Knowing the Enemy: Naval Intelligence During the War
Virtually all military actions in Vietnam depended on accurate and timely intelligence. During the war, naval intelligence personnel provided information that enabled successful Navy operations, influenced tactical victories, and saved the lives of Americans and their allies. The Navy benefited from and coordinated efforts with other military branches, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. The Office of Naval Intelligence established the Fleet Intelligence Center Pacific Facility in the Philippines to analyze and disseminate this information to naval forces in Vietnam. From the air, sea, and land, Sailors collected information about North Vietnamese and Viet Cong plans and capabilities. Their missions were dangerous and often deadly. Though certainly not without failures, naval intelligence hindered seaborne supply from North to South Vietnam, identified targets for attack aircraft, and helped riverine forces keep control of the vital Mekong Delta.