- This article is about an in-universe event. For the in-game mission, see Weapons of Mass Destruction.
The Fort Norton Inflitration was a turning point in the Emmeria-Estovakia War.
Weeks before, the Emmerian military carried out a large scale invasion against Estovakian forces stationed in the Moloch Desert region, northwest of the Emmerian capital city Gracemeria. During the battle's climax, Emmerian forces were suddenly issued a general retreat order: the Estovakian commanders threatened to employ unspecified weapons of mass destruction to carry out a scorched earth policy on Gracemeria if the enemy continued its advance towards the capital.
Coincidentally, aircraft from the elite 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Strigon" entered the combat zone in order to assure that the Emmerians withdrew from the Moloch Desert, at which point Marcus "Shamrock" Lampert of the 28th Fighter Squadron, hellbent on revenge against the men who had deprived him from his hometown, ignored the retreat orders, and in a maneuver that threatened Gracemeria as we know it, attacked the Strigon aircraft, assisted by his flight commander, Garuda One.
Utlimately, all Strigon aircraft were erased from radar. However, due to their dangerous stunt, the Emmerian Joint Chiefs of Staff subsequently and indefinitely grounded the Garuda Team, prohibiting them from flying any combat sortie.
Meanwhile, in Gracemeria, word of Garuda's suspension had already arrived to Estovakian ears, as evidenced by newly arrived Strigon leader Ilya Pasternak's reaction while speaking with former commander Victor Voychek.
In March 26, 2016, the Emmerian Joint Chiefs of Staff had drawn an extremely high-risk operation to stop the enemy's WMD threat: the weapons were stored in Fort Norton, an Emmerian military installation north of Gracemeria, located in the Alma River region, defended by a large-scale radar network. The plan was simple: send top pilots into Fort Norton at low altitude to avoid radar detection and eliminating the WMD transport unit before they could deliver their payload. However, there were no pilots available to perform such a risky operation, hence Emmerian command turned to the only available choice: Garuda Team.
That same day, the Garuda Team, alongside AWACS Ghost Eye, were deployed in Fort Norton in order to carry out Operation: WMD Suppression. Maneuvering through the ravines and bridges of Alma River to avoid radar detection, Garuda silently destroyed all ground forces in the sector before they could establish contact with their transport unit in Eastern Alma. After a few minutes, the Emmerian ace pilots arrived at the designated attack point, much to the Estovakians' surprise, who immediately began to mobilize the transport unit. Nevertheless, the WMD carriers were taken out, thus erasing the scorched earth threat once and for all.
However, not all was over yet. Even with the WMD destroyed, the Garuda Team still had to retreat from Alma River. As they left, a group of Estovakian fighters engaged the retreating Emmerian aircraft in hot pursuit. However, as time passed, more and more enemy aircraft began joining the pursuit, until Garuda were completely surrounded by Estovakian pilots. It all came to its climax, however, when a colossal airborne contingent ambushed the 28th Fighter Squadron in western Fort Norton—the two pilots were forced to engage their pursuers, despite being outnumbered 62-2.
However, the situation would soon change—unexpectedly, an equally massive Emmerian formation, composed of Guy Stewart "Snake Pit", 2nd Strike Fighter Squadron "Avalanche", Stingray, Sky Kid, 15th Fighter Squadron "Windhover", and other pilots Garuda had fought alongside with throughout the entire war, approached Fort Norton at high speed. A furball resulted where the Emmerians came out victorious.
With the ensuing carnage, the mission was a success. The Estovakian WMD threat had been suppressed, and nothing could stop the Emmerian forces now from advancing towards Gracemeria.
Five days later, the Emmerian commanders gave the green light to the operation that would decide Emmeria's fate.