Person of the Week: Task Force 145

Task Force 145 is the most secretive special operation force in the U.S. military that we know of.

"Their physical capabilities, their raw intelligence and the very, very good training they receive, that's what allows them to be successful," said retired Col. Hy Rothstein, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School.

The force is made up of the best commandos from some of the military's elite units: Delta Force, Army Rangers and Navy Seals, plus CIA operatives and British Special Forces, and are credited with hunting down and ordering the air strike that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi on Wednesday.

"They are superb physical specimens. So you have people who are physically very, very tough, and they're very, very bright, that are very very motivated," Rothstein said. "They have a sense of purpose that will permit them to do really extraordinary things, so they really are the cream of the crop."

'Everybody's Happy, Jumping Around'

Members of the task force train in secret at Pope Air Force Base near Fort Bragg, N.C. And while their neighbors know virtually nothing about them, they're proud of these troops.

"There's a lot of stuff going on at Fort Bragg and they're finally getting the recognition they deserve," said Fayetteville, N.C., resident Christopher Sinclair.

"It feels like there was a carnival happening. Everybody's happy, jumping around," said retired Sgt. Maj. Tadeusz Gaweda.

They're success is a credit to their training, said to be the best in the U.S. military.

"They have training ranging from intelligence to hostage rescue. They fire weapons all the time. They're absolute expert marksmen, snipers and at going into buildings to rescue hostages," said retired Capt. Michael Vickers, a former special forces officer.

"The task force will conduct a raid, perhaps it will capture somebody, perhaps it will just capture some documents, a laptop, satellite cell phone," said Sean Naylor of the Army Times. "It will immediately take the intelligence that can be exploited from that raid and use it to conduct other raids often within hours. They call that the unblinking eye."

And it is this unblinking eye that is considered a reason for Task Force 145's repeated successes. The military unit has been credited with finding Saddam Hussein and tracking down and killing his sons, Uday and Qusay.

And now they've caught and killed the top al Qaeda operative in Iraq.

"It was great for the morale of the U.S. military, it was great for the morale of U.S. population," Rothstein said. "And it does show terrorists throughout the world that we'll pursue people like al-Zarqawi until they're either captured or killed."

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