Australian SAS Regiment and New Zealand SAS Squadron in Vietnam 1966-1971
3 Squadron of the Australian SAS Regiment (ASASR) deployed in Nui Dat, Vietnam in June 1966. They arrived to function as the eyes and ears of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF). The New Zealand SAS Squadron (NZSAS) sent the 26-man 4 Troop to Nui Dat in October 1968. This troop was operationally attached to 2 Squadron ASASR, and thereafter to the resident operational ASASR squadron, which rotated every 12 months with some overlap.
Both units arrived "in country" with a wealth of jungle and counter-insurgency operation experience from their service in Borneo and Malaya.
They established their base on what became known as "SAS Hill". Visitors were discouraged and unlike the US troops the Diggers and Kiwis did all the domestic work themselves immediately removing a very obvious security weakness.
Uniforms and equipment
At the start of their activites the SAS used the issue jungle greens (JG's), both the "standard" and "tropical" versions. A few tiger stripe uniforms were purchased by individuals and though they worked well it was the US ERDL jungle uniform that became the standard field wear of the troops.
Headgear consisted of a mix of scarves worn as head bands, green jungle hats, also known as "giggle hats", from British, Australian and New Zealand sources (all usually spray painted in a camouflage of browns, greens and black), tiger stripe and ERDL berets and the US ERDL boonie hat.
Footwear was pretty much standardised on the US jungle boot, though British and Australian boots were also used.