CCC RECON TEAM "NEBRASKA" PATCH - MACV SOG reconnaissance teams composed of
Special Forces soldiers and indigenous personnel penetrated the enemy's
most dangerous redoubts in the jungles of the Laotian wilderness and
the sanctuaries of eastern Cambodia. Pursued by human trackers and even
bloodhounds, these small teams outmaneuvered, outfought and outran their
numerically superior foe, to uncover key enemy facilities, rescue
downed pilots, plant wiretaps, mines and electronic sensors, capture
valuable enemy prisoners, ambush convoys, discover and assess targets
for B-52 strikes, and inflict casualties all out of proportion to their
own losses. When enemy counter-measures became dangerously effective,
SOG operators innovated their own counters, from high altitude
parachuting and unusual explosive devices, to tactics as old as the
French and Indian War. Fighting alongside their Montagnard, Chinese
Nung, Cambodian and Vietnamese allies, SOG's Special Forces Recon Teams,
Hatchet Force and SLAM Teams and platoons staged daring raids against
key enemy facilities in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam, overran major
munitions and supply stockpiles, and blocked enemy highways to choke off
the flow of supplies to South Vietnam.
SOG's cross-border operations proved an effective economy-of-force,
compelling the North Vietnamese Army to divert 50,000 soldiers to rear
area security duties, far from the battlefields of South Vietnam.
Supporting these hazardous missions were SOG's own U.S. and South
Vietnamese Air Force Transport and Helicopter Squadrons, along with USAF
Forward Air Controllers and Helicopter Units of the U.S. Army and
Marine Corps. These courageous aviators often flew through heavy fire to
extract SOG operators from seemingly hopeless situations, saving lives
by selflessly risking their own.
The first MACV - SOG Reconnaissance Teams were
initially called "SPIKE TEAMS", each team consisting of 3 US SF
personnel and 9 indigenous personnel more or less. The primary mission of the teams
was strategic reconnaissance gathering. The recon teams focused their energies
on specific areas of the trail in order to obtain current up to date
information on construction, troop movements, supplies, etc. This information
was often gained at great risk to the recon teams and transmitted to OP-34 ground
studies branch at SOG HQ for inclusion into the daily SITREP Reports.
Relatively lightly armed the recon teams were not designed to slug it out in a
pitched battle with the enemy. Instead they relied on moving without being
detected, in the event a team was compromised (detected) they would break
contact quickly and evade the enemy. When a recon teams were in difficulty they
could call for assistance from US led reaction forces known as "HATCHET
FORCES. Hatchet Forces were also used for ambushes as well as reinforcing recon
teams when needed. Two or more "HATCHET FORCES" combined were termed
as a "HAVOC" or "HORNET" force. The
Hatchet Teams were the most aggressive of all Recon Units and were considered
to be free-Lancers and operated in the True Sense as 'Aggressive Harassment
Teams. Hatchet Teams were Platoon Size and much less clandestine than the Recon
Teams. Hatchet Teams were inserted and extracted via Helicopter usually
clearing their own LZ for pick-ups within Hot Enemy Areas well behind enemy
lines. Operating primarily along the border region with Laos and North Vietnam the units dropped into enemy territory and commenced Search and
Destroy missions, often, and usually with Enemy Units of much larger sizes.
Hatchet teams were also dropped into areas with the Smaller Recon Teams had
located large enemy forces. Also used in the pursuit of Captured US POW's known
to be en-route to rear units. The attrition rate of the Hatchet Teams was high and
often extractions were less than 50% of personnel that commenced operations. SOG's full companies were called "SLAM"
companies, Search, Location, Annihilation, Monitor or Mission.
Most if not all
of SOG's Teams had their own insignia's made up in the form of cloth patches in
order to enhance team unity and esprit de corps. As most of the indigenous
personnel couldn't speak English, graphics (ie Tigers, skulls, snakes,
hatchets, etc) were more symbolic to them and easily understandable than words.
Umpteen different cloth patches and variations exist for SOG's recon teams. Many
of SOG's personnel are among the POW/MIA who never returned and are discrepancy
Command and Control North, SOG's largest command fielded approximately 35
Reconnaissance Teams named after US States, Snakes and Spiders. CCN Recon Teams
were; Adder, Alaska, Anaconda, ASP, Bushmaster, Cobra Alakapong, Connecticut,
Crusader, Habu, Hunter, Idaho, Indiana, Indigo, Intruder, Kansas, Krait,
Louisiana, Mamba, Mississippi, Missouri, Moccasin, Montana, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Python, Rhode Island, Rattler, Sidewinder,
Tarantula, Viper, Virginia, Wyoming and WASP.
Command and Control
Central fielded approximately 25 Reconnaissance Teams which were named after US
States. CCC Recon Teams were; Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado,
Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois,
Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New
York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington and West
Virginia. Command and Control Central also had four "SLAM" Companies A, B, C,
and D and used indigenous personnel recruited and paid for by MACV-SOG.
Command and Control
South, SOG's smallest command fielded approximately 10 Reconnaissance Teams which
were name mostly after tools. CCS Recon Teams were; Fork, Lightning, Plane,
Pike, Spike, Trowel, Weather, Sickle, Level and Measure.