MIKE Force

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The Mobile Strike Force Command, or MIKE Force, was a key component of United States Army Special Forces in the Vietnam War. They served with indigenous soldiers selected and trained through the largely minority Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) and were led by American SF and Australian Army Training Team Personnel AATTV. MIKE Force was a force multiplier, operating what is today called a Foreign Internal Defense mission.

MIKE Force was composed of the Bahnar, Hmong, Nung, Jarai, and Khmer Krom minorities, and other members of the Degar peoples, also known as Montagnards. MIKE Force was active under MACV, Army Special Forces, from 1964 to 1970 and under ARVN until 1974. MIKE Force waged special warfare against the Viet Minh, NLF (Viet Cong), and PAVN (North Vietnamese Army) liberation forces in various detachments, volunteering in support of MIKE Force missions.

MIKE Force's mission was to act as a country-wide quick reaction force for securing, reinforcing, and recapturing CIDG A Camps, as well as to conduct special reconnaissance patrols. Search and rescue and search and destroy missions were also assigned. The conventional unit alternative to Special Forces detachments like MIKE was Tiger Force, which was primarily tasked with counter-guerrilla warfare against enemies from behind their lines that emphasized body-count rather than force multiplication.

Mike Force Nungs manned airboats in the Mekong Delta under American Special Forces command starting in late 1966 with the whole Mekong Delta in rare flood. One base was at the A-414 SF camp in Moc Hoa just south of the Cambodian border. Some of these operations are detailed in Shelby Stanton's book, "Special Forces at War." There was an accidental incursion into Cambodia on November 20, 1966 involving these airboats, helicopter insertion of South Vietnamese troops and PACVs (hovercraft) that resulted in the deaths of 56 communist soldiers caught by surprise in the open. General Abrams arrived the following day for a debriefing. The King of Cambodia objected a week later.

MIKE Force had a critical role in the search and rescue of downed American pilots because they were mobile and often in close proximity to the DMZ. MIKE Force also designated drop zones, landing zones, called in air strikes on high-value targets, and collected intelligence during recons, much like the LRRPs.

In 1971 MIKE Force was disbanded after Vietnamization.

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