The Delta Special Forces Group was created in the image of the 22nd Regiment of the British Special Forces SAS (see the article "Special Forces in the Service of Her Majesty" in No. 29 NVO) in the late 70s. She received her baptism of fire in Operation Eagle Claw in April 1980, the purpose of which was to free the hostages held at the US Embassy in Tehran. The operation took place from the very beginning in an emergency and, as a result, did not end, its leader Beckwith (the creator of Delta) was forced to make a decision to evacuate without even making an attempt to free the hostages, which, however, in that situation was more than reasonable. Affected by the inconsistency of the actions of many authorities in one bundle. This is the case when the American "system of checks and balances" shows its harmfulness. Everything worked badly there: the CIA, the military aviation and special forces (rangers and Delta fighters). As a result, the Iranians got a lot of burned sides, more than a dozen corpses and three more serviceable helicopters. The first pancake was lumpy, and even what. We must pay tribute to the American command, conclusions were made. A special 160th Night Stalkers air regiment and separate air support units were created to carry out such operations. In addition, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the Joint Special Forces Command (JSOC) were created, whose task was to coordinate the actions of various departments involved in operations, and special forces were accordingly transferred to their subordination.
The next unsuccessful approach, the second in a row and in a series of special operations, and in a series of failures, for Delta happened in October of 1983. It was the very beginning of the American small victorious war in Grenada. The task of "Delta" was to seize the airfield and prepare it for the landing of the landing of the Rangers. It turned out that the armament of the Delta fighters did not correspond to the prevailing situation, their rifle weapon melee did not allow them to compete with Cuban soldiers armed with AK-47, defending the airfield. After landing, the Delto men were forced to occupy the perimeter defense and pray to God; Lockheed A-130 airplanes (flying artillery battery armed with two 20-mm automatic, one 40 or 45-mm gun and one 105-mm guns) and landing of green berets.
STRUCTURE AND PREPARATION
Recruiting, selecting and training Delta fighters roughly repeat the same methodology used by the CAS 22 regiment (United Kingdom). There is also some continuity in the structure. The commander and headquarters are necessary - where do without them (in the official documentation they are indicated by the letter D). The units of support, communications, information, logistics, research and other things in this spirit are combined into service with letter E. This also includes the medical service, Delta’s own intelligence service called “cheerful platoon”, because they don’t trust the intelligence agencies of other departments in Delta there is a reason. In the same structure, there is an aviation squadron that is equipped with AH-6 Little bird and MH-Hey Six helicopters (MH-60A is a modification of the UH-60 Black hawk helicopter) and was also created for the case when army pilots (from the 160 air regiment) will be powerless to complete the task. In the same structure, there is a unit responsible for organizing and providing combat training for the entire Delta, including command.
Combat units, or units, are designated by the letter F. In this part of the Delta structure, as well as in the CN 22 regiment, the main unit is a squadron, which includes (according to various sources) from four to six groups of 16 man in each. Only three (according to other data - four) combat squadron A, B, C (and possibly D). The specialization of the fighters on the environment in which they are ready to act, as well as the British: the sea, mountains, deserts, the Arctic zone, jungle, etc. Technical support and weapons correspond to the tasks performed in each specific operation. It makes no sense to list weapon models, because in addition to what is at the disposal of combat teams by state, there is always the possibility to choose a weapon that is optimally suitable for a specific task. I’ll say one thing so that the reader understands the situation: long-barreled and short-barreled small arms of Delta’s fighters are subject to individual refinement, which does not allow failures in extreme situations. There are no trifles there, the score goes in a very simple and capacious way, in which the main thing is to accomplish the combat mission, but ultimately it all comes down to a basic dilemma: survived — did not survive. In general, it can be said that the fighters of the Delta are armed more easily than their CAC colleagues, but they are not inferior to them in terms of training and combat capability. Hone martial skills are constantly, for this is used not only a special ground in Fort Bragg, but also other sites. A very important stage in the preparation of each special operation is to work out the actions of the combat groups on the mock-ups, which exactly repeat the object where the operation is to be carried out.
But despite a thorough ongoing military training, during the operation, no, no, and the human factor works. One illustrative example is the task execution in Panama in December 1989. As part of the military operation Just Cause, Delta performed a separate task, which was given the name Acid Gambit. A team of 23 fighters carried out an operation of prestige, it was necessary to release from the Panamanian prison US citizen Kurt Muzy, who according to the American version was a businessman, according to the Panamanians - a CIA agent. The ill-conceived progress of the operation to the smallest detail entailed a number of errors, which nearly led to the disruption of the task. During the operation, only by lucky one of the Delta team did not die. After the landing on the roof of the prison building where the operation object was contained, it was necessary to open the passage with an explosive device in order to enter the building. Miner made a mistake, the explosive element attached to the metal door fell off at the last moment, the electrical circuit was broken, the device did not work, and was lucky. If it worked, then the door would not have been opened, and because of the explosion, the surprise factor would have been missed. Then, risking his life, the miner repeated the installation of the same non-working device and made the door exploded - lucky a second time. After the release of Kurt Muse, it turned out that there was no place for him on any of the four Little bird helicopters participating in the operation. Therefore, the side on which the liberated ship was loaded was overloaded, and - as a result - the helicopter could not take off normally. He simply pulled away from the roof of the prison and immediately “fell aside”, lost height, and flew for some time no more than a meter above the ground along the street adjacent to the prison. At the same time, the prison guards and guardsmen of the Panamanian President Noriega, whose residence was not far away, fired from small arms at this helicopter. At this time, the other three helicopters with fighters from the same group flew off quietly, without supporting their comrades. Then the helicopter, which came under fire, landed hard, two Delta fighters were seriously injured, one was wounded by a bullet in the chest, in these conditions a small group was forced to accept an unequal battle. The operation was on the verge of collapse, there was no connection, the ammunition ended. They were lucky for the third time - by the rangers, the American command launched an assault on the Noriega residence, which saved the Delta and the US prestige from certain death, as the task was nevertheless completed and Kert Muse was rescued (the latter was lucky, he wasn’t no scratches).
On account of this unit many successful operations. In March 1981, Delta fighters released an Indonesian plane in Bangkok, which was hijacked with passengers by a group of four terrorists. On Delta’s account, there are still a few released airliners: in 1984, the Kuwaiti airline, in 1985, they stormed the board of the TWA airline in Cyprus. In 1991, a task force took part in the destruction of the SCUD tactical missile launchers in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. In 2001, the special forces did a good job in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, their task was to snip the heads of the Taliban movement. And, of course, one cannot fail to mention the participation of Delta in the events of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the spring of 2003. Special forces groups effectively carried out sabotage and reconnaissance work in the deep rear of the enemy. He is also credited with detaining Saddam Hussein and the destruction of his sons Udei and Qusei in Mosul. It was in this operation that the teams of the Delta and the British CAC very successfully interacted.
Among the most notorious failures is the operation Gothic Serpent in October 1993 of the year in Somalia. The task of the Delta fighters was to capture General Mohammed Aidid and his henchmen. Most likely the mistakes were already made during the planning of this operation due to the inaccuracy of the intelligence. In the course of the actions, the human factor was added to the command errors, the fighters from the Delta squad and the rangers were surrounded, took an unequal battle and found themselves under heavy enemy rifle fire. But, we must pay tribute to them, fought valiantly and staged a real meat grinder in a densely populated area of Mogadishu, more than a thousand jihadists were killed. When it was all over, it turned out that with insignificant losses in the military equipment, 18 special forces were killed. Among the dead were five Delta fighters, the triumphant militants were dragging the corpse of one of them on a rope through the dusty streets of Mogadishu.
AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ
In Afghanistan, from 1 to 4, March 2002, during Operation Anaconda Delta, conducted reconnaissance in the interests of the Alliance forces in the Shahikot valley near Gardez. At first, due to a poorly organized “friend – foe” alert, one of the groups came under the blow of its own aviation. The aircraft of the alliance could not carry out high-quality fire training and further support of their troops from the air. The concealment factor was missed, the rest of the Special Forces groups, which were advancing deep into the valley, found themselves under cross-machine-gun fire of the enemy, and an unequal battle ensued. Nearby were the forces of the Afghan army, but they did not support the special forces. On the same day, a landing force arrived in six transport and combat helicopters Chinook, which also fell under the dagger fire of the Mujahideen machine guns, was landed in the eastern and northern parts of the valley. The assault force was pressed to the ground, and it would have been difficult for it, if the intelligence officers, who also had hard times, did not correct the actions of support aviation. By the way, in the course of this battle, the sniper groups performed well, successful shots were made at distances of 2300 and 2400. The next landing, which included mortar calculations, conducted on March 3. The hottest battle was in the area of Mount Takur-Gar. Evacuation of the assault force and reconnaissance forces was organized by the end of March 4. Losses among the alliance soldiers were not so great: 8 dead, about 80 injured - one might say, lucky. In that battle, there were dead among the Delta fighters.
At the end of February 2006 in Iraq, in the city of Ramadi, the Delta fighting groups conducted an operation to search for and destroy the leader of the radical Islamist organization Al-Tawhid Val-Jihad, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, during which the special forces received unreliable intelligence on location of the object of search: in one of the buildings indicated by the intelligence, instead of the desired leader of the jihadists, an ambush was waiting for them. Killed six fighters "Delta". Al-Zarqawi succeeded in destroying it after three months. The house, in which, according to the “merry platoon” (Delta’s intelligence), was the Iraqi terrorist number one, was struck off the face of the earth by an air strike.
The American special forces are able to draw conclusions from their mistakes. "Delta Force" is one of the most combat-ready units in the world and, of course, one of the most secret. Fighters of the Delta, as a rule, do not wear uniforms, their appearance does not indicate that they belong to the military department. Sometimes they happen to wear camouflage, but without distinctive signs on it. Their names, ranks, and track record - everything related to their personality - is a military secret.