This unit is organized into a Center Headquarters, located at Long Binh, and six COMSEC Logistic Suppoprt Units (CLSU's) located in Can Tho, Long Binh, Tan Son Nhut, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, and Phu Bai.  Additionally we have seven COMSEC Divisional Contact Detachments, (CDCD teams) organized under their own TOE's for direct support to the 1st Infantry Division, 1st Air Cavalry Division, Americal Division, 4th Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, and the 101st Airborne Division.

3. The history of this unit is an impressive one and dates back to 4 December 1943 when the company was first constituted as the 3110th Signal Service Battalion.  On 18 June 1947 it was re-designated as the 77th Signal Service Battalion.  The company was inactivated 5 March 1949 in Germany and was again activated on 12 March 1953 in Korea.  On 15 April 1954 it was reorganized as the 57th Signal Company.  On 13 May 1955 the unit was inactivated and reactivated on 8 August 1957 in Korea.  Again it was inactivated on 15 November 1967 in Korea.  It was reactivated 24 February 1969 in Vietnam.  The 57th Signal Company participated in World War II-EAME Campaign in Northern France and Central Europe. In the Korean War, Summer 1953 Campaign.  The unit has been awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation, European Theater Streamer.

4. The normal tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam is 12 months.  The tour may be voluntarily extended. Personnel who extend for a period of six months or longer are authorized a non-chargeable leave of 30 days with free travel to anywhere in the world. The leave must be taken during the period between 90 days prior to the end of the original tour and 30 days after the original tour.  This leave is not deductible from the length of the tour of duty in Vietnam.

5. The Viet Cong are actively engaged in terrorist activities in Vietnam.  It is necessary to be alert at all times.  The wide variety of hazards demand the maximum physical security measures possible under existing circumstances.

6. Maintenance of health in Vietnam is extremely important.  Some points to remember are:

a. All water is considered unsafe to drink unless you are specifically told by U.S. authorities that it has been treated and is potable. Exercise the similar caution where foods are concerned.

b. A malaria tablet (chloroquine-primaquine) must be taken every week while you are in Vietnam and for eight weeks after you depart.  Personnel stationed in some areas of the country will also take a dapsone tablet each day.

c. Good personal hygiene is a necessity for prevention of typhus.  Keep your immunizations up-to-date.

7. MACV ration cards are issued to all individuals.  The following restrictions apply:

a.  Cards are not transferable.

b.  Sections of the card may not be removed form the central portions.  Any card without the original four sections intact is void.
c.  Exchange merchandise may not be transferred by sale, gift, exchange, or loan except as provided in the appropriate directives.
d.  Cards may not be sold, bartered, or placed in pawn.  Only one card per individual is authorized.

8. Merchandise imported to Vietnam and merchandise purchased at a PX may not be released in any manner to Vietnamese nationals, or other residents of Vietnam who are not entitled to duty-free importation privileges.  Bone fide gifts of a value of $10 or less are exempt form this prohibition providing the gift is not a limited purchase item or is not purchased in a commissary or Quartermaster clothing sales store.

9. As part of a continuing to campaign to eliminate the black market in Vietnam, new restrictions have been placed on currency transactions. The first phase of this program is the introduction of a currency control form and the establishment of a $200 per month limit on the amount of MPC that can: (1) be converted to U.S. currency or dollar instruments, (2) be deposited in bank accounts and the Uniform Savings Deposits Program (USSDP). In the case of deposits to the  USSDP on pay day, you may deposit any amount in cash not to exceed the amount of cash received across the pay table providing you make the deposit on pay day and show a copy of your pay voucher. The restrictions mean, for example, that you cannot go to the bank each month with your pay and make a cash deposit of more than $200,  you may either make an allotment to the bank or be paid by an MPC check and deposit the check to the account.

10.R & R is available to Bangkok, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Honolulu for five to seven days. Personnel must be in-country 90 days before taking R&R. There is an in-country R&R center at Vung Tau where enlisted personnel and company grade officers may go on a three-day pass. An R&R center is also located at Cam Ranh Bay for E-5's and below.

11.It is my hope that your tour with the 57th Signal Company in the Republic of

Vietnam will be both a pleasant and rewarding experience for you. Should you be
confronted with a problem that you cannot resolve and wish any advice or assistance from me, my door is always open to the personnel of this command.

                                                                    WILLIAM H. BLATTI
                                                                    Lieutenant Colonel, SigC