The Army 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) is one of the United States' secretive Tier One counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units. Commonly known as Delta, or Delta Force, it was formed under the designation 1st SFOD-D, and is officially referred to by the Department of Defense as Combat Applications Group (CAG). This unit is an elite Special Operations Force, and an Army Compartmented Element of the Joint Special Operations Command. Delta Force, along with its Navy counterpart DEVGRU, are the United States' primary counter-terrorism units.
The Army 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Combat Applications Group (CAG), Delta Force) is the first of the two primary counter-terrorist units of JSOC and SOCOM. Modeled after the British Special Operations force Special Air Service, Delta is arguably one of the best SOF in the world. This is because of Delta's stringent training and selection process. Delta recruits primarily from the most talented and highly skilled operators in the Army Special Forces and the 75th Ranger Regiment although CAG will take anyone and everyone that can pass their screening. Recruits must pass a rigid selection course before beginning training. Delta has received training from numerous U.S. government agencies and other tier one SOF and has created a curriculum based on this training and techniques that it has developed. Delta conducts clandestine and covert special operations all over the world. It specializes in counter-terrorism and hostage rescue operations. Delta Force's primary tasks are counter-terrorism, direct action, and national intervention operations, although it is an extremely versatile group capable of assuming many covert missions, including, but not limited to, rescuing hostages and raids.
Delta Force's structure is similar to the British 22 Special Air Service Regiment. There are three main operational squadrons:
These squadrons are based on the organization of the SAS "Sabre Squadron" and each contains 75 to 85 operators. Each sabre squadron is broken down into three troops, one Recce/Sniper troop, and two Direct Action/Assault troops, that can either operate in teams or in groups as small as four to six men.
The United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), or USACAPOC(A), was founded in 1985. USACAPOC(A) is composed mostly of U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers in units throughout the United States. Its total size is approximately 10,000 Soldiers, making up about 94 percent of the DoD's Civil Affairs forces and 71 percent of the DoD's Psychological Operations forces. It is headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The current commander (2010) is Major General David N. Blackledge, who assumed command in September 2009, succeeding Major General David A. Morris who commanded the unit from 2007 to 2009.
Historically, USACAPOC(A) was one of four major subordinate commands comprising the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. In May 2006, the reserve component of USACAPOC(A) was transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve Command. The Army's active duty civil affairs and psychological operations units, along with the branches' training and doctrine, continues to fall under the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Army Reserve Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations make up 5 percent of the U.S. Army Reserve force, but account for about 20 percent of Army Reserve deployments.
Some proponents of USACAPOC(A) point to its units' success in humanitarian aid operations, and also in their ability to spread information to civilians. The command's special operators are some of the most highly trained soldiers in the U.S. Army, and bring civilian expertise not found among regular active duty Soldiers to the table. The projects they complete comprise many of the 'Good News' stories run in the American media each day about Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.