The Department of Extranormal Operations is a Federal executive agency of the United States government. Formed in 1955, the mandate given to the DEO was to monitor, report, and if necessary, control metahuman activities within the United States. Due to the highly classified nature of the DEO's scope of operations, there is a great deal of murkiness about their activities, costs, and results. DEO agents work closely with other Federal agencies like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Federal Department of Damage Control to safely contain and store hazardous waste and materiel.
The DEO inherited the Super-Soldier program from the Strategic Scientific Reserve following the end of World War II. Over the following decades, other sub-directorates were established to expand the DEO's knowledge and containment of metahuman related issues.
Multiple directorates currently exist under the larger umbrella of the DEO.
Project: CADMUS began in 1960. It was aimed at research into genetic manipulation and had early breakthroughs into the nature and location of the metagene. Later iterations of CADMUS would explore cloning and genetic manipulation of living bioweapons-- creatures bred for specific military or industrial applications. After the debut of Superman in 2008, CADMUS began exploring alien genome sequencing in an attempt to develop a clone or hybrid of Kryptonian descent.
The Weapon Plus] program was a military research operation developed as an offshoot of the Super-Soldier Program. The first Weapon Plus program began in 1948, and each new directive was numbered sequentially thereafter. It was derived largely from the work of Abraham Erskine and Nathaniel Essex, first in Germany, then in America. The Weapon Plus program attempted to trigger a metagene crisis in otherwise genetically non-viable candidates, with successes that at best could be called 'heavily qualified'. At worst, the test subjects died horrifically or were hideously mutated. Better success was had in attempting to improve the performance of people with comparatively weak metagenetic evolutions. Weapon Plus acquired genetic information from metahumans and injected that sequence into their subjects. The most viable donor genes came from the mutant Logan Howlett, resulting in regenerative capabilities being the most common success among subjects.
Weapon Plus assets were typically transferred to the operational detachment code-named Stormwatch. The US-SOCOM operated an illegal and covert anti-metahuman combat squad that they rostered with soldiers that had been identified with metagenetic abilities. Slade Wilson and Alexander Fairchild were two of the most prominent members of Team 7, active during the 90s.
Weapon X was a highly illegal black-bag joint DEO/Canadian operation located in Alberta, near Roanoke. The Canadians had their own metahuman research team: Department K. A mutually beneficial information sharing relationship was proposed and a facility established. However, ethicists and researchers objected to the proposed scope of activity. It was eventually shuttered.
In the early 2000s, the DEO was tasked with developing experimental tech to deal with metahuman threats that law enforcement couldn't address. Dr. Bolivar Trask designed the Sentinel autonomous enforcement units, and LexCorp secured the bid to produce them. This program was shuttered in 2018 with the amendment Cuba Arms Treaty.
The DEO maintains a illegal and highly classified program called Task Force: X-ray. Colloquially, it is called Suicide Squad. Metahuman criminal offenders with violent tendencies are offered a contractual term serving the US government, in exchange for Presidential pardons. The assets are considered expendable if their capture threatens to violate the security of the program.