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JSOFSEA Operation Assignment
A starter guide to unclassifed, open source articles and books related to SOF operations
Black Ops, Vietnam: The operational history of MACVSOG by Robert M. GillespieDuring the Vietnam War, the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (MACVSOG) was a highly-classified, U.S. joint-service organization that consisted of personnel from Army Special Forces, the Air Force, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance units, and the CIA. This secret organization was committed to action in Southeast Asia even before the major build-up of U.S. forces in 1965 and also fielded a division-sized element of South Vietnamese military personnel, indigenous Montagnards, ethnic Chinese Nungs, and Taiwanese pilots in its varied reconnaissance, naval, air, and agent operations. MACVSOG was without doubt the most unique U.S. unit to participate in the Vietnam War, since its operational mandate authorized its missions to take place "over the fence" in North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, where most other American units were forbidden to go. During its nine-year existence it managed to participate in most of the significant operations and incidents of the conflict. MACVSOG was there during the Gulf of Tonkin incidents, during air operations over North Vietnam, the Tet Offensive, the secret bombing of and ground incursion into Cambodia, Operation Lam Son 719, the Green Beret murder case, the Easter Invasion, the Phoenix Program, and the Son Tay POW Raid. The story of this extraordinary unit has never before been told in full and comes as a timely blueprint for combined-arms, multi-national unconventional warfare in the post-9/11 age.Unlike previous works on the subject, Black Ops, Vietnam is a complete chronological history of the unit drawn from declassified documents, memoirs, and previous works on the subject, which tended to focus only on particular aspects of the unit's operations.
US MACV-SOG Reconnaissance Team in Vietnam by Gordon L. Rottman; Brian Delf (Illustrator)In 1964 Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, activated a joint unconventional task force known as the Studies and Observation Group-MACV-SOG. As a cover its mission was to conduct analysis of lessons learned in combat by all branches of service. SOG's real mission was to conduct covert strategic reconnaissance missions into Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam as well as sabotage and 'Black' psychological operations. Ground, air and naval assets were employed to insert, collect, extract, and otherwise support these operations. This book tells the complete story of these covert agents, from their recruitment and training, through to their deadly black-ops in the jungles of Vietnam.
Secret Green Beret Commandos in Cambodia by Ltc Fred S. Lindsey Usa RetWe could call this book Special Operations Recon Mission Impossible. A small group of highly trained, resourceful US Special Forces (SF) men is asked to go in teams behind the enemy lines to gather intelligence on the North Vietnamese Army units that had infiltrated through Laos and Cambodia down the Ho Chi Minh trails to their secret bases inside the Cambodian border west of South Vietnam. The covert reconnaissance teams, of only two or three SF men with four or five experienced indigenous mercenaries each, were tasked to go into enemy target areas by foot or helicopter insertion. They could be 15 kilometers beyond any other friendly forces, with no artillery support. In sterile uniforms - with no insignia or identification, if they were killed or captured, their government would deny their military connection. The enemy had placed a price on their heads and had spies in their Top Secret headquarters known as SOG. SOG had three identical recon ground units along the border areas. This book tells the history of Command and Control Detachment South (CCS). The CCS volunteer warriors and its Air Partners the Army and Air Force helicopter transport and gunship crews who lived and fought together and sometimes died together. This is the first published history of CCS as compiled by its last living commander, some forty years after they were disbanded. It tells of the struggles and intrigue involved in SOG s development as the modern-day legacy of our modern Special Operations Commands. Forbidden to tell of their experiences for over twenty years; their After Action Reports destroyed even before they were declassified surviving veterans team together to tell how Recon men wounded averaged 100 percent; and SOG became the most highly decorated unit in Vietnam and all were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.
Call Number: DS558.92 .L56 2012
SOG: The secret wars of America's commandos in Vietnam by John L. Plaster"SOG was the most secret elite U.S. military unit to serve in the war in Vietnam, so secret it was "black" - meaning its very existence was carefully concealed, even denied by the government. Innocuously code-named the Studies and Observations Group, SOG contained only volunteers from such elite units as the Army Green Berets, USAF Air Commandos, and Navy SEALs, and answered directly to the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs, with some missions requiring approval from the White House. Inside Vietnam, only General William Westmoreland and a few senior non-SOG officers were briefed on SOG activities. Now the never-before-revealed exploits of this top-secret commando unit are vividly recounted by Major John L. Plaster, a three-tour SOG veteran." "SOG took on the most dangerous assignments, going behind enemy lines to penetrate North Vietnamese military facilities in Laos and Cambodia and along the heavily defended Ho Chi Minh Trail, where only air support - and sometimes no support at all - was available."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
SOG Chronicles: Volume I by John Stryker Meyer"From 1964 to 1972, far beyond the battlefields of Vietnam and the glare of media distortions, American Green Berets and their indigenous troops fought a deadly secret war in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam under the aegis of the top secret Military Assistance Command Vietnam -- Studies and Observations Group, or simply SOG.... The centerpiece of SOG Chronicles Volume One is the 1970 story of Operation Tailwind, features a SOG element of 16 Green Berets and 120 indigenous soldiers that went deeper into Laos than any operation during the secret war"--Page 4 of cover.
Call Number: DS558.92 .M492 2018
SOG Medic: Stories from Vietnam and over the fence by Robert Dumont; Joe ParnarThe "hair-raising details of the second-by-second events" of a Special Forces medic's covert operations during the Vietnam War (On Point: The Journal of Army History Online). In the years since the Vietnam War, the elite unit known as the Studies and Observations Group (SOG) has spawned many myths, legends, and war stories. Special Forces medic Joe Parnar served with SOG during 1968 in FOB2/CCC near the tri-border region that gave them access to the forbidden areas of Laos and Cambodia. Parnar recounts his time with the recon men of this highly classified unit, as his job involved a unique combination of soldiering and lifesaving. His stories capture the extraordinary commitment made by all the men of SOG and reveal the special dedication of the medics, who put their own lives at risk to save the lives of their teammates. Parnar also discusses his medical training with the Special Forces. "A well-written, interesting account of Parnar's three-year term of enlistment in the US Army, culminating as a Special Forces medic in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 . . . Parnar takes the time to provide context, circumstance and motivation for heroism and tragedy--for US soldiers and the indigenous Vietnamese soldiers and civilians with whom he worked . . . The service, sacrifice and valor of a generation are vividly documented in the pages of SOG Medic." --ARMY Magazine
Call Number: eBook
SOG: A photo history of the secret wars by John L. PlasterThis is the companion photo history to SOG: The Secret Wars of American's Commandos in Vietnam. In 1972 the U.S. military took steps to ensure that such a book could never be printed by destroying all the known photos that existed of the top-secret Studies and Observations Group. But unknown to those in charge, SOG veterans brought back with them hundreds of photographs of SOG in action and kept them secret for more than three decades. More than 700 irreplaceable photos bring to life the stories of SOG legends Larry Thorne, Bob Howard, Dick Meadows, George Sisler, Q and others, and documents what really happened deep inside enemy territory: Operation Tailwind, the Son Tay raid, SOG's defense of Khe Sanh, Hatchet Force operations, Bright Light rescues, HALO insertions, string extractions, SOG's darkest programs and much more.
Call Number: DS558.92 .P549 2000
Da Nang Diary: A forward air controller's gunsight view of flying with SOG by Tom YarboroughOriginally published in 1991, this classic work has now been revised and updated with additional photos. It is the story of how, in Vietnam, an elite group of Air Force pilots fought a secret air war in Cessna 0-2 and OV-10 Bronco prop planes--flying as low as they could get. The eyes and ears of the fast-moving jets who rained death and destruction down on enemy positions, the forward air controller made an art form out of an air strike--knowing the targets, knowing where friendly troops were, and reacting with split-second, life-and-death decisions as a battle unfolded. The expertise of the low, slow FACs, as well as the hazard attendant to their role, made for a unique bird's-eye perspective on how the entire war in Vietnam unfolded. For Tom Yarborough, who logged 1,500 hours of combat flying time, the risk was constant, intense, and electrifying. A member of the super-secret "Prairie Fire" unit, Yarborough became one of the most frequently shot-up pilots flying out of Da Nang--engaging in a series of dangerous secret missions in Laos. In this work, the reader flies in the cockpit alongside Yarborough in his adrenaline-pumping chronicle of heroism, danger, and wartime brotherhood. From the rescuing of downed pilots to taking out enemy positions, to the most harrowing extended missions directly overhead of the NVA, here is the dedication, courage and skill of the fliers who took the war into the enemy's backyard.
Call Number: eBook
The Secret War Against Hanoi: Kennedy's and Johnson's use of spies, saboteurs, and covert warriors in North Vietnam by Richard H. SchultzFrom 1964 to 1972, the United States executed an extremely secret campaign of covert operations against North Vietnam. Controlled by the Pentagon's Special Operations Group, under the cover name "Studies and Observation Group" (SOG), it was the United States' largest and most complex covert operation since World War II. Because it was so highly classified and politically sensitive, once the war was over the story of SOG was buried deep in the vaults of the Pentagon--until Dr. Richard H. Shultz, Jr., one of the world's leading experts on SOG's activities in Southeast Asia, began his impressive investigative research and wide-ranging special interviews. The Secret War Against Hanoi is based on thousands of pages of recently declassified top-secret SOG documents, as well as interviews with sixty officers who ran SOG's covert programs and the senior officials who directed this secret war, including Robert McNamara, Walt Rostow, Richard Helms, William Colby, William Westmoreland, and Victor Krulak. It is the first-ever definitive and comprehensive account of the covert paramilitary and espionage campaign, with many eye-opening disclosures. Dr. Shultz reveals how in 1963, President Kennedy, dissatisfied with the CIA's ineffective guerrilla operations against North Vietnam, turned over operational control of the covert war to the Pentagon and demanded results. Despite Kennedy's strong directive, those results were slow in coming. United States policymakers and the senior military leadership had little interest in or understanding of special operations and resisted any expansion of the secret war. When SOG finally did get started in January 1964, under newly inaugurated President Johnson, it was constantly hobbled by the micro-management of the National Security Council, State Department, and Pentagon leadership. Despite these restraints, SOG conducted its intense secret war for eight years, through the Johnson and Nixon administrations, and managed to execute a range of operations, including the dispatch of numerous spies to North Vietnam and creation of a sophisticated triple-cross deception program: psychological warfare through a fabricated guerrilla movement, manipulation of North Vietnamese POWs and kidnapped citizens, and dirty tricks; commando raids against Hanoi's coast and navy; and operations on the Ho Chi Minh Trail to kill enemy soldiers and destroy supplies. Ultimately, the Pentagon's spies, saboteurs, and secret warriors would produce both spectacular and disastrous results. There are lessons to be learned from Washington's conduct of the secret war against Hanoi that will be valuable and valid for years to come for presidents who engage in covert special operations to meet twenty-first-century threats to vital U.S. interests.