In the context of warfare, effective tactical radio communication plays a pivotal role in maintaining operational efficiency and achieving strategic objectives. This truth held equally for the Viet Cong (VC) and North Vietnamese Armies (NVA) during the Vietnam Wars. In a compelling presentation by Brian Harrison, KN4R, an esteemed member of the Antique Wireless Association and communications historian, we delve into the world of the VC and NVA’s commonly-used HF and VHF radios. Additionally, we explore the groundbreaking ground-based and Aerial Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) techniques employed by the Army Security Agency (ASA), which revolutionized intelligence gathering during the conflict.

The Significance of Tactical Radio Communications:
In any military campaign, effective communication is essential for success. This holds true for both conventional and unconventional forces, such as the VC and NVA. Tactical radio communication allowed these forces to coordinate movements, relay critical information, and maintain operational security in the challenging terrain of Vietnam. Understanding the radio equipment and techniques utilized by these armies provides valuable insights into their strategies and operations.

Exploring HF and VHF Radios:
Brian Harrison’s presentation sheds light on the HF and VHF radios commonly used by the VC and NVA during the Vietnam War. These radios formed the backbone of their communication networks, enabling them to establish contact and relay messages across the battlefield. By delving into the technical specifications, capabilities, and limitations of these radios, we gain a deeper understanding of the communication challenges and solutions faced by the VC and NVA.

Revolutionary Ground-Based and Aerial Radio Direction Finding:
One of the highlights of Brian Harrison’s presentation is the discussion surrounding the Army Security Agency’s (ASA) ground-based and Aerial Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) techniques. These innovative methods played a crucial role in intelligence gathering during the Vietnam War and were hailed as some of the best intelligence tools of the conflict. ARDF involved the utilization of specialized equipment to locate and intercept enemy radio transmissions, providing invaluable information on enemy movements, positions, and intentions. The ASA’s ground-based and airborne personnel worked in tandem, using their expertise and cutting-edge technology to gather critical intelligence that shaped the course of the war.

Unveiling the Best Intelligence of the War:
By unraveling the story of the VC and NVA’s radio communications and the revolutionary ARDF techniques employed by the ASA, Brian Harrison brings to light the remarkable intelligence operations that unfolded during the Vietnam Wars. The utilization of HF and VHF radios by the VC and NVA, combined with the ASA’s ground-based and ARDF efforts, transformed the intelligence landscape of the conflict. This presentation highlights the pivotal role that radio communications and intelligence gathering played in shaping the outcomes on the ground.

Tactical radio communication is a critical component of warfare, and this held true for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Armies during the Vietnam Wars. Brian Harrison’s enlightening presentation offers a captivating glimpse into the radio equipment and techniques employed by these forces. By exploring the commonly-used HF and VHF radios and unveiling the groundbreaking ground-based and Aerial Radio Direction Finding techniques utilized by the ASA, we gain a deeper appreciation for the significance of effective communication and intelligence gathering in the context of war.


An amateur radio operator, Royal Signals veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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