Task Force 777
In 1977, Egypt's Task Force 777 was created. Initially, this unit was
staffed by 3 officers, four NCOs, and forty operators. Soon after, they
were thrust into battle unprepared in the Libyan desert. They had no order
of battle, no experience and little organization.
Then, in 1978 they were dispatched to assault an airplane hijacked by the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) and flown to Cyprus. Having only an hour to plan while in the air they were unprepared. Then, the Egyptian Ministry of Defense neglected to inform the Cyprus authorities of TF 777's imminent arrival. The local police and Guard units thought the assaulting commandos were terrorist reinforcements and took TF 777 under fire. An 80 minute firefight that cost the lives of 15 777 operators and several Cyprots ensued.
TF 777's most notorious operation though, was the botched rescue attempt at Malta. Palestine Radicals, angered over Egypt's failure to protect the fleeing Achille Lauro terrorists, seized Egyptair flight 648 (ironically, the same airplane that had been used to transport the Achille Lauro terrorists out of Egypt) and flew it to Luga Int. Airport in Malta. This time, Egypt made sure that the foreign government new TF 777 was coming.
The members of TF 777 however, made several errors. First, they failed to perform any surveillance of the ground situation. Second, they failed to debrief hostages that had survived a botched execution attempt. Third, they didn't study blueprints of the Boeing 737. Fourth, they did not have stun grenades. Lastly, TF 777 operators elected to blow a hole in the roof to gain entry to the 737.
In order to stun the terrorists and gain time for operators to enter
through the hole in the roof, the explosive charge was increased beyond
recommended levels. The blast was so powerful SIX rows of seats
were knocked loose and nearly twenty passengers were killed. Then members
who entered though the doors began throwing smoke grenades and firing
indiscriminately. Snipers positioned on top of rescue vehicles began
firing at fleeing civilians. In all, the botched operation killed 57
Understandably, Unit 777 has kept a low profile since this incident. They have been involved in Egypt's civil war against the "Brotherhood" and have lost several operators in this conflict. Because of the secrecy now surronding the unit, the exact weaponry used today is not known. However, because of close contact with the US military, who supplies much of their trainig, it is reasonable to assume they are using much of the same weapons US teams use.
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Force 777 is based near Cairo with a fleet of Mi-8 and Westland command helicopters ready for immediate deployment 24 hours a day. They have recieved training from the American SFOD-Delta and SEAL Team 6 units (Before ST 6 was shut down ) as well as from France's GIGN and possibly Germany's GSG-9.
Most of the above information was found in "The Illustrated Guide to the World's Top Counter-Terrorist Forces" Samuel M. Katz ISBN 962-361-602-3