On April 25, 1980 the United States armed forces launched a daring raid to rescue Americans held captive in Iran since the US Embassy had been seized the previous November. The plan had been developed over several months within the Joint Staff. It created from scratch a joint task force involving each of the military services, despite the absence of joint operating doctrine or cross-service experience. To maintain the tightest secrecy, units rehearsed separately, under their own commanders and following their regular service procedures. The on-scene commander at the Desert One staging area wrote of “there being four commanders at the scene without visible identifi cation,

incompatible radios, and no agreed-upon plan ….”4 When some of the helicopters got lost in a sandstorm, the mission was canceled, and eight men died when two aircraft collided in the confusion.