After the withdrawal of the Airborne the 147th and 258th Marine Brigades would withdraw from FSBs Delta and Hotel. They combined that information with what they received from official South Vietnamese sources, concluded that the South Vietnamese had suffered a defeat, and put the word on the wire. U.S. artillery units would support the ARVN effort within Laos from the South Vietnamese side of the border while Army logisticians coordinated the entire supply effort for the South Vietnamese. Dewey Canyon II would, therefore, be conducted within territorial South Vietnam in order to reopen Route 9 all the way to the old Khe Sanh Combat Base, which had been abandoned by U.S. forces in 1968. Dewey Canyon would be a three-phase operation. On the morning of 31 March B-52 strikes and tactical airstrikes were conducted against an area of the Laotian Salient and at 11:30 the Hac Bao Reconnaissance Company supported by the 2nd Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry was landed in the area. Viện Sử học, Lịch sử Việt Nam 1965–1975, NXB Khoa học xã hội, Hà Nội – 2002. They lost 27 killed and one missing and three M41 Walker Bulldog tanks and 25 armored vehicles destroyed. P. 166. At the combat base, poor weather, obstacles, land mines, and unexploded ordnance pushed the rehabilitation of the airstrip (estimated by U.S. engineers at four days) a week behind schedule. At midday the task force engaged another PAVN force 4km north of Al Luoi capturing one PT-76, two trucks and three machine guns. John (Jack) Peel, Xlibris Corporation, 2014. On the afternoon of 16 March the headquarters and 4th Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Regiment were lifted from FSB Delta 1 and returned to Khe Sanh, while the 1st Battalion remained to secure the base. and announced the withdrawal of a further 100,000 troops from South Vietnam between May and November 1971. :30 The operation would consist of four phases. One of Kissinger's staff experts, Cmdr. During the first phase U.S. forces inside South Vietnam would seize the border approaches and conduct diversionary operations. :81–2 That afternoon the 39th Ranger Battalion engaged a PAVN force 3km west-southwest of Ranger North killing 43 PAVN for the loss one killed and capturing two 37mm anti-aircraft guns and two 12.7mm machine guns and large quantities of ammunition. The base would be reopened and would then serve as the logistical hub and airhead of the ARVN incursion. By launching such a spoiling attack against PAVN's long-established logistical system, the American and South Vietnamese high commands hoped to resolve several pressing issues. :31, In order to preserve the security of the upcoming South Vietnamese operation, General Abrams had imposed a rare press embargo on the reporting of troop movements, but it was to no avail. The bulk of the enemy's combat units were in the vicinity of Tchepone and PAVN could be expected to defend his base areas and logistics centers against any allied operation. As a response, a completely new airstrip had to be built and the first aircraft arrived on 15 February. The 4th and 5th Battalions, 2nd Regiment patrolled the area around Sophia finding the bodies of 124 PAVN killed by airstrikes and 43 AK-47s, nine 12.7mm machine guns, four RPDs and nine B-40 launchers. :109, By 18 March the PAVN were well aware of the South Vietnamese withdrawal and they began concentrating forces near FSB A Luoi and FSB Delta. :122–4 On 6 April the Hac Bao conducted a further raid into the Laotian Salient finding 15 PAVN dead and a destroyed tunnel complex, during the operation USAF airstrikes destroyed three anti-aircraft gun positions.:124–5. 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