Go Noi Island was located approximately 25 km south of Danang to the west of Highway 1, together with the area directly north of the island, nicknamed Dodge City by the Marines due to frequent ambushes and firefights there, it was a Vietcong (VC) and People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) stronghold and base area. While the island was relatively flat, the small hamlets on the island were linked by hedges and concealed paths providing a strong defensive network. Go Noi was the base for the VC's Group 44 headquarters for Quảng Nam Province, the R-20 and V-25 Battalions and the T-3 Sapper Battalion and, it was believed, elements of the PAVN 2nd Division. The Marines had conducted
Operation Jasper Square on the island during April 1968 with minimal results and then Operation Allen Brook from May to August 1968 severely disrupting the VC/PAVN infrastructure.:328 In late November the Marines had launched Operation Meade River against the Dodge City area inflicting serious losses on the VC/PAVN.:426
Despite the earlier operations the VC/PAVN returned to the area and by mid-1969 it was believed to be the base area for the PAVN 36th Regiment comprising the R-20, D-3 Sapper, T-3 Sapper and T-89th Sapper Battalions and elements of the disbanded 38th Regiment.:175
In mid-May 1st Marine Division commander MG Ormond R. Simpson briefed the 1st Marine Regiment commander Col.
Charles S. Robertson on the operational plane to completely clear and neutralize Go Noi Island and Dodge City and reopen
Route 4 from Đại Lộc District to Điện Bàn District. A combined force of 10 Marine, ROKMC and ARVN infantry battalions supported by engineers would take part in the operation which was scheduled to commence on or about 27 May.