Activities, supplies, morale, political and military training of 3rd Khmer Communist Battalion in Svay Rieng Province of Southeastern Cambodia
The 3rd Khmer Communist (KC) Battalion of Sector 23 was organized in central Svay Rieng Province of southeastern Cambodia in June 1972. From June 1972 through May 1973, the Battalion operated around the perimeter of Svay Rieng City. The Battalion has never hit by any tactical or strategic air strike during this period. The Battalion was provided with sufficient rice and ammunition, but did have some shortages of personal equipment, all soldiers were paid every month, sick or wounded soldiers received first aid care from Battalion medics, serious cases were evacuated to a large KC field hospital near Chantrei, the morale of the troops was fair and discipline within the Battalion was excellent. The Battalion had a well-organized unit training program that emphasized both military tactics and politics. The cadre of the Battalion were sent to the Sector 23 Training Center for more intensive training. The political leaders and instructors emphasized that the KC were not fighting to return Sihanouk to power. They stated that Sihanouk could return to Cambodia only if he formally renounced all royal titles and claims to power. A bi-monthly newspaper published by KC military region 203 was distributed to the Battalion to keep the soldiers informed of KC progress on the battlefield. There was no evidence of any conflict or disagreement within the enemy ranks. The KC appeared to be a unified force without any dissident elements in Svay Rieng Province. The 3rd Battalion had very little communications equipment, but did have a radio to monitor Cambodian Army radio transmissions in the Svay Rieng area, and used this capability to acquire tactical intelligence on Cambodian Army units.