U.S. Advanced Tactical Support Base Long Xuyen (1966-1971)


The austere facility at Long Xuyen, in the Republic of South Vietnam, served as an Advanced Tactical Support Base for U.S. Naval Forces during the Vietnam War. From August 1966 to April 1967, the twenty river patrol boats (PBRs) of river division 53 patrolled a segment of the Hau Giang River as part of operation Game Warden, which was designed to deny the Viet Cong free waterborne movement in the strategic Mekong Delta. The combat unit was provided with boat repair, supply, and other logistic support by a detachment of Naval Support Activity, Saigon.

U. S, naval leaders chose the Long Xuyen site because it was accessible by water and air (with a 3,000-foot airstrip) and because a South Vietnamese Navy River Assault Group base already existed there. It was hoped that co-location of American and Vietnamese forces would foster allied cooperation and lessen the need for the construction of new facilities. However steps were taken in 1967 to improve this forward base, including the installation of a pontoon pier and a fuel storage bladder. Extension of an existing boat ramp, and deployment there of a fuel oil barge. U.S. naval forces shifted to Tan Chau on the Cambodia border in 1969 and the Long Xuyen facility was disestablished when the enemy presence in the area diminished.

Later in the war, the Navy developed at Long Xuyen an intermediate support base that provided supplies and repairs in the river units operating along the Cambodian border. The Facility was turned over to the Vietnamese Navy as part on the Vietnamization program in September 1971.