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เดลต้าฟอร์ซ (Delta Force) เป็นหน่วยปฏิบัติการพิเศษ ของหน่วยบัญชาการปฏิบัติการพิเศษของ สหรัฐอเมริกา (USSOCOM หรือ United States Special Operation Command)
ภารกิจหลักของ เดลต้าฟอร์ซ (Delta Force) คือการต่อต้านการก่อการร้ายทุกรูปแบบ ทั้งในระดับภายใน ระดับชาติ และการก่อการร้ายสากล และการชิงตัวประกัน เป็นต้น
ความเป็นมาของหน่วย เดลต้าฟอร์ซ (Delta Force)
The initial concept of Delta was a direct result of numerous, well-publicized terrorist incidents that occurred in the 1970s. As the threat of terrorism was on the increase and the United States being particularly targeted, the administration felt it needed a counter-terrorist capability.
Key military and government figures had already received briefing on a model for the unit. Charles Beckwith, a member of the US Army Special Forces had served as an exchange officer with the British Special Air Service (22 SAS Regiment) in the early 1960s. US Army Special Forces in that period focused on unconventional warfare, but Beckwith was impressed with the SAS direct action and counter-terrorism capabilities. He briefed military and government figures, who were also impressed with the SAS concept.
Beckwith had estimated that it would take 24 months to set up the unit. As the threat of terrorism was increasing, the administration needed a counter-terrorist capability until Delta became fully operational. The 5th Special Forces Group created Blue Light as a small contingent of men that would train for this mandate. Blue Light existed into the early 1980s until Delta Force was fully operational.
April 24, 1980, shortly after Delta had been created, 52 Americans were taken captive and held in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran. The unit would be involved in Operation Eagle Claw to covertly insert into the country and recover the hostages from the embassy by force. Unfortunately, the mission failed due to a number of key factors: an overly complex plan, inadequate Special Operations Aviation training for the accompanying aircrews, a collision between a rescue helicopter and a refueling tanker aircraft, and mechanical problems that reduced the number of available helicopters from the initial eight to only five (one fewer than minimum required) before the mission contingent could leave the refueling site to stage for the attack.
After the failed operation, the US government reassessed its counter-terrorist capabilities and as a result created new units such as the Navy's SEAL Team Six and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), also known as the "Nightstalkers", particularly focused towards the type of mission like Operation Eagle Claw. The Joint Special Operations Command was also created to control and oversee joint training between the counter-terrorist assets of the various branches of the US military.
In 2006, Mark Bowden published a book, Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam, which chronicles the events of the Iran hostage crisis. The book contains first-hand accounts of Delta Force's involvement in the failed rescue attempt. An accompanying piece on The Atlantic Monthly's web site contains pictures and interview videos from some of the participants.
 Organization and structure
With most information regarding the unit being highly sensitive, there is no official information regarding specific details. The unit is under the organization of the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) but is controlled by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). A number of sources including the book Inside Delta Force by Command Sergeant Major Eric L. Haney (ret.), suggest the units strength ranges from between 800 to 1000 personnel which includes the operational elements that includes:
 Detachment designations
* D - Command and Control (The Headquarters)
* E - Communications, Intelligence and Administrative Support (includes finance, logistics, medical detachment, research and development, technology and electronics, etc.)
* F - Operational Arm (The operators themselves)
* Medical Detachment maintains special doctors at Fort Bragg and various other bases around the country secretly, to provide medical assistance as needed.
* "The Funny Platoon" is the in-house intelligence arm of Delta. They grew out of a long-running dispute/rivalry with the Intelligence Support Activity. They will infiltrate a country ahead of a Delta intervention to gather intelligence.
* Aviation Squadron, although Delta relies heavily on the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and US Air Force assets to transport them to and from operational deployments and training exercises, within the unit consists a small aviation squadron used for limited in-house air transportation. The aviation squadron consists of twelve AH-6 Attack and MH-6 Transport helicopters (although this figure may have increased). It is unknown if pilots are recruited from Air Force and the 160th SOAR or are trained Delta operators who train to become helicopter pilots. The benefit of having enlisted Delta operators flying aircraft would be advantageous in an operational environment having pilots that also have the ability as “shooters if needed."
* Operational Research Section
* Training wing
In Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda, Army Times staff writer Sean Naylor describes Delta as having nearly 1,000 operatives. Naylor wrote that approximately 250 of those are operators trained to conduct direct action and reconnaissance missions. There are three main operational squadrons:
* A Squadron
* B Squadron
* C Squadron
These squadrons are broken down into 'troops', two are assault troops while a third troop specializes in reconnaissance and surveillance and is known as the "recce" troop. Each troop has 16 men. According to the aforementioned Inside Delta Force, the smallest unit is the four-man team. Each team is color-coded for organizational and control purposes.
The remaining soldiers in Delta are highly trained specialists in mechanics, communications, intelligence, and other support activities, as well as a headquarters staff.
 Recruitment and training
Most recruits come from the United States Army Special Forces and the 75th Ranger Regiment. Personnel must be male, in the rank of Sergeant (E-5) or above and attend a Delta briefing even to be considered for admission. Since the 1990s, the Army has posted recruitment notices for the 1st SFOD-D which many believe refers to Delta Force. The Army, however, has never released an official fact sheet for the force. The recruitment notices placed in Fort Bragg's newspaper, Paraglide, refer to Delta Force by name, and label it "...the Department of Defense's highest priority unit..." The notice states that all applicants must be 22 years or older, have a general technical score of 110 or higher, and be in the ranks of E-5 through E-8, with at least four and a half years in service.
Such recruits are men with skills such as proficiency in a foreign language or other desirable traits. The selection process is based on the UK SAS model. The selection course begins with standard tests including: push-ups, sit-ups, and a 3-mile (4.8 km) run. The recruits are then put through a series of land navigation courses to include an 18-mile (29 km), all-night land navigation course while carrying a 35-pound (16 kg) rucksack. The rucksack's weight and the distance of the courses are increased and the time standards to complete the task are shortened with every march. The physical testing ends with a 40-mile (64 km) march with a 45-pound (20 kg) rucksack over very rough terrain which must be completed in an unknown amount of time. It is said that only the highest-ranking members of the Pentagon are allowed to see the set time limits, but all assessment and selection tasks and conditions are set by Delta training cadre. The mental portion of the testing begins with numerous psychological exams. The men then go in front of a board of Delta instructors, unit psychologists and the Delta commander who ask the candidate a barrage of questions and will dissect every response and mannerism of the candidate. The candidate will eventually become mentally exhausted. The unit commander will then approach the candidate and will tell him if he has been successful. If an individual is selected for Delta, he will then go through an intense 6 month Operator Training Course (OTC), where they will learn counter-terrorism techniques. This will include firearm accuracy and various other munition training.
The Central Intelligence Agency's highly secretive Special Activities Division (SAD) and more specifically its elite Special Operations Group (SOG) often recruits operators from the Delta Force.
On many occasions, the Delta Force will cross-train with similar units from allied countries such as the Australian Special Air Service Regiment, British Special Air Service, Canadian JTF-2, French GIGN, German GSG 9, and Israeli SM, as well as helping to train and currently training with other U.S. counter-terrorism units, such as the FBI's HRT and the Navy's DEVGRU, also known as SEAL Team 6.
The Pentagon tightly controls information about Delta Force and publicly refuses to comment on the secretive unit and its activities.
Delta operators are granted an enormous amount of flexibility and autonomy. They will rarely wear any general uniform and civilian clothing is the norm on or off duty. This is done to conceal the identities of these "secret soldiers". When military uniforms are worn, they lack markings, surnames, or branch names. Hair styles and facial hair are allowed to grow to civilian standards in order for the force to be able to blend in and not be immediately recognized as military personnel. This special status, which sets the force apart from the "regular army," is mentioned in the book Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden (though less so in the film of the same name).
 Operational deployments
The majority of the operations assigned to Delta are highly classified and may never be known to the public. However, there are some operations in which the unit has been involved where certain details have been made public. There have been many occasions that Delta have been put on standby and operational plans developed but the unit was stood down for various reasons. These are the known operations the unit has been involved in:
 Operation Eagle Claw
 Achille Lauro Hijack
President Ronald Reagan deployed the Navy's SEAL Team Six and Delta during the Achille Lauro Hijack to Cyprus to stand-by and prepare for a possible rescue attempt to free the vessel from its hijackers.
 Central American operations
Delta has seen action extensively in Central America, fighting the Salvadoran revolutionary group Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front and assisting the Central Intelligence Agency-funded Contras in Nicaragua.
 Operation Round Bottle
Delta had planned an operation to go into Beirut, Lebanon to rescue Westerners held by the Hezbollah terrorist group.
 Operation Urgent Fury
A second Delta mission launched in the early daylight hours of the first day of Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada was to assault Richmond Hill Prison and rescue the "political prisoners" being held there. Built on the remains of an old eighteenth-century fort, the prison cannot be approached by foot from three sides except through dense jungle growing on the steep mountainside; the fourth side is approachable by a narrow neck of road with high trees running along it. The prison offers no place for a helicopter assault force to land. Richmond Hill forms one side of a steep valley. Across and above the valley, on a higher peak, is another old fort, Fort Frederic, which housed a Grenadian garrison. From Fort Frederic, the garrison easily commanded the slopes and floor of the ravine below with small arms and machine gun fire. It was into this valley and under the guns of the Grenadian garrison that the helicopters of Delta Force flew at 6:30 that morning.
The helicopters of Task Force 160 flew into the valley and turned their noses toward the prison. Unable to land, the Delta raiders began to rappel down ropes dragging from the doors of the helicopters. Suddenly, as men swung wildly from the rappelling ropes, the helicopters were caught in a murderous cross-fire from the front as forces from the prison opened fire, and more devastatingly, from behind, as enemy forces in Fort Frederic rained heavy small arms and machine gun fire down from above. According to eyewitness accounts by Grenadian civilians who were in houses and in the mental hospital situated above the ravine, a number of helicopters that could, flew out of the valley. In at least one instance, a helicopter pilot turned back without orders and refused to fly into the assault. Charges of cowardice were filed against him by some members of the Delta Force but were later dropped.
 Operation Heavy Shadow
March 84, Mark Bowden suggests that a Delta Force sniper may have eliminated Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. There is no hard evidence of this though and credit is generally attributed to Colombian security forces.
 Aeropostal Flight 252
On July 29, 1984 Aeropostal Flight 252 from Caracas to the island of Curaçao was hijacked. Two days later, the DC-9 was stormed by Venezuelan commandos, who killed the hijackers. Delta Force provided advice during the ordeal.
 Operation Just Cause
Before the Operation Just Cause by US forces took place, there were key operations that were tasked to Special Operations Forces. Operation Acid Gambit was an operation tasked to Delta to rescue and recover Kurt Muse held captive in Carcel Modelo, a prison in Panama City. Another important operation that was assigned to Delta was Operation Nifty Package, the apprehension of General Manuel Antonio Noriega
Delta Force soldiers outside Manuel Noriegas villa in Panama, December 1989.
 Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm
Delta was deployed during Desert Storm to the region and tasked with a number of responsibilities. These include supporting regular Army units that was providing close protection detail for General Norman Schwarzkopf in Saudi Arabia. Army relations’ officers tried to play down Schwarzkopf’s growing number of bodyguards. Delta was also tasked with hunting for SCUD missiles alongside the British Special Air Service and other coalition Special Forces.
 Operation Gothic Serpent
On 3 October 1993, members of Delta Force were sent in with U.S. Army Rangers in the conflict in Mogadishu, Somalia codenamed Operation Gothic Serpent.
They were tasked with securing several of Mohammed Farah Aidid's top lieutenants, as well as a few other targets of high value. The mission was compromised after two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters were shot down by RPGs. This resulted in an ongoing battle and led to the death of five Delta operators (a sixth was killed by mortar fire some days later), six Rangers, five Army aviation crew and two 10th Mountain Division soldiers. Estimates of Somali deaths range from 133 by an Adid sector commander to an estimate of 1500 to 2000 by the US Ambassador to Somalia. In 1999, writer Mark Bowden published the book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, which chronicles the events that surrounded the October 3, 1993 Battle of Mogadishu. The book, in a short brief, relates Delta Force's involvement in the operations that occurred before the events leading to the battle. The book was turned into a film by director Ridley Scott in 2001.
 Seattle WTO
Members of Delta Force were also involved in preparing security for the 1999 Seattle WTO Conference, specifically against a chemical weapon attack.
 Counter-terrorist training
In January 1997, a small Delta advance team and six members of the British SAS were sent to Lima, Peru immediately following the takeover of the Japanese Ambassador's residence.
 Operation Enduring Freedom
Delta Force was also involved in the offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. Delta Force has formed the core of the special strike unit which has been hunting High Value Target (HVT) individuals like Osama Bin Laden and other key al-Qaeda and Taliban leadership since October 2001, the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. It has been variously designated Task Force 11, Task Force 20, Task Force 121, Task Force 145 and Task Force 6-26.
A Delta Force commando in Tora Bora during the hunt for Bin Laden in December 2001.
* Operation Anaconda
 Operation Iraqi Freedom
One of several operations in which Delta Force operators are thought to have played important roles was the 2003 invasion of Iraq. They allegedly entered Baghdad in advance and undercover. Their tasks included guiding air strikes, and building networks of informants while eavesdropping on and sabotaging Iraqi communication lines.
* Operation Phantom Fury