Famous US Special Forces operations

Special operations are elite, tactical military units employed in complex, high-risk strategic operations such as counterterrorism.  While they have always existed in some form, they were bolstered after declines in funding and priorities - particularly after the failed 1980 mission to rescue 53 American hostages held in Iran. Here are examples of some successful special operations missions.

DoD photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bradley J. Sapp, U.S. Navy.
A Navy Landing Craft Utility approaches the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa while participating in Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2004 off the coast of Hawaii on July 6, 2004.

1. Somalia Rescue

DoD photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Bradley J. Sapp, U.S. Navy.
A Navy Landing Craft Utility approaches the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa while participating in Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2004 off the coast of Hawaii on July 6, 2004.

On Wednesday, January 25th, US Special Operations forces, including members of Seal Team 6, rescued two hostages who had been kidnapped
 and held for ransom by Somali pirates since October, 2011. The hostages, Poul Thisted, a Dane, and Jessica Buchanan, an American
 relief worker, were not harmed. Several pirates were killed in the raid; no American personnel were injured or killed.

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