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  • “1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta”,  “Task Force Green”, andThe Unit.” These are just  

  • a few names given to the Delta Force, an elite  US special operations unit only deployed for  

  • the most complicated, high-risk, and top-secret  missions. Many details of Delta Force's operations  

  • are highly classifiedeven details such as the  current size of the unit and its current commander  

  • are kept shrouded in secrecy. Even the Pentagon  refuses to officially acknowledge their existence.  

  • Today, we're cracking open the files and takinglook at everything we know about the origins and  

  • operations of the mysterious Delta Forceand what makes them America's most elite  

  • counter-terrorist special operations taskforce. Extensive involvement in the last three decades  

  • of Middle-Eastern conflict have put these hardcore  super-soldiers on the map, though very few people  

  • could really point them out. Delta Force soldiers  are the best of the best, and only work with that  

  • same standard of equipment and weaponry. If Delta  Force wants you dead, we hope you've got your  

  • affairs in order, because these human bloodhounds  always get their mark. But with one of the largest  

  • and most well-funded militaries in the worldwhy does the US Army feel the need for such a  

  • terrifyingly specialised unit of elite warriors? Let's go back to the 1970s for a moment. A decade  

  • of change that saw Richard Nixon impeached from  his role as President after the Watergate scandal,  

  • rock bands like Queen and the Rolling Stones  dominated the radio airwaves, and King of Rock N'  

  • Roll Elvis Presley dies at the age of forty-two in  his Graceland home. The 1970s also saw the birth  

  • of what some refer to as contemporary terrorismIncidents involving violent attacks on innocent  

  • people by terrorist groups skyrocketedwith 9,845 recorded terrorist incidents  

  • occurring across the world during the decade. Of this number, 1470 took place on US soil,  

  • costing the lives of one-hundred  and eighty-four innocent people.  

  • The tactics being employed by terrorists during  the 70s were expanding, with methods of attack  

  • ranging from bombings, kidnappings and armed  assaults to hijacking airlines, assassinations,  

  • and hostage situations. By the mid-1970s, the  number of US bombings orchestrated by terrorists  

  • were averaging between fifty and sixty per yearIt was also at this time that airline hijackings  

  • and bombings were taking place at least oncemonth worldwide. Like we said before, it was a  

  • decade of change. But what does this have to do  with Delta Force, you may ask? Well, everything

  • In 1977, the US government established the Delta  Force as a direct response to the rampant acts  

  • of terrorism that were occurring during the  1970s. Charles Beckwith, an officer with the  

  • US' Green Berets and Vietnam War veteran, is the  man remembered for founding Delta Force. Beckwith  

  • had served for a time as an exchange officer  with Britain's Special Air Service, better known  

  • as the SAS. An 'exchange officer' is exactly what  you'd expect, think of an exchange student briefly  

  • visiting a school in another country, except  instead of a school, it's a highly-trained,  

  • specialised branch of another country's military. Upon returning to America after his time with  

  • the SAS, Beckwith compiled a highly-detailed  report that emphasised the need for a similar,  

  • SAS-style unit within the US Army, stating that  their army was potentially vulnerable without a  

  • unit of this nature. He spoke to key government  and military figures, pushing the need fornot  

  • only teachers, but doers.” However, the idea  was frowned upon and ultimately rejected.  

  • That was, until, the rising threat of terrorism  that presented itself during the 1970s. 

  • The Pentagon and US Army tasked Charles Beckwith  with the formation of the unit in the mid-70s,  

  • when terrorist attacks were on an unprecedented  rise. Inspired by the work of the SAS, Beckwith  

  • envisioned small teams of highly skilled and  totally adaptable troops that possessed a vast  

  • array of specialised skills that would make them  ideal for carrying out counter-terrorism missions.  

  • His ultimate goal was for his unit to be  what the SAS were to the British Army,  

  • but instead carrying out their operations  on behalf of the US Army and government

  • According to Beckwith, the proposed unit  would have provided “a high specialized force,  

  • rich in rank structure, built upon small teams  which contain mature, professionally trained,  

  • psychologically prepared individuals capable of  making on-the-spot judgments.” He was a 1970s  

  • Nick Fury, given the resources and the mandate  to assemble his own team of Military Avengers

  • In 1979, after Beckwith had spent time  rigorously screening and training volunteers  

  • for his new unit, Delta Force was certified  mission-ready just before the infamous Iran  

  • hostage crisis that took place in the same year. On November 4th, in the US embassy in Tehran,  

  • Iran, a number of United States diplomats were  trapped when supporters of the Iranian Revolution  

  • laid siege to the embassy. This incident will  sound familiar to any of you that've watched the  

  • 2012 Academy Award-winning movie Argo, starring  Ben Affleck, as this is the event that the movie  

  • derives its plot fromalthough it was criticised  for a number of historical inaccuracies

  • Saving the hostages trapped in Iran was set to be  Delta Force's first ever high-profile engagement,  

  • codenamed Operation Eagle Claw. However, the  missionwhich would have involved Delta Force  

  • storming the Embassy and securing the hostages  by forcewas aborted due to technical problems  

  • with the team's helicopters. In hindsight, the  mission's cancellation may have been for the best,  

  • as Delta Force kicking the doors of the Embassy  during a time of high political tension in Iran  

  • may have exacerbated matters. And, ultimately the  hostages were returned safely to the US, so there  

  • was still a happy ending. However, it forced the  US Army to reconsider a few things before they  

  • started deploying Delta Force on its missions. After some reshuffling, the US Army established  

  • various units that would specialise in missions  with specific requirements to take some of the  

  • pressure off of Delta Force. For example, the  'Night Stalkers' designed for missions involving  

  • air support, and the famous SEAL Team Six, created  to handle counter-terrorism operations for the US  

  • Navy. All these units were overseen by the Joint  Special Operations Commandor JSOCwhich was  

  • created by the US military to take control  of these various counter-terrorism units

  • Almost all of Delta Force's missions since have  been kept highly classified. Members of the  

  • public may never know just how many operations  they've been involved in since the late 1970s.  

  • However, information pertaining to a select  few have been made available to the public,  

  • albeit with somewhat limited details. In factDelta Force's operations are so secretive that  

  • any former or retired member of the unit facesprison sentence if they are ever to speak openly  

  • about its operations. That being said, let's  take a look at some of the ones we do know about

  • Operation Desert Storm, which took place in the  early months of 1991, was the combat phase of  

  • the Gulf War in Iraq. This conflict involved  a US-led coalition of thirty-five countries,  

  • battling the forces of Iraqi President Saddam  Hussein. During Desert Storm, Delta Force was  

  • deployed to the region to offer support to  coalition forces. They also provided security  

  • detail to General Norman Schwarzkopf, who was the  commander of the US Central Command at the time,  

  • meaning he was charged with leading all forces  of the huge coalition against Saddam Hussein.  

  • Additionally, Delta Force worked in conjunction  with the fellow special forces unit that  

  • had inspired their foundation, the SAS. Together, the SAS and Delta Forces hunted  

  • for SCUDs, a type of tactical ballistic missile  that was created during the years of the Cold  

  • War by the Soviet Union then exported to numerous  countries. Eventually, Delta Force sniper teams  

  • uncovered twenty-six SCUD missiles in Western  Iraq that Saddam had intended to launch at Israel.  

  • Using fifty-caliber sniper rifles from  three-thousand yards awaythat's the  

  • same distance as thirty football fieldsDelta  Force operatives shot at the fuel tanks beneath  

  • the missiles, killing the crews manning these  deadly weapons. If these SCUDs had been launched,  

  • Saddam Hussein would have lured Israel into the  conflict and caused an untold number of deaths,  

  • even worse it would have destroyed the coalition  set against him as other arab nations would  

  • never have accepted Israel as a partner. More recently, the Delta Force took part  

  • in Operation Kayla Mueller in October of  2019. This raid, that took place in Syria,  

  • resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadiknown terrorist and leader of the Islamic State  

  • of Iraq and the Levant, also known as  the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,  

  • but perhaps best known as ISIS or ISIL. Baghdadi  played a hand in a number of the atrocities and  

  • violations of human rights committed by the ISIL  group, and Delta Force played a pivotal role in  

  • his death. Acting alongside fellow US Special  Forces units such as the 75th Ranger Regiment  

  • and the 160th Special Operations Aviation  Regiment, under the command of the JSOC,  

  • the raid was carried out based on intelligence  gathered by the CIA's Special Activities Division

  • Eight helicopters were launched well after  midnight, on a course for a compound located in  

  • the Idlib province of Syria, close to the Turkish  border, where Baghdadi was said to be housed.  

  • Delta Force teams, along with their  fellow Special Forces counterparts,  

  • arrived on the scene and attempted to  convince the ISIS leader to surrender.  

  • However, Baghdadi was unwilling to compromise with  the US forces. Delta Force entered the compound by  

  • detonating a large hole on one side, gaining  access. The forces inside either surrendered  

  • or were shot and killed by Delta Force. After  two hours, Baghdadi fled to a nearby tunnel.  

  • However, it led to a literal dead-end, as shortly  afterwards he detonated a suicide vest, killing  

  • himself as well as two of his own children. As a result of their highly secretive but  

  • vitally important missions, Delta Force  maintains a natural rivalry with the other  

  • well-known US Special Forces unit, the United  States Navy SEALs, specifically the widely-known  

  • SEAL Team Six. Both have been instrumental in  large-scale conflicts over the past few years,  

  • with Delta Force playing its key role in Iraq, and  SEAL Team Six being heavily involved in the War in  

  • Afghanistan. Both units are also responsible for  missions that have involved high-value targets.  

  • In Iraq, Delta Force captured, and is rumoured  to have also assassinated, Saddam Hussein,  

  • while the Navy SEALs famously eliminated Osama  Bin Laden, leader of Al-Qaeda in May of 2011. 

  • However, it was surrounding this particular  operation that some of the rivalry between Delta  

  • Force and SEAL Team Six began to arise. Naturallyboth units were eager to be granted the mission  

  • to go after Bin Laden, given that he was the most  wanted man in the world at the time. As it turned  

  • out, the mission was given to SEAL Team Six, which  caused complaints among members of Delta Force.  

  • They believed that the Navy SEALs had been  favoured for the mission to eliminate Bin Laden  

  • due to the naval officers that formed the command  of the JSOC, that oversees both Delta Force  

  • and the SEALs. Shortly after Operation Neptune  Spear and the death of Bin-Laden, a top-secret,  

  • highly-classified list was leaked to the press. While it was never published, this list was  

  • believed to have included names of all the  soldiers who had been involved in the raid  

  • on the compound in Abbottabad where Bin-Laden was  found. While it seems like a member of Delta Force  

  • may have done this out of spite, Delta Force  themselves believe the leak was the result of  

  • SEAL Team Six attempting to bask in the spotlight  and attracting media attention for the mission,  

  • out of spite for their Delta rivals. Like a lot of issues surrounding this  

  • clandestine group of elite soldiers, to say  anything more would be pure speculation

  • One of the rare times that Delta  Force has been caught on video  

  • was during the 2013 abduction of Al Qaeda leaderNazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai. In the video, Nazih  

  • Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai is seen pulling up to his  home after morning prayers, only to be immediately  

  • snatched by Delta Force operatives. This is  Delta Force's version of gone in 60 seconds

  • Something else the Delta Force is known for  is their use of state-of-the-art equipment  

  • when carrying out their secret operations. During  Operation Kayla Mueller, a photo surfaced of a  

  • team of Delta Force operativeswith their faces  redacted to maintain their secrecyand showcased  

  • some of their arsenal. The Delta Force favours  the ENVG-III model of night vision goggles when  

  • locating threats in the dark, which are designed  to be connected with a weapon's optical sights,  

  • allowing for soldiers to aim at targets  without having to 'shoulder' their rifle,  

  • and can switch between night vision  and thermal imaging when necessary

  • In addition to ENVG-IIIs and Kevlar-plated body  armour to protect against bullets at close-range,  

  • Delta Force troops also carry  deadly HK416 carbine rifles,  

  • a weapon designed by Heckler & Koch that  can utilise a wide array of attachments,  

  • including grenade launchers. As well as these  mean rifles, Delta Force members carry a sidearm,  

  • most commonly favouring GlocksColt M1911s, or Beretta M9 pistols

  • None of us know all that much about Delta Forcebecause when the military really wants to keep  

  • something secret, it tends to remain secretPerhaps we should all just be glad they're there,  

  • helping us from the shadows with high-tech  equipment and battle-honed combat techniques.  

  • If ever you happen to end up seeing these  guys in action, up close and personal,  

  • one thing is clear: You're either a hostageor a very dangerous individual. Just,  

  • as in the case of figures like Saddam Hussein and  Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, not as dangerous as them

  • Check outWhat Are the Most Elite Special  Forces in the World?” andSpecial Forces  

  • Assault on Iran Embassy - Operation Nimrod”  for more on the world's most elite soldiers.

“1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta”,  “Task Force Green”, andThe Unit.” These are just  

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America’s Elite Counter Terrorism Taskforce - Delta Force

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/14
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