The Circum-Pacific War, also referred to as the Belkan Conflict and the Great War, was a large-scale war waged between the Osean Federation and the Union of Yuktobanian Republics. The conflict was later revealed to have been masterminded by a cabal of Belkan nationalists known as the "Grey Men".
In 1995, after discovering natural resources in neighboring Ustio, the nation of Belka launched a coordinated blitz attack (spearheaded by the legendary Belkan Air Force) and invaded Ustio, Osea, and Sapin. A coalition of Osean and Ustian forces, supported by Yuktobania and a number of foreign mercenary fighter squadrons, turned the tide of the war and pushed Belka's forces back into Belkan territory. On June 6, 1995, Belka detonated seven nuclear warheads along the Waldreich Mountains in an attempt to stop the advancing Allied Forces—thousands of Belkan civilians were killed in the blasts. An immediate ceasefire was ordered, and a peace treaty was ratified by all of the involved countries shortly afterward.
Osea and Yuktobania, which had been in the midst of a Cold War, settled their differences during the Belkan War and became powerful allies in the years thereafter. The two superpowers enjoyed an era of peace and economic prosperity spanning about 15 years, during which several collaborative projects were completed, including the Arkbird and Basset Space Center. During this time, a secret organization began devising a scheme to renew animosities between the two superpowers as the ultimate revenge for Belka's defeat at the hands of Osea and Yuktobania in 1995. Naming themselves the Grey Men, the Belkan supremacist group (comprised of well-connected Belkan businessmen and politicians) quietly assumed control of strategic facilities along the Belka-Osea border, including Mount Schirm, Stier Castle, and the former South Belka Munitions Factory.
On September 23, 2010, the OADF 108th Tactical Fighter Squadron, "Wardog Squadron", was performing a training exercise over Cape Landers when an unknown squadron of MiG-29s entered the airspace. The interlopers attacked the Osean aircraft, and the engagement cost the lives of every trainee, except one—2nd Lt. Kei Nagase—and two of the three flight instructors (the surviving instructor was Cpt. Jack Bartlett). Wardog's assigned base, Sand Island Air Force Base, and the remaining Wardog pilots on the ground were unharmed.
The next day, September 24, another unidentified aircraft entered Osean airspace. Osea's anti-aircraft defensive network managed to damage the bogey, and it had begun withdrawing from Osean airspace. Sand Island launched Wardog Squadron—under the command of Cpt. Bartlett—to perform the intercept. Wardog attempted to force the plane to land, but once again, a squadron of unknown fighters suddenly entered the airspace and engaged the Osean squadron. This time, however, Wardog held its own against the hostile fighters and shot down all of the unknown aircraft.
On September 27, a spy vessel was spotted in the vicinity of Sand Island; radar analysis showed that the mysterious vessel had deployed several unmanned reconnaissance drones. Wardog Squadron, under express orders not to damage the unknown ship, once again took flight and shot down all of the spy drones. For the third time in less than a week, a squadron of unknown fighters engaged Wardog, which were shot down as well.
During the engagement, the spy vessel fired an anti-aircraft missile at Nagase. Bartlett ran interference and diverted the missile from Nagase's aircraft, taking the hit and bailing out of his damaged F-4G Wild Weasel before it crashed into the Ceres Ocean. However, when the search-and-rescue helicopter arrived, Bartlett was nowhere to be found and declared MIA. By the time the remaining Wardog pilots had returned to base, Yuktobania had made an official declaration of war on Osea.
Following its declaration of war, Yuktobania simultaneously launched an assault on the naval port of St. Hewlett, which was hosting the 3rd Osean Naval Fleet's flagship, the Kestrel. Wardog Squadron rendezvoused with other nearby allied squadrons and managed to escort the Kestrel into open waters, despite the Yuktobanians' deployment of numerous bomber aircraft and a blockade of warships outside the harbor's mouth.
Later that evening, Yuktobania launched a surprise bombing raid began on Sand Island, Osea's westernmost point, and Wardog took to the skies once again. During the attack, the 108th TFS leader Lt. Colonel Ford attempted to land, but was shot down and killed during his approach. Blaze, now leader of the 108th, alongside Nagase and Alvin H. Davenport were joined by Airman First Class Hans Grimm, who successfully taxied and took off despite the intense enemy bombardment. Together, the four Wardog fighters managed to repulse the Yuktobanian air raid, sparing the air base from any irreparable damage.
Osea quickly began rallying its forces in preparation for a counterattack against Yuktobania. On September 30, the 3rd Osean Naval Fleet's aircraft carriers (Kestrel, Vulture, and Buzzard), rendezvoused at the Eaglin Straits in northern Osea. As the warships entered the straits, Yuktobanian carrier jets infiltrated the airspace and launched a surprise attack on the carriers. Although the attacking fighters were shot down by Osean escort aircraft, two burst missiles from the underwater carrier Scinfaxi were launched. These warheads sunk the Vulture and Buzzard, as well as the majority of Osea's fighters—only the Kestrel, its squadron, and Wardog Squadron made it out alive. Following the engagement, Wardog retreated to Heierlark Air Force Base.
In response to the threat posed by the Scinfaxi and its burst missiles, Osea decided to deploy the Arkbird, a large maneuverable spacecraft capable of attacking from orbit, into battle. Osea planned an SSTO operation to re-attach the Arkbird's lower laser module that had been removed a few years ago as part of the 2008 arms-reduction negotiations. On October 3, the Mass Driver that was due to launch the SSTO fell under attack by Yuktobanian aircraft, but Wardog, which had landed at McNealy Air Force Base on its route back to Sand Island, intercepted the strike forces, and the launch proceeded smoothly.
The next day, the Arkbird's laser module was attached and functional—just in time for Yuktobania to attempt a second attack on Sand Island. This time, the Yuktobanians launched a large amphibious landing force to capture the base. Wardog Squadron defended the base and held back the oncoming naval fleet, which also deployed the Scinfaxi to support its progress. All of the rookie pilots that had just joined Wardog Squadron were shot down in the ensuing burst missile attack, but with support from the Arkbird, the remaining Wardog pilots managed to sink the Scinfaxi.
Harling's and Nikanor's disappearances
A few weeks after Yuktobania's attempt to take Sand Island, on October 22, Osean President Vincent Harling attempted to travel to the neutral country of North Point to hold peace talks with Yuktobanian Prime Minister Seryozha Viktrovich Nikanor. However, Osea's anti-air defenses, not recognizing the president's secret transport plane (Mother Goose One), fired on the plane and forced it to make an emergency landing somewhere in Akerson Hill.
Wardog Squadron defended the plane until it landed, whereupon the president's transport was entrusted to the 8492nd Squadron. This would be the last time President Harling was seen for two months; from then on, Osean Vice President Appelrouth assumed command of the Osean military. It was around this time that Prime Minister Nikanor was quietly replaced by a coup of Yuktobanian right-wing militants.
Soon afterward, the Arkbird was put out of commission an explosive device planted by unknown operatives aboard a supply shipment from Earth. The Osean military could not repair the orbiting satellite, so the issue was ignored.
Invasion of Yuktobania; terrorist attacks
The Osean military launched an amphibious landing operation on October 31, 2010, taking the fight to Yuktobania for the first time and establishing a beachhead on the Bastok Peninsula. Two days later, Yuktobanian forces attempted to egress supplies from the area via transport aircraft in order to create a reinforced front line ahead of the Osean military. Wardog Squadron was deployed to intercept and shoot down all of the transport planes.
However, during this operation, an engineering college in Dresdene was under attack by aircraft bearing Osean markings. This was later determined to be the doing of the 8492nd Squadron, but due to the ECM jamming in the area, the aircraft were invisible to radar. Wardog, being the only Osean fighter squadron known to be operating in the area, was called to Oured for questioning.
During Wardog's hearing in Oured, Yuktobanian special forces launched a terrorist attack on Osean soil in response to the earlier attack on Yuktobania. The terrorists targeted Apito International Airport with assault units, as well as the college town of Bana City with chemical weapons. Osea's Capital District Air Defense Squadron was launched to suppress one attack while Wardog Squadron (due to there being no other options) was launched to address the other.
Several days after the retaliatory attacks, the Osean military launched two secret operations deep within Yuktobanian territory: one to destroy an underground munitions storage facility in Duga, and another to destroy a large munitions factory in Sonza. Osea then began a direct offensive operation to capture the Yuktobanian capital, Cinigrad, in short order.
When the Osean military began offensive operations, however, Yuktobania deployed the Scinfaxi's sister ship, the Hrimfaxi, and fired burst missiles from the Razgriz Straits at the ground troops, preventing their advance. Wardog Squadron flew north to destroy the submarine as it was refueling. Wardog's destruction of the Hrimfaxi earned the pilots' the nickname "Demons of Razgriz" and made them the keystone of the Osean military's morale.
By the end of November 2010, the Osean offensive had come to a head in the Jilachi Desert. Osea launched a coordinated ground-and-air campaign to overtake vital Yuktobanian defensive positions in the desert. With the help of Wardog Squadron, the Osean forces pushed through the Jilachi Desert and inched ever closer to the capital of Cinigrad.
On November 29, Wardog was asked to perform a ceremonial fly-by over a peace ceremony being held in November City, Osea. At the event, the Vice President gave a strikingly pro-war speech, to which the crowd the responded by singing in unison. Suddenly, Yuktobanian aircraft penetrated the airspace and attempted to assault the stadium. Reinforcements were called, but the 8492nd Squadron appeared once more and called off the reinforcements by claiming that the attack was only a drill. The reinforcements were called back after a short while, but by that time, Alvin H. Davenport had crashed and been killed in action. The attack was halted once Osean reinforcements arrived.
Over the next few days, Osean ground forces attempted to capture Cruik Fortress, the final blockade on the path to Cinigrad. Wardog Squadron joined the ground troops on the third attempt, which proved successful as the ground troops broke through the northern wall. On the return trip, however, Wardog Squadron was attacked by the 8492nd Squadron, who showed its true colors as Belkan spies in the Osean military. This was unknown to any other Osean aircraft or troops due to jamming in the area, and by the time Wardog made it back to Sand Island, the entire base personnel was under the belief that they were spies. Wardog attempted to escape, but they were shot down by Marcus Snow of the Kestrel's air squadron. According to official OADF records, all of the Wardog pilots were KIA during this engagement.
Though they lost their pillar of morale, Osean Army continued to attempt to capture Cinigrad. Unfortunately, the ground troops, with no assistance from Wardog Squadron, could not take the capital and fell back to a defensive position. The war entered a stalemate at this point, and though Yuktobanian forces regained some land in the following days, neither side scored any notable victories after the capture of Cruik Fortress.
Meanwhile, the members of Wardog Squadron, who had not perished during the engagement, were brought to the Kestrel and her fleet in secret. They, along with Marcus Snow, used captured planes to free President Harling, who they figured out was being held in Stier Castle in the Waldreich Mountains. After successfully rescuing him from Belkan forces, the President formed a secret squadron: the Razgriz Squadron, the members of whom were Marcus Snow and those from Wardog Squadron ("Blaze" as its leader, Kei Nagase as Razgriz 2, Snow as Razgriz 3, and Hans Grimm as Razgriz 4).
A secret message was transmitted to the Kestrel Fleet. It listed coordinates to Mount Schirm, a date and time, and the number of votes that President Harling received in his past two elections, indicating the message was for him. Blaze flew a solo reconnaissance mission to Mount Schirm to investigate what was going on, and discovered that 8492nd Squadron members had infiltrated the area. In addition, the mine appeared to be housing Belka's V1s. The President decided to seal the mine entrance, not allowing any more nuclear weapons to come to the surface. The Razgriz, in full formation, flew to the mine and sealed the entrance permanently. However, at least two nuclear weapons were already taken out of the mine by the time it was sealed.
Another secret message was transmitted to the Kestrel Fleet. This time, it specified a location within Yuktobania. When the Razgriz Squadron flew there, they made contact with a resistance group that was attempting to dismantle a nuclear bomb that was sent to Yuktobania. They requested the Razgriz's help in holding off the Yuktobanian forces from entering the ravine. Razgriz then engaged the Belkan 5th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Ofnir", the equivalent of the 8492nd that had infiltrated the Yuktobanian Air Force. Razgriz shot them down, but they all managed to bail out. The nuclear weapon was successfully dismantled. Razgriz also learned that the identity of the person sending the secret messages was none other than Jack Bartlett, who had been involved in the Yuktobanian resistance for the past few months.
A secret transmission, this time in Belkan, was intercepted by the Kestrel Fleet. It indicated that the Arkbird, which had been repaired and taken under Belkan control, had a nuclear weapon on-board and would drop it on Okchabursk, Yuktobania, which would frame Osea for the attack. The Razgriz Squadron managed to intercept the Arkbird and shoot it down into the ocean, safe from harm.
In the meantime, President Harling had been attempting to broadcast his voice to the Osean people to get them to see the truth. The Vice President, however, censored it from airing, calling it "enemy propaganda." The President and his Marine force flew into Oured to make sure that the President's voice was heard. The next day, the Razgriz Squadron was assigned to help Bartlett escape Yuktobania, with the Yuktobanian Major Nastasya Vasilievna Obertas and Prime Minister Nikanor, the latter having been in prison for about as long as President Harling. The 8492nd Squadron was revealed to be the Belkan 229th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Grabacr" as they attempted to intercept the Razgriz and Barlett's plane, but they were all shot down and safely ejected from their planes. The Major brought a disc that contained secret plans from the Grey Men, and the members of the Kestrel Fleet began to decrypt it.
On December 29, the Kestrel Fleet encountered a large Yuktobanian fleet. Prime Minister Nikanor attempted to broadcast his voice in a call for peace, but the Yuktobanian Fleet Commander claimed that Nikanor had joined the enemy and ordered his ships to fire on the battle group. The Razgriz was sent to destroy the Yuke fleet and defend three defecting ships that had decided to protect the Prime Minister. In the middle of the engagement, a small Osean battle group came into the picture and fired on the Kestrel Fleet for "siding with the Yukes." The fleet and the Razgriz managed to destroy all attacking forces.
The next day, the disc was decrypted, and it revealed plans for the V-2 Mass Retaliation Weapon. The Grey Men had loaded it onto the Strategic Orbital Linear Gun (or SOLG) and were controlling it from Gründer Industries, whose CEO was a member of the Grey Men. As the Razgriz were about to launch to destroy the control devices within a large tunnel that Gründer had been digging in Sudentor, the Kestrel was hit by two submarine-launched missiles. All of the crew safely escaped the ship, and the Razgriz Squadron managed to take off before it sank.
As the Razgriz Squadron flew to Sudentor, President Harling and Prime Minister Nikanor held a peace talk in Oured, officially ending the war and calling on their troops to assist the Razgriz against the true enemy. In a coalition of Yuktobanian and Osean forces, the Razgriz entered the tunnel and destroyed the control devices. However, the SOLG's fail-safe (which would initiate if it lost contact with the control devices) activated, sending it on a crash course to Oured. The next day, Razgriz Squadron flew for the final time, meeting both Ofnir and Grabacr Squadrons. Razgriz managed to shoot them all down, and then safely destroy the SOLG as it approached Oured.
At the 2013 Osean Federation Council Meeting, Harling announced that all information pertaining to the "Belkan Conflict" would be released to the public in 2020. Harling affirmed that only time would "shed light on the truth behind the conflict", and expressed his optimistic view of the future, stating that the world had "already begun to head down a new path."
The terrorist group Free Erusea, which was supposedly defeated in 2006, took advantage of the weakened state of the world's military forces and acquired a significant amount of firepower, and in 2014, starting another uprising on the Usean continent.
- ↑ Ancient Walls, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ In-game timeline, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Aces, Demons, and Ghosts: Mysterious Heroes of the Belkan Conflict.
- ↑ North American manual for Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception. Available here on Games Database.
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Cutscene 01, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- ↑ The Stage of Apocalypse, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- ↑ The Final Overture, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- ↑ Cutscene 02, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Shorebirds, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Open War, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Cutscene 04, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Ending cutscene, Open War, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Narrow Margin, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ First Flight, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Rendezvous, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ "Arkbird Declaration", GAZE: Arkbird Declaration Summit 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- ↑ White Bird (Part I), Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Cutscene 08, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Front Line, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Handful of Hope, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Cutscene 23, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Lit Fuse, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 Blind Spot, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 Chain Reaction, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Reprisal, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Powder Keg, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Four Horsemen, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Demons of Razgriz, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Desert Arrow, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Desert Lightning, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Journey Home, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Fortress, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Cutscene 17, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ 8492, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Cutscene 18, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Final Option, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Cutscene 29, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- ↑ Prologue, VR Mode, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.