Another great documentary that highlights the Long range Reconnaissance Patrols (Lurps) in Vietnam.
LRRP Part 1
Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol, or LRRP (pronounced and sometimes spelled "LuRP"), were special small four to six-man teams utilized in the Vietnam War on highly dangerous special operations missions deep into enemy territory.
The first ever group to be formed to provide Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) was the British Long Range Desert Group, made famous by its co-operation with the Special Air Service Regiment. In the mid to late 1960s, the U.S. Army Special Forces trained volunteer LRRP's for the purpose of locating enemy units in guerrilla warfare, as well as in artillery spotting, intelligence gathering, forward air control, and bomb damage assessment. Early in the Vietnam war long range reconnaissance patrols were performed by a limited number of infantry battalion Recon Platoons, including the Chinese Bandit Recon LRRP Team 1st Bn (ABN) 8th Cav 1965-66 which performed Department of Defense/MACV/OP-35 directed missions to locate regimental size units along both the borders of Cambodia and Laos. Later LRRP units were provisional platoon-sized units. By 1967, formal LRRP companies were organized, some having two platoons, each with eight six-man patrols. Training was notoriously rigorous. Similar missions, although more likely to be clandestine, deeper penetrating, and more like Special reconnaissance, were run in Vietnam by the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) Studies and Observation Group (SOG).
Within the U.S. Marine Corps, these missions were typically assigned to Marine Recon, especially Force Recon, units assigned to corps-level (i.e., Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF)) level, as opposed to the Battalion Recon units answering to battalion commanders.
Beginning in February 1969, all LRRPs were folded into the newly-formed 75th Rangers, bringing back operational Ranger units. The Army had disbanded Ranger units after Korea, but kept Ranger school, on the theory that spreading Ranger School graduates throughout the Army would improve overall performance.