In the early 1980s, when most Americans didn’t even know about the highly secretive Delta Force, the elite counterterrorism unit participated in its first hostage-rescue operation — although indirectly.

When a group of self-described “rebels” captured two American missionaries and three other Westerners in Sudan, Delta Force deployed.

Despite having been trained for exactly that sort of contingency, Delta Force sent a team of advisers to advise and assist their Sudanese counterparts who would conduct the operation.