January 26, 1970

Major Attends City's Civic Action Council

PHAN RANG -- Little is heard of how routine business is conducted by lower echelons of the Vietnamese Government. One such insight was recently obtained by an Air Force major assigned to the 315th Tactical Airlift Wing here.

Major Ben H. Swett, a navigator and civic action coordinator for the 315th TAW, attended a meeting of the Ninh Thuan Province Civic Action Council held in Phan Rang City.

The meeting was chaired by Nguyen Chu Hau, deputy province chief for administration, and attended by Air Force military civic action officers, Army advisors, the Civil Operations and Rural Development and Support (CORDS) officer, and representatives of the surrounding hamlets, schools and orphanages seeking civic action assistance.

"Of the nine projects presented, five were approved by Mr. Hau. I could not find fault in the grounds for a single decision," Maj. Swett reported.

"For example, one agricultural organization asked for a new building. After discussion with all parties involved, Mr. Hau replied, 'You have done well so far. You have many new crops and some fine animals, but your barracks are empty, and you have not yet trained any farmers. Therefore, when you have fulfilled your earlier promises, we will consider your request.'

"I donít know about other provinces," the major concluded, "but what I saw at this council meeting could serve as an example of true democratic process in action."

1970 Log