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Special Forces History
There were a number of special operations forces in Vietnam. The largest
of these units was the 5th Special Forces Group.
US Army Special Forces Advisors, Vietnam (Provisional)
The U.S. Army Special Forces, Vietnam (Provisional) was formed in 1962 to
provide advisors that would assist the South Vietnam government in "the
organization, training, equipping, and employment of the Civilian
Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) forces. Prior to October 1964 Green Berets
were assigned to Vietnam on a temporary basis (usually six month tours)
from different Special Forces units such as 1st, 5th and 7th Special
Forces Groups. 2.
5th Special Forces Group
The 5th Special Forces Group was activated at Fort Bragg on September 21,
1961. It deployed to Vietnam in October 1964 to assume control of all
Special Forces operations in Vietnam. In February 1971 the 5th
SFG(A) was withdrawn from Vietnam. 1.
Mobile Strike Force or MIKE Force
The MIKE force mission was to act as a quick reaction force that
reinforced CIDG A camps, conduct special reconnaissance missions, and
other varioius missions. Learn more about the MIKE forces
MACV-SOG was composed of three units organized under three field commands
- CCN, CCC, and CCS. These units deployed small patrols of USSF and
indigenous Soldiers in "hatchet teams" (see WikipediA description
"Fort Bragg Veterans Break Their Silence About Secret Vietnam Missions".
WRAL.com, May 4, 2001. News report about the Studies and Observation Group
Project DELTA was one of the special forces reconnaissance projects during
the Vietnam War that collected operational intelligence in remote areas of
Vietnam. Read more
on WikipediA. Also see
Two books available on Amazon.com about Project DELTA include
The Ether Zone: U.S. Army Special Forces Detachment B-52, Project Delta
Boots on the Ground: The History of Project Delta.
Project GAMMA was the codename given to Detachment B-57 which was
responsible for covert intelligence collection operations in Cambodia from
1966 to 1970. Learn more about Project GAMMA
Project Gamma and A-Team 414. This detachment was located at Thanh Tri in
Kein Tuong Province and had interactions with Project GAMMA. Access more
info at this
website on this A-team.
Mobile Guerrilla Force
The Mobile Guerrilla Forces were USSF trained and led units that
were organized and equipped to operate in remote areas controlled by the
Viet Cong or North Vietnamese Army. There missions would last about 30-60
days. Their resupply was by air. Learn more at WikipediA
here. Read a book on this topic on sale on Amazon.com entitled
Mobile Guerrilla Force: With The Special Forces In War Zone D.
Civilian Irrregular Defense Group (CIDG)
United States Special Forces were heavily involved in the leading,
training and equipping of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG)
during the 1960s in Vietnam. 3.
Eventually SF teams were withdrawn from the highly successful program and
reallocated to areas along the Laos and Cambodian borders.
Websites with Info on History of Special Forces
Special Forces History in Vietnam. MAC V SOG. Vietnam War History,
Research Museum, Personal Accounts and Memorials.
U.S. Army Special Forces, 1961-1971. Vietnam Studies, CMH
Publication 90-23, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C. 1989 (first
SF and Vietnam War. Information about Special Forces and Vietnam on the
Special Forces Search Engine accessed
The Special Force. History of SF in Vietnam. Accessed
Listing the Soldiers, camps, photos, maps and more.
Special Forces and Their Early Role in Vietnam. By Nic Burchett.
Vietnam War Oral History. Alan Farrell interview by Virginia Military
Institute (VMI). Farrell was a SF Soldier who served in Vietnam from 1968
to 1970. He has a Bachelor's, Master's and PhD from Tufts University.
on VMI website.
Special Forces Jargon and Terminology from Vietnam. Accessed here on
Save the Montagnard People, Inc.
Videos about History of Special Forces
"Special Forces Training in Thailand". Circa 1964,
an Army video about training Thailand military in counterinsurgency.
"Warriors in Vietnam". Features secret units that
fought in the Vietnam War.
"Special Forces - Mike Force FULL". History Channel
video posted on YouTube about the Special Forces Mobile Strike Force or
"Mike Force" in Vietnam. Narrated by Tom Selleck.
"Special Forces Advisors Vietnam". Video of SF
advisors in Vietnam assisting with Montagnards - hill tribesmen of central
1. "5th Special Forces Group is activated at Fort
Bragg", History.com. Accessed
2. For more on the US Army Special Forces Vietnam
(Provisional) see the link below at Special Forces Search Engine.
3. For more on the CIDG see "Civilian Irregular
Defense Group: The First Years 1961-1967", by Eugene G. Piasecki. Accessed
here on Small Wars Journal.
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Special Forces History > Vietnam