Bien Hoa Air Base

Bien Hoa Air Base
Vietnam People's Air Force insignia.png Fatherland - Space.png Pacific Air Forces.png
Part of Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF)
Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF)
Pacific Air Forces (USAF)
Bienhoaab-jul68.jpg
Bien Hoa Air Base in July 1968
Bien Hoa AB is located in Vietnam
Bien Hoa AB
Bien Hoa AB
Location of Bien Hoa Air Base, Vietnam
Coordinates10°58′37″N 106°49′06″E / 10°58′37″N 106°49′06″E / 10.97694; 106.81833
TypeAir Force Base
Site information
Controlled byRoundel of Vietnam.svg Vietnam People's Air Force

Roundel of South Vietnam (1956–1975).svg Republic of Vietnam Air Force

Roundel of the USAF.svg  United States Air Force
ConditionSeized 1975 by PAVN, in use as military airfield
Site history
Built1955
In use1955-Present
Battles/warsVietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg
Vietnam War
Airfield information
Summary
Elevation AMSL79 ft / 24 m
Runways
DirectionLengthSurface
ftm
09L/27R10,0003,048Concrete
09R/27L10,0003,048Concrete

Bien Hoa Air Base is a Vietnam People's Air Force (VPAF; Vietnamese: Không quân Nhân dân Việt Nam) military airfield located in South-Central southern Vietnam about 25 km (16 mi) from Ho Chi Minh City, across the Dong Nai river in the northern ward of Tân Phong, and within the city of Biên Hòa within Đồng Nai Province. The boomburb city is densely populated and rings the base, despite the astronomical level of agent orange toxins simply left there for decades. The base is scheduled to begin cleanup by 2019.[1]

During the Vietnam War the base was used by the Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF). The United States used it as a major base from 1961 through 1973, stationing Army, Air Force (USAF), Navy and Marine units there.

Origins

Bien Hoa is located on quiet, flat grounds in a rural area 25 km (16 mi) northeast of Saigon. The French Air Force established an air base, the Base aérienne tactique 192, which was very active during the First Indochina War.

In February 1953 the French Air Force established a facility at Bien Hoa to overhaul its F8F Bearcats.[2]:69 In April 15 airmen and USAF civilians from the 6410th Materiel Control Group arrived in Saigon to help the French set up their F–8F overhaul facility and they were deployed to Bien Hoa.[2]:70

On 1 June 1955, Bien Hoa Air Base became the RVNAF's logistics support base when the French evacuated their main depot at Hanoi. At this time the base had a single 5,700-foot (1,700 m) by 150-foot (46 m) PSP runway.[3]

In December 1960, the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group Vietnam (MAAG) requested the U.S. Navy, as the designated contract construction agent for the Department of Defense in Southeast Asia, to plan and construct several jet-capable airfields in South Vietnam, including at Bien Hoa.[4] In December 1961, the American construction company RMK-BRJ was directed by the Navy's Officer in Charge of Construction RVN to begin construction of a new concrete runway, the first of many projects built by RMK-BRJ at the Bien Hoa Air Base over the following ten years.[4]:30–32