The 8th RRFS, nicknames "Trai Bac Station" or "Station of the North" possessed
some of the finest facilities in Vietnam, consisting of largely permanent structures,
a prefabricated operations building, and air conditioned trailers for troop billets and
mess. The Field Stations security posture was equally impressive. An intensive
defense perimeter, including 2600 meters of personnel and communication trenches,
30 ft high steel watch towers, 12-inch cement reinforced star bunkers, concertina and
barbed wire fences and 54,000 M-14 antipersonnel mines all surrounding the compound.
Although there was no fear of direct attack, the facility did receive occasional rocket fire.
Beginning in 1967, the 8th RRFS began focusing on the network that carried enemy
personnel and cargo on a 1,000 mile journey down the "Ho Chi Minh" trail to the
battlefields of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese traveled in battalion sized groups
or in smaller groups to their destinations.
In its tactical support role, the 8th RRFS found itself having to provide technical and
analytical assistance to the assigned direct support units. Throughout its history, the
8th RRFS made a significant contribution at theatre level. Its intercept of enemy weather
reports supported the 7th Fleet's strike and reconnaissance missions. The field
stations around-the-clock reporting provided the carrier task group commanders with
timely information on which to base their aircraft go/no-go decisions. To keep pace
with it sever-expanding missions, the 8th RRFS took on a series of major construction
projects. In the end, the 8th RRFS was not only the largest ASA's unit in Vietnam, but
it was the largest operational element worldwide.