- "Ustio mercenaries, this is going to be fun!"
- ― Second Lieutenant Hillenberand talking during the battle.
Second Lieutenant Erich Hillenberand (Schnee 1) was a Belkan Air Force ace during the Belkan War and the captain of Schnee Team, he was shot down by Galm Team in Area B7R along with his squadron members. After the war, he retired as a pilot instructor and now lives in the Osean Federation.
Erich's squadron consisted of four F-14D Super Tomcats and an EA-6B Prowler used for radar jamming. Like the Rot Team, Schnee's F-14Ds are capable of using XLAAs for long-range attacks. After inflicting critical damage to enemy forces in the Southern Front (possibly Osean Forces) and wiping out dozens of Ustian aircraft, he and his squadron were always sent to the frontline to fight.
Hillenberand's only goal was to live his life as a regular pilot in the Air Force. He never had any great ambitions, nor was he interested in promotions or awards, earning him of "Eternal 2nd Lieutenant", despite his skill and experience. He also never liked belonging to a specific group and rarely co-operated with his allies, but they have a complete trust in him during combat.
During Operation Battle-Axe, Schnee Team was assigned as reinforcements to maintain air superiority over Area B7R, due to heavy Belkan losses. After most of their allies were shot down by Galm Team, Schnee Team fought Galm Team, but were defeated. During the battle, Hillenberand was shot down and managed to bail out of his F-14D. Rather than wait for the rescue party to come, Hillenberand went on a three-day journey walking to the nearest air base he could possibly find, because the Round Table had a magnetic field and the rescue team might never rescue him. He hoped to fight Cipher again but that chance never came. After the war, he retired from the Air Force and now works as a pilot instructor at Jackson Hill Airport, North Osea, a former Belkan territory.
Erich Hillenberand as seen in his interview with Brett Thompson during 2005.
"The instant he shot me, I pulled the lever. I barely managed to escape from my plane as it burst into flames. After drifting from the blast, I landed below the Round Table. It was a wide-open, barren wasteland. How long would I have to wait for a rescue party? Radio interference within the Round Table was fierce. The odds of a distress signal actually reaching anyone was low. I was at a loss for what to do. Anyway, I'd really gone out with a bang, this time. I took that as a sign it was time for me to retire. But just then, I heard a roaring overhead. It was his plane. I was jealous of his calm, flying form. Rather than wait for the rescue team, I began to walk toward the nearest base. I was driven by desire to get back up there and fight him again. Of course, it did take me three days to get there."