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Task Force 145 (TF 145)

Task Force 145 is a secretive collection of the U.S. elite troops, operating under Joint Special Operations Command, which was tasked with hunting down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

TF 145 is comprised of elements of the Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (better known as Delta Force), SEAL Team 6, the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and 75th Ranger Regiment, the Air Force’s 24th Special Tactics Squadron and Britain's Special Air Service. It is also believed that various intelligence agencies have a classified presence in TF 145 as well.

According to an April 28, 2006 Army Times article, TF 145 is headquartered at Balad Air Base and is "divided into four subordinate task forces in Iraq :

  • Task Force West, organized around a SEAL Team 6 squadron with Rangers in support.
  • Task Force Central, organized around a Delta squadron with Rangers in support.
  • Task Force North, organized around a Ranger battalion combined with a small Delta element.
  • Task Force Black, organized around a British Special Air Service “saber squadron,” with British paratroopers from the Special Forces Support Group in support."

Each of these sub-teams is reported to be highly autonomous and authorized to conduct raids without higher approval. In the months prior to al-Zarqawi's death on June 7, 2006, two such raids were conducted by TF 145 in the Iraqi town of Yusufiyah. While these raids failed to apprehend al-Zarqawi, they reportedly resulted in the killing or capture of 22 of his followers and the gathering of invaluable intelligence. The raid also allegedly netted an unedited copy of an al-Zarqawi propaganda tape. The tape showed the terrorist leader fumbling with a machine gun and one of his followers subsequently grabbing the hot barrel of the gun. The tape was later widely distributed by Coalition forces as an anti-propaganda tool.

On May 2, 2006 CBS News reported that Lt. Gen. Stan McChrystal, commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, was advocating for the allocation of an infantry battalion from the 82nd Airborne to support Task Force 145's logistics. Whether this request was ever granted is unclear.

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Page last modified: 12-08-2011 00:04:32 ZULU