E Company Long Range Patrol (LRP) 20th Infantry (ABN) Details
E Company (LRP) 20th Infantry (Abn) First Field Force Vietnam (IFFV) was organized to replace Special Forces DET B-50 Project Omega since the Corps-level reconnaissance for the IFFV was being performed by the Special Forces-led indigenous warriors organized into "unconventional warfare projects" to cover remote areas. DET B-50 at Ban Me Thuot served IFFV and used Sedang, Jeh and Rhade Momtagnard tribal volunteers as well as Cham and Chinese ethnic minorities. MACV commander General Westmoreland decided that the highly proficient Special Forces recon experts and their native irregulars would be better utilized in a strategic reconnaissance role, serving MACV Studies and Observation Group (MACV-SOG) on clandestine missions across the border into Laos and Cambodia.
E/20/LRP was activated on Sep 15, 1967 with 230 men and were given a 90 day training cycle to be operational. All 4 platoons were ready before the end of Dec 1967 and Project Omega went back to SF in Nov 1967.
The company soon took on many different missions and assignments which were mainly directed to being attached to a US, SVN or a ROK unit working in the IICTZ. It wasn't long before we had all 4 platoons constantly deployed and all four of them would be with different units to provide reconnaissance, surveillance, and other special type missions as required. We eventually had a couple platoons that were tasked with training some SVN soldiers in some of the areas we worked in. It was a long but a good year in 1968 and though we had some personnel shortage problems all platoons completed their missions and I feel that year was really dedicated to developing a strong foundation within the unit and the members were motivated and confident and this made the transition to C Company Rangers, I Field Force easier and successful so the unit did not skip a beat and continued to "CHARLIE MIKE!"
1SG Joey B Welsh USA-Ret
E/20/LRP & C/75/RGR IFFV
Unit Administrator # 003