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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal







SF and Vietnam

Home > Info on SF > Special Forces History > Vietnam

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  In February 1971 the 5th SFG(A) was withdrawn from Vietnam. 1.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 here on WikipediA.


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 here).

"Fort Bragg Veterans Break Their Silence About Secret Vietnam Missions". WRAL.com, May 4, 2001. News report about the Studies and Observation Group (SOG) accessed here.

Project DELTA

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 here on WikipediA. Also see www.projectdelta.net. Two books available on Amazon.com about Project DELTA include The Ether Zone: U.S. Army Special Forces Detachment B-52, Project Delta and Boots on the Ground: The History of Project Delta.

Project GAMMA

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 here on WikipediA.

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 printed 1973).

SF and Vietnam War. Information about Special Forces and Vietnam on the Special Forces Search Engine accessed here.

The Special Force. History of SF in Vietnam. Accessed here. Listing the Soldiers, camps, photos, maps and more.

Special Forces and Their Early Role in Vietnam. By Nic Burchett.  Accessed here.

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. Accessed here on VMI website.

Special Forces Jargon and Terminology from Vietnam. Accessed here on

Save the Montagnard People, Inc.
"The New Central Highlands"

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 Vietnam.




1. "5th Special Forces Group is activated at Fort Bragg", History.com. Accessed here.

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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