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1st Mobile Communications Group & 1882nd Communications Squadron

The 1st Mobile Communications Group Team of 60 men arrived from Clark AB, Philippines with equipment and necessities to support a bare base deployment. This was one of the first USAF elements to arrive at Phan Rang. Their mission was to establish communications for the new base. C-Rations were their only subsistence until the Gray Eagle base-support contingent arrived 30 days later. The Gray Eagle would provide food services, medical and living facilities, plus an 1100-man compliment to ready the bare-bare to accept and support combat aircraft.

The 1st Mob Team immediately filled 45,000 sandbags and placed them to form a revetted fort structure large enough for two communications vans, several power units and two Jamesway portable shelters. This fortified communications complex was named "Fort Cross" after MSgt. Nelson Cross, the deployed team’s NCOIC. It became the center of the 1st Mob’s operations and included a complete line of mobile communications equipment ranging from a single side band radio to a communications van that weighed 17,000 pounds. Five C-130s and two C-124s flew this initial communications equipment and personnel to Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. One sea going vessel was also used in the movement. The off-loaded equipment and people were then trucked 35 miles south to Phan Rang. The final shipment of the 1st Mob’s equipment was a ground Control Approach unit (GCA) flown to Phan Rang in a C-124. The GCA unit was off-loaded, set-up, checked out and declared operational in a matter of a few hours.

Completing its deployment to Phan Rang the team transferred all communications equipment to the newly activated 1882nd Communications Squadron and trained its personnel to operate the equipment. The 1st Mobile Communications Group team then returned to Clark.

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