Delta has a necessary and welcome relationship with police departments across the U.S., including SWAT brothers. However, the relationship is not specific to the special operations branches of law enforcement; rather, it is largely focused on the mainstream metro police force.

The Unit travels across the country in search of urban training environments in major cities. There are quintessential requirements for security perimeters around the training areas. Clearly the security cordon is for the safety of curious citizens, who may otherwise wander onto a target objective to see what all the commotion is about. But the fact that live ordnance — explosives and ammunition — is being expended on target precludes citizens from satisfying their curiosity.

Case in Point: River Operation in the Guyanese Jungle

My team opened fire on targets in proximity to the waterline while motoring from combat-raiding vessels. Most of the fire was coming from heavier crew-served weapons, as the scenario was one of ambush requiring initiative to gain immediate fire superiority. I can suggest that a lone mosquito haphazardly floating through our cone of fire would most certainly have had its legs shot off if it didn’t tuck them in.

A waterborne assault from a Zodiac F470 Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC)

Ramming our boats’ bows into the shoreline, my team and I assaulted through the forward line of targets quickly, then returned to “clean up” on the targets engaged. Jamming fresh ammunition into all weapons, we were startled by the sight of a hefty DYI canoe floating down the river, ostensibly with nobody aboard.

“By the Gods… she be the ghost of the Pequod herself — ahoy!” a gunner shouted in jest.

Supporting reference to Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

While it was thoroughly odd to see any sort of vessel abandoned and adrift, it was immediately apparent that several people were in pursuit just behind it, their heads bobbing and their arms thrashing to swim. We secured the boat and extracted the excited owners of the vessel. As the shittiest of luck would have it, the river ahead snaked immediately behind the firing line. When the ordnance started hailing through the jungle, the locals abandoned their boat, favoring the safety of the water below.

A security perimeter upriver (in this case) would have prevented innocent non-combatants from entering the danger zone of the ambush scenario.

Case in Point: Assault on Moving Target Vehicle

The location was Nimitz Road, a public road that ran behind the Unit compound. It was a night scenario involving the interdiction of a moving vehicle by friendly vehicles such that the target vehicle is forced to halt. At that point, the occupants are taken into captivity by the mobile assault force.