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This article is about an in-universe event. For the in-game mission, see White Bird (Part II).
"I never thought I'd see the Arkbird fall into Belka's hands."
Kei Nagase

Operation Game Bird was a clandestine Razgriz Squadron operation near the end of the Circum-Pacific War. Following the Arkbird's sabotage by the Grey Men, the spacecraft was to be used for a nuclear attack on Okchabursk, Yuktobania. Razgriz's objective was to destroy the Arkbird before the attack could take place.

Background

With the failed Osean invasion of Cinigrad, the Circum-Pacific War entered a stalmate. To continue exhausting both countries, the Gray Men decided to orchestrate the detonation of a nuclear weapon in Yuktobania, thereby causing the war to escalate into a nuclear exchange. Their first attempt - a nuclear detonation in northern Yuktobania - failed due to the combined efforts of the Yuktobanian resistance and the Razgriz Squadron.[1]

The Grey Men decided to employ the hijacked Arkbird to launch a second attempt at detonating a nuclear weapon in Yuktobania. The attack, which was to be carried out against the city of Okchabursk, was scheduled to occur at 14:00hrs on December 19, 2010. Belkan communications containing this information were intercepted and decrypted by the OFS Andromeda approximately four hours prior to the attack.[2]

Authorization

Arkbird Document

President Harling's authorization letter for the destruction of the Arkbird

Following the Arkbird's orbit, the Kestrel Fleet discovered that the spacecraft needed to make one final course correction prior to the attack; it would have to descend into the Earth's atmosphere to use air friction for the correction, providing a single opportunity for attack. With this in mind, the Razgriz Squadron immediately took off for the location the Arkbird would descend over.[2]

Osean President Vincent Harling, who was on board the OFS Kestrel and leading the Razgriz's operations at the time, had to authorize the plan before Razgriz could attack. At 13:09, a few minutes before Razgriz made contact with the Arkbird, Harling wrote and signed a document authorizing the squadron to use all necessary force to prevent the attack.[3] The text of the letter is below:

English Letter

1309.19.12.10
TOP SECRET
Today information has been obtained that the nation of Belka has armed the high-atmosphere mobile spacecraft, Arkbird, with a nuclear device(s), with the intent of carrying out a nuclear attack on the city of Okchabrsk[sic] within the Union of Yuktobanian.[sic]
Additionally, intelligence has confirmed that the Arkbird will descend briefly once mid-flight to align with the target via atmospheric friction. Analysis of the scheduled launch timing and target coordinates has allowed us to determine the approximate location of this descent.
All proximity fighter units are hereby ordered to immediate[sic] sortie and rendevous[sic] at the specified Arkbird point of decent.[sic] Destroy the Arkbird before it re-ascends into the upper atmosphere at 1324, and prevent an attack on the target city.
An Ocean[sic] Federation and Union of Yuktobania air force intercept is expected. You are cleared to engage and destroy.
There is only once[sic] chance to destroy the Arkbird. God Speed.[sic]
Osean Federation President, Vincent Harling (signed "Kei N")

Japanese Letter

1309.19.12.2010

極秘事項

同日、ベル力が "大気機動宇宙船" アークバードに核弾頭を搭載レ、ユーク卜バニ
ア達邦共和国・オクチヤブルスク市ヘの核攻撃を企図していろとの情報を入手した。
宇宙空間を航行中のアークバードが同市座標上ヘ到達するためには、1度だけ大気
圏上層部まで高度を下げ、大気摩擦を用いた軌道変更をする必要が認められる。
その時刻および座標を計算し、特定に成功した。直属戦闘機部隊はただちに出撃し、
アークバード降下時を狙つて同機が戦域離脱する1324時までに破壊せよ。
なお、オ一シア軍、ユ一ク卜バニア軍共に乙ちらヘ反撃してくる可能性も考えられ
るが、乙れを撃墜する乙とも同時に許可する。
チャンスは1度切り。幸運を祈る。

オーシア連邦大統領 ビンセント・ハーリング

Interception

The Razgriz Squadron arrived at the approximate location with the Arkbird in sight. At the same time, an Osean astronaut, previously held hostage by the Belkans aboard the spacecraft, tampered with the Arkbird's controls and escaped it. Due to his efforts, the Arkbird plunged deeper into the atmosphere than necessary, providing the Razgriz a larger opportunity.[2]

Razgriz attacked the spacecraft, alerting it of their presence. Adler, the main operative inside the Arkbird, relayed the situation to another Belkan, Schenze in Sudentor, who ordered him to use the UAV launchers mounted on the Arkbird. After launching a swarm of Vogel attack drones and activating the laser module used on the Scinfaxi, Adler ignited the Arkbird's first set of propulsion engines, but they were destroyed by the Razgriz.[2]

Realizing that flying to Yuktobania was now impossible, Adler initiated the backup plan, turning the Arkbird towards Osean territory and planning to crash into the ground to detonate the nuke there. However, the Razgriz destroyed the next set of engines, causing the Arkbird to rapidly descend. In a final attempt to carry out their plan, Adler switched to the auxiliary engine, but it was subsequently destroyed. Having lost all engines, Adler cursed the squadron as the Arkbird crashed into the ocean, exploding underwater.[2]

Aftermath

The crash site was later investigated by crews of the Kestrel Fleet, who confirmed that the nuclear weapon inside the Arkbird had not detonated, due to the lack of radiation fallout in the area.[2]

A few days afterward, President Harling's letter was found off the coast of Hollister, Osea, signed by "Kei N".[3] This confirmed the loss of the Arkbird to the Osean public, but the government refused to acknowledge it.[4] Among other incidents, this would lead to public theories about the Razgriz Squadron's members being the same pilots from Wardog Squadron.[5]

References

  1. Ghosts of Razgriz, Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 White Bird (Part II), Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Aces At War: A History, pages 01-03.
  4. Untitled Photo Selection.
  5. Aces, Demons, and Ghosts: Mysterious Heroes of the Belkan Conflict.
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