"This is Thunderhead. Captain Davenport, how many times do I have to tell you to cut the chatter?"
― AWACS Thunderhead[1]

AWACS Thunderhead was the callsign of an AWACS of the Osean Air Defense Force during the Circum-Pacific War. As an AWACS, Thunderhead's primary role was providing tactical data analysis and logistical support to other OADF aircraft. For a majority of the war, Thunderhead was assigned to support the combat operations of the 108th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Wardog" (Wardog Squadron).


Early engagements[]

"Wardog, you are not cleared to engage at this time!"
― AWACS Thunderhead[2]

Thunderhead's first known mission with Wardog Squadron occurred on September 24 near Cape Landers. During the operation, Wardog was attacked by unknown fighters while attempting to force down a trespassing spy plane. Despite Thunderhead's direct orders for "weapons safe", Wardog's leader, Captain Jack Bartlett, ordered his wingmen to open fire on the hostiles, which were eventually shot down.[3] Three days later, on September 27, Bartlett's flight once again violated Thunderhead's standing orders and shot down another group of hostile fighters.[2]

Following the loss of Bartlett, Thunderhead placed Wardog 2 (Kei Nagase) in command of Wardog Squadron; although he angrily reminded her that she was violating direct orders, Nagase refused her promotion and gave it to Wardog 4, callsign "Blaze".[4] Thunderhead's strict, by-the-book nature and occasional ineptitude also led to a contemptuous relationship with Wardog 3, Alvin H. Davenport, and Captain Marcus Snow, who considered him to be a "blockhead"[5] and "pigheaded",[6] respectively.

Open warfare[]

On September 30, Thunderhead coordinated the air forces that were assigned to escort the 3rd Osean Naval Fleet's three aircraft carriers through Eaglin Straits. Unfortunately, Thunderhead was unable to detect the first incoming Yuktobanian burst missile until it was directly over the Osean convoy.[5] Thunderhead, who was a safe distance away from the detonations, survived the devastation and informed Wardog that a midair refueling was not possible; he then instructed them to refuel at Heierlark Air Force Base in North Osea.[7]

During Yuktobania's attempted invasion of Sand Island on October 4, Thunderhead relayed sonobuoy data gathered by the anti-submarine patrol plane Blue Hound to the Arkbird, which enabled the orbiting spacecraft to destroy the Yuktobanian Navy's submersible carrier Scinfaxi and several of its burst-missile volleys.[8]

Invasion of Yuktobania[]

"We're one step away from the enemy's capital. We can win this as long as you're with us. I can feel it."
― AWACS Thunderhead to Wardog[9]

On November 1, Thunderhead supported the Osean Army's invasion of the Yuktobanian mainland. Thunderhead supported the operation by relaying communications and tactical data from the ground forces to Wardog Squadron, which allowed the Oseans to mount a successful land-air assault and overtake the Yuktobanian defenses.[10]

The following day, Thunderhead assisted Wardog's interception of Yuktobanian transport planes, which were retreating through Dresdene. However, due to the enemy's defensive ECM jamming, Thunderhead's radar was rendered virtually useless by "ghost" signatures. When a nearby engineering college fell under attack by Osean aircraft, the jamming intensified, nearly severing Thunderhead's communication link with Wardog. Blinded by interference, he could neither identify the perpetrators nor exonerate Wardog of culpability.[11]

After Wardog halted one of the retaliatory terrorist attacks launched by Yuktobania (November 4)[12] and successfully sank the Hrimfaxi (November 14),[13] Thunderhead's faith in Wardog was restored. Over the coming weeks, Thunderhead witnessed more of Wardog's astounding accomplishments and came to display a strong faith in the squadron's abilities.

Eliminating Wardog[]

"Roger, 8492nd. Are those guys really traitors? ... I can't believe it."
― AWACS Thunderhead to the 8492nd leader[14]

In the early morning hours of December 7, Wardog's members were accused of treason and fled Sand Island in four commandeered training jets. When the 8492nd Squadron located the fugitives over the Solo Islands, Thunderhead was reluctant to accept that the Wardog pilots were traitors; however, after Major Allen C. Hamilton asserted that they were guilty, Thunderhead tracked the fugitives on radar and monitored the 8492nd Squadron's pursuit.[14]

After Wardog lost the 8492nd, Thunderhead announced that the traitors were back on radar. When Captain Marcus Snow arrived and began to shoot down the Wardog pilots, Thunderhead confirmed Snow's kills as each image faded from his radar. After receiving confirmation from Pix that there was no floating debris in the water, Thunderhead relayed that "all planes [had been] destroyed."[15]

Details regarding Thunderhead's service during the remainder of the war remain unknown; however, it is likely that he continued to oversee the combat operations of other OADF squadrons.


Thunderhead was a strict, no-nonsense, by-the-books AWACS. He frequently told Wardog Squadron to "cut the chatter," an admonishment to only use the radio for combat related purposes. Thunderhead would also disregard any personal objections to the commands he or Osean high command would order, such as ordering Snow to provide support away from his carrier Kestrel, or when telling Wardog Squadron to continue attacking Scinfaxi despite the threat of the burst missiles.

While well-meaning and competent at his duties as AWACS, Thunderhead was not as reliable as other AWACS accompanying the player in the Ace Combat series. He sometimes missed giving out critical information, such as during Operation Whalebird when he missed the incoming attacking carrier aircraft, and did not relay information about the Scinfaxi burst missile until it was too late. These mistakes, oversights, and general friction caused him to be frequently admonished by those under his command, earning him labels such as "pigheaded" and "Thunderblockhead". He also proved easily manipulated by the Gray Men, assisting them in the attempted assassination of Wardog Squadron.

Despite these flaws, Thunderhead provided adequate support to Wardog Squadron through many of their operations. He encouraged their success, even telling them at one point "We can win this as long as you're with us, I can feel it." He also grew a begrudging affection for Chopper of Wardog Squadron, at one time telling him to "cut the chatter" in an amused tone after a joke was told by the former, and also expressing desperation and encouragement to Chopper as he was about to crash in November Stadium. After Chopper's death, Thunderhead asked the Osean aircraft in the vicinity to join him in saluting Chopper for his heroic actions, showcasing his deep respect for Wardog, despite their differences.


  • Unlike other AWACS of the Ace Combat series, Thunderhead's aircraft is never explicitly shown in Ace Combat 5. An allied E-2C Hawkeye with an unknown callsign appears during "Rendezvous", leading to speculation of the possibility that this was Thunderhead; however, since the E-2C in question was shot down by a burst missile launched by the submersible carrier Scinfaxi, this is impossible.
  • Thunderhead's catchphrase, "Cut the chatter", could possibly be a reference to a similar line from Star Wars: A New Hope—"Cut the chatter, Red 2."