Delta Dawn or the ACE up your sleeve

30 Mar
Delta Dawn or the ACE up your sleeve

Today it is time for another modern Special Forces installment (and another bad pun)… 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Airborne) or as they are known since their (second) re-christening in 2010: Army Compartmented Element (ACE).

They were created 5 days before I was born in 1977. Far smaller than the SeALs with about 1000 men they are one of the US Armys contributions to the US arsenal of special forces. [EDIT: I have been contacted by a friend who served with Delta. As of last year that are three operational Sabre Squadrons with 40 to 60 operators each. So the figure of 1000 men includes AFO personel as well as AVN troop members.] If you look at the story of their creation, their main goal was the use in hostage situations and they saw frequent use on US soil until the Depart of Justice deemed this a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. Back then their organisation was modeled along the line of the British SAS which took a large part in their training. Their first big mission was the freeing of hostages from the embassy in Teheran in 1980 (Operation Eagle Claw) which never got to their target due to a refueling accident in the desert.They hunted Iraqi Scud launchers during Desert Storm, are reputed to have shot Pablo Escobar, had the largest part in the SF operations in Somalia and sabotaged Iraqi command and control installations around Bagdad in 2003. Along with DEVGRU they are the only unit today that has it´s primary mission in counter terrorism.

Army Delta

Army Delta

The minis here are geared up for their primary mission… the freeing of hostages and are clad all black. Bottom left is a mini from the Infinity range. Bottom middle is a special mini from TAG´s SWAT range. All the others are Devil Dog Designs. The black uniforms were highlit using black mixed with dark blue.

What else? Now since this is only a single mini and one that is near impossible to photograph I decided to include a USAF PJ as well. PJ stands for Para Jumper. They are Air force Medics that get additional training in combat first aid to the level that their skills can even compete with some doctors in a normal hospitals ER. A good number of them are special operations qualified and accompany other special forces on their missions. They are a very old unit by SF standards since they were created 2 days before the D-Day Invasion in 1944.



The mini is a converted Infinity mini. Unfortunately the extreme pose makes him near impossible to photograph, so sorry for the poor shot. His trousers are meant to be Digital Tigerstripe ABU´s, but again… due to the pose it hardly shows.

UP next (tomorrow) are the guys Delta train with… British SAS and German KSK.


3 responses to “Delta Dawn or the ACE up your sleeve

  1. The Angry Lurker

    March 30, 2012 at 10:59

    I love them and the history!


  2. Jay

    March 30, 2012 at 12:13

    Very cool stuff there! Great job with the painting. You are forgetting a very important piece of history though – dont forget Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin were members of Delta Force! 🙂


    • Burkhard

      March 31, 2012 at 09:16

      Hard to imagine how cool these movies were when we were young! 😉



What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: