The 229th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Grabacr", also referred to as Grabacr Squadron, and known under the alias "8492nd Squadron", was a covert Belkan Air Force aggressor unit assigned to the Osean Air Defense Force. The squadron members' pro-Belka sympathies compelled them to join the Grey Men and become provocateurs of the Circum-Pacific War.
Origins and formation
Grabacr Squadron originated from the Belkan Air Force 6th Air Division's 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron. During the Belkan War, the unit began calling itself the "Grabacr Fighter Squadron" to reflect the callsign of its leader, Captain Ashley Bernitz. Grabacr Squadron is known to have been present during the large-scale aerial engagement over Area B7R on May 28, 1995. During the course of the extended dogfight, Grabacr lost its flight lead after Bernitz broke off from the squadron and was shot down by the Allies' mercenary ace, callsign "Cipher"; Bernitz survived the encounter and returned to leading Grabacr soon afterward.
The Belkan Air Force was reformed in January 1996, and as part of the reformation, the Grabacr Squadron was re-designated as the 229th Tactical Fighter Squadron. In June 1998, the Grabacr Squadron was brought into the Osean Air Defense Force as an aggessor unit, part of an effort to bolster Osea's numbers by recruiting Belkan pilots.
At some point, Grabacr Squadron began conspiring with the secret organization known as the Grey Men to avenge Belka's defeat in 1995. Operating under the alias "8492nd Squadron", Grabacr perpetrated a series of unspecified events that compelled Yuktobania to begin spying on Osea.
On October 22, Grabacr's intervention was necessary to prevent the Osean president from holding peace talks with the Yuktobanian prime minister. Upon arriving at Akerson Hill's airspace, Ashley—under the guise of being the "8492nd leader"—relieved Wardog Squadron, promising to provide support until the crew of the president's transport was rescued. Harling was subsequently kidnapped and taken into Belkan custody, which allowed hardliners to assume control of the Osean government in his absence.
On November 2, one day after Osea's invasion of Yuktobania, Grabacr attacked a civilian engineering college in Dresdene under the cover of jamming. Wardog Squadron was nearby performing Operation Hammerblow and received the blame for Grabacr's actions as Osea could not see Grabacr due to the jamming. While Wardog's members managed to clear their names in subsequent operations, Grabacr's attack succeeded in escalating the war.
Attempts to eliminate Wardog Squadron
- "Don't let them escape, no matter what. The future of Belka is hanging in the balance."
- ― Grabacr member
The Grey Men realized that Wardog Squadron was the trump card of the Osean military and sought to deal with them. On November 29, 2010, Wardog was defending November City from a Yuktobanian air raid. A nearby Osean squadron was dispatched to help Wardog, but Grabacr—posing as the 8492nd—convinced the reinforcements that the attack was a drill and should return to base. Although AWACS Thunderhead eventually called back the reinforcements, Grabacr partially succeeded, as the delay caused the death of Wardog 3, Captain Alvin H. Davenport.
Despite the loss of their comrade, Wardog Squadron managed to assist the Osean Army in conquering Cruik Fortress, which was the final line of defense of Cinigrad, the Yuktobanian capital. Grabacr realized that at this rate the war would end, and needed to destroy Wardog immediately. Once again, they posed as the friendly 8492nd Squadron, and lured the Osean pilots into a failed ambush over the Vladimir Mountains. To prevent Wardog from revealing their existence, Grabacr's members deceived their former colleague and Sand Island's adjutant base commander, Major Allen C. Hamilton, into believing that the Wardog pilots were Yuktobanian spies.
After Wardog commandeered four training jets and escaped Sand Island on December 7, the "8492nd Squadron" located and pursued the fugitive pilots through the Solo Islands. However, due to the islands' natural electromagnetic interference and Wardog's defensive flying, Grabacr lost sight of the fugitives and eventually broke off its pursuit.
Sometime after the incident, Grabacr relocated to southwestern Belka to assist in the removal of several nuclear warheads from a storage facility beneath Mount Schirm. On December 11, a single unknown fighter penetrated the defensive radar network surrounding the facility; Grabacr scrambled to eliminate the black-liveried fighter, but was outran and unsuccessful. Sometime before 1312hrs the following day, Grabacr helped escort three warheads safely away from Mount Schirm, which were destined for Belkan aggressors in both Osea and Yuktobania.
Several weeks later, on December 23, Grabacr was dispatched to the Pobeda Peninsula to prevent the escape of the deposed Yuktobania prime minister. When Grabacr arrived at the target airspace, it was engaged and shot down by Razgriz Squadron; however, all of the Grabacr pilots ejected to safety and quickly returned to service.
- "The two countries that defeated us will struggle in the grasps of this endless war!"
- ― Grabacr member
On December 31, Grabacr, accompanied by Ofnir Squadron, flew to Oured Bay to ensure that the Strategic Orbital Linear Gun (SOLG) descended through the atmosphere and impacted Osea's capital, Oured. During their approach towards the capital, Grabacr and Ofnir encountered Razgriz Squadron, which was bound for the satellite's descent point. Despite outnumbering the Razgriz two to one, the Belkans were shot down in the ensuing dogfight. All of Grabacr's pilots are presumed to have been killed in action, and the squadron was likely disbanded soon afterward.
A Grabacr F-15 S/MTD circa the Circum-Pacific War
A Grabacr S-32 used during the final moments of the Circum-Pacific War
- Grabacr Squadron derives its name from Grábakr, a serpent-like creature of Norse mythology that gnawed on the roots of the world tree, Yggdrasil.
- The Ace Combat Infinity emblem "Shield 12" features the name "8492 Squadron", in reference to the alias used by the Grabacr pilots during their time in the OADF.
- The Su-47 -GRABACR EMBLEM- is available in Ace Combat 6 as a DLC variation of the Su-47 Berkut; the paint scheme features Grabacr's emblem along with the Belkan Air Force insignia.
- Mission 21: "Solitaire", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene 16: "Fortress #1", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Mission 19: "Final Option", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Assault Records #083: Ashley Bernitz, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- Assault Records #167: Lars Matthaus, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.
- Aces At War: A History (2011 ed.). Bandai Namco Entertainment. p. 136.
- Aces At War: A History (2011 ed.). Bandai Namco Entertainment. p. 127.
- "Grabacr" emblem description, Ace Combat Infinity.
- Mission 08: "Handful of Hope", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Mission 10: "Blind Spot", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Mission 18: "Fortress", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Mission 17: "Journey Home", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Mission 18: "Fortress", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Cutscene 18: "8492", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Mission 22: "Closure", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Mission 25: "Heartbreak One", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
- Mission 27: "ACES", Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.