Planes spraying Agent Orange 20 miles southeast of Saigon in 1970.
The first disastrous part of using agent Orange was how we used it and the daily tasks and precautions involved when using such a deadly chemical that often went ignored or overlooked. When used properly and as intended Agent Orange proved to be every bit as effective at killing vegetation as the United States hoped it would be. With specially designed sprayers attached to helicopters and long range c-123 airplanes the united states was able to reach farthest and densest jungles in Vietnam so there was no where for the enemies to hide. They also used specially designed hand sprayers that the US soliders would carry around to kill smaller or more deeply rooted areas of the jungle that the planes and helicopters couldnt reach.
The equal parts 2,4,5-T, and 2,4-D acids used in the making of Agent Orange made quick work of the lush jungle vegatation in vietnam. When sprayed onto Trees and other vegatation the chemical would stick to it and posion the plants killing them quickly. Once the plant life died Agent Orange would contanimate the ground around the plants, soaking into the dirt making it impossible for any plants to grow there for years to come. Even to this day there are large areas of land in Vietnam that remain barren due to large quantities of dioxin chemicals found in the soil. Once these areas were cleared out we were able to send troops and ground transportation into the area and comb through the destruction searching for any signs the enemy was there, or if any enemies remained in the area.
Videos like this by Iowa Public Television explains how effective the Agent Orange was at doing its job and how, at first at least, it helped us fight the enemy.