Part 5: Delta Force
Delta Force was formed in 1977 by the legendary Special Forces commando Colonel Charles "Chargin' Charlie" Beckwith in response to numerous, well-publicized terrorist incidents that occurred in the 1970s. The unit was modeled after the British SAS (Special Air Service) one of the most elite special forces units in the world. Delta Force is a counter-terrorist unit specializing in hostage rescue and reconnaissance, and they are equipped with the most advanced weaponry and equipment available in the U.S. special operations arsenal.
Delta Force Operators
Delta Force "operators" are recruited from the U.S. Army; mainly from the Green Berets and Rangers.
The exact composition and strength of Delta Force are closely guarded
secrets. For many years the existence of Delta Force was officially
denied, though it was known that the unit took part in the failed
attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1979.
The Story Behind Black Hawk Down
In 1994, UN relief efforts in Somalia were being hampered by local
warlords. UN troops were sent to protect the humanitarian workers and
after a group of Pakistani troops were ambushed and killed the decision
was made to capture the most powerful warlord, General Mohammed Farrah
Adid. Army Rangers and Delta Force launched a mission to capture Adid
and several of his lieutenants, but during the mission two support
helicopters were shot down. The mission was immediately changed to
rescue the crews from the downed choppers.
Afghanistan and the Invasion of Iraq
Prior to the war in Afghanistan in 2002, Delta operators were sent to
the major cities and contested areas in the north for reconnaissance
purposes. During and after the war, Delta Force searched for the leaders
of the Taliban and Al Quaeda, including Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden.
The Funny Platoon
One of the more interesting components of Delta Force is called the
"Funny Platoon." This unit consists entirely of women who can
be used in situations where a woman operating alone would arouse less
suspicion. They receive additional training in the use of disguises and
concealable small arms.