"Delta Force," officially known as 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), is one of the U.S. special missions units primarily focused on the counterterrorism mission. SFOD-Delta has been through a few name changes over the years, and even though it likely always will be known as SFOD-Delta, it recently was renamed the Combat Applications Group (CAG) and is now known officially as Army Compartmented Elements (ACE).
Though Delta Force is primarily a tier-one counterterrorism unit, specifically directed to kill or capture high-value units or dismantle terrorist cells, Delta Force remains extremely flexible and can engage in direct-action missions, hostage rescues and covert missions working directly with the CIA, as well as high-ranking protective services of our senior leaders during visits in war-torn countries.
Delta is under operational control of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) though administratively supported by the Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).
Compared to US military history, Delta is relatively young, having been formed in 1977 by its first commander, Col. Charles Beckwith. With the growing threat of terrorism around the world, Beckwith saw a need for a precision strike force within the Army after working with the British Special Air Service (SAS) in the early 1970s.
Beckwith was tasked to form the new unit and pulled largely from the Special Forces Groups. The types of missions with which the SFOD-Delta has been involved over the past few decades are classified, but some have been declassified and noted publicly in media reports and books written by Delta operators.
Delta soldiers in Operation Eagle Claw:
Operation Gothic Serpent
Second-class Sergeant Chief Paul Howe: In the battle of Mogadishu, he was the captain of the Delta Special Forces. The original character of the second-class Sergeant Chief Jeff Sanderson in the movie "Black Hawk Down".