Because of the success of Delta, Colonel Francis J. “Splash” Kelley formed Projects Sigma and Omega. There are various versions of how that came about. Chuck Allen says that Kelley wanted to use Delta in I Corps and formed Omega for II Corps and Sigma for II Corps. And, as it turned out, that is how they were generally deployed.
But one of my old sergeant buddies told me that early in his tour Kelley was invited down to the Project for dinner. It was a spirited evening; the gentlemen of the Project were well known for their iron discipline and control in the field, and their lack of those qualities in garrison.
As rumor has it, during the course of the evening a master sergeant gave the new colonel a fat, wet kiss on the ear and murmured to him, “Don’t ever die, you sweet motherfucker. Don’t you even catch cold.” It was not unusual for recon men to test an officer’s cool in this fashion. Babysan Davidson, a legendary recon NCO, who looked like a demented twelve-year-old, once, at a similar party, kissed me on the ear and murmured, “Y’know, mother-fucker, I like you.”
I was flattered; junior SF officers were middlin’ arrogant, but the recon guys were superstars. According to the story I heard, though, Kelley was not so pleased, and organized his new recon projects the next day
Under Allen, and thereafter, the core of the Project consisted of the recon section, with twelve teams of ten members each, usually four Americans and six Vietnamese Special Forces men, usually only six of whom were deployed at a time. The headquarters was SF Det B-52. Nominally, the Project was commanded by a Viet lieutenant colonel and Allen was his adviser. The reaction force was the Vietnamese 91st Airborne Ranger Battalion, an organization which had its good points and its not-so-good points. That was why there was also a platoon of Nungs — a Chinese tribe with a mercenary heritage— for bomb-damage assessment. The Nungs, you see, were trained, fed, paid, and led by Americans.