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Mission 8 - Force Background & Histories
Iran Hostage Rescue Mission Part 2

1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (SFOD-D) "Delta Force"
One of the two elite counterterrorist forces in the US arsenal, Delta Force is feared worldwide for its phenomenally lethal skills - the product of constant, intense training, including hours of shooting practice each day. Formed in 1977 by US Army Colonel Charles "Chargin' Charlie" Beckwith, the force is modeled after the British SAS. They are experts in all-weather combat and are noted for "double-tapping," firing two shots in rapid succession at their targets to take them down quickly and effectively. Delta is so secret that the Army still denies its existence. The only force in the military on a war footing year round, the operators of Delta, or "D boys," train in the arctic, the desert, and practice raiding mock-ups of office buildings and even borrowed aircraft. In order to graduate, each operator must go through a legendarily intense selection and training process which culminates with a live fire drill in a darkened room with their own teammates playing the role of hostages. Headquartered in a former prison complex in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Delta has fought in Grenada, Honduras, Panama, both Iraq wars, and many other places you will never hear about. After 9/11, Delta Force began training with Nuclear Emergency Support Teams (NEST teams) from the Department of Energy to do coordinated searches of population centers in case a terrorist nuclear bomb was discovered on US soil. And they are rumored to have conducted drills with Israeli counter terror units to prepare for an ugly, bloody Easter-egg-style hunt for nuclear weapons in Pakistan if the regime there collapses.
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The Pasdaran
Formed in the wake of the 1979 Revolution, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or Pasdaran has become one of the most powerful groups in Iran. With more than 350,000 people and its own Navy built of Swedish-made speedboats with machine guns and RPG's, the Pasdaran has raided shipping lanes in the Gulf in the mid-80's and deployed nearly 1,000 people in Lebanon during the Israeli occupation. In addition, the Pasdaran has always acted to keep watch on the regime’s enemies, keep a check on the military, and operate worldwide as an intelligence and covert action force. And during the war with Iraq, it organized a large "people's militia" force to launch the bloody human wave attacks around areas like Basra.
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Savak
After the Shah of Iran took power in 1953, with help from the CIA, he formed one of the most feared and despised internal security forces in Mideast history - the National Organization for Intelligence and Security, or SAVAK. Built with guidance from the US and Israel in 1957, it had more than 15,000 personnel and thousands of informants. Gathering intel and destroying opposition to the regime, it put colleges, unions, and all kinds of other organizations under surveillance and monitored Iranian students overseas, even on US college campuses. It had an elaborate, Western-made system to track phone conversations of the Shah's top henchmen. Operating its own prisons, it arrested people and held them indefinitely, often having them tortured with electric shock, whipping, beating, and use of broken glass and boiling water. In the riots that erupted in the last years of the regime, SAVAK killed up to fifteen thousand people and injured another fifty thousand. In the end, it wasn’t enough to prevent revolution. And when the regime changed, more than 60 of the top leaders of the organization were the first to be executed. A former officer of SAVAK was enrolled to help Delta Force on its rescue raid. But at the last minute, he decided not to go back to his home country.
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Air Force Combat Controllers
Combat Controllers live by the motto, "First There." They're trained to parachute into hot zones, set up navigation equipment, and use their air traffic control skills to lead planes and helos onto a makeshift runway or pad to extract prisoners, launch invasions, or do resupply missions. In addition, they have training in demolition to clear hazards, in doing High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) jumps into a drop zone, and in using Scuba equipment. During the first Gulf War, they handled a lion's share of air traffic around fields in Saudi Arabia, and during the post 9/11 missions, they had a vital mission to help Special Forces hit targets from Taliban-held Afghanistan to the hot zones of western Iraq.
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Office of Technical Services
Created in April 1973, from the remains of the Technical Services Division, the OTS develops and builds the exotic - and sometimes weird - gadgets used by CIA spies. With a group of experts in fields like engineering, physics, electronics, woodworking, forgery, and disguise, they build everything from the most advanced electronic bugs to stink bombs and custom-fitted wigs. They have specially trained audio-operations officers who are specialists in breaking into secure buildings and installing bugs. And they have their own printing press that can forge any kind of foreign license or passport. Their optics team is one of the most advanced in the world. NASA has used their designs in the past for satellites. During the Iranian hostage rescue, OTS designed the fuel bladders that were fitted to the C-141 airplanes, along with the radio-activated infrared homing beacons that allowed the team to land at Desert One.
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10th Special Forces Group
The 10th has a long history dating back to the end of the Second World War. The unit was originally based in West Germany with the mission to savage the Red Army from behind its lines in the event of a massive tank assault on Europe. Now it has more than 1,000 soldiers, specializing in unconventional warfare, foreign defense, special reconnaissance, counterterrorism, and humanitarian or civic action. It also claims Dick Meadows, the Special Forces soldier responsible for intel missions on the streets of Tehran before the US raid. According to CIA officers and Delta operators alike, Meadows is one of the main reasons the US could get information on the size and strength of the militants holding our hostages. Without him, the mission may have been impossible.
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Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
Head of the revolution and first Supreme Leader of Iran, the Ayatollah was born to a family of Shi'ite scholars in Khomein, a village near Tehran on September 24, 1902. In the early 1960’s, he criticized the Shah’s government for supporting women’s rights and for having ties to Israel and the United States. Khomeini was exiled to Turkey in 1964 and eventually set up a base in An Najaf, Iraq. He continued to spread dissent from there, sending a series of revolutionary speeches over the border on cassette tapes. Increasingly restive student groups passed the tapes around.

By 1978, Khomeini was living in France but inspired huge street demonstrations in Iran that spread from the students to workers, merchants, the military, and professional classes. When the Shah’s government finally fell in 1979, Khomeini returned in triumph and set up an Islamic state. He went to war with Iraq in 1980 and later issued an infamous fatwa against novelist Salman Rushdie. Since Rushdie was neither a Shi’ite nor an Iranian, the fatwa amounted to an incendiary declaration of authority over all Muslims. After Khomeini died on June 4, 1989, frenzied, hysterical mobs overran his funeral, jumping into his grave and refusing to leave. Eight people were killed and more than 10,000 were injured in the melee. People upended Khomeini’s coffin, tore pieces from his shroud, and eventually even knocked his corpse to the ground.
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Students Following the Line of Imam
As the 1979 Revolution turned more violent, a group called Students Following the Line of Imam led an assault on the US embassy and took more than 50 people hostage. The "students" were a ragtag group of militants armed with pistols, pipes, and Molotov cocktails. Their affiliation with the new Iranian government was never clear. The group’s members may have received some kidnapping training in PLO camps throughout the Middle East, and they became much deadlier after February 1979, when a raid on the regime’s military barracks netted a huge cache of assault rifles and heavy weaponry.

One of the leaders of the group, Abbas Abdi, became a reformer fighting the hardliners for control of the Islamic regime. In November 2002, he was arrested in a government crackdown on insurgents.
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Screenshots

Iran Hostage Rescue Mission Part 2


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