ASA SOD

RVN SF

Photos - E. Richard "Dick" Parker

402nd ASA Members with the 10th Special Forces Team. 1964

ASASOD Members: E.Richard "Dick" Parker (middle of photo), Larry Kramer (No beret), Bill Bounds (Glasses)
ASASOD Members: E.Richard "Dick" Parker (middle of photo), Larry Kramer (No beret), Bill Bounds (Glasses)

Members of the 402nd ASASOD-10th Special Forces, 1963-1966

SP5 Rob Hailey

SP5 John Radcliffe

SP5 Joe Rossi

SP5 Dick Stevenson

SP5 Dyer

SP5 Larry Kramer

Sp5 Bill Bounds

SP5 Dick PArler

SP5 Lurden

Special Forces Team that includes Dick Parker, Larry Kramer and Bill Bounds, at  German base outside Munich
Special Forces Team that includes Dick Parker, Larry Kramer and Bill Bounds, at German base outside Munich
402nd ASASOD - 10th Special Forces, preparing for a jump
402nd ASASOD - 10th Special Forces, preparing for a jump
Lenggries, Germany - Home of the 10th Special Forces/403rd ASASOD
Lenggries, Germany - Home of the 10th Special Forces/403rd ASASOD

SOF SIGINTERs Before It Was Cool!

SEPTEMBER 1966 – THE FIGHTING 403RD ARRIVES IN SOUTH VIETNAM
403rd-440x288

The 403rd Special Operations Detachment (Abn) was the Army Security Agency’s Direct Support Unit for the 5th Special Forces Group. The unit arrived straight from Special Forces training at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, in September 1966 with fifty-one men as part of an effort to restructure the intelligence capabilities of the 5th SFG.

Although subordinate to the 509th Radio Research Group (ASA) in Saigon, the 403rd was headquartered with the 5th Special Forces Group in Nha Trang. At full strength, their personnel were ultimately deployed to some eighty-five remote and dangerous locations in support of 3,500 Special Forces troops across the length and breadth of South Vietnam.

The ASA Green Berets were trained in Morse and voice intercept, serving as highly-trained communications intelligence operators in the field, and also performed their required duties as full-fledged members of Special Forces based on operational needs. They were a rare hybrid, bred by the necessities of a brutal war, and one of ASA’s best-kept secrets.

Those men are the forebears to today’s SOT-As.

Based on Chapter 19, “Unlikely Warriors: The Army Security Agency’s Secret War in Vietnam 1961 to 1973” by Lonnie M. Long and Gary B. Blackburn, iUniverse, 2013

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