Official force name
Chain of Command
Reason of creation
The 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Airborne) —1st SFOD-D (A)— also known as Delta Force, is a Special Operations Force (SOF) of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). The force's main purpose is to counter-attack terrorism, although it has been known that the force is extremely versatile.
|Table of contents|
2 General information
4 Famous Delta Force operators
5 Related topics
The Pentagon controls information about Delta Force tightly. Initially, the existence of Delta Force was officially denied, even though it was commonly known that the unit took part in Operation Eagle Claw, the failed attempt to rescue American hostages from the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979.
In the middle of the 1990s, the existence of Delta Force became clear, as the U.S. military started to officially post messages around their bases regarding Delta Force recruitment, by using their official force name: 1st SFOD-D     (PDF documents) — although the U.S. military has never released any official fact sheet of the force.  
In 1999, writer Mark Bowden published the book ‘Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War’ which chronicles the events that sorrounded the Battle of Mogadishu. The book in a very short brief relates Delta Force's involvement in the operations that ocurred before the events that preluded the battle. The book was later turned into a film by director Ridley Scott in 2000.
Delta Force recruits its members from all the fields of defense and intelligence of the U.S. government, but the force mainly recruits from the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) and the Rangers. Their main compound stands in a remote area of Fort Bragg, North Carolina; housing about 2,500 personnel. Reports of the compound mention numerous shooting facilities (both for close-quarters battle and longer-range sniping), a dive tank, an Olympic size swimming pool, a huge climbing wall, and a mockup of an airliner.
Delta Force sub-divides into three operating squadrons, each of which comprises small groups known as "troops". Each troop specializes in HALO/HAHO, SCUBA, or other skill groups. They can each further divide into smaller units, as needed to fit mission requirements.
In addition, one of the alleged components of Delta Force is the humourously called "Funny Platoon". Allegedly, it consists of only women, being the only part of the U.S. special operations community that accepts them. It is alleged that the unit's members are intended to be deployed alone rather than in groups, since there are some locales where women would arouse less suspicion than men. For this reason, the tactics of its members are said to emphasize the use of disguises and concealable small arms. Understandably, it is not known whether any members of the "Funny Platoon" have been involved in Delta Force operations to date.
Delta Force in modern conflicts
One of several operations in which Delta Force operators played important roles was the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
They allegedly entered Baghdad in advance, building networks of informants while eavesdropping on and sabotaging Iraqi communication lines.
In addition, the force was involved in the offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2002.  In particular, many observers strongly suspect that members of Delta Force made up one of two units involved in a raid on a residence belonging to Mullah Omar. According to The Pentagon, the level of resistance to that operation was minimal.
The Mullah was not present, but some papers and computer disks were said to have been seized in the raid. Critics later alleged that the second unit was unnecessary, claiming that it was very large and uncoordinated. As a result, they say, the defenders were alerted early and the number of friendly casualties was in fact higher than reported.
Famous Delta Force operators