While CIA officers run the operations, most of the ground support during strike force unit missions, including the control of air power, is provided by fighters loaned out by Joint Special Operations Command. Variations on this arrangement have been used by the CIA since the Church Committee clamped down on agency excesses at home and abroad in 1975. Originally dubbed “Omega” in Afghanistan, the program temporarily strips special forces of their regular military designation — a process known as “sheep-dipping”— and places them under CIA command. This enables the CIA to circumvent the restrictions placed on fighters who ordinarily operate under regular wartime Title 10 authority, placing them instead under the agency’s Title 50 authority for covert actions.
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