Hours after the September 11 attacks, the U.S. military was already planning a response against the masterminds in al-Qaeda and its host in Afghanistan, the Taliban.

Policymakers and military planners discussed several courses of action. CIA and Army Special Forces teams would infiltrate from the north and south and work with local anti-Taliban forces.

But something more was needed. So the White House and Pentagon decided on a daring special operations raid deep into enemy territory.

They turned to Joint Special Operations Command, and the Army’s elite Delta Force, specifically, for the mission. They would be the first boots on the ground in Afghanistan.