Agent Orange was given the code name "Operation Ranch Hand" during the Vietnam war from 1962-1971, which was part of a larger operation code named "Operation Trail Dust". Even before it was used, it was protested, but it was deemed a necessity by the United States and was being deployed along with other, although less effective, "Rainbow Herbicides". The Rainbow Herbicides consist of Agent Pink, Agent Purple, Agent Green, Agent Blue, Agent White, and Agent Orange. All of these had their special uses in Vietnam, but Agent Orange was by far the most versatile and potent.
Agent Orange was flown in and dropped out of AC-123s by the barrels, with a devastating effect. Foliage was not only destroyed within a matter of weeks, but also stayed destroyed for up to an entire year. The main target of this barrage was the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a vital artery of North Korean supplies that swept through Cambodia into South Korea, giving the North Vietnamese Army a pivotal supply line for soldiers, food, and ammo. This was not the only place Agent Orange was used however, it was also sprayed on highways, on the shores of rivers, and anywhere that the U.S. thought the North Vietnamese Army or the Vietcong might being hiding.