UPDATE: Project CHECO Report on Thailand Bases and Agent Orange

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Project CHECO Report

This is an update from yesterday’s post about Thailand military bases and Agent Orange. The Daily Reporter mistakenly concluded the DoD declassified the document recently when it was actually declassified in 1989 but only released recently by the agency.

The report is 90 page evaluation of the use of herbicides in Thailand. The Department of Veterans Affairs concluded that only veterans that were by base perimeters should receive acknowledgment of Agent Orange exposure.

It was called the Project CHECO Report. CHECO is short for “Contemporary Historical Examination of Current Operations.” Again, this report was written on February 18, 1973. It was apparently released last year, though I’m not sure when it was officially declassified. There are many other CHECO reports, but this is the missing link between use of Agent Orange and Thailand. Good work covering up DoD.

DoD and VA confounded the document by not running it through word recognition software, so it is not quickly searchable by veterans or the internet. It is also missing many pages. I found another version of this report linked at the bottom of this page.

As a service to veterans, I ran the linked PDF of the CHECO Report through OCR software before reposting it here. Do a search for “herbicides” be pressing Control+F and then typing in the word. In my opinion, VA is improperly concluding herbicides were only used at base perimeters and not throughout the entire base as indicated within the report.

VA then interpreted the report in its Public Health website on a web page called Thailand Military Bases and Agent Orange Exposure. VA says the following military personnel are now included in the list of those possibly exposed to the toxins:

Vietnam-era Veterans whose service involved duty on or near the perimeters of military bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 may have been exposed to herbicides and may qualify for VA benefits.

The following Veterans may have been exposed to herbicides:

– U.S. Air Force Veterans who served on Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) bases at U-Tapao, Ubon, Nakhon Phanom, Udorn, Takhli, Korat, and Don Muang, near the air base perimeter anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
– U.S. Army Veterans who provided perimeter security on RTAF bases in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
– U.S. Army Veterans who were stationed on some small Army installations in Thailand anytime between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975. However, the Army Veteran must have been a member of a military police (MP) unit or was assigned an MP military occupational specialty whose duty placed him/her at or near the base perimeter.

In case VA ever decides to remove the page, I made a PDF copy of it here, as well: VA Public Health – Thailand Military Bases and Agent Orange Exposure.

UPDATE: after posting this, I found a better version of the CHECO Report from DoD. The VA omitted pages from its version and did a poor job of scanning it. From DoD: CHECO Report.

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Robert O. Martinez
Robert O. Martinez

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in 2004 and filed my claim in 2005. I am one of those veterans who was stationed in Thailand during 1967-68 who was exposed to AO (toxic herbicide). I have an appeal for denial of service connection for PD and am using the written report “Project CHECO” as support in my claim. The DRO who reviewed by claim has acknowledged that I was working with barrels of “some substance”. I have yet to hear from the VA on the status of my claim. My Regional Office is Phoenix, AZ and I am deeply saddened and worried by the events taking place at this time and concerned about the outcome of my claim.

Robert O Martinez, MSgt (retired)

joan williams
joan williams

my husband was Yeoman,First Class (US Navy) was stationed in Bangkok, (USMACTHAI/JUSMAGTHAI), 1968-70; he worked with ALL military (joint command); one of his duties was “courier” and frequently met with high ranking officials, probably went to bases, ships–no record of his daily travels; only evidence I have is that “courier” duty was mentioned in one of his evaluations and I don’t know how to get in touch with person who signed eval (can’t make signature out). He died from parkinsons and had been denied previously for Agent Orange exposure; as his spouse, I’m still trying to get him the disability rating for Agent Orange. Having difficult time finding anything about USMACTHAI/JUSMAGTHAI and agent orange exposure. Any help on this?? thanks Joan Williams

sharon
sharon

My understanding is you don’t die from Parkinsons, you die form something else. Now as saying that My husband has Parkinsons, 9 years from being stationed in Thailand and them spraying A.O. there, 64-65, do you have a attorney? If not get one.

Michael L. Newton
Michael L. Newton

1968 – 1970, I was in Thailand – Bang Pla Transmitter and Bang Ping Relay and with duty in Bangkok 29th Sig Bde finishing my assignment w/302d Sig. There were all types of different banded drums full of herbicides that the local nationals sprayed around all the buildings, the basketball courts, and the fences. we were never informed what kind of herbicides were being used other than it was to rid the area of excess growth and weeds. Since we were obligated to perform police call, played sports, walked in all areas of the compounds, we were subject to herbicides that we suspect were Agent Orange. I have provided letters to this affect to several former buddies who have been approved for exposure to Agent Orange. We will never know as these areas are now controlled by the Thailand Government. Our MPs never patrolled the fences but we were obligated to pull guard duty along the perimeter.

Jim McCormack
Jim McCormack

I also was assigned to Bang Pla from 1968 to 1969. I also remember them burning around the perimeter of the base. I can remember working the midnight at the Com Centre then going back to the barracks to sleep and then waking up to this horrible smell only to find the barracks filled with smoke from them doing there perimeter burn. I have skin cancer and have been under treatment for basil cell to melanoma skin cancer. I have read about agent Orange and skin cancer and I am going to the VA to see if this might be related.

David Spinazzola
David Spinazzola

Sorry to hear of your battle with skin cancer. Good luck with your pursuit for the gov. to do the right thing.

Jennifer Madden
Jennifer Madden

My Father also served at Bang Pla from 68 to 70. His name was John Madden. Do you possibly remember him?

Mark walker
Mark walker

I was stationed at NKP Thailand in 1968. Worked on flight line. Last year I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. No family history of pd. what steps should I take to pursue investigation.

Thanks

June Fay
June Fay

Thank you for your service… My husband served in USAF at Udorn. He recently received the benefits he so deserved, after fighting the VA for 6 years. Many others weren’t that fortunate. Ironically it was approved for PTSD, not AO… Never received a ruling on that, 100% “trumps everything”…. Get an attorney and do your your research. Thank you to those who posted this declassified document, without whose help this would not have been possible. Keep going….

Donetz, Gregory J. Spec5
Donetz, Gregory J. Spec5

Also an Army Vet from Korat Thailand 68-69 who has been denied compensation by our VA. I have high blood pressure .had a heart valve replaced and a triple bypass
My base, Camp Friendship was sprayed with DDT and AO. My duty was on the 270th Ord.. Det. Ammunition Depot which was a few miles from the base, it also was sprayed
and the office that I worked in was on the perimiter by the front gate .
Need help withe my claim appeal, getting very frustrated with the VA process.
Please help

Dude
Dude

My dad was over in Thailand on an Air Force base, I don’t know which one but he said they would go to the beach. Was there a base close to the ocean? Yeah, I know it is a peninsula but that is all I have to go on without getting records but I think they might have been lost in the fire in St. Louis.

This really boils my blood. We lived in severe poverty because dad was so sick and couldn’t work. Since where he was stationed in Thailand and it was classified he couldn’t be sc. Unclassified 5 years after his death.

David spinazzola
David spinazzola

The base that you are looking for could have been u-tapao Airfield Thailand. I have just recently become aware of the exposure to agent orange during my tour of duty there 73-74 and have also filed a claim for compensation. It sounds like a uphill battle. I will keep at it though. This needs reconciliation for folks like your dad and everyone else that are victims these cover ups and lies.We were all just doing what we were asked to do.

William Chris Gaines
William Chris Gaines

I was stationed at Nam Phone “the rose garden”. I was in the USB Seabees mcb-5 may 1972 we built the rose garden for the Marines. No one recognizes this place only the air force bases, I wish I was there. We tore down the jungle to build the base, the perimeter and everything else. I have Parkinson’s etc… Why only the air force bases?

Michael J Sullivan
Michael J Sullivan

I was stationed at Udorn AB 432ND supply, handled 55 gallon drums containing who knows what. I stumbled across a report on the internet about bases in Thailand being sprayed with AO. Thank you for what you are doing, I will be reading everything I can get my hands on. As of now, health wise I suffer arthritis, a stent in my heart, none of which is on the illness of AO. Yet.

John Adams
John Adams

Udorn Thailand, June 1966-67. Detachment one, REDHORSE CES, attached to this thirty plus unit. Built new barracks fight on the fence line, or 9-10 feet. Can’t remember the number of times, sprayed, even down wind, inside the base 1000 yards. All my pictures melted ( polaroid), had some great ones. My agent orange appeal is stuck in a 27,000 appeal back-log, Bay Pines Regional VA Office. A letter from the director, 03/13/2017. Dew to extreme back-log of DRO appeals completion dates can not be given out. This office J M Boor runs, and signed this letter, seem nobody cares about AGENT ORANGE SPRAYED BABY BOOMERS, let them die, our problem is solved now. This office was in the same boat, over a year ago, and has locked down all of Florida! John Adams.

Billy Endress
Billy Endress

Served at Camp Vayama (Sattahip, Thailand) oct67-oct68. Lived in a hootch built directly on the perimeter wire. Heavy jungle on one side of wire, barren , moon scape on the camp side. Developed larynx cancer and have been treated with radiation and chemo. Denied because my MOS (Job) wasn’t a MP or Dog handler. I spent much more time in a contaminated area then just walking guard on the perimeter. As mentioned I lived on it for a year. My claim is awaiting it’s Washington DC appeal hearing. I was told the backlog is so severe that they are currently only now hearing cases filed back in 2013.