The U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (SFOD-D)
is one of two of the U.S. government’s principle unit tasked with counter
terrorist operations outside the United States (the other being Naval
Special Warfare Development Group,better known as SEAL team 6). Delta
Force was created by U.S. Army
colonel Charles Beckwith in November 19th 1977 in direct response to
well-publicized terrorist incidents that occurred in the 1970s. From its
beginnings, Delta was heavily influenced by the British SAS, a
philosophical result of Col. Beckwith’s year-long (1962-1963) exchange
tour with that unit.
The unit is headquartered in a remote section of the U.S. Army’s
sprawling Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Reports of the compound indicate
that no expense has been spared, including numerous shooting facilities
(both for close quarters battle and longer range sniping), an
Olympic-sized swimming pool, dive tank, and a three-story climbing wall.
Yet, as lavish as these accouterments may seem, they all serve vital
roles in training counterterrorists. As units such as Delta do not get
to choose when and where they will be needed. As such, they must train
for any eventuality. These skills are enhanced by the unit's
participation in an ongoing exchange and training programs with foreign
counterterrorist units, such as (as might be expected) Britain's 22 SAS,
France's GIGN, Germany's GSG-9, Israel's Sayeret Matkal/Unit 269, and
Australia's own Special Air Service Regiment. Such close cooperation
with other groups provides innumerable benefits, including exchanges
of new tactics and equipment as well as enhancing relations that might
prove useful in later real-world operations.
Delta troopers are also equipped with the most advanced weaponry and
equipment available in the U.S. special operations arsenal. A
significant portion of their gear is highly customized and cannot be
found anywhere but in Delta’s lockers.
The vast majority of the unit operatives come from the United States’
elite Ranger battalions and Special Forces groups, however candidates
are drawn from all branches of the Army, including the Army Reserve and
National Guard. Those initially selected are usually chosen in one of
three ways. The first of these is in response to advertisements posted
at Army bases across the country. The second method is by word-of-mouth,
or personal recommendation from sources whose opinions are important to
Delta screeners. Finally, on occasion the unit will require the skills
of individuals who might not fall into one of the first two categories.
If, in the instance that Delta’s commanders feel that an individual
would make a valuable addition to the team (for example someone who
speaks an obscure language or possesses hard-to-come by technical skills)
, a representative from Delta will be dispatched specifically to
interview that person.
Training involves runs through CQB (Close Quarters Battle) killing
houses designed to teach teams and individuals how to assault buildings
that have been captured by terrorists. Selective firing (whether or not
to shoot a target) as well as the double tap (shooting the target twice
to make sure that the target does not get up again) are instilled in the
Their facility at Bragg is reported to be considered the best special
operation training facility in the world. The CQB indoor training range
has earned the ominous nick-name, "The House of Horrors". There are
mock-up of trains and buses for practice in tubular assaults, and there
is reported to be a section of a wide-body jet in the units "aircraft
They also have their own fleet of helicopters (the aviation platoon).
Painted in civilian colors and with fake registration numbers, the
helicopters can deploy with Delta operators and mount gun pods to
provide air support as well as transportation.
The composition and strength of Delta Force are closely guarded secrets.
The US still refuse it's existence,