The Cessna O-1 Bird Dog. the usual plane of the Ravens. During Raven usage, the O-1s were flown without military markings.
The Raven Forward Air Controllers. also known as The Ravens. were fighter pilots used for forward air control in a covert operation in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States in Laos during America's Vietnam War. The Ravens provided direction for most of the air strikes against communist Pathet Lao targets and People's Army of Vietnam 's infiltrators in support of the Laotian Hmong guerrilla army. [ 1 ]Background
On 23 July 1962, the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam signed the Geneva Accords guaranteeing the neutrality of the Kingdom of Laos. One of the provisions of the Accords called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Laotian soil. North Vietnam had troops still remaining in Laos from the end of the French Indochina War. The United States had a small number of advisors, which it withdrew from the country. [ 2 ]
The North Vietnamese deliberately ignored the Accords because they were intent on keeping their supply corridor, the Ho Chi Minh Trail. to continue their war against South Vietnam. North Vietnam's representatives repeatedly stated they had "no military presence in Laos". even though they had at least 4,000 troops stationed there from the end of the First Indochina War onwards. [ 3 ]
Prince Souvanna Phouma. the Prime Minister of Laos, asked for American help to counteract the North Vietnamese. To avoid the appearance of unilaterally violating the Accords, U. S. President John F. Kennedy directed the United States Air Force to perform covert operations in Laos to help the Lao fight the North Vietnamese communists. [ 4 ]USAF covert operations
As tactical air strikes began to be used in Laos, it became apparent that for the safety of noncombatants, some means of control was necessary. [ 5 ] Beginning at least as early as July 1964, the absence of a close air support control system caused a variety of enterprising individuals to improvise procedures for marking bombing targets. At various times, ground markers (including bamboo arrows) and dropped smoke grenades were used. While some of these individuals had military training, such as the American Army Attaché. others had little or no specialized training in close air support. They varied in nationality, being Thai, Lao, or Hmong. as well as American. [ 6 ] Both Continental Air Services, Inc and Air America pilots would sometimes serve as ad hoc forward air controllers. [ 7 ]Butterflies
To begin an operation of great secrecy, the U. S. Air Force originally forwarded four sergeants from Combat Control Teams in 1963. These sergeants turned in their uniforms and military identification and were supplied with false identification so they could work in civilian clothing. This process was designed to preserve the fiction of American non-involvement dubbed plausible deniability. Once "civilianized", the Butterflies flew in the right (co-pilot's) seat in Air America Helio Couriers and Pilatus Porters. They were often accompanied by a Lao or Thai interpreter in the back seat. The Air Commando sergeants directed the air strikes according to U. S. Air Force doctrine, using the radio call sign Butterfly. [ citation needed ]
Two of the Butterfly Air Force combat controllers were Master Sergeant Charles Larimore Jones. soon joined by Technical Sergeant James J. Stanford. [ 8 ] Another of the Butterflies was Major John J. Garrity, Jr. who in future would spend several years as the éminence grise of the American Embassy to Laos. [ 9 ] They, and their successors, ran air strikes without notice or objection until General William Momyer discovered that enlisted men were in charge of air strikes; at that point, he ordered their replacement with rated fighter pilots. By that time, the number of Butterflies had escalated to three pairs. [ 10 ] Both the impromptu strike controlling and the Butterfly effort ended with General Momyer's tirade in April 1966. [ 11 ]
Development of rules of engagement by the Embassy also threw more reliance on increased control over the in-country close air support. So did the introduction of an integrated close air support system for Southeast Asia in April 1966. [ 12 ] Also, beginning in April 1966, part of its effort to better direct air strikes, the U. S. Air Force installed four tactical air navigation systems in Laos to guide U. S. air strikes. One of these was emplaced on a mountain top at Lima Site 85. aimed across the border at Hanoi. [ 13 ]Ravens
A successor operation, code-named Palace Dog. began replacing this original Butterfly effort in 1966. [ 14 ] Central Intelligence Agency agent James William Lair recommended the use of Lao interpreters flying in the rear seat of light aircraft flown by American pilots, thus establishing the Ravens. [ 15 ] The Ravens were airborne fighter pilots in unarmed light aircraft who flew observation missions, marked enemy targets with smoke rockets, directed air strikes onto them, and observed and reported bomb damage assessment post strike. [ 16 ] They were based in five Lao towns: Vientiane. Luang Prabang. Pakse. Savannakhet. and at Long Tieng on the Plain of Jars. [ 17 ]Recruitment
Recruiting for the Ravens began when Air Force personnel checked into their original assignments in Vietnam. Forward air controllers, beginning a tour in SouthEast Asia, were told as part of their orientation briefing that halfway through their year's tour of duty in Vietnam, they were eligible to volunteer for special duty via the Steve Canyon Program. To be accepted for Steve Canyon, a pilot had to have a minimum of four months combat duty, including at least 60 days service as a FAC, at least 100 hours flight time as a fighter pilot and/or FAC, at least 750 hours flying time overall, and six months or more time remaining on his tour in SEA. Those who did volunteer via this program did so with no knowledge of their destination. After screening by the 56th Special Operations Wing at Nakhon Phanom RTAFB. they received temporary duty orders, and were forwarded to the American Embassy, Vientiane. Laos. There they were stripped of all military identification and gear, supplied with U.S. Aid identification, and changed into civilian clothing to be worn for their entire tour of duty. The screening system tended to select experienced and aggressive Forward Air Controllers who were not very amenable to being restricted by regulations. [ 18 ] [ 19 ]
The Ravens belonged only tangentially to the U. S. Air Force. By presidential directive, the ambassador controlled all U. S. military activity in Laos. [ 20 ] The Ravens performed their duties under direction of the Air Attaché; the Air Attaché in turn reported to the Ambassador. The Air Force kept the Ravens' records and paid them, but had no operational control over them, although 7/13th Air Force was formed in an attempt to regain control of their pilots. Generals William Westmoreland and William Momyer both wanted to gain control of the war in Laos. However, Ambassador William Sullivan. and his successor, G. McMurtrie Godley. continued to oversee air strikes in Laos. This situation was offensive to the Air Force; in many cases, the individual Raven received poor ratings and suffered retarded promotions because of his participation in the program. [ 21 ] [ 22 ] However, the Ravens liked the ambiguous situation because it left them free to coordinate air strikes with the CIA operatives running the local ground troops. [ 23 ]Operational history
In November 1964, Roy Dalton was the first rated officer to augment the Butterflies. He was stationed at LS 36, a dirt air strip near Na Khang, Laos; he directed air strikes by the Royal Lao Air Force while riding in Air America helicopters, or from observation posts on mountaintops. [ 24 ]
The Raven program was officially founded on 5 May 1966. It began with two pilots on 90 days temporary duty, working out of aircraft borrowed from Air America. Lieutenants Jim F. Lemon and Truman Young had been directing air strikes on either side of the DMZ dividing Vietnam. Upon their return to Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base. they were told that minor disciplinary sins of unauthorized aerobatics and furniture destruction at a party would be excused if they volunteered for a secret program—which, of course, was the Ravens. [ 25 ] Joined by a third Raven, they began 90 day TDY tours flying support for the Royal Lao Army. [ 26 ]
In December, 1966, they acquired the use of an O-1 Bird Dog assigned to the Royal Lao Air Force at Savannakhet ; unlike the borrowed Air America planes, the O-1 had additional radios and smoke rocket tubes for improved communications and target marking. A de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver and a Helio Courier were also acquired, but seemed not to be used for directing air strikes.
By August 1967, the three Raven FACs on duty in Laos were augmented by three more Ravens stationed with Detachment 1, 606th Air Commando Squadron at Nakhon Phanom; this trio commuted to the war. At about the same time, the Air Attaché in Vientiane requested O-1s unmarked by national insignia be supplied by 7/13th Air Force, on the grounds that the Ravens needed their own airplanes instead of riding with civilian pilots. The O-1s were supplied. By November, the Raven head count had increased to eight. [ 27 ] The number of Ravens would increase in a futile attempt to keep up with the swelling tide of air strikes Laos, but they would never number more than 22 assigned at one time. [ 28 ]
The chronic shortage of Ravens meant that ofttimes they spent an incredible amount of time flying combat. Raven John Mansur recalled flying as long as 11 hours 45 minutes in a day. Ron Rinehart even exceeded that, logging a 14 hour flight day. Incoming air strikes arrived en masse, with as many as six flights of fighter-bombers stacked up at various altitudes awaiting their turn to bomb. Rinehart would remain on station until his marking rockets were expended, all windows on his O1 slathered in grease pencil notes of air strikes, and his fuel desperately low. On three occasions, he landed dead stick back at base when he ran out of gas. In a single month, he directed over 1,000 sorties of tactical air, flying over 280 combat hours. If President Lyndon B. Johnson ’s March 1968 partial bombing halt diverted a steady stream of air power from Vietnam into Laos, his 1 November 1968 moratorium flooded the kingdom with American air power and overwhelmed the four Ravens stationed in northeastern Laos. [ 29 ]
Tactical air power was allocated at a conference by 7/13th Air Force in Saigon. Air Attaché Colonel Robert Tyrell came away from this with 60% of all tactical air strikes in Southeast Asia scheduled for attacks within Laos. The position of Head Raven was created to serve as a de facto Air Liaison Officer, and the number of Ravens in-country doubled to handle the new work load. [ 30 ] General Vang Pao. the ground commander of the CIA’s clandestine army of Hmong hill tribesmen, used tactical air as airborne artillery. His combat operations became dependent upon it. [ 31 ]Operational hazards
Both the O-1s and the later-supplied U-17s had severe maintenance problems in the beginning. Maintenance was spotty; it was performed by pilots, poorly trained Lao mechanics, or Air American technicians. The piston engines were tuned for optimum performance at Udorn's low altitude; they would run lean in the highlands of Laos. Adding to the woes were high power settings needed for maximum weight takeoffs, toting maximal loads, or short-field takeoffs; engine life in O-1s fell from 1,800 hours to 400 hours flight time. [ 32 ]
Engine failures became epidemic. Eighteen engine failures occurred during the last quarter of 1968. Karl Polifka (call sign Raven 45) reported 26 in a month, apparently February 1969. This led to all the O-1s being cycled through Udorn to have their fuel tanks cleaned out. Some of them had 18 years of crud and mud contaminating the tanks. The tanks were cleaned, and by May 1969, air force piston engine mechanics came on board at the ratio of a mechanic per two FAC aircraft. Engine problems dropped drastically after that. [ 33 ]
Anti-aircraft fire could be intense and accurate; the Raven's airplanes were known to take up to 50 hits battle damage in a single sortie. [ 34 ]
Working as a Raven FAC was an exhausting, high-risk, high-stress job. The casualty rate among them ran about 50% wounded and killed; one calculation by a participating Raven at his end of tour was that 90% of the Raven planes had been hit by ground fire during their tours of duty; 60% had been downed by enemy action at some point; 30% had been killed in action. [ 35 ] The roster of 161 Ravens does includes the prior Butterfly FACs, none of whom were KIA. as well as an Army Attaché, who was. Twenty-three of the Air Force Ravens were KIA during the Secret War; Army Attaché Joseph Bush was the 24th. [ 36 ]Legacy
Laos became the most bombed nation in history, largely due to the Raven FACs. Approximately the same tonnage of bombs were dropped on Laos as were dropped by the U.S. in the entirety of World War II. Approximately 20% of the Laotian populace became refugees, largely relocating because of bombing. [ 37 ] [ 38 ] Laos is plagued by unexploded ordnance to this day. [ citation needed ]See also Endnotes
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Vincent is an apprentice librarian who stumbles upon a secret powerful enough to destroy his master. With the foolish arrogance of youth, he attempts blackmail but the attempt fails and Vincent finds himself on the run and in possession of an intricately carved silver raven's head.
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2000 Baltimore Ravens season
team = Baltimore Ravens
year = 2000
record = 12-4
division_place = 2nd in AFC Central
coach = Brian Billick
stadium = PSINet Stadium
pro bowlers = 5
playoffs = Won Wild Card Playoffs (Broncos ) 21-3
Won Divisional Playoffs (Titans ) 24-10
Won AFC Championship (Raiders ) 16-3
Won Super Bowl XXXV (Giants ) 34-7
The Baltimore Ravens concluded the 2000 NFL season with a 12-4 record, good for second place in the AFC central, and earning them a spot in the playoffs as a wild card entrant. The Ravens won three straight games in the AFC playoffs, culminating in a trip to Tampa for the Super Bowl. where they defeated the New York Giants. 34-7, to win their first championship.
The Ravens spent most of the off-season concerned with the status of their star linebacker Ray Lewis. who along with two other acquaintances, was arrested and charged with murder after an incident outside of an Atlanta nightclub on January 31. 2000. On June 5. a plea bargain was struck, and murder and aggravated assault charges were dropped in exchange for testimony against his companions. Lewis pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice and was sentenced to a year of probation.
The Ravens started the season with a 5-1 start, with three of their victories coming by shutout. Despite the great play of the defense, the offense hit a major swoon after the first month of the season. Following a 37-0 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. the Ravens would not score a touchdown for five consecutive games. The Ravens won the first two of these games thanks to their defense, but lost the next three, including a critical division loss at home to the Titans. During this game, quarterback Tony Banks was benched in favor of Trent Dilfer. who would take over for the rest of the season. After a loss at home to Pittsburgh. the Ravens broke both their touchdown-less streak and losing streak against the Bengals the next week. It would be the first of seven straight wins to end the season.
The Ravens finished one game behind the Tennessee Titans in the AFC central, so the Ravens had to begin their playoff run at home in the wild card round against the Broncos. The team cruised to a 21-3 victory, setting up a date with the Titans the following week in Nashville. The Ravens prevailed 24-10, thanks to linebacker Ray Lewis' 50 yard interception return for a touchdown that put the game away. The team then traveled to Oakland to meet the Raiders for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, and the Ravens advanced to their first, 16-3, as the defense held Oakland, the league's top rushing offense during the season, to just 24 yards rushing. The Ravens easily defeated the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. 34-7, as Ray Lewis led another dominant performance by the defense and was named most valuable player of the game for his efforts.
The Ravens relied heavily on their defense, which set several records during the 2000 season, including fewest points allowed during a 16-game season (165) and fewest rushing yards allowed (970). The defense finished the season number one overall in both yards allowed and points allowed, and Ray Lewis was named defensive player of the year by the Associated Press. Starting cornerback s Chris McAlister and Duane Starks combined to intercept ten passes, and defensive end Rob Burnett contributed with 10.5 sacks. The defense is thought of as one of the greatest ever. Offensively, the Ravens relied heavily on the running game. Rookie running back Jamal Lewis led the way with 1364 yards and veteran Priest Holmes added 588 yards. The passing game was rather pedestrian (23rd in yards passing), but Trent Dilfer brought stability to the position when he took over for Tony Banks mid-season. Tight end Shannon Sharpe. acquired as an unrestricted free agent from Denver during the offseason, was the team's leading pass receiver with 67 catches for 810 yards. Punt returner Jermaine Lewis scored two touchdowns on punt returns during the season, and ran back a kickoff in the Super Bowl, while placekicker Matt Stover made 35 field goals on 39 attempts.
Middle linebacker Ray Lewis was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. Four players represented the Ravens in the Pro Bowl. Lewis joined defensive tackle Sam Adams, safety Rod Woodson. and offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden. Kicker Matt Stover joined Lewis and Ogden on the associated press' All-Pro first team. Defensive end Rob Burnett joined Adams and Woodson on the AP All-Pro second team.
*Sam Adams, AFC Pro Bowl Selection, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 362 ]
* Brian Billick. USA Today AFC Coach of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
* Trent Dilfer. Football Digest Comeback Player of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
* Jamal Lewis. USA Today Offensive Rookie of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Marvin Lewis, Football Digest Assistant Coach of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Marvin Lewis, Pro Football Writers Association Assistant Coach of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Marvin Lewis, USA Today AFC Assistant Coach of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Ray Lewis, Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Ray Lewis, Football Digest Defensive Player of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Ray Lewis, Pro Football Writers Association Defensive Most Valuable Player, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Jonathan Ogden, AFC Pro Bowl Selection, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 362 ]
*Matt Stover, Golden Toe Award [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Rod Woodson, AFC Pro Bowl Selection, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 362 ]
1. [http://www.databasefootball.com/teams/teamyear.htm?tm=BAL&lg=nfl&yr=2000 ]
2. [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/rav2000.htm ]
3. [http://www.footballdb.com/teamrost.html?tm=3&yr=2000 ]
4. [http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-ravens-oldschedule,0,884655.htmlstory?coll=bal-football-storyutil&?track=sto-relcon ]
5. [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/news/2000/06/04/lewis_agreement/ ]
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