OPLAN 34A 1964
The Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Special Operations Group (MACVSOG) was formally activated on January 24, 1964 by MACV General Order No. 6 as a separate staff section under the COMUSMACV. The organization propose under OPLAN 34A was the conduct of covert operations that would convince Hanoi that its support and direction of conflict in the South and its violation of Laotian neutrality needs to be reexamined and halted. Since the United States was seeking a change in the actions of the Hanoi government, MACVSOG was to provide a plan of operations in and against North Vietnam in direct retaliations to it’s aggressive moves.
The first commander of the new organization was Col. Clyde R. Russell, and Army Special Forces officers. (all subsequent MACV-SOG commanding staff would be Special Forces personnel).
MACV-SOG set up headquarters in Saigon Choloh district in the compound that had previously housed the MACV headquarters.
The initial personnel allocation in 1964 for MACV-SOG was six (6) officers and two (2) enlisted men. By the end of the year the numbers grew to sixty-two (62) officers, two (2) warrant officers, sixty-seven (67) enlisted and fourteen (14) civilians
South Vietnamese Role
April 1, 1964 the Special Branch for Clandestine Operations of the Technical Exploitation Service that have been tasked covert operations and intelligence gathering was split into two sections. 1. Strategic Exploitation Service (SES) became MACV-SOG Vietnamese counterpart. One of it’s elements was the Coastal Security Service (CSS) that was to conduct maritime operations for OPLAN 34A. Secondly the Vietnamese Liaison Service, which conducted intelligence collection and clandestine Operations in Laos.