Over 60 men from the US Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment committed one of the most daring military robberies in recent memory.
Despite sand storms and the imminent threat of Libyan forces, the top-secret clandestine expedition, dubbed Operation Mount Hope III, went off without a hitch. Mount Hope III occurred immediately after the end of the Chadian-Libyan War, which raged across Chad between 1978 and 1987. Tensions between the two countries had risen a decade earlier, with the advent of Libyan tyrant Muammar Gaddafi. As part of his siege of power, Gaddafi claimed the Aouzou Strip, a 44,000-square-mile stretch of land along the Chad-Libya border that is nearly entirely made up of the Sahara Desert.