The Glorious History of the 138th
The 138th Army Security Agency Company (Aviation) was constituted in the Regular Army as the 138th
Aviation Company and activated at Da Nang, Vietnam on 1 June 1966. The US Navy awarded a Meritorious Unit
Commendation to the 138th Aviation Company (Radio Research) for its support to the III Marine Amphibious
Force during the period 1 May 1967 to 31 July 1969.
The LEFT JAB (JU-21A) system aircraft were assigned
to the 138th Avn Co which also operated RU-8D and RU-21D WINEBOTTLE and CEFISH PERSON
aircraft. The only
fixed-wing ASA airplane shot down in Vietnam with loss of life was a LEFT JAB JU-21A
that was shot down on 4
March 1971. A LEFT JAB aircraft from the 138th Avn Co flew the last ARDF mission in South Vietnam on 16
February 1973 in the vicinity of Pleiku.
In addition to the LEFT JAB loss, the 138th suffered other losses
as well. On 29 Dec 1967, An RU-8D assigned to the 138th crashed on takeoff from Phu Bai killing
WO1 Milton W. Smith and WO1 Jonathan P. Shaffer.
The 138th was inactivated in Vietnam on 1 March 1973.
Post-Vietnam, the 138th Avn Co became the 138th ASA Co (Avn) at McCoy AFB, Orlando FL on 15 Apr 1974 and
was assigned to the 81st US Army Reserve Command. Subsequently, McCoy AFB became the Orlando, FL International
Airport where they operated seventeen RU-8D WINEBOTTLE Aircraft until 1979 or so. After a stint with the
156th RR Co at Ft Bliss, the two surviving JU-21A aircraft also followed the 138th to Florida where they
were operated until the mid-1980's. Later, the updated CEFIRM LEADER aircraft went to the 138th where they
were in use until 30 Sep 1993.
The unit operated the RU-21A/B and C model CEFIRM LEADER aircraft during that
time and The 138th was awarded the NSA/CSS Director's Trophy 1983. It was also awarded the Joint Meritorious
Unit Award from CJTF -4 Nov 1989 - Sep 1990 for support of Counter Narcotic missions in the Caribbean.
In October 1990 the unit was activated for Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm (as part of 201st MI Bn,
513th MI Bde) and received Meritorious Unit Commendation for the period Nov 1990 - May 1991.
In 1993 they
retired the CEFIRM LEADER System and transitioned into CRAZYHORSE, a platform that had been operated by B
Co MILI in Honduras. The 138th MI Co operated the three "RC-12G" aircraft nick-named CRAZYHORSE until 30
Sep 1998 when RC-12G 80-23380 flew its last mission. The three RC-12G aircraft have had their mission
equippement removed and were ferried to Ft. Sill, OK for retirement on 12 Oct 1998.
RC-12G 80-23379 has since
been flown to Ft. Bliss, TX where the 204th MI Bn (AE) will memorialize it. The Intel School at Fort
Huachuca has acquired RC-12G 80-23372 for the same purpose. The third aircraft (80-23380) remains in storage
at Fort Sill. Until 16 Sep 94 the official name of the unit was 138th ASA Co. (AVN) though known by most as
138th AVN Co. (EW). This made it the last unit still designated as an ASA unit. (It still has the structure
of the ASA Cos. of Vietnam era, i.e.. MPs, cooks, etc. On 16 Sep 94 it became the 138th MI Co. (Aerial
Formal inactivation of the unit occurred on 10 April 1999.